1 best and worst bet at UFC St. Louis

Here are two fights that bettors should be paying attention to at UFC St. Louis.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a profitable UFC 301 pay-per-view which saw Alexandre Pantoja retain his UFC flyweight championship by a predicted decision, UFC St. Louis offers another opportunity for even greater returns with some sharp betting.

With the UFC returning to St. Louis, Missouri for the first time since January 2018, and only the second time in company history, let's take a look at one best bet from UFC St. Louis and one of the worst.

UFC St. Louis best best: Nursulton Ruziboev +118

Nursulton Ruziboev will be taking on No. 11 ranked welterweight contender Joaquin Buckley in a three round co-main event contest. While many believe that the hometown favourite, and nearly top-10 ranked Buckley has the inside track to emerging victorious, Ruziboev is being overlooked.

Unknown to some in the fight community, Ruziboev is a career 34-8-2 with two no contests to his record. Though he has competed professionally over 40 times, Ruziboev is still only 30 years old and seemingly still improving every time he steps into the Octagon. While only two fights into his UFC career, a pair of impressive finishes have quickly earned himself an opportunity to break into the top-15.

In addition, of Ruziboev's 34 career victories, 32 have come by knockout or submission with only two of his six defeats decided by finish. This means that in fights decided within the distance, Ruziboev is 32-2. Buckley also has a tendency to finish the fight, primarily by knockout with 13 of his 18 career wins by KO or TKO, but the advantage in this particular part of the matchup would have to be given to Ruziboev.

Looking at the matchup from a stylistic perspective, the former middleweight Buckley should seemingly have a size advantage over other welterweights since moving down a weight class. However, he is at a sizeable height deficit to Ruziboev who stands at a listed 6'5" to Buckley who is listed at 5'8". Buckley has been able to deal with height disadvantages before in his career but the combination of height and skill posed by Ruziboev will be too tall of an order to overcome.

As far as grappling is concerned, Ruziboev has 20 career submission victories to none for Buckley, making this comparison between the two competitors largely a non-discussion, although Buckley is without a submission defeat on his record.

Overall, while Buckley may have a power advantage and will be feeding off the home crowd energy, Ruziboev has decided advantages in several aspects of the matchup, making him the best bet for UFC St. Louis.

UFC St. Louis worst: Lewis vs. Nascimento Under 1.5 Total Rounds -148

Derrick Lewis is one of the most cherished fighters currently on the UFC roster. He earned this status through a number of unbelievable knockout victories and his beloved personality. It is safe to assume that many are hoping for another classic Lewis performance, but that seems unlikely.

No. 12 ranked Lewis is taking on No. 15 ranked heavyweight contender Rodrigo Nascimento in a five round main event. Since suffering his first career defeat by knockout in October 2020, Nascimento has gone on to win three of his last four contests (with one no contest), all of which by decision.

Lewis on the other hand, has lost four of his last five, and five of his last seven inside the Octagon and has only one knockout win since the beginning of 2022. His flying knee followed up by a flurry of punches to finish the fight against Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 291 is a perfect example for why you cannot underestimate the power from Lewis. However, his recent performances and results illustrate that he may be on the downside of his career.

With Nascimento's grappling advantage and Lewis's declining performance, look for the fight to last into the second round and beyond.

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

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