Popular Fighters to Bet On in 2023

jon jones

With big MMA events being announced left and right, you should know who the fighters are to keep an eye on this year. 

Regardless of your level of experience in sports betting, MMA demands more attention as a fighter’s records alone can’t tell you much about the outcome. Because so many different things happen inside the octagon to produce that record. If you’re a fan looking to learn more about MMA, or a punter looking for the best bet, the MMA guide at betJACK can be of help to you, with regular podcasts, betting previews, pre-match analysis, and quick news updates. 

But let’s take a minute to look at some of this year’s most prominent MMA fighters that are your best choices to put your wager on.

Jon Jones 

With the UFC releasing Francis Ngannou, the reigning undisputed heavyweight champion, the spot remains vacant. The highly anticipated match between Ngannou and the returning UFC legend, Jon Jones, remains a dream. Read more on Ngannou’s release here.

Jones is set to enter the professional ring after more than three years. Some might think that he can have gotten sloppy. And the fact that he is going to be in a higher weight class makes it seem even more so. But let us remind you, this is Jon Jones we’re talking about, the undefeated UFC light-heavyweight champion who defended his title 13 times in a row. Some MMA gurus see him as the most skilled fighter to ever step foot in the octagon.

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Pairing with his fighting skills and agility, Jones packs one of the highest fighting IQ’s among MMA fighters, which makes him a deadly adversary, regardless of the weight class, the age, or the long time he spent away from the ring.

In any case, his comeback match against Cyril Gane, set to take place on March 5, is stirring up a lot of speculation among fans. The odds are marking Cyril Gane as the favorite. And the automatic underdog, Jones, will bear great betting value for a successful bet on him in this match. 

Ilia Topuria

Another undefeated contender on this list, Ilia Topuria, has been storming the UFC featherweight division for some time now. Appearing in five total promotional fights, the man from Spain scored four finishes.

He made his lightweight debut in March against Jai Herbert, finishing the match with a second-round knockout. He won the second match of the year in December, by submitting Bryce Mitchell, again in the second round. Quite a successful year, right?

With these back-to-back wins, Topuria jumped the ranks of the new 145-pound weight class in a flash. This exciting fighter is currently occupying the number nine spot in the featherweight division. Though the lightweight division is crammed with world-class rivals, with his explosive offensive combos and top-notch grappling skills, Topuria is a dangerous matchup for anyone.

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This well-rounded fighter is set to enjoy another great year inside the ring. The chances of him jumping the ranks and possibly winning a shot at the title seem quite high, as the coming matches will mostly be with fighters of higher ranks. And his comparatively lower rank in the weight class means he will be the underdog in a match with a higher-ranked fighter. This makes him a great choice for putting your wagers on, bearing great value with every win. 

Alexander Volkanovski

The number-one men’s pound-for-pound fighter and reigning UFC featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski is a machine. He is kind of a sure bet for punters, as he seems unbeatable in the featherweight division. He defended his title twice last year. First in April, against “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, with a TKO in the fourth round. Then, in July, against the former champion of the weight class, Max Holloway.  

With these wins, Volkanovski is on a 12-match unbeaten streak. We’ll see if he can keep it alive, as he is set to move up to the lightweight division and face the champion, Islam Makhachev, in UFC 284, looking to win the title in February. Whether he wins the match against Makhachev or not, he will remain the king of the featherweight division and still a great option to bet on afterwards.

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Amanda Nunes

Without a doubt, Amanda Nunes has proven herself to be the best female mixed martial artist of all time. Wreaking havoc in the UFC female featherweight and bantamweight, she holds almost a crystal-clear record, except the one loss that’s widely known as one of the biggest upsets in WMMA history. 

Time and again, she faced whatever female fighter was worth taking a shot at, some of the greatest female mixed martial artists in history, like Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko, Holly Holm, and whoever UFC threw at her. As a bettor, you can wager on her with your eyes closed.

Charles Oliveira

Here’s a fighter who is popular as a safe bet. But you need your homework on the opponent he faces. Holding the records for most finishes, and most submissions in the lightweight and featherweight divisions, Oliveira’s overall records are not picture perfect.

But here’s something to note. He was on an 11-win streak before the loss against Makhachev in October, 2022. Some of those matches were against fighters like Gaethje, Poirier, and Kevin Lee. More than 90% of his wins are from finishes, making him popular for betting on finishes.