Two title fights will anchor the UFC 295 fight card in New York City on Saturday, a meeting between former champions Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira for the vacant light heavyweight championship. Their five-round battle tops the main UFC 295 card (10 p.m. ET) from Madison Square Garden. Prochazka won the light heavyweight title last June, but vacated it when he suffered a serious shoulder injury that would sideline him indefinitely. Jamahal Hill won the vacant title but has since similarly vacated the belt because of an ACL injury that will require a lengthy recovery. Pereira won the middleweight title from Israel Adesanya last November but has since moved up a weight class in pursuit of a second UFC belt.
Pereira is a -115 favorite (risk $115 to win $100), while Prochazka comes back at -105 in the latest UFC 295 odds. In the co-main event, the interim heavyweight title is at stake when Sergei Pavlovich (-105) meets Tom Aspinall (-115). Before locking in any UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine MMA 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.
In his SportsLine debut for UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and has been a consistent winner ever since. At UFC 292, he called the upset for underdog Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) in the bantamweight championship main event. Anyone who has followed Vithlani already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira in sight, Vithlani has scoured the UFC card from top to bottom and released his top selections. You can only see those picks at SportsLine.
UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira preview
The main event features a pair of fighters who were both fast-tracked by the promotion based on their resumes and potential, and both have delivered on the faith the UFC brass trusted in them.
Pereira (8-2) was targeted by the UFC specifically as a potential challenger to former middleweight champion Adesanya, who at the time had cleaned out the division and needed a capable opponent.
Pereira had twice defeated Adesanya when both were professional kickboxers, and their backstory provided the basis for Pereira getting a title shot in just his fourth UFC fight. Adesanya dominated most of the way, but the challenger connected with a series of punches in the final round to pull off the upset.
Adesanya won by knockout in their April rematch and the hulking Pereira, who had long struggled to make the middleweight limit of 185 pounds, made the move to light heavyweight. The 36-year-old Brazilian fighter was again awarded a title shot in short order after defeating former champion Jan Blachowicz in his light heavyweight debut in July.
Prochazka (29-3-1), 31, was a much more known commodity in MMA circles before joining the UFC. The eclectic Czech fighter was already a champion in the Rizin and Gladiator Fighting Championship who had captured the attention of MMA observers.
Prochazka is known for his lethal striking, complemented by a solid ground game and a fearless approach that sees him march down his opponents from the opening bell. Last June he won the title in a memorable five-round war against Glover Teixeira with a submission at the 4:32 mark of the final round. You can see who Vithlani is backing at SportsLine.
UFC 295 predictions
We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC 295 predictions here: He is backing Jared Gordon (-195) to get the nod against Mark Madsen (+165) in a lightweight matchup on the preliminary card.
Gordon (19-6-1) is a six-year UFC veteran and versatile fighter who is probably best known for his controversial decision loss to hype prospect Paddy Pimblett last December.
Madsen (12-1) is a former Olympic wrestler who won his first four UFC outings but suffered a submission loss to prospect Grant Dawson last November.
“Gordon is an experienced MMA grappler and, if he can avoid getting taken down against the cage, he will be in control of this fight.,” Vithlani told SportsLine. You can see more UFC 295 picks at SportsLine.
How to make UFC 295 picks
Vithlani has strong picks for Prochazka vs. Pereira and other bouts on the UFC 295 card. He’s also backing a fighter who “is the most well-rounded fighter in his division” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those UFC picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Prochazka vs. Pereira, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 295, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200 in 2022, and find out.
UFC 295 odds, fight card
Jiri Prochazka (-105) vs. Alex Pereira (-115)
Sergei Pavlovich (-105) vs. Tom Aspinall (-115)
Jessica Andrade (+165) vs. Mackenzie Dern (-200)
Matt Frevola (+190) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (-230)
Diego Lopes (+100) vs. Pat Sabatini (-120)
Steve Erceg (-165) vs. Alessandro Costa (+140)
Nazim Sadykhov (-135) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (+115)
Jared Gordon (-195) vs. Mark Madsen (+165)
Joshua Van (-225) vs. Kevin Borjas (+185)
Dennis Buzukja (+210) vs. Jamall Emmers (-250)