UFC 275 doesn’t boast an overwhelming amount of star power. That’s to say this one certainly won’t break any pay-per-view records, but what it lacks in name value it more than makes up for in intrigue and high-level talent at the top of the card.
Light-heavyweight champ Glover Teixeira meets intimidating challenger Jiri Prochazka in the main event, while the co-headliner sees women’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Valentina Shevchenko aim to extend her title defence streak against 19-1 Taila Santos.
Add to that a rematch between former strawweight champions Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk and you’ve got a rather compelling main card with an international flair.
UFC 275 takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, marking the organization’s fifth event in Singapore and first card in Asia since 2019.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the three featured bouts and their corresponding betting odds.
GLOVER TEIXEIRA vs. JIRI PROCHAZKA
Teixeira +170 | Prochazka -200 | Draw +8000
Teixeira by decision +700 | Prochazka by decision +900
Teixeira by stoppage +225 | Prochazka by stoppage -150
Prochazka is 2-0 in the UFC with two devastating knockout wins over former title challengers Dominick Reyes and Volkan Oezdemir. The rising Czech star is 23-1-1 over the past nine years and avenged his lone loss during that stretch. The 29-year-old has knocked out his last 10 opponents and only one of those fights saw a third round.
Teixeira, 42, hasn’t lost since 2018. The second-oldest champion in UFC history is a live dog, which sort of goes without saying since he is the champion after all. Teixeira has a nasty left hook and fairly tight boxing overall but it’s his dominant ground game and black-belt level Brazilian jiu-jitsu that elevated him to champion.
There are holes in Prochazka’s game Teixeira can exploit. The challenger gets hit too often – absorbing 7.19 significant strikes per minute is a dangerous game to play in the UFC’s 205-pound division – and his wrestling acumen is not at the level of other ranked fighters in the weight class, including the champ. Can his height, reach and youth advantage combined with his power, pace, chin and unique movement overcome the veteran savvy of the current titleholder?
The total rounds for this one was set at 1.5 with a lean on the over (-150) and +110 value on the fight ending within 7:30 of total fight time. Over 2.5 rounds has +150 value while under 2.5 is a chalky -200. Since only eight of Teixeira’s 21 UFC bouts since 2012 have gone under 2.5 rounds there is some inherent value on that plus-money over.
If Teixeira can land takedowns and protect his chin he absolutely can retain his title. If you like the champ, there is clear value on Teixeira inside the distance at +225 and it could be worth your time seeking out specific submission/round props. Teixeira by submission odds: Round 1 +1000, Round 2 +1400, Round 3 +2000, Round 4 +3300, Round 5 +5000.
I predicted at the end of 2021 that this year “Prochazka is going to win the belt in such spectacular fashion that he’ll become an overnight sensation,” so I’m pot committed at this point.
Pick (and preferred prop bets): Prochazka (by stoppage -150, Prochazka in Round 2 +400, Prochazka in Round 3 +750)
VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO vs. TAILA SANTOS
Shevchenko -600 | Santos +450 | Draw +8000
Shevchenko by decision +120 | Santos by decision +900
Shevchenko by stoppage +120 | Santos by stoppage +900
Shevchenko has gone through the the UFC women’s flyweight division like a buzzsaw. The champion is 8-0 at 125 pounds in the UFC and has faced little resistance during her six consecutive title defences. Santos is hoping to shock the MMA world in the same way Julianna Pena did as a +700 underdog against Amanda Nunes up at bantamweight earlier this year.
Shevchenko has closed as a -1100 favourite or longer in four of her past five outings. Santos has only been the listed underdog once in her UFC career and she helped her backers by winning a decision over “Meatball” Molly McCann.
Santos has length and leverage with which to work against Shevchenko, who manages distance and controls the clinch better than nearly all fighters on the UFC roster.
If Santos can land long punches down the pipe to keep Shevchenko thinking and/or if she can gain top control at times then she could begin stealing rounds.
Oddsmakers are anticipating this fight to enter the fifth round. I am anticipating a relatively uneventful fight in which Shevchenko eventually finds her patented crucifix position, traps her opponent and forces another referee stoppage.
Pick (and preferred prop bets): Shevchenko (by stoppage +120, Shevchenko in Round 4 +1400, Shevchenko in Round 5 +2000)
ZHANG WEILI vs. JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK
Zhang -175 | Jedrzejczyk +150 | Draw +8000
Zhang by decision +140 | Jedrzejczyk by decision +225
Zhang by stoppage +260 | Jedrzejczyk by stoppage +700
This is a rematch of 2020’s fight of the year and one of the greatest title fights in UFC history. The key difference in this rematch of former 115-pound champions is the fact this meeting is scheduled for three rounds instead of five.
Jedrzejczyk hasn’t fought since a split decision loss to Zhang at UFC 248 more than two years ago. Zhang since lost her belt when she was knocked out by Rose Namajunas; she lost an extremely close split decision in an immediate rematch with Namajunas this past November. Namajunas lost the belt to current champ Carla Esparza so the winner of Zhang-Jedrzejczyk part II could be in line for a title shot.
Oddsmakers don’t think Jedrzejczyk will be able to finish her opponent – her only two stoppage wins in the UFC were both back in 2015 – but Jedrzejczyk by decision definitely carries value. Jedrzejczyk was ahead two rounds to one after three rounds on two of the three judges’ scorecards at UFC 248 before Zhang turned it on over the final two rounds and escaped with a narrow victory. If Jedrzejczyk repeats the opening 15 minutes on Saturday she’ll return to the win column.
None of the scorecards were identical in the first meeting, which speaks to how competitive and tightly contested the first scrap was.
Both women have finishing ability and both have been knocked out in the UFC, however the -225 price on the fight to go all 15 minutes is there for a reason.
Zhang has been the more active fighter, has improved her wrestling and I believe control time will be the main difference in what should be another fan-friendly tilt that goes the distance.
Pick (and preferred prop bet): Zhang (by decision +140)
Here is a look at the complete UFC 275 lineup:
— Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka
— Valentina Shevchenko vs. Taila Santos
— Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
— Rogerio Bontorin vs. Manel Kape
— Jack Della Maddalena vs. Ramazan Emeev
— Jacob Malkoun vs. Brendan Allen
— Seung Woo Choi vs. Joshua Culibao
— Steve Garcia vs. Hayisaer Maheshate
— Jake Matthews vs. André Fialho
— Kang Kyung-ho vs. Danaa Batgerel
— Liang Na vs. Silvana Gómez Juárez
— Ramona Pascual vs. Joselyne Edwards
(Betting odds via Bet365 as of Friday afternoon and subject to change)