Two hot prospects from the UFC bantamweight division will collide in the Apex Centre at UFC in Vegas 32 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship fans are rewarded with young & dangerous talent to headline the preliminary card. Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at our hot prospect of the week, Kyler Phillips and his challenger Raulian Paiva, including updated odds and our free expert UFC betting picks.
Kyler Phillips vs. Raulian Paiva
UFC Bantamweight Preliminary Headline Bout
Saturday, July 24, 2021 – 10:35 PM EDT at Apex Center
UFC Hot Prospect: Kyler “The Matrix” Phillips (9-1)
Making his way into our hot prospect seat of the week is bantamweight newcomer Kyler “The Matrix Phillips. Returning to the octagon following the biggest win of his career at UFC 259 versus a ranked and dangerous opponent in Song Yadong.
Hailing from sunny Torrance, California, Kyler is no stranger to the world of mixed martial arts. He followed in his father's footsteps when attending a local Gracie Academy at the tender age of three! Kyler hasn’t looked back since, and he went on to accomplish many successes throughout various martial art disciplines.
Kyler has competed in Tae Kwon Do, boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, judo and Nikidokai.
During his high school years, the American wrestled and then earned a California State Judo championship and an IBJJF gold medal as a blue belt. A relocation to Surprise, Arizona, was where his love for martial arts grew further – leaving his college wrestling team to compete in the art of Nikidokai. The art itself combines Muay Thai, Aikido, Judo, Kobudo, and Karate.
It wasn’t until 2015 when Kyler began to pursue a career in MMA, amassing an amateur record of 10-0 before turning professional. His first career loss was a tough pill to swallow, losing the opportunity to compete on the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter – but this didn’t prevent Kyler from chasing his dream.
Kyler joined the well-known gym MMA Lab, ran by former Strikeforce and UFC champion Benson Henderson soon after a highlight-reel knockout performance fighting for LFA (Legacy Fighting Alliance) gained the attention of the UFC brass.
Since joining the UFC in February of 2020, he’s now 3-0 with two fight night bonuses added to his bank account. Performance of the Night versus Cameron Else and a Fight of the Night bonus against Gabriel Silva.
The expectations for Kyler are high, and he’s given critics every reason to adopt this sentiment. Earning a #14 place bantamweight ranking after three UFC fights Is a significant move, and I’m personally excited to see what the future holds.
UFC in Vegas 32: Kyler Phillips Fighter Analysis
Kyler doesn’t own one particular style, as you may have already guessed when realizing how diverse his martial arts skillset is. One of his most significant athletic abilities revolves around the lightning-fast speed in which his movement and strikes are delivered. He’s a very durable fighter who’s light on his feet, don’t blink during his first-rounders because you may miss his next highlight-reel finish.
Naturally, his stance would give the impression of a kickboxer, and with a wide range of kicks, this also adds to that thought. His Muay Thai background shines through during a lot of his contests, and when you combine all of these attributes with a high-volume output, he becomes a difficult opponent to read. For his lack of power, his production, precision, and combinations certainly make up for it.
Outside of his incredible work on the feet, he owns a solid wrestling base and jiu-jitsu offense. He shows some flaws when fighting his back, but a high-level scrambling ability doesn’t leave him in those positions for long. At 26-years-old, Kyler is only getting better and should be one to watch out for in the future of the UFC’s bantamweight division.
UFC in Vegas 32 Hot Prospect Betting Pick
This weekend, our hot prospect will face another genuine contender in Raulian Paiva, but the holes we can pinpoint on Paiva seem to stem a lot further than that of Phillips – hence the available bookmakers' odds.
I anticipate Paiva to rely on his forward pressure this weekend, but whilst he’s walking down Kyler, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him eat a significant amount of damaging strikes on the way in. I genuinely believe that Kyler Phillips will own the advantage in all areas besides striker power. Still, his durability and speed will be enough to read the telegraphing shots that Paiva will attempt.
UFC in Vegas 32 Main Card
- TJ Dillashaw vs. Cory Sandhagen [UFC Bantamweight Main Event Bout]
- Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson [UFC Women's Bantamweight Bout]
- Kyler Phillips vs. Raulian Paiva [UFC Flyweight Bout]
- Darren Elkins vs. Darrick Minner [UFC Featherweight Bout]
- Maycee Barber vs. Miranda Maverick [UFC Women's Flyweight Bout]
- Mickey Gall vs. Jordan Williams [UFC Middleweight Bout]
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.