UFC Vegas 44 Lock on the Card

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An overhead view of the Octagon. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP.

We’re returning to the UFC Apex on the road to UFC 269 (nice), as the Ultimate Fighting Championship surpasses its 28th birthday to bring us another fight night card on ESPN+. And while Le Martin and Dave Manyun will be breaking down the entire card on BMR this week, I’m here to give you the lock of the week.

Jamahal Hill vs. Jim Crute

Saturday, December 04, 2021 – 09:05 PM EST at UFC Apex Center 

Looking at this card, it is near impossible for you to give a clear lock when you look at the straight-up UFC odds. With Jose Aldo and Rob Font in the main event, you have a fight that is deserving of a five-round main event, but with a line that is solid Font -135, Aldo +115 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), but you can’t really call any of that a lock. Font is a solid contender, but asking me to write off Jose Aldo is like asking me to give away my hypothetical children. I’d do it but it would take a lot of convincing and a lot of money.

The light heavyweight division right now is in a weird spot as Glover Texiera stopped Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267, capping a three-year stretch that saw Jon Jones just stop caring about pretty much anything and a vacuum open up in the division that at stretches was the most intriguing division in all of the combat sports.

The division going back the last 20 years has become a breeding ground for some of the biggest legends in the sport and now Jamahal Hill and Jimmy Crute are looking to join those legends as elite fighters in the division’s history.

While Crute is coming off a first-round loss to Anthony Smith back at UFC 261, the 25-year-old Australian fighter has had a pretty solid run in the UFC so far but outkicked his coverage in facing former title contender and one of the toughest human beings to ever fight for a living in Smith so soon in his UFC career.

Last going to the distance in 2018 prior to his Dana White Contender Series debut, Crute has gone 4-2 inside the Octagon and has an average flight time of 5:11 in his UFC career.  Crute’s longest sojourn inside the eight-sided cage was against Paul Craig, who did in fact fall to Crute via submission, but deep inside the third round of their 2018 fight in Crute’s native Australia. 

Why does this matter, dear reader? Well, a common opponent for Crute and Jamahal Hill is… that’s right you guessed it, Frank Stallone… wait, I’m being told it was not Frank Stallone, but in fact Paul Craig. That’s right the man is known as the “Bear Jew” has fallen to Crute, but Hill received his first pro loss to Craig back in June of 2021, when he got clip-clopped in the first round of their fight at UFC 263. 

And while this will mark the first time Crute has fought inside the baby cage since joining the UFC, Hill has spent the majority of his UFC career fighting in the smaller more difficult cage. The size difference, coupled with both men taking decisive first-round losses in their most recent fights, along with Paul Craig being the fence post for both men’s ability makes me confident in the OVER for their fight this Saturday night. 

For your UFC picks, take the over and watch these two dudes try to not only see Crute try and acclimate to the smaller cage, but both men trying to control the pace of the fight following both of them getting stopped in their last two fights. It’ll certainly be an interesting experience for all of us.

UFC Pick: Over 1.5 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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*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.