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Parker Porter and Justin Tafa will meet in the ring tomorrow night for what should be a thrilling heavyweight bout at UFC 284. Handicapper WeBeatTheSpread is here to break down his prediction, pick, and odds.
ANALYSIS

UFC 284 Prediction: Parker Porter vs. Justin Tafa Provides the Best Value

The only heavyweight bout of the card is set up to be a banger between the hometown fighter Justin Tafa and Parker Porter. Not a banger in terms of skill, but rather that both these men love to throw and hate the scorecards. Given the nature of this fight, the books have this one fairly close to a pick 'em, with Justin Tafa the slight favorite at -120. Which big man will win the lone heavyweight bout on the card?

Tafa vs. Porter Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: February 11, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 PM EDT
  • Where: RAC Arena (AUS), Perth, Australia
  • Where to Watch: PPV

Click here for Tafa vs Porter odds

Justin Tafa vs. Parker Porter Prediction

If you told me a few years ago that I would be confidently picking Parker Porter to win a fight, I would tell you you're insane, but here we are. Porter is the more well-rounded fighter, and he can go 15 minutes if needed, which many heavyweights can not say, including Justin Tafa.

Justin Tafa is 5-3, and his record should not inspire anyone to make a bet on him. Tafa is 2-3 in the UFC, and his wins are not impressive. Tafa's two UFC wins are against Juan Adams and Harry Hunsucker, and neither of those two fighters is still in the UFC. Even his losses are bad. Of Tafa's three losses, only one is still in the UFC, and that's Jared Vanderaa. In both of his fights that have gone to decision, he has lost. When does Tafa do well? When he can land a big shot in the first two minutes of the fight and knock them out. Outside of that, he gasses and proceeds to lose. He has a below .500 record in the UFC despite fighting sub-UFC level opponents. So yeah, I'm not betting on him anytime soon.

On the other side is Parker Porter, who has fought the far better competition. Porter is 3-2 in the UFC, except one of his opponents is not on the roster anymore, Alan Baudot. His only two losses in the UFC are to fighters who are currently ranked. After dropping his debut to now #12 Chris Daukaus, Porter won three-straight fights, all by dominant decisions. His three-fight win streak was snapped when he fought one of the fastest-rising heavyweight prospects in Jailton Almeida. When Porter has fought lower-level opponents, he has passed the test each time, and more importantly, he has shown the ability to go to the scorecards and win.

This fight to me comes down to Porter surviving the first two and a half minutes of the first round, which I think he can. He has done a much better job of being patient and keeping his distance from his opponents, and he has started to use more leg kicks and takedowns. I love that Porter has started using more looks in his approach, becoming a well-rounded fighter who is dominant from the top. His path to victory here is to wait for Tafa to gas out and take him down and maintain his dominant top control. We have seen him do it to several lower-level UFC fighters already, and I honestly don't think Tafa is UFC material. Could Tafa land a haymaker in the first minute of the fight and knock Porter out? Sure, but I see that as a long-shot possibility. Porter knows he can grind the first round out and win the land two easily. His cardio is far superior, and he has more attacks in his arsenal. I'm on Porter to upset the hometown favorite tomorrow night.

Justin Tafa vs. Parker Porter Pick

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Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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