UFC 256 Betting Pick: Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oliveira

I guess this fight is the real main event of the evening, right? For most of us, I think that is the case. The main event is great and it’s not because they are small guys that people aren’t as interested.

It’s more so the fact that one of the most popular and polarizing figures in the fight game, Tony El Cucuy Ferguson, is making his return to the Octagon for the first time since taking the beating of his life at the hands of Justin Gaethje just 7 short months ago.

How he will look on Saturday is an answer to the question we have all been asking since moments after or even during his Interim Lightweight World Title fight with The Highlight.

It was such a one-sided beating and for one, Tony is so freaking tough and can take multiple clean shots and for two, Justin isn’t the most powerful puncher but he’s a great puncher.

He hits people clean and accurately with solid pop on every shot. If he would have been a one hitter quitter kinda guy like Conor McGregor, Tony would have been out of there within the first couple of rounds.

So, Ferguson got it a lot worse facing a guy who doesn’t hit as hard. This explains why boxing could be more dangerous for your brain than mixed martial arts. We can’t really say one way or another, though.

It is too soon. Just wait about 20 years and see how these guys are doing in retirement. What happens when you’re 50? Or 60? Forgetting much, yet?

I’m 38, never been knocked asleep and my memory is garbage. There will be some guys who have just been hit too many times and they will never be the same. We can only hope, though, that those fighters are quite few and far between.

Tony is so darn headstrong that it’s impossible to count him out no matter the circumstances.

We did pick Gaethje to beat him, though. Sorry, Tony. I had to do it. You hadn’t fought a top ten guy in a while and definitely not a pressure puncher like Justin.

There were dos Anjos, Cerrone, and Pettis but they weren’t pressure guys who could take the front foot away from Ferguson. Who can maintain forward pressure in this fight will likely determine the winner.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this fight. Let’s look at those and make our predictions for the co-main event of UFC 265 between Tony Ferguson and Charles Oliveira.

Tony Ferguson (-160) vs Charles Oliveira (+140)

This is such an interesting fight and we have to accept that we don’t have all of the answers heading into it. We don’t know how good Ferg is going to look. Maybe he looks great moving around and is landing shots but gets caught by a medium power right hand to the chin and gets put away quickly after.

Oliveira is one of the best finishers in the history of the company. Do not blink when this man is fighting.

The mental game is a worry for me, though, as we eye a potential bet on the underdog here. Charles has packed it in before a little early and also been submitted several times himself. I get it. He isn’t a positional guy. He goes for it, kill or be killed all the way.

Charles has become such a more technical striker over the past 5 years and that is what I think will be the difference against Tony Ferguson. I don’t believe El Cucuy wants to change his 37 year old level and shoot in for a double or single leg on the Brazilian.

Will we see a snap down from the gym owner of the brand new Snapdown City? I guess it’s possible but I think Tony believes he is the better striker between the two men and will gladly keep this one standing for however long it takes to break his opponent, in his head that is.

Oli has some quit in him and Tony doesn’t so that counts for a lot. Charles is younger and not an MMA infant. He has already set UFC all time records and he’s not even 32 years old.

This is Charles’s time now and I think he is a better striker than Tony.

Ferg is much more creative but it takes him a bit to get that going. It’s a flow thing and it doesn’t usually start until halfway through the second round.

Well, that’s halfway through the fight. We have to remember that this one is scheduled for just 3 rounds as it isn’t a main event or title fight.

Charles is super live here at (+140). I think he is going to TKO Tony but it might be a crack on the feet and an arm under the neck. You never know with Oliveira.

We are getting great odds on him just to win the fight so we will stick with that.

2 units on Charles do Bronx Oliveira.

The Bets

Bonus Picks

Cyril Gane Wins Inside Distance: -140

I like this one here. I love Junior Dos Santos but his best days are far far behind him. The UFC has been bringing along heavyweight prospect from France, Cyril Gane, quite slowly and now is his big step up.

He is French so I worry about his mental in there. You see it with Ngannou as well. They can shut down. I don’t mean to give France a hard time but let’s be real for a second.

How many Mexican fighters are known for their durability and heart? I don’t know…roughly…millions.

And how many French fighters in the history of fighting are known for their heart? I’ll wait.

The thing is, I don’t believe Gane will need much heart to dispose of the now glass jawed former UFC World Champion, Junior dos Santos. Just put one on his chin and call it a day. That’s what I am seeing in my crystal ball at the moment.

We can get him to finish by submission for (+1100)! That’s insane! If you remember correctly, Cyril submitted Don’Tale Mayes with a heel hook. That tells me he isn’t afraid to go for it on the mat.

Usually as a heavyweight, it pays just to rain down your massive fists when you have a guy hurt but at least we know he has done it before. We took roman Dolidze to win by submission for long odds last week and man, he sure went for it!

He didn’t get the finish but at least he fought hard for our money. We also took him to win straight up so it was still a positive outcome for us. This fight, though, with dos Santos and Gane should be fun while it lasts.

I’m not a Gane worshipper or anything but I gave JDS a chance against Rozenstruik but in the end, just a small clip of the jaw and the Brazilian is hurt badly.

Take Gane to win by stoppage for the (-140) and also take a flyer out on his method of victory prop to get the submission win at 11 to 1. Gane wins inside the distance and by submission!


Gavin Tucker: +145

I won’t go too in depth for this fight. Gavin is a guy who is continually haunted by the beating he took at the hands of Rick Glenn. Tucker gassed in that fight and a cardio machine like Glenn put it on him!

It was a brutal fight, really. Since, the Canadian has come back with a vengeance and even though he isn’t crushing people, I can see his skill set at work. The guy is super talented and physically, he has an exceptional physique.

He is bigger than his opponent, Billy Q, and I believe he has better wrestling as well. Here’s the thing. He is probably going to have to take Billy down several times in this fight because Q is one heck of a scrambler.

He does get taken down, though, and Tucker looks like the best version of himself. The line opened as a pick’em and at that price, I thought this should be a pass.

When you give me either guy at (+145), though, I’ll take it.

Just one unit here, guys, because we have plus money and Quarantillo is a fighter that can never be counted out.

The Bets

In Conclusion

There you have it, guys. Those are several picks for the upcoming UFC 256, the final pay per view the UFC will put on for the rest of 2020.

What a year it has been!

I will spare you my soapbox account mostly because I would be writing it until 2021 but more so because I want to highlight the positives for the UFC. The company stayed strong and kept politics completely out of their sport while the MLB, NBA, and NFL did the complete opposite. Election years, man. Then you add COVID and the media is going to be a trip. Regardless of your political affiliation, most of us can agree that politics and sports should be separate. I think the mass media will agree with me, well at least for another four years.

I like Charles Oliveira here, not a lot, because betting against Tony Ferguson hasn’t been the most intelligent financial decision anyone has ever made over his past 11 fights. There is his most recent loss, sure, but before that, you have to go back many years to see him lose.

I like Tucker straight up but I’m not in love with it. Last week, I was highly confident in 5-6 fights but this week, I am kinda confident in about 5. Please size your bets accordingly.

Next week looks a little better. We surely have more options but don’t get me wrong. I still see value in the picks we have made.

Get your bets in now and enjoy the show on Saturday night!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.