Odds Prediction: UFC 253: Khadis Ibragimov (-160) vs. Danilo Marques (+135)
UFC 253 kicks off the early prelims with a light heavyweight battle between Khadis Ibragimov and Danilo Marques, with the former opening as slim -160 favorite at William Hill.
However, the lines are incredibly difficult to call considering Marques is making his first appearance in the UFC, while Ibragimov has lost three on the bounce since he came to the promotion.
Prediction: Marques via submission
It’s plausible a fired-up Ibragimov (8-3) will have the means to knock his Brazilian foe out, priced at +225. However, Marques (9-2) is a surprising +800 to win by submission in his promotional debut, which looks too good to pass up for even a small side gamble.
The 6’6” Brazilian has four submission wins to go along with his four career knockouts, and it’s foreseeable the fight will transition to the floor should the two tire in the curtain-raiser. The advantage falls to giant Marques in that situation, opening up the chances for a fast start to life in MMA’s biggest spotlight.