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UFC 303 odds, predictions, start time, fight card, preview: Pereira vs. Procházka 2 picks by proven MMA expert

Written by on June 27, 2024

Light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira will headline on short notice on Saturday when he defends his title in a rematch against top-ranked contender Jiri Prochazka in the main event of UFC 303: Pereira vs. Procházka 2. Their five-round battle tops the main UFC 303 fight card starting at 10 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The UFC 303 card was originally slated to feature the much-anticipated return of Conor McGregor following a three-year absence, but McGregor withdrew because of a foot injury. His main-event slot, in which he was to face explosive journeyman Michael Chandler, eventually fell to Pereira and Prochazka. They met in November of last year, with Pereira notching a second-round TKO, but the outcome left room for doubt.

Pereira is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Prochazka is offered at +125 in the latest UFC 303: Pereira vs. Procházka 2 odds. In the co-main event, ranked featherweight contenders take the spotlight as Diego Lopes (-140) meets two-time title challenger Brian Ortega (+120). Before locking in your picks for UFC 303: Pereira vs. Prochazka 2, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Daniel Vithlani

From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport’s nuances. 

Vithlani made his SportsLine debut in January 2023 and swept the main card for UFC 283 with a 5-0 record and has been a consistent winner ever since. Over the past 12 UFC pay-per-view events, Vithlani has gone 8-4 on main-event picks and his main-card selections in that span have netted his followers a profit of more than $1,500. 

His highlights include predicting an upset for Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) at UFC 292 as part of a 4-1 main card and his UFC 299 winners included underdog selections on Poirier (+190) against Saint Denis (-230) and Michael Page (+110) against Kevin Holland (-130). Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns. 

Now, with UFC 303: Pereira vs. Prochazka 2 on deck, Vithlani has studied the card from top to bottom and released his top selections. You can only see his picks and analysis at SportsLine

UFC 303: Pereira vs. Prochazka 2 preview 

In less than two years, Pereira (10-2) has evolved from a relative unknown among UFC observers to perhaps the promotion’s biggest active star, with “active” the operative word. This is the second time in just 10 weeks that the sinister 36-year-old Brazilian striker has taken a short-notice fight to headline a pay-per-view event and salvage the wreckage of the promotion’s matchmaking misfortunes.

Pereira (10-2) was recruited and fast-tracked by the UFC solely for the purpose of providing a potential rival for former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who had been dominating the division and running short of qualified challengers. Pereira, who had beaten Adesanya twice in professional kickboxing, knocked out Sean Strickland in the first round of their title eliminator in July 2022 before rallying to stop Adesanya for the title in November of that year. 

He has since claimed a second title at light heavyweight, but his stardom has skyrocketed in large part because of the events he has helped save. After UFC brass failed to produce a promised super fight to headline the historic UFC 300 card in April, Pereira and Jamahal Hill stepped in on short notice to provide a main event. Pereira won by first-round knockout. 

He and Prochzaka both competed on the UFC 300 card, and both agreed to headline the UFC 303 card on about two weeks’ notice. Prochazka (30-4-1), a relentless and reckless brawler who won the UFC belt in just his third fight with the promotion, knocked out Aleksandar Rakic in the second round of a wild fight that earned him a coveted $300,000 performance bonus. It also set the stage for him to earn a rematch with Pereira. 

The McGregor vs. Chandler fight was believed to be in jeopardy after a kick-off press conference in Ireland was canceled, and the iconic Irish fighter made his withdrawal from UFC 303 official the following week. Soon after, UFC president Dana White announced that Pereira vs. Prochazka 2 would replace McGregor vs. Chandler in the top slot at UFC 303 and be the centerpiece of this week’s UFC betting. You can see more UFC 303 picks at SportsLine.

Top UFC 303 predictions 

We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC 303 selections here: He is backing Andre Fili (-245) to get his hand raised against Cub Swanson (+200) in a matchup of veteran featherweights on the preliminary card. 

Fili (23-11-1) is an 11-year UFC veteran known for his versatility and willingness to take on all offered opponents. However, the 34-year-old Sacramento resident has seen his results decline, with a 2-4-1 mark in his last seven appearances.

Swanson (29-13) has a similar career profile. He is a relentless brawler who has faced numerous big names in his 13-year run with the UFC, but the 40-year-old Californian has never maintained a long enough run of success to contend for a title.  

“Swanson still has a sharp kickboxing game, but I worry about the decline of his speed against explosive opponents like Fili,” Vithlani told SportsLine. You can see more UFC 303 picks at SportsLine.

How to make UFC 303 picks  

Vithlani has strong picks for Pereira vs. Prochazka and other bouts on the UFC 303 card. He’s also backing a fighter who “is a wild but calculated brawler” to emerge with a dominant victory. Vithlani’s picks and analysis are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC 303: Pereira vs. Prochazka 2, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on UFC 303, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $1,500 on his UFC main-card picks, and find out. 

UFC 303 odds, fight card

See full UFC 303 picks, predictions, best bets here.
Alex Pereira (-150) vs. Jiri Prochazka (+125)
Brian Ortega (+120) vs. Diego Lopes (-140)
Mayra Bueno Silva (-105) vs. Macy Chiasson (-115)
Ian Machado Garry (-140) vs. Michael Page (+120)
Charles Jourdain (-130) vs. Jean Silva (+110)
Anthony Smith (+120) vs. Roman Dolidze (-140)
Andre Fili (-245) vs. Cub Swanson (+200)
Joe Pyfer (-300) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (+240)
Vinicius Oliveira (+190) vs. Ricky Simon (-230)
Andre Arlovski (+210) vs. Martin Buday (-260)

The post UFC 303 odds, predictions, start time, fight card, preview: Pereira vs. Procházka 2 picks by proven MMA expert first appeared on CBS Sports.

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