Ciao Borralho vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev UFC Odds, Pick, Prediction: Betting Value on Brazilian Newcomer (Saturday, April 16)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Caio Borralho.
- Two UFC middleweights, Ciao Borralho vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, make their debut in Saturday night's Co-Main Event at the Apex.
- Omargadzhiev is the favorte between the two newcomers, but Billy Ward thinks this is a good spot to back the underdog Borralho.
- He breaks down the matchup and gives out his betting pick below.
Ciao Borralho vs. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||Approx. 10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM.|
We have a rare UFC co-main event featuring two debuting fighters. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev is the latest Russian wrestler to attempt a UFC takeover and he’s taking on Brazil’s Ciao Borralho.
While both men are Contender Series graduates, Borralho fought consecutive fights — less than a month apart — before being awarded his contract.
Does that lack of confidence from Dana White tell us anything about Borralho’s skills, or is the extra UFC Apex experience to “The Natural”‘s advantage? We’ll break it all down from a betting angle below.
Tale of the Tape
|Record||10-1 (1 NC)||13-0|
|Avg. Fight Time||8:21||4:19|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||1/16/93||2/24/93|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.86||2.32|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.40||0.46|
|Take Down Avg||2.70||3.47|
There’s not a ton of regional tape available on either fighter, so detailed analysis of fighting styles is difficult. Additionally, the stats above include only fighters performance from their Contender Series bout(s), so the sample size is small. Particularly for Omargadzhiev, who fought less than a full round.
Still, those performances and their records give us a clue what both men are bringing to the table. Omargadzhiev profiles as the classic Russian wrestler, relentlessly pursuing takedowns. He’s a perfect 13-0 in his professional career.
In his Contender Series bout, he gave up top position in order to roll for a kneebar, which shows a willingness to hunt for finishes. It worked out that time, but is a fairly risky maneuver. Lower body submissions are fairly low percentage, and the risk of sacrificing position is high.
Of course, his opponent in that fight didn’t have the grappling pedigree that Borralho does. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt competes in high level grappling contests, and also trains Judo. He suffered his only professional loss in just his second fight, and has won nine consecutive bouts since then.
Borralho should have a noticeable edge in the standup department. Omargadzhiev showcased capable, but unspectacular striking in his DWCS bout. Borralho looked much better, but crucially holds a nearly 4-inch reach advantage despite being the shorter fighter.
Borralho vs. Omargadzhiev Pick
This certainly appears to be a fight that favors Borralho standing, but Omargadzhiev when it hits the mat. However, it’s not necessarily that straightforward. Omargadzhiev has very solid power, while Borralho is a high-level jiu-jitsu black belt.
Omargadzhiev’s propensity to aggressively pursue submissions concerns me here as well. It’s certainly possible that he was playing a bit more aggressively on the Contender Series to try to impress the UFC brass, but that strategy is likely to backfire against Borralho.
Generally speaking, the fighter who’s able to win two of the three “phases” of MMA has the edge. That includes striking, wrestling, and grappling on the ground. Striking and wrestling are fairly clear here, with grappling being the deciding factor.
I prefer what I’ve seen from Borralho in limited action (and based on his record) though. Maintaining position and doing damage is the better strategy against high-level competition.
Of course, getting it to the ground won’t be so easy for Omargadzhiev, who has to get inside of the reach of Borralho before he can secure a takedown. The smaller Octagon makes that a bit easier, but it’s no sure thing that he doesn’t take damage on the way in.
So with Borralho coming at plus money, he’s the obvious choice. His odds have steadily dipped throughout the week, but I’d be willing to bet him down to +100.
The Pick: Caio Borralho Moneyline (+115)