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UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick, Prediction: Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker Betting Preview (Saturday, March 19)

UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick, Prediction: Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker Betting Preview (Saturday, March 19) article feature image
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Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Arnold Allen.

  • Featherweights Andold Allen and Dan Hooker will square off at UFC Fight Night in London.
  • Allen is riding a nine-fight streak in the UFC while Hooker is dropping down a weight class.
  • Billy Ward previews where the value is in Saturday's co-main event.

Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker Odds

Allen Odds -115
Hooker Odds -105
Over/Under 2.5 (-200 / +160)
Venue 02 Arena, London
Time 6 p.m. ET
Channel ESPN+
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

Rising Featherweight prospect Arnold Allen puts his perfect UFC record on the line in London. Across the cage from him will be perennial top-ranked lightweight Dan Hooker. After dropping three of his last four contests (all to top-five opponents) Hooker is trying his luck at a lighter weight.

This fight has serious rankings implications. Allen is currently a top-10 featherweight. Hooker could quickly see himself in line for a title shot if he looks good in his new division.

I’ll breakdown the fight below, as well as hunt for some betting value we can find along the way.

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Tale of the Tape

Allen Hooker
Record 17-1 21-11
Avg. Fight Time 14:18 10:11
Height 5’8″ 6’0″
Weight (pounds) 145 lbs. 145 lbs.
Reach (inches) 70″ 75″
Stance Southpaw Switch
Date of birth 1/22/94 2/13/90
Sig Strikes Per Min 2.96 4.90
SS Accuracy 40% 47%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.15 4.61
SS Defense 66% 52%
Take Down Avg 1.44 0.90
TD Acc 50% 36%
TD Def 76% 78%
Submission Avg 0.4 0.2

Based on both fighter’s records, it’s understandable to conclude that this is a striker (Hooker) vs. grappler (Allen) matchup. Allen’s perfect 9-0 UFC record contains just two stoppages, both by submission. Hooker has six (T)KO victories in the promotion to only two submissions.

However, both fighters are very well rounded.  Allen’s sub-3.0 strikes absorbed per minute and 66% defense rate are both exemplary.  Hooker prefers to mix things up a bit more. He does his best work against opponents willing to stand and trade with him.

In those types of fights, Hooker’s length (his 75-inch reach was long for a lightweight, so it will be enormous at featherweight) and volume serve him well.  Don’t expect Allen to be willing to play that game though.

In his last fight against Sodiq Yusuff, Allen was out-struck (by volume) in every round, but attempted five takedowns throughout the fight.  Expect him to employ a similar strategy against Hooker.

Whether or not he’s able to land those takedowns likely determines the winner of this fight. Hooker’s takedown defense is solid, but Allen has solid timing and could capitalize if “Hangman” gets aggressive with his strikes.

On the other hand, Hooker’s striking volume and power — which should play extremely well at 145 — give him the edge if this one remains standing.  Hooker’s extra volume is a plus for judges even if he doesn’t land any big shots.

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Allen vs. Hooker Pick

Allen actually opened the week as a slight underdog for this bout at -105 or so. Since then, he’s been bet down to -115 at DraftKings as money comes in on his side of the action and has worse odds everywhere else.

The biggest factor of course is Hooker’s change in weight class. I’m not a fan of fighter’s changing weight classes when it’s clear title contention is out of reach.

With some exceptions for fighters who were clearly too small for their class (think Kevin Holland at 185), the size advantage fighters find is more than cancelled out by the increased speed of their competition. Also, the extra strain on their bodies with the bigger weight cut is a factor.

Additionally, this seems like a fight set up by the UFC to get Allen over in front of a home crowd.  That’s another data point on the pro-Allen side of things.

With all of that said, I like “Almighty” here, even at -115. Still, I don’t see him putting Hooker away. If his line ends up moving past -125 or so, I’d prefer the fight to go the distance at -150 or Allen by decision at +188, both at Caesars. As it stands though, the moneyline is my favorite pick.

The Pick: Arnold Allen ML -115

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