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  • Best UFC Fight Night bets: Souza vs. Hermansson 👊

    Best UFC Fight Night bets: Souza vs. Hermansson

    ESPN PLUS ($ MATERIAL)



    The UFC returns to ESPN prime time on Saturday, and once again matchmakers have gifted the fans with an all-star lineup of finishers. According to prop odds, not a single fight on the main card is expected to go the distance, meaning there should be plenty of wild highlights generated by the event.

    The main event is a tricky one, contrasting old talent and new, Brazil versus Sweden. The winner will end up in the middleweight title picture but will likely have to wait while interim champion Israel Adesanyagets his crack at incumbent champion Robert Whittaker. Once those belts are unified, this weekend's main event winner will have a case for a title shot, and winning with a spectacular finish would certainly help put an exclamation point on it.

    Let's take a closer look at the main event and see where there is some betting value.
    Middleweight matchup: No. 4 Jacare Souza (-185) vs. No. 10 Jack Hermansson (+160)


    Tale Of The Tape
    Last fight weight class Middleweight Middleweight
    Current age 39 30
    Height (in) 73 73
    Reach (in) 74 77.5
    Stance Orthodox Orthodox
    Analyzed minutes 200 50
    Standup striking offense
    Career knockdown ratio
    (Scored : Received)
    5:3 0:1
    Distance knockdown rate 3.1% 0.0%
    Head jab accuracy 21% 24%
    Head power accuracy 32% 26%
    Total standup strike ratio 0.7 1.2
    Striking defense
    Total head strike defense 73% 85%
    Distance knockdown
    defense ("Chin")
    98% 93%
    Wrestling and grappling
    TD attempts/minute
    (Standing/clinch)
    0.66 0.50
    Takedown accuracy 42% 47%
    Advances per
    takedown/top control
    1.2 2.1
    Opponent takedown attempts 11 15
    Takedown defense 64% 73%
    Share of total ground
    time in control
    88% 55%
    Submission attempts
    per trip to ground
    0.38 0.18
    A significant age gap is always worth noting in an MMA matchup, but given that these fighters both excel in submissions, the "youth advantage" is mitigated slightly. In fact, should this fight turn into primarily a grappling contest, the additional ground experience that Souza brings to the cage would be an advantage that Hermansson might not be able to match. But that's also an "if."

    Hermansson's youth and impressive striking finishes could convince him to stand and trade with Souza. On paper, Hermansson keeps up a better and more aggressive pace than Souza, and the Swede also owns a reach advantage over the Brazilian. However, while Hermansson's head strike defense is good, his chin rating is low. Admittedly, this is based on a relatively small sample size, but it's concerning that on the rare occasions he was hit, damage was clearly done. And Souza's striking has quietly been a difference in big fights, most recently sleeping former middleweight champion Chris Weidman in the waning minutes of their fight at UFC 230 last November. Since 2016, Souza has won more often by strikes (three times) than by submission (once).
    There's a lot of finishing potential in the cage on either side, and the fight is the least likely on the card to go the distance, benefiting from the extra two rounds for the main event.

    E+ recommends: Souza's experience against elite competition leads to a lean in his direction here, but only slightly at current favorite odds. Prices could tighten up closer to fight time, warranting a more significant play. With a win, Souza is worthy and interesting as a middleweight title contender, though it's likely his last run at the title. The fight is also unlikely to go the distance, though that price is well into the parlay-fodder-only range. Souza should eventually find an opening for a finish, and Hermansson's best chance is with a surprise KO.

    Other fight card value

    E+ recommends: After a relatively hot start, Mike Perry has dropped three of his past four, albeit against mostly solid competition. He's facing a dangerous grappler this weekend in Alex Oliveira, but Perry hopefully has been learning from his reckless style. And Oliviera, who is fully content to strike, has a high-pace attack that could open him up to counters from Perry. As an underdog, Perry offers value should he be able to keep the fight standing.

  • Good information here...huge weekend of events...Boxing, Horse Racing, NBA playoffs, NHL Playoffs, MLB, Snooker etc...

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