UFC Vegas 33 & Bellator 263 Odds, Picks & Betting Preview
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This Saturday we have a double-header of MMA action for UFC betting fans. First, the UFC returns with yet another offering, this time featuring 8th-ranked middleweight contender Uriah Hall taking on rising prospect Sean Strickland in the main event of UFC Vegas 33.
Then, the best fight of the weekend for sports betting takes place over in Bellator where the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix concludes when current two-division champion Patricio "Pitbull" Freire puts his 145-pound title on the line against undefeated super-prospect A.J. McKee at Bellator 263.
Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland Odds & Betting Analysis
|Sean Strickland||Uriah Hall|
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Uriah Hall has had a curious career up to this point. A highly regarded prospect coming off The Ultimate Fighter, Hall hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in the UFC, posting only a 10-7 record in the organization. However, recently Hall has stepped things up, winning four in a row including wins over former champions Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman.
Both of those wins aren’t quite as meaningful as they would have been years ago, but Hall is still showing his best form ever and looking to make a run at the belt after all these years.
On the other side of things, Strickland is a former welterweight prospect who made the move up to 185 last year and has been on a tear since, scoring three victories in a row and finally breaking into the UFC rankings, with designs on the top 10.
Hall is a striker by trade with many highlight reel KOs to his name. He’s not particularly high volume but he has tremendous KO power and can throw a variety of unorthodox strikes that can turn the tables in an instant. The lack of volume is an issue for him though, as Hall often finds himself run over by volume, especially as his defense is not the greatest.
Conversely, Strickland is the textbook jack-of-all-trades, as comfortable engaging in a kickboxing match as he is going for takedowns should the occasion arise. Strickland pushes a good pace in both areas and has proven to be fairly durable, with his biggest drawback being his lack of finishing skills.
UFC Vegas 33 Best Bet
This fight heavily favors the volume striking of Strickland. Time and again, Hall has lacked aggression and allowed opponents to outwork him, and this will be yet another instance of that.
The one time Strickland has been stopped in his career came from a spinning hook kick, which is exactly the kind of low-percentage strike that Hall excels at, so that could be a wrench in the works. But otherwise, Strickland by Decision at +200 on FOX Bet is a good play at sportsbooks this week.
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Patricio Pitbull vs. A.J. McKee Odds & Betting Analysis
|Patricio Pitbull||AJ McKee|
In a rare occurrence, the best fight of the weekend does not belong to the UFC, but to Bellator. Pitbull is the greatest fighter in Bellator history and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and now he’s facing the best prospect in the sport in A.J. McKee.
This could be a changing of the guard moment for Bellator and even if Pitbull denies that on Saturday, it will still be an incredible fight.
Pitbull can do it all in MMA but he butters his bread with power striking. A compact 5 feet 6 inches, Pitbull has dynamite in his hands and can finish opponents on the lead or on the counter. He’s no slouch on the ground either, with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and five submissions to his name in Bellator. The guillotine is a potent weapon for the champion and could come into play against the grappling-heavy attack of McKee.
In many ways, McKee is the opposite of Pitbull. Dynamic and athletic, McKee has shown himself to be dangerous on the feet but he does his best work in the grappling exchanges. From top or bottom position, McKee can threaten with a variety of chokes, and he thrives in scrambles.
McKee’s biggest weakness is that at only 26 years old, he still seems raw at times, sacrificing fundamentals in pursuit of a finish. That could come back to hurt him against someone as polished as Pitbull.
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Bellator 263 Best Bet
There is little question that A.J. McKee is the future of Bellator MMA; however, the future has not quite arrived yet. Pitbull has proven to be very difficult to take down and keep down. On the feet, though McKee has power, he lacks the clean technique and composed game plan of Pitbull.
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