With the new year kicking off and MMA events being put on during the first weekend of 2023. Let’s think ahead about who are some of the best fighters to bet on and watch for this year.
When you think about the sport of MMA, the organization that most likely comes to mind is the UFC. The UFC is truly where the best go up against the best, and it is the highest level of mixed martial arts taking place on the planet.
Let’s put together a list of the top 5 fighters to bet on in 2023. This list will provide the new MMA bettor with insight into some exciting names to look for in the upcoming year.
Who can really put together a few wins in the next 365 days?
Fighters to Bet On:
Jones is widely regarded as the greatest martial artist of all time. His life outside of the octagon has been his biggest downfall. If it wasn’t for the failed drug tests and the arrests, Jon Jones would be the consensus GOAT of MMA.
“Bones” Jones has been rumored to be making his return to the octagon in 2023. Some thought this would have happened in the previous year, but the talks of his return just kept getting pushed back.
Some potential matchups that Jones could see are Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, and even Stipe Miocic. The Miocic fight seemed to fall through in 2022, but that is a matchup between two legendary fighters that everybody would love to see.
Another massive factor in Jones’ return is that it will be in the heavyweight division. He spent his whole career as a light heavyweight. But the body transformation that Jones has shown has stirred up a lot of speculation involving his comeback fight.
The reason you should bet on Jones is that he is the most skilled fighter to ever step foot in the octagon. Even if he has a lot of time out of competition, body changes, and age going against him, he will always be a great pick to make as a bettor. He will also be an underdog in a matchup against Ngannou with great value.
This dangerous martial artist out of Spain is one of the most exciting athletes on the UFC roster. With his dominant performance over the highly-skilled Bryce Mitchell, Topuria has put himself in the conversation of the top featherweights.
His explosiveness in the striking game, along with world-class grappling skills, make Topuria a very tough matchup for anyone in the division. He even has beef with Paddy Pimblett, a rising star in the lightweight division.
There are massive fights on the horizon for Topuria. 2023 seems to be the year where we are entering the prime of his career, where he makes big leaps in his title run. He is our top pick to go 3-0 in the year 2023.
Raul Rosas Jr.
This 18-year-old kid is one of the most interesting stories in the UFC going into 2023. He made his debut at the end of 2022 and put on a dominant performance. Rosas is very vocal about wanting to become the youngest champion ever but be prepared for the UFC to pick his matchups very carefully this year.
Rosas has some of the most impressive, high-pressure grappling skills that a young prospect has ever shown. The interesting part about this all is that he is debatably in the most stacked division in the UFC.
Look for any Rosas fight on the MMA schedule this year, especially his next fight, which will probably be in the first part of 2023. Those betting lines will probably be an easy lock for the youngster making his sophomore appearance in the octagon.
This pick is surprisingly under a lot of people’s radar going into 2023. He lost to Drew Dober in 2022, and it kind of killed his hype going into that fight. If you haven’t tuned in for a McKinney fight, you have to at UFC 283.
McKinney will be fighting on the first PPV event of the year in Brazil against Ismael Bonfim. The martial artist is making his UFC debut, and he is going to be put up against one of the toughest tests for a newcomer.
“T-Wrecks” starts faster than anybody in the UFC. He has an unbelievable ability to finish the fight in the first round. A “first-round finish” method of a victory prop bet is a great play 100% of the time for a McKinney bet. Keep an eye on this kid; he is one of the kinds of fighters we like to bet on.
With another “under-the-radar” pick, we are going to keep an eye on Rodrigues going into the year 2023. This guy is what every fight fan wants to see. He walks forward to his opponent and looks to take a head off every time he lets his hands go.
Rodrigues’ durability and power in his hands will create a tough matchup for anybody in the middleweight division. As he moves up the division this year, the MMA odds will have him in very valuable lines, so look out for that. He will make his 2023 start on the UFC 283 card in his home country Brazil.
A prop bet to always think about making for a Gregory “Robo-Cop” Rodrigues fight, is the fight to be finished inside the distance. The best fighters to bet on are the most fun fights to watch. He will never be in a boring fight, and he will look to make a jump in the middleweight rankings this year.
2023 Betting Tips
Outside of the top fighters to bet on in the year 2023, let’s talk about a few betting tips to take with you while betting on MMA.
While betting on smaller promotions, the betting favorite is your best friend. The skill gap between the fights in Bellator and PFL is much more prevalent than what you get in the UFC. The betting favorites will always be a safe bet.
Wrestlers will continue to dominate MMA. Particularly in the UFC, wrestling-heavy fighters tend to take the most wins compared to any other style. The Eastern European prospects that the UFC has come in and getting signed are going to be the new brand of fighter and the best fighters to bet on. Combat Sambo and wrestling are the most important practices for MMA now.
One last bit of advice is: MMA bets will be the toughest bet you can make in 2023. No matter what kind of trend you’re riding or any “expert” picks that you take, MMA is the most unpredictable sport there is. Literally, anything can happen once those cage doors close and the fight starts; keep that in mind while riding the wave of sports betting.