1 best and worst bet at UFC 301

UFC 301 features several fights that could catch the eye of casual and serious bettors.
Alexandre Pantoja
Alexandre Pantoja / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Attempting to follow up the historic UFC 300 pay-per-view, the UFC returns to Brazil for UFC 301 headlined by Alexandre Pantoja who will be looking to defend his flyweight championship against No. 10 ranked contender Steve Erceg. While the mainstream hype surrounding this fight card is lesser than the previous few numbered events, there is still plenty of opportunity to turn a profit with some smart betting.

UFC 301 features rising prospects, UFC veterans, a returning hometown legend, and promises to be a great night of fights. Let's take a look at one best and worst bet at UFC 301.

UFC 301 best bet: Alexandre Pantoja by points (decision) +300

A "best bet" usually isn't as high as +300 odds but there is great reason to believe that Pantoja will be able to work his way towards a decision victory at UFC 301. Some believe that Pantoja has the ability to finish this fight anywhere, and while this may come to fruition, a decision victory seems more likely when looking closer at the matchup.

While Erceg may be unknown to some in the fight community, his 12-1 career professional record is nothing to ignore. He is also coming off an impressive knockout victory over Matt Schnell which extended his winning streak to 11 consecutive victories. Though 18 of Pantoja's 27 career victories have come via finish, Erceg's only career defeat was a decision loss back in 2017.

The odds suggest that the most likely exact outcome of victory for Pantoja is via submission which sits at +240 odds. However, half of Erceg's career victories are through submission wins and by using his grappling, speaking to his prowess in that department.

Pantoja's collection of knockouts and submissions are outstanding but in his last five contests, all of which are victories, three have come by decision, including each of his last two in five round main event fights. With the high level of skill in the flyweight division, a decision victory for Pantoja is the best bet to make for UFC 301.

UFC 301 worst bet: Steve Erceg by knockout +360

On the other side, the oddsmakers are predicting a knockout win for Erceg as his most likely exact method of victory in this contest. While Erceg is coming off the impressive aforementioned knockout of Schnell, it seems highly unlikely that he will be able to finish Pantoja in a similar manner at UFC 301.

For starters, Pantoja has never been finished in his mixed martial arts career, let alone knocked out, so for Erceg to reverse this trend would be extremely impressive and shocking. Pantoja has faced all the top contenders and most devastating strikers in the UFC flyweight division and has been able to withstand everything.

In his two most recent contests against Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval, respectively, Pantoja endured hundreds of total strikes and was still able to win decision victories over five rounds. His fight of the night against Moreno in which he earned the UFC flyweight championship maybe best exemplifies his legendary chin and toughness.

While the odds indicate that Erceg's most logical route to victory is through knockout, betting against an opponent with a granite chin inside his home country is a tough sell. Look for this fight to go the distance in another classic flyweight showdown.

All odds are according to FanDuel. Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.