Caio Borralho vs. Armen Petrosyan UFC Odds, Pick & Prediction: Which 185-Pound Prospect Reigns? (Saturday, July 9)

Caio Borralho vs. Armen Petrosyan UFC Odds, Pick & Prediction: Which 185-Pound Prospect Reigns? (Saturday, July 9) article feature image

Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Armen Petrosyan

Caio Borralho vs. Armen Petrosyan Odds

Borralho Odds-230
Petrosyan Odds+190
Over/Under1.5 (-175 / +140)
VenueUFC Apex
TimeApprox. 11 p.m. ET
ChannelESPN / ESPN+
Odds as of Saturday and via Caesars.

The co-main event on Saturday features two 1-0 UFC prospects. Brazil's Caio Borralho is taking on Armen Petrosyan of Armenia, with both men looking to remain unbeaten in the Octagon.

Both fighters have impressive pre-UFC resumes, holding just one loss each in their careers. This fight could very well feature the future of the middleweight division, with the victor taking a step toward the rankings.

Will the favored Borralho get the job done, or will the underdog pull off the upset in Saturday's UFC on ESPN 39 co-headliner? Read on to find out my thoughts, as well as my favorite way to bet it.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time10:129:44
Weight (pounds)185 lbs.185 lbs.
Reach (inches)75"71"
Date of Birth1/16/199311/03/1990
Sig Strikes Per Min3.667.56
SS Accuracy64%55%
SS Absorbed Per Min1.73.39
SS Defense65%54%
Take Down Avg.1.960.0
TD Acc80NA
TD Def75%37%
Submission Avg.0.00.0

Caio "The Natural" Borralho is a two-fight Contender Series veteran. His initial decision win evidently didn't impress Dana White, but he followed that up with a dominant Round 1 TKO victory in his second try.

Petrosyan needed just one DWCS fight to punch his ticket to the big leagues. He showcased excellent striking, knocking out his opponent with a head kick late in the first frame.

Their runs on DWCS give a good glimpse into both fighters' style. Borralho is more of a grappler but has big power and a huge reach, allowing him to be effective in the striking portions of a fight.

Petrosyan is more of a true striker, with all seven of his pre-UFC wins coming via knockout. While the fight went to a decision, he out-struck Gregory "Robocop" Rodrigues more than two-to-one in his UFC debut as well.

Borralho's debut was a bit stranger. He was winning his fight against Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, but it ended early thanks to an illegal strike from Borrahlo. Fortunately for his sake, this one went to the judges' scorecards for a technical decision instead of being ruled a disqualification.

Omargadzhiev was a tougher test in the grappling department for Borralho than Petrosyan will be. He didn't challenge the Brazilian much on the feet, though, making Saturday's matchup a very different challenge.

Conversely, Petrosyan's debut was against a very similar fighter on paper. Rodrigues had a significant reach edge over Petrosyan and looked to take him to the mat as much as possible.

Like Borralho, Rodrigues is an excellent grappler with powerful strikes. That didn't deter Petrosyan though, who dominated the striking exchanges. It was a split decision win for Petrosyan, but I thought he was clearly the superior fighter.

Petrosyan was also able to get back to his feet fairly easily against Rodrigues. That will be important in this matchup. Petrosyan's takedown defense is questionable, but it is less of an issue if he can immediately return to his feet.

While shorter fighters with longer reach generally have an advantage, it's not always that simple. I doubt the reach will be enough for Borralho to have the edge in striking, as Petrosyan demonstrated against Rodrigues.

Further, longer limbs create more opportunities to escape back to the feet – again demonstrated in Petrosyan's last fight.

This one likely comes down to where it's contested. Borralho is a competent striker, but a clear level below Petrosyan. He has a clear edge on the mat, but he'll will need to keep it there – especially with current judging not rewarding takedowns.

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Borralho vs. Petrosyan Pick

This fight opened with Borralho as a roughly -205 favorite before moving all the way to -225 at best by Friday. He makes sense as the favorite as the more well-rounded fighter, but those odds have gone a bit far for my tastes.

Petrosyan fought most of his pre-UFC career in Russia, taking on tons of high-level Russian wrestlers. Even his Contender Series bout was against a grappler: Bulgaria's Kaloyan Kolev, who was undefeated before facing Petrosyan. And that fight was at 205 pounds.

Point is, "Superman" has plenty of experience dealing with grapplers and has largely succeeded against them. Borralho hasn't fought a striker of Petrosyan's skill level yet.

Additionally, the current state of judging could favor Petrosyan here. I touched on it earlier, but takedowns have been devalued unless followed up with strikes or submissions. Damage is the key, and Petrosyan is an incredibly violent dynamic striker.

Finally, I see a slight cardio edge for Petrosyan. He threw more strikes in each successive round in his debut. Borralho seemed to be fading by the third round of his fight. That's a very small sample size on both, though, so it's not a major factor in my pick.

With the odds where they are now, there's no need to get cute on a prop. I'll take Petrosyan straight up at +190. I'd be comfortable betting it down to +180, with an eye on the live market if he loses Round 1 but looks better in the second frame.

The Pick: Armen Petrosyan +190

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