UFC Best Bets:

This week, the UFC competes in Denver, Colorado, where a summer crowd, a larger 30-foot cage, and fight-influencing altitude may all come into play and some interesting opportunities for UFC best bets.

Again, this week, the UFC was given little notice of a main event cancellation. They reacted by shuffling athletes to provide a worthy main event for Denver after doing an amazing job inserting relevant combatants with both co-main and main events of UFC 303 two weeks ago. My respects go out to the UFC matchmakers.


At the halfway point of 2024, UFC favorites are at a multi-year high of 182-82-4 or 67.9%, which is usually the case, as favorite percentages usually run in the 62/63% range.

Digital results entering July stand: 16-13; +6.03u; +119 Ave.

The prelims for this week’s fight card are at 4 p.m. PT, while the main fight card begins at 7 p.m. PT.

This Denver fight card features eleven bouts, four of which are held in weight divisions of 170 pounds and greater, which translates to an approximately 10% higher percentage of finishes.

Rose Namajunas -225 vs. Tracy Cortez +185

Women’s flyweight (125 pounds) Main Event

Cortez steps into this bout on short notice. She was preparing for a short, aggressive wrestling-based athlete next week, as opposed to the angular, former title holder and world-class athlete in Namajunas.

Cortez, a wrestling-based fighter from Phoenix, AZ, jumped at the chance to step up in class and compete against an elite. Namajunas, with her refined weaponry and experience, could potentially dominate Cortez.

Yet, it’s not out of the question that Cortez can ‘wrestle Rose up’ and boomerang a ground control victory into instant notoriety. Surely, wrestling will be her approach.

Let’s remember that Cortez has competed at bantamweight and dropped to 125 pounds, while Rose did her best work at 115 pounds and is moving up in weight.

This flyweight bout may mark ‘two ships passing in the night’ as far as career trajectory is concerned. Or it could be an announcement by Namajunas that she’s here for this division.

Rose has several factors going for her. She is an acknowledged world-class talent who has experienced opponent changes and has competed in five-round main events numerous times.

Her fighting intelligence is a weapon, and she has fared well since moving to flyweight. Though she does not appear to move as she did when she was a strawweight, Rose competes at home and has no adjustment to make for the drastic elevation change. Cardio has never been a question with Namajunas.

Cortez must take an aggressive approach and be unwilling to compete at a distance. She will have to overcome many obstacles to earn success in this fight, and that’s before dealing with elevation.

The short notice for a main event situation, compounded by the Denver altitude and, finally, Namajunas as an adversary, spell a challenge for Cortez, who may not be quite ready to overcome it all.

Namajunas and Cortez opened as a -110 pick, and now Namajunas is -225! That seems like a mispriced opening number.

Total in this fight: 4.5 Rds Over -280

Jean Silva -115 vs. Drew Dober -105

Lightweight (155 pounds)

The Brazilian, Jean Silva, is a cold finisher of fights. Since 2021, he has finished each of the ten foes he has faced in the first round, save for his last bout two weeks ago when he took out accomplished UFC featherweight Charles Jourdain in the second round.

Before that bout, Silva missed weight by some two-plus pounds and was assigned to turn around in just a couple of weeks. He now must compete up in weight (probably where Silva belongs anyway) at 155 pounds and against a formidable and well-established fighter in Dober, who is also a natural-born banger.

Silva steps well up in class of opponent for this tilt. When I consider who Dober has been in with, what he’s faced, and the forms of threats he has seen, then it becomes only Silva’s early finishing power that I fear with this investment.

Should this fight get into the second round, it could be target practice for Mr. Dober against a gassed and perhaps overmatched Jean Silva.

UFC Best Bet: Dober -105

Total in this fight: 1.5 Rds over -125

The ‘Bout Business Podcast are my final releases for this week. It’s available Friday Noon PST. Access it only at GambLou.com.