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UFC 289 Sleeper Picks

By Jeff Stinger

For the first time since September of 2019, the UFC heads back to the Great White North for its latest marquee pay-per-view in UFC 289: Nunes vs. Aldana. All eyes will be on the main event with Amanda Nunes’ first title defense in her second stint as a Women’s Bantamweight champ. Meanwhile, the rest of Saturday’s main card is filled with underdogs who could very well pull off upsets and, in turn, provide huge returns for their betting backers.

Nitrobetting is here to train bettors in the realm of combat sports with in-depth coverage of the latest UFC events. This time, let’s take a closer look at the three best sleeper candidates to win their respective bouts in UFC 289: Nunes vs. Aladana and their corresponding odds to win the latest premium live MMA event set to take place in the Rogers Arena in Toronto.

Top UFC 289 Sleeper Picks

READ MORE: Nunes vs. Aldana UFC 289 Odds and Preview

Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush

In a lightweight clash that was supposed to be a part of UFC 288’s card, Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush finally get to square off in the Octagon this Saturday as the co-main event of UFC 289. Dariush, in particular, has been on a tear by winning eight consecutive fights since November 2018 (four wins via KO/submission). That said, it stands to reason that the No. 4 contender for the lightweight crown is a slight favorite to win his upcoming bout.

However, even though Oliveira is coming off a brutal loss to Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title last October, the former UFC lightweight champ still managed to reel off an 11-fight win streak of his own before that loss and is still seen as the top contender for Makhachev’s belt in the rankings to date. As such, we wouldn’t be surprised if the odds shift in favor of Oliveira in the days leading up to Saturday’s event.

UFC 289 Betting Pick: Beneil Dariush

Dan Ige vs. Nate Landwehr

Coming off a second-round knockout victory this January against Damon Jackson, Hawaiian Jiu-Jitsu expert Dan Ige is back on the right track as he’s now ranked 13th in the list of contenders for the featherweight title. On the other hand, Ige did lose three straight fights prior to that victory at the start of the year and four of his last six outings overall.

In turn, rising Tennessee native Nate Landwehr should see more support on the betting front. “The Train” is on a roll, winning each of his last three fights and with each of those victories earning him either Fight or Performance of the Night bonuses. Ige might be the more proven fighter in this matchup, but Landwehr has upside and momentum on his side to be another stellar sleeper underdog pick to win in UFC 289.

UFC 289 Betting Pick: Nate Landwehr

Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Eryk Anders

Sticking to the featherweight division, an evenly-matched showdown between tenured fighters Eryk “Ya Boi” Anders and Marc-Andre “Powerbar” Barriault will kick off UFC 289’s main card. The two have nearly identical MMA records (15-6 for Barriault, 15-7 for Anders), and both are coming off wins in their last outing and are 2-2 over their last four respective bouts.

Barriault has the slight edge odds-wise as he hasn’t lost back-to-back fights since 2019, whereas Anders lost to Andre Muniz and Park Jun-Yong in succession before winning his last fight against Kyle Daukaus last December. Barriault, a bona fide Quebecois, will certainly have the crowd in Toronto cheering him on. Then again, Anders is the more well-rested fighter and the Philippine-born kickboxer looked far more convincing with his second-round knockout over Daukaus compared to Barriault’s TKO of Julian Marquez this past March.

UFC 289 Betting Pick: Eryk Anders

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice