UFC 276 Strickland vs Pereira Picks and Predictions: Strickland Makes a Statement

UFC 276 features a middleweight bout between Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira, with the winner in good shape to earn a title shot. The hype around Pereira is real, but our UFC betting picks like Strickland's versatility here.

Last Updated: Jul 2, 2022 12:35 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Sean Strickland UFC 276
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira is scheduled for three rounds in the middleweight division as a featured attraction of UFC 276 in Las Vegas. This unofficial title eliminator may determine who will get the first crack at the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Jarod Cannonier.

Pereira’s third fight in the UFC is by far his toughest but he’s a -125 UFC betting favorite to secure a rematch with Adesanya five years in the making. Strickland is one of the hottest commodities in the division, but a narrow UFC odds underdog at -102.

Here are our best free UFC 276: Strickland vs. Pereira picks and predictions for Saturday, July 2, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Strickland vs Pereira fight odds

Live odds courtesy of the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Strickland vs Pereira method of victory odds

Method of Victory Sean Strickland Alex Pereira
To win by KO/TKO +390 +155
To win by Points +280 +500
To win by Submission +1,100 +2,600
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on June 29, 2022.

Strickland vs Pereira picks

Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Strickland vs Pereira betting preview

After a two-year break caused by a motorcycle accident, Strickland became a fighter to watch at middleweight after winning six straight. He hasn’t been feasting on chum, either. 

What we’ve seen from Strickland is that he’s a real player in the division and was bound to face Adesanya sooner than later, which makes him the perfect fall guy for the UFC to get the fight they really want.

Respectable fighters like Jack Hermansson, Uriah Hall, and Brendan Allen can’t get around his crisp striking, and he’s shown improvement in his wrestling. Not only does Strickland land 5.53 strikes per minute, but he also defends 65% of significant strikes and mixes in takedowns along the way. He seems to be peaking at the right time and is demonstrating an evolving skill set.

That doesn’t concern kickboxing specialist Pereira, who has been riding the hype off a pair of kickboxing wins over Adesanya right into the UFC. An exceptional striker who comes in boasting slight advantages in height, reach, and striking accuracy, Pereira is being hot-shotted into title contention. 

The former Glory champion hits like a mule, but his win at UFC Fight Night last March against Bruno Silva left many worried if such a jump in class is the right move.

Shot for shot, Pereira is the heavier striker, but Strickland’s shown a good chin and a sense of resilience against big hitters. The absence of a ground game leaves Pereira to resort to a striking match against one of the division’s best strikers, but when he’s landing 5.86 strikes per minute at 60% success, it’s not a bad position to be in.

This is a tough fight to call for a few reasons. Pereira might be taking too big of a step up in class against a fighter who isn’t showing the wear and tear typically seen in these situations. Strickland isn’t the biggest striker, but he’s a sharp boxer and can absolutely take Pereira down if Silva could. Pereira’s the better striker, but Strickland’s well-roundedness can open up another path to victory for him.

Strickland vs Pereira tale of the tape

Sean Strickland   Alex Pereira
31 Age 34
6-foot-1 Height 6-foot-4
203 lbs Weight 206 lbs
76 inches Reach 79 inches
25-3 (10 KOs) Record 5-1 (4 KOs)

Strickland vs Pereira UFC prediction and best bet

Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.

It makes sense why Pereira gets matched up with Strickland, but this is the case of too much, too soon. 

Pereira would’ve been better suited against Uriah Hall or Paulo Costa while keeping the Adesanya fight out there, especially as the champion won’t dare head to light heavyweight again. 

We’ve seen a lot of wrinkles to Strickland’s game over the course of his past fights, and he’s as legit as they come.

Pereira can get touched from a distance, and he’s struggled in the grappling department when he can’t land his big shots. 

We feel that Strickland’s underrated intelligence and experience will be enough to escape a highly competitive fight with a win.

Prediction: Sean Strickland moneyline (-102 at FanDuel

With just one way for Pereira to win, it gives Strickland the chance to neutralize his striking by forcing him against the cage and exploiting his limited grappling game. While standing Strickland’s jab and upper body movement could be enough to eventually force Poatan to make a mistake that sees him taken to the ground.

As close as the fight looks, a pick for Strickland is essentially a pick for the Over or a decision win. 

A Strickland decision more than doubles the payout at +280, and that’s a line we’ll love to stick with as we’re riding with the underdog.

Pick: Sean Strickland by points (+280 at FanDuel

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