UFC: Your Betting Guide to UFC 297 in Toronto

darren cooper
By:
Darren Cooper
18/01/2024/
UFC

Highlights

  • The UFC bring its brand of beloved mayhem to Toronto for UFC 297 Saturday night with the main event card starting at 10 p.m. ET.
  • Trash-talking Sean Strickland defends the middleweight title for the first time against “DDP” Dricus Du Plessis in the Main Event.
  • We look break down the big fights on the card and tell you what Michigan Sportsbooks have to offer on the big show.

Saturday night is UFC 297, the first big UFC pay-per-view of the year, and the next step on the road toward UFC 300 in April, which will be a marquee event for the company.

UFC 297 goes just over the border in Toronto, the first time Dana White has brought the promotion to UFC in over five years. There are five fights on the main card starting at 10 p.m. There are four prelim fights and three early prelims. The whole card can be watched on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN.

Sports bettors in Michigan love a good fight, and we break down what the top sportsbooks like Caesars and PointsBet have in store for Saturday.

Less Talk, More Walk

Current UFC Middleweight champ Sean Strickland is not everyone’s cup of tea. He’s arrogant, profane, but one heck of a fighter. He’s got the belt to prove it.

Strickland dominated Israel Adesanya to win the middleweight belt. He’s a great striker and a great defender. The 32-year-old is 15-5 in his UFC career. He’s become a bit of a crossover figure in the mainstream sportsworld with some of his antics and relationship with the Trump family.

Du Plessis is from South Africa and this is his first title shot. The 30-year old last fight in July at UFC 290. He’s won 19 of his last 20 fights.

Sportsbooks see this as an even fight. Caesars lists Strickland -120 to win. DDP is +100. You can also bet on the fight to go the distance (Yes +250) and bet the total rounds.

Stepping in For Nunes

Legendary UFC fighter Amanda Nunes abruptly retired in June leaving the women’s bantamweight title vacant. Into the octagon come American Raquel Pennington and Brazil’s Mayra Bueno Silva to fight for the title.

Bueno Silva’s career was on the rise after she submitted UFC star Holly Holm with a standing guillotine, but the result of the match was overturned when her ADHD medication caused a positive test. Bueno Silva has never been finished in 14 pro fights.

Pennington is 35, old for a fighter, and hasn’t competed since UFC Fight Night 217. But she has won her last five fights.

Points Bet Michigan has Bueno Silva is the favorite to win the title at -182, with Pennington at +145.

A Canadian Moose 

The overall card is stacked with Canadian fighters (this was one on purpose of course) including a welterweight fight between American Neil Magny and Canadian upstart Mike Malott.

Malott is 3-0 with two submissions since his UFC 2022 debut. He last fought at UFC 289. Magny is the old pro, with 21 UFC wins to his credit, the sixth most in the promotion’s history, but he’s coming off a lopsided loss at UFC 292.

Both Caesars and PointsBet have Magny as the heavy favorite. Caesars lists Magny at -360, PointsBet -313.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.