The final UFC event of the year features a long-awaited fight between two of the top middleweights on the planet when Jared Cannonier (15-6, 8-6 UFC) tangles with Sean Strickland (25-4, 12-4 UFC).
The five-round bout will serve as the main event for UFC Vegas 66 on December 17 at the Apex in Las Vegas. Preliminary fights begin at 4 p.m. ET with the main card to follow around 7 p.m.
Bet On UFC Fight Night Here
Sportsbook has set the Cannonier vs Strickland odds, with Cannonier currently a -115 favorite.
We’ve got you covered with this Cannonier vs Strickland betting preview, but that’s not all. Check out our other
UFC betting content, including our How To Bet on UFC for newcomers, and our specific fight previews like the upcoming lightweight title bout between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski. Cannonier vs Strickland Odds & Betting Preview
Strickland is coming off a devastating knockout loss to current 185-pound champion Alex Pereira in a bout that opened with the American as a narrow +110 underdog. Before that, Strickland had rattled off six straight victories, defeating notables such as Jack Hermansson and Uriah Hall while fighting as a moderate favorite in four of those bouts.
Cannonier is also coming off a loss. In his last fight, the “Killa Gorilla” lost an uneventful unanimous decision to former champ Israel Adesanya, snapping his modest two-fight win streak.
UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Odds
Cannonier is the -115 favorite, per Sportsbook, while Strickland has -105 odds as the underdog.
Apart from the main event, the tightest odds of the card can be found in a prelim bantamweight clash between Said Nurmagomedov (-105) and Saidyokub Kakhramonov (-115).
Flyweight Alessandro Costa (+350) is the biggest underdog of the evening in his fight vs Amir Albazi (-525).
UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Fight Card UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Odds Main Card Middleweight (Five Rounds) – Jared Cannonier (-115) vs Sean Strickland (-105) Lightweight – Arman Tsarukyan (-200) vs Damir Ismagulov (+165) Flyweight – Amir Albazi (-525) vs Alessandro Costa (+350) Featherweight – Alex Caceres (+142) vs Julian Erosa (-174) Lightweight – Drew Dober (-165) vs Bobby Green (+135) Middleweight – Cody Brundage (+235) vs Michal Oleksiejczuk (-300) Prelims Women’s Strawweight – Cheyanne Vlismas (-200) vs Cory McKenna (+160) Welterweight – Jake Matthews (-325) vs Matt Semelsberger (+250) Middleweight – Julian Marquez (-175) vs Deron Winn (+145) Bantamweight – Said Nurmagomedov (-105) vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov (-115) Lightweight – Maheshate (+120) vs Rafa Garcia (-150) Featherweight – Bryan Battle (+130) vs Rinat Fakhretdinov (-155) Flyweight – David Dvorak (+190) vs Manel Kape (-250) Bantamweight – Sergey Morozov (-360) vs Journey Newson (+250)
Odds as of December 17 at Sportsbook
How To Watch UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Strickland Date/Time: December 17, 4 p.m. ET Location: Las Vegas, Nevada Arena: The Apex Where to Watch: ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass, Cable Provider
Jared Cannonier vs Sean Strickland Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Jared Cannonier -115 Sean Strickland -105
odds calculator tells us Cannonier’s -120 status represents an implied win probability of 54.55 percent, meaning a $10 bet pays out $18.33. Strickland's EVEN status gives him an implied win probability of 50 percent, which means a $10 bet on him pays out $20. Cannonier: Need to Knows Cannonier is a far more efficient striker than Strickland. The 38-year-old doesn’t rip off strikes at a high volume the way Strickland does, but he’s significantly more accurate. Cannonier lands significant strikes at a 51 percent clip, whereas Strickland lands at just 40 percent, a brutal number. On the feet, the numbers tell us Cannonier is better suited for a win. Anecdotally, that thesis plays true, too, as the Killa Gorilla has hung in there with Adesanya and Rob Whittaker and defeated Derek Brunson and Kelvin Gastelum. Since Cannonier dropped to 185 pounds in 2018, it’s been hard to get a pulse on his OVER/UNDER rounds trends. Four of his seven middleweight fights have finished inside the distance, but at the same time, two of his three main-event fights have gone the distance. Cannonier’s been able to polish off the gatekeepers – he has KO wins over Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson – but the top-tier fighters (Gastelum, Adesanya, Whittaker) typically take him the distance. Cannonier’s last three fights have come against Adesanya (loss – unanimous decision), Brunson (win – knockout) and Gastelum (win – unanimous decision). Strickland: Need to Knows Strickland is a better wrestler than Cannonier and typically lands around one takedown every 15 minutes. The 31-year-old’s 61 percent takedown accuracy is excellent, which suggests he’ll be able to secure top position vs Cannonier. From there, the fight becomes about how Cannonier fights off his back. At UFC 271, Brunson passed Cannonier’s guard easily after securing a takedown in Round 1. If he wants to win, Strickland should be relentless on the ground attack. Four of Strickland’s last seven fights have gone the distance. On top of that, his two five-round fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards. Cannonier has never been finished at middleweight, which suggests another 25-minute meat grinder of a fight might happen Saturday. The North Carolina native’s last three fights were against Pereira (loss – knockout), Hermansson (win – split decision) and Uriah Hall (win – unanimous decision). Pick: Cannonier to win (-120); OVER 3.5 Rounds (-170)
Arman Tsarukyan vs Damir Ismagulov Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Arman Tsarukyan -200 Damir Ismagulov +165
Saturday’s co-main event features a lightweight bout between Arman Tsarukyan (18-3, 5-2 UFC) and Damir Ismagulov (24-1, 5-0 UFC).
Tsarukyan: Need to Knows Tsarukyan has grown into a talented UFC fighter. The Armenian has always relied on his wrestling – he averages nearly three takedowns every 15 minutes – but the striking has developed lately, making him a serious threat at 155 pounds. Against Ismagulov, a balanced fighter who is very hard to take down, Tsarukyan will have many avenues to victory. He can trade punches on the feet or wait for an opportune time to duck under a strike and attack a level change. The 26-year-old’s loss to Mateusz Gamrot at UFC Vegas 57 came largely because of the Pole spamming takedowns and winning on control time. Ismagulov lands just 28 percent of his takedowns, which takes a lot of pressure off Tsarukyan. Arman’s lone five-round fight went the distance, so his cardio isn’t a problem. Five of his seven UFC fights have gone the distance, which, when combined with Ismagulov’s knack for decisions, suggests the oddsmakers will anticipate this fight going to a decision. I’d agree with that notion, but there could also be some sneaky value on Tsarukyan inside the distance (odds TBD) or for the fight to finish inside the distance (odds TBD). Tsarukyan’s last three fights came against Gamrot (loss – unanimous decision), Joel Alvarez (win – technical knockout) and Christos Giagos (win – technical decision). Ismagulov: Need to Knows Ismagulov has battled some notable foes (Rafael Alves and Guram Kutateladze come to mind) and won every time, but he’s rarely done so in a definitive manner. “Qazaq” is solid at defending strikes, has a positive strike differential and averages 1.40 takedowns per 15 minutes, though that’s come via volume more so than technique. When I look at this fight, I see Ismagulov propped up as a rebound for Tsarukyan, who is the more explosive fighter. This isn’t an easy win for the Armenian, but Tsarukyan is a better fighter than Ismagulov. The 31-year-old Ismagulov has never finished a fight inside the Octagon. All five of his UFC bouts have gone the full 15 minutes, culminating in four unanimous-decision victories and one split-decision win. Because of that, it’s worth sprinkling value on an inside-the-distance finish (odds TBD), but it’s certainly no guarantee. Ismagulov’s last three fights have come against Kutateladze (win – split decision), Alves (win – unanimous decision) and Thiago Moises (win – unanimous decision). Pick: Tsarukyan to win (-185); Fight to finish inside the distance (+180)
Maheshate vs Rafa Garcia Odds & Pick
Fighter Odds Maheshate +120 Rafa Garcia -150
Let’s skip all the way down to the prelims for this one, as there’s a line that caught my eye. Lightweights Maheshate (9-1, 1-0 UFC) and Rafa Garcia (14-3, 2-3 UFC) will square off, and I think there’s some money to be made.
Maheshate: Need to Knows The 23-year-old Chinese fighter, who goes simply by “Maheshate,” made an impression on the 2021 Dana White’s Contender Series and furthered his reputation with a devastating first-round knockout in his UFC debut. After so much success in his first two bouts, it’s odd to see him Sportsbook as the underdog, which is why we’re backing him vs Garcia. At 155 pounds, the kid has explosive raw power, though it’s unclear how that will profile against an intense grappler like Garcia. Maheshate has one submission win from his MMA days in China, but this will definitely be more challenging than his UFC debut. On value (and fun factor), we still like him to win. Maheshate went the full 15 minutes in his unanimous-decision win on the Contender Series, then followed that up with a KO UNDER 0.5 rounds. This bout vs Garcia, though, should take longer than half a round. Garcia is likely to land a takedown or two, leaving it up to Maheshate to battle to his feet and go from there. I like the OVER 1.5 rounds on this one, but that could change depending on where the value is at. The China native’s last two wins came by knockout over Steve Garcia at UFC 275 and by unanimous decision vs Achilles Estremadura on the Contender Series. Garcia: Need to Knows For this bout, grappling will be all that matters for Garcia. The 28-year-old can put Maheshate on his heels with early takedown attempts, especially if he can advance and duck under the 23-year-old’s wild strikes and force a level change. “Gifted” averages nearly four takedowns per 15 minutes, and what he does with his time in top position will determine the outcome of this fight. Four of Garcia’s five UFC fights have gone the distance. His only inside-the-distance victory came via rear-naked choke at UFC Vegas 51, which hints at the possibility of a similar route to victory vs Maheshate. Due to Maheshate’s explosiveness, this could end up being a wilder fight than people expect. Garcia’s last three fights have come against Drakkar Klose (loss – unanimous decision), Jesse Ronson (win – submission) and Natan Levy (win – unanimous decision). Pick: Maheshate (+111); Fight to finish inside the distance (+120)