clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 185 Betting Preview

Eddie Mercado navigates the high seas of sports betting as he delves into UFC 185 to provide his Best Bets to beat the odds.

Do you enjoy making bank by betting on your favorite fighters? Are you tired of astronomical moneylines resulting in minimal unit returns? Fear not as I, Eddie Mercado, navigate the world of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports to declare war on the odds makers as I bring to you my highly analyzed Best Bet selections. My Best Bet selections are derived from countless hours of research coupled with a keen knack for calculating attractive risk vs reward ratios. Do not fall for the imitators rather stick strictly with the innovator! Let's fight!

UFC 185 aims to bring the pain with a credential heavy card containing two world champions, two former world champions, some NCAA All-American wrestlers, an Olympic Freestyle Wrestling gold medalist, and even some siblings to boot. Such credentials, although impressive, often result in exaggerated moneylines that encroach upon ones personal risk tolerance and make it a challenge to net an attractive unit return percentage (URP). To the chagrin of the odds makers, I have personally selected the fighters that I believe hold the competitive edge and have linked them together in the form of my Main Parlay, Main Parlay Alternative, Combat Sports Parlay, Power Parlay, Whole Card Parlay, Single Fighter Suggestions, and the always intriguing Underdog Suggestions. See the bottom of this article for the associated chart.

My Main Parlay is composed of three probable winners in Sergio Pettis (-500), Henry Cejudo (-550), and Johny Hendricks (-325).  Covering the caboose in the Main Parlay Hedge will be none other than the sizable underdog in Matt Brown(+300).  Linking these three fighters plus hedging with only one fight remaining will minimize risk while maximizing our URP which is the name of the game! This particular parlay allows for an 85% return per unit risked which is a substantially larger return than what can be seen from any of the selected fighters alone. In order to hedge, only 33% of a unit is required to cover a whole unit. Note that hedging should only be done after both Sergio Pettis and Henry Cejudo win their respective fights. Let us dig a little deeper.

Sergio Pettis, the 21 year old Roufusport prospect and younger brother of the headlining UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, is dropping down to the flyweight division as he looks to step out from his older brother's shadow and prove that he is deserving of such a heavy moneyline by dishing out a second loss to fellow striker, Ryan Benoit.  Expect Pettis to stay out of danger by displaying his superior striking skills and possibly exploit the questionable submission game of Benoit.

The number two slot on our Main Parlay's roster is reserved for Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medalist, Henry "The Messenger" Cejudo.  Opposing Cejudo will be the scrappy flyweight veteran, Chris Cariaso, who fell short of gold in his last fight against the champion, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson. Henry Cejudo will finally be debuting at 125lbs in the UFC as he has had trouble making the necessary weight requirements in the past which resulted in his UFC debut taking place in the bantamweight division. I see Henry Cejudo using his fluid boxing to set the tempo and close the distance with Cariaso, where Cejudo will have an overwhelming strength as well as grappling advantage.

Former welterweight champion, Johny "Big Rig" Hendricks (-325), is looking to get back on the road to gold as he faces Matt "The Immortal" Brown, my Main Parlay Hedge selection and a man who will throw everything including the kitchen sink at his opponent. Hendricks will be putting his four time NCAA All-American and two time National Wrestling Champion credentials to good use as his path of least resistance involves putting Matt Brown on the ground as early and as often as possible to ensure the victory and avoid enduring any substantial damage. The constant pressure and threat of the takedown will reduce the volume at which Brown is accustomed to throwing.  Hendricks has the power to trade with Brown on the feet however lacks the diversity in striking that is required to make that a good idea. The very real danger in Matt Brown's striking game is why he is an excellent candidate to be the Main Parlay Hedge fighter.

My Best Bet Main Parlay Alternative includes swapping out one Pettis brother for another. We remove Sergio Pettis (-500) from the lineup and supplement UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (-450). The finish happy champion will be taking on the supremely well rounded number one contender, Rafael Dos Anjos (+350). By swapping out the heavier favorite Pettis for the lighter favorite Pettis, we see an increase in our URP from 85% to 88%. Winning! Equally as attractive is Dos Anjos being a heavier underdog than Main Parlay Hedge fighter, Matt Brown, which results in a decrease in our hedge cost from 33% down to 28% of a unit to cover a whole unit.

Look for the sharp shooting Anthony Pettis to use his speed coupled with venomous striking to capitalize on any mistake Rafael Dos Anjos may make. RDA definitely has the power, fight IQ, and a wicked ground game to put Pettis in hot water which is why he makes a good hedge fighter. I see this fight a lot closer than the odds makers have it listed at Since we hedge like the non-greedy souls we strive to be, the outcome of this tilt is essentially irrelevant in terms of unit loss so we may return to a state of fandom that is free of any gambling bias.

The Combat Sports Parlay gets my Best Bet stamp of approval as it links up Henry Cejudo (-550) and Johny Hendricks (-325) with Sergey Kovalev (-700), the Russian boxer that is batting a thousand. Kovalev is coming off of his biggest career win against the living legend Bernard Hopkins. He looks to keep the momentum rolling as he puts his perfect record on the line against the explosive puncher, Jean Pascal.  Expect Kovalev to use his superior polish to finish off the less technical Pascal. Sergey Kovalev's bout will take place between Cejudo and Hendricks's respective tilts thus making Matt Brown (+300) our hedge fighter. The Combat Sports Parlay will see an honorable 76% unit return per unit risked while the cost to hedge is a mere 33% of a unit to cover a whole unit. Note that the hedge should be placed after both Henry Cejudo and Sergey Kovalev have both won their respective matches. I would recomend the Best Bet Combat Sports Parlay be valued at a minimum of four units up to whatever your unit max allows for. When increasing units risked, be sure to increase units hedged at the same rate.

Now that we have bob and weaved these ludicrous moneylines, let us respond with a Mike Tyson-esque molly wop in the shape of my Power Parlay. This is where we fuse together all five of the previous Parlay contenders into a hard hitting five fighter cluster that brings home an alluring URP of 159%! Keep in mind, however, this higher reward comes at the expense of a higher risk. With that being said, if you just so happen to have an extra unit hanging around then this might interest you. If you are more of a conservative player then this might poke at your risk tolerance with the five fighter Power Parlay. Sergio Pettis, Henry Cejudo, Sergey Kovalev, Johny Hendricks, and Anthony Pettis make a mean team if you ask me. The hedge fighter will be Rafael Dos Anjos which should only be placed after Sergio Pettis, Cejudo, Kovalev, and Hendricks all win their respective matches.

As for my Single Fighter Suggestions, I have selected the former K-1 and Strikeforce heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem (-210). Overeem looks to dispute the "glass jaw" rumors that have plagued his UFC career and make his way back towards the top of the rankings for possible title contention. Standing across from him will be the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt and overhand right spammer, Roy "Big Country" Nelson. Anticipate Overeem to use his striking to stay out of trouble. Although Nelson has prestigious grappling credentials, I give the wrestling advantage to Overeem which I find to be his path of least resistance.  Im not big on betting on heavyweights, but if you can find it in your heart to trust the inconsistent Alistair Overeem then there may be some value with his moneyline at (-210). Tread lightly.

UFC 185's Underdog Suggestions include one fighter, Germaine de Randamie (+135). She will be taking on the 20 year old Brazilian, Larissa Pacheco, who dropped her debut tilt to Jessica Andrade back in September of 2014. I anticipate de Randamie to use her superior physical strength and clinch techniques to control Pacheco up against the cage where she can grind out the win.

Seeing an astounding return of 259% from risking just .01 of a unit is my Main Card Parlay.  As the list below indicates, I have provided my selections for each of the UFC 185 bouts and linked them together in a twelve fighter clan that pays out a hefty bounty whilst requiring a minor unit risk. 100% accuracy on a whole UFC card can be a challenge but has and will happen again!

Now that we are prepared to declare war on the odds makers, we may now march into battle this Saturday at UFC 185 with supreme confidence as we shall strike with our parlays and shield with our hedges. I would say "good luck" but you won't need it because luck favors the prepared. Remain glued to for more of me, Eddie Mercado, and my Post weigh-in Amendments, Post Event Recaps, and future Mixed Martial Arts Betting Previews.


Sergio Pettis -500
Henry Cejudo -550} Risk: 1u/Win: .8545u
Johny Hendricks -325

Matt Brown        +300
Risk: .3333u/Win: 1u

*only hedge with 1 fight left to win

Henry Cejudo -550
Johny Hendricks -325 } Risk: 1u/Win: .8889u
Anthony Pettis -450

Rafael Dos Anjos +350
Risk: .2857u/Win: 1u

*only hedge with 1 fight left to win

Henry Cejudo                  -550
Sergey Kovalev               -700         } Risk: 5u/Win: 3.8312u
Johny Hendricks                  -325

Matt Brown +300
Risk: .3333u/Win: 1u

*only hedge with 1 fight left to win

Sergio Pettis                      -500
Henry Cejudo                    -550       } Risk: 1u/Win: 1.5905u
Sergey Kovalev                 -700
Johny Hendricks                   -325
Anthony Pettis                  -450

Rafael Dos Anjos +350
Risk: .2857/Win: 1u

*only hedge with 1 fight left to win


Germaine de Randamie +135


Alistair Overeem -210




Germaine de Randamie +135
Joseph Duffy -550
Sergio Pettis -500
Jared Rosholt -285
Daron Kruickshank -155
Elias Theodorou -325
Sam Stout +265
Henry Cejudo -550
Alistair Overeem -210
Johny Hendricks -325
Joanna Jedrzejczyk +130
Anthony Pettis -450


*Odds source:

*Note: For entertainment purposes only

*Do you or someone you know have a gambling addiction? Get help by contacting The National Council on Problem Gambling at 1-800-522-4700

Less than three