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Updated UFC 271 Odds, Pick, Prediction for AJ Dobson vs. Jacob Malkoun: The Early Prelim Bet to Make

Updated UFC 271 Odds, Pick, Prediction for AJ Dobson vs. Jacob Malkoun: The Early Prelim Bet to Make article feature image
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Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter AJ Dobson.

  • Two middleweight prospects — AJ Dobson and Jacob Malkoun — will square off in the Early Prelims of UFC 271.
  • Dobson is a high-powered finisher and enters the fights as the slight favorite in a fight that his heavily slanted toward ending in a KO.
  • Erich Richter breaks down why he is backing AJ Dobson this weekend.

AJ Dobson vs. Jacob Malkoun Odds

Dobson Odds -115
Malkoun Odds -105
Over/Under 2.5 (+125 / -150)
Venue Toyota Center, Houston
Time Approx. 7:30 p.m. ET
Channel ESPN
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.

In the UFC 271 early prelims, we have a fight that is overwhelmingly expected to end inside the distance when AJ Dobson faces off against Jacob Malkoun in a Middleweight scrap. PointsBet projects this fight to end in a KO or submission roughly 67% of the time (-205 odds).

Malkoun is a close friend and sparring partner to title challenger Robert Whittaker and both fighters have clearly focused on wrestling as their main point of emphasis while training recently.

Will Malkoun drag Dobson into deep waters while grappling, or is he destined to be knocked out in the opening seconds of the fight once again? Below I preview this exciting matchup.

Tale of the Tape

Dobson Malkoun
Record 6-0 5-1
Avg. Fight Time 4:21 7:39
Height 6’1″ 5’9″
Weight (pounds) 185 lbs. 185 lbs.
Reach (inches) 76″ 73″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 1/18/92 8/26/95
Sig Strikes Per Min 8.97 1.76
SS Accuracy 56% 47%
SS Absorbed Per Min 1.84 1.84
SS Defense 55% 51%
Take Down Avg 3.45 7.84
TD Acc 50% 33%
TD Def 0% 0%
Submission Avg 3.5 2.0
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In his last time out, Malkoun showed off impressive grappling against Abdul Razak Alhassan. In many ways, this fight actually profiles in a very similar way.

Alhassan had only ever won by first-round finishes — with four in his seven UFC fights entering that fight with Malkoun, his strategy was pretty clear. Smartly, Malkoun shot a single-leg takedown early and easily landed it. It was much of the same from that point on.

Dobson is largely unknown in the UFC. However, he has the backing of Immortal Martial Arts’ Matt Brown, one of the best coaches in the UFC today.

His debut on the Dana White Contender’s Series was pretty impressive, too. Dobson sprinted out of the gate and stormed his opponent, landing a knockdown and then a submission win.

Dobson actually has a number of submissions on his resume, including in his amateur career, per Tapology.

Digging into his professional career isn’t the easiest thing to do, but he scored an impressive knockout win over Kailan Hill, who was able to make it to a decision against Impa Kasanganay in the fight prior.

This is curious matchmaking for Malkoun as it seems like the UFC is purposely giving him knockout artists to see if he can keep up. So far, he is 1-1 in those matchups. On Saturday, we find out if he can hang with another talented finisher.

Dobson vs. Malkoun Pick

Malkoun’s durability is a major question mark in his game. In fact, it is unknown if he can actually take any clean punches from anyone. Alhassan landed just 21 strikes in 15 minutes of fighting and only one of them appeared to be clean.

Even that one strike came on a Malkoun double-leg attempt against the cage, which should not be a heavy strike. Malkoun did not roll with the strike well and was forced to take Alhassan quickly. It would appear that any competent takedown defense is going to be a major issue for the Australian.

Malkoun’s KO loss to Phil Hawes was particularly troubling because he got stormed and KO’d in under 20 seconds as a -250 favorite. Dobson profiles as a fighter with similar athleticism and power.

I don’t know who Malkoun upset in the UFC matchmaking department, but these matchups that they give him against knockout artists are not favorable to him.

Dobson to win by KO/TKO in the first round is +500 on PointsBet. This is a major disagreement with most other sportsbooks who hover around +350. Rarely do I bet method/round combo props, but will make an exception here.

Dobson KO/TKO in Round 1 is worthy of a bet down to +400. Moreover, PointsBet is also hanging Dobson and Under 2.5 rounds at +175. This prop is 80% of his win condition at least and could be bet down to +140 before I just take his ITD prop at +122.

The Pick: Dobson Win in Under 2.5 Rounds (+175) | Dobson by KO/TKO (+500)

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