UFC 259 Betting Pick: Askar Askarov vs Joe Benavidez

Joe Benavidez is still at it! He may just be on the way down the hill, though, as we have seen him finished early in two consecutive fights with the current world champion, Deiveson Figueredo.

Joe has historically been one of the most durable fighters in the sport but the age fairy catches up with us all. He fought Demetrious Johnson twice and Mighty Mouse put him away one time. Other than that, the only times he has been stopped in his entire MMA career was those two fights against Figgy.

It doesn’t appear that Joe will have to worry about being knocked out by Russia’s Askar Askarov because they are still Flyweights and Askarov is not a power puncher at all.

He is undefeated, though, with the only blemish on his record a draw with former title challenger, Brandon Moreno.

This is a difficult matchup to predict a winner. Joe is very very good and he beats everyone who isn’t the champion. He even has a win over Henry Cejudo in late 2016. The little guys age faster than the bigger folks and let me tell you, Joe is a wittle guy.

I remember the first time I met him at the UFC Fan Expo back in 2010 and he is only a couple inches off of being a legal little person. That is the correct vernacular, right? I don’t want to offend anyone.

Recently, though, I did see a picture of Islam Makhachev and Askar Askarov together and it looked like father and son. Islam fights at 155 pounds and is not a big guy but he dwarfed the Russian, Askar.

BetOnline has the betting odds for this excellent fight. Let’s look at those and make our pick to either win or possibly go after the round total.

Askar Askarov (-130) vs Joe Benavidez (+110)

This one opened up around even and the money has trickled in on the Russian. I actually just woke up from a dream that Askar did in fact knock out the forever Flyweight gatekeeper, Joe Benavidez.

I told a friend and you know what they said? If you dream something, the opposite will happen. Thanks, bro. I was leaning towards the younger man already and thought the dream was all I needed to finalize my pick.

I am actually going to stay away from picking a winner in this fight. I believe the better bet is on the over 2.5 rounds even though it doesn’t pay very well.

(-213) is not that bad for an over for a Flyweight fight. Joe has KO power and that isn’t something that leaves you when you turn 36 or even 40 years old. The power stays but losing speed and reaction time doesn’t help you apply it.

Let’s play the over here. Askar has never been finished and he has gone the distance in all of his UFC fights thus far.

My Pick
Over 2.5

In Conclusion

Top tip:

If you want to make this a plus money bet, you can add on Islam Makhachev’s moneyline of (-330) and you get nearly even money (-112). I think that is some very good value. Israel Adesanya is another parlay piece I like this week.

Pick: Makhachev and Over 2.5

This should be a fun fight and I am highly intrigued, enough actually to stay away from going after the moneyline. Those that do are kinda chasing something. Sure, they could be correct but that doesn’t mean you knew.

Plenty of people guess right all the time. You can have a great event, an incredible parlay, and all of those things but over time, you have to take the best play available.

That’s why I went with the over in this spot. Both of these guys are super durable and the one with questions about his chin is the only guy with power in this fight. This is also a very high level and evenly matched fight which also points toward the over 2.5 rounds.

If you want to add Islam Makhachev on there as well, be my guest. He is as solid of a pick as we are going to find on the UFC 259 betting card.

Get your bets in now and let’s get paid!

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.