UFC 285 betting, odds: Jalin Turner got a difficult replacement opponent, but he’s up to the task

Nearly 17 years ago, the UFC signed a highly touted fighter nicknamed “The Spider” and Anderson Silva somehow exceeded the highest expectations of him. He became the longest-serving champion in history, and his name was in the UFC record book only slightly less than Wayne Gretzky’s name in the NHL record book.

Now another spider appears and makes a lot of noise. Jalyn “Tarantula” Turner lost two of his first three fights after winning a contract in the Dana White Challenger Series. Turner not only straightened the ship and scored five victories in a row, but also began to look like a legitimate contender for the title.

The UFC didn’t do any favors for Turner. He was scheduled to fight Dan Hooker on Saturday at UFC 285 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but when Hooker was injured, the UFC chose Mateusz Gamroth to replace Hooker. This is a much more difficult match, and Gamroth has -225 to win at BetMGM. Turner +185.

Gamroth gave Beneil Dariush a great fight before losing a decision at UFC 280 in October, and prior to that, he won a terrific fight against Arman Tsarukyan.

Turner will face a serious test against Gamroth, a black belt fighter in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gamroth has faced many wrestlers and Turner must be concerned about being put on his back and beaten. But Turner, at 6-3, is colossal in the lightweight division and has added versatility to his game. Now he is a more multi-dimensional fighter than ever.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 02: Jalyn Turner celebrates his first round victory over New Zealand's Brad Riddell at Lightweight during UFC 276 at the T-Mobile Arena on July 2, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Jalyn Turner is the underdog of BetMGM on Saturday at +185 in lightweight against Mateusz Gamroth who is -225. They fight at UFC 285 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

He will need to thread a needle to win. He cannot let Gamroth interfere with him and intimidate him. He will need to create angles with his movement and athleticism and mix up his shots.

If this fight was worth the money, I would play Gamroth. But with Turner at +185, he represents a chance for a good paycheck. He has improved a lot and is worth playing for extra money to get the biggest win of his career.

Jones clear favorite over Gein

Jon Jones hasn’t fought in 37 months and has never fought someone as big and athletic as Cyril Gein, whom he will face for the vacant heavyweight title in Saturday’s UFC 285 main event.

Jones, longtime UFC light heavyweight champion, hits -165 at BetMGM to defeat Gein for the second weight title.

I like Gein’s game in general, especially his footwork, but whenever I’m leaning towards picking him, I remember this: Francis Ngannou outplayed him. Ngannou, who vacated his title when he couldn’t negotiate a new contract with the UFC, was a powerful striker but nowhere near the same fighter as Jones.

So when things go wrong, I look for Jones to come to his fight. I will play Jones to win here and bet -165. I like to fight from a distance, but BetMGM doesn’t have a roster and I don’t want to play without knowing the line.

The queen will keep her crown

I tried and tried and tried to find a way to pick Alexa Grasso to beat flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko in the co-main event on Saturday, but there just doesn’t seem to be a way for her to win.

Shevchenko is the -650 favorite and she is only so low because of the perception that she fought in her last fight against Tayla Santos. Grasso is an outsider +450.

I think Shevchenko should be the 9-1 or 10-1 favorite in this situation, so there is value here. Even though I hate to bet such big numbers, I will do it and bet -650 on Shevchenko to win.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JUN 12: Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan reacts to her split decision victory over Tayla Santos of Brazil in the UFC Flyweight Championship fight during UFC 275 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Singapore.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko is the -650 favorite to retain her belt by defeating Alexa Grasso on Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 285 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Other games for UFC 285

  • I’ll take Derek Brunson with +190 to beat Drykus Du Plessis.

  • I’ll lay -165 and take Cody Garbrandt to beat Trevin Jones.

  • I’ll bet -115 on Amanda Ribas to beat Vivian Araujo.


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