Demian Maia vs. Belal Muhammad UFC 263 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How To Bet Welterweight Matchup (June 12)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: (L-R) UFC opponents Demian Maia of Brazil and Belal Muhammad.
- MMA veteran Demian Maia will face off against Belal Muhammad on the main card at UFC 263.
- Muhammad enters the fight as the favorite (-230) against the 43-year-old Maia who should be his toughest opponent to date.
- Sean Zerillo explains where there may be value in this fight.
Demian Maia vs. Belal Muhammad Odds
Demian Maia is likely competing to hold onto his No. 9 ranking in the Welterweight division and his spot on the UFC roster against No. 12 contender Belal Muhammad.
The former ADCC gold medalist is near the end of the line at age 43, on the heels of a knockout loss to Gilbert Burns last March.
Muhammad is hoping to secure the most prestigious victory of his UFC career after suffering from a brutal eye poke against Leon Edwards just a few months ago.
Maia is one of the most effective grapplers in UFC history — but does he have anything left in the tank in his early forties? Below I preview the matchup and odds for tonight’s fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate.
Tale of the Tape
|Record||28-10||18-3 (1 NC)|
|Avg. Fight Time||12:20||12:55|
|Weight (pounds)||170 lbs.||170 lbs.|
|Date of birth||11/6/77||7/9/88|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||1.82||4.75|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.03||4.02|
|Take Down Avg||2.55||1.97|
Muhammad has faced far better strikers than Maia, but this is the toughest grappling test that he’s ever had at the professional level. In fact, Muhammad has never faced a high-level wrestler in the UFC, and amongst the top-level jiu-jitsu practitioners, Maia does have one of the craftier takedown games.
If Maia can’t find a way to get this fight to the mat, he’s going to be in trouble. Belal doesn’t have the power to put most fighters away with one punch. Still, he could overwhelm an aging veteran whose chin might be starting to crack, and he certainly applies enough pressure (4.75 significant strikes per minute) to overwhelm a slow, aging fighter.
Even if Maia survives on the feet, Belal should rack up enough volume to decisively pull away on the scorecards. Moreover, if Maia gets this fight to the ground, then Belal is likely a competent enough jiu-jitsu player to survive until the end of the round. So if he does manage to get taken down, hopefully, he’s done enough damage to have won the round by that point.
Belal is the likely winner, but we still haven’t seen him against this level of a grappler, and there’s really not much information to go on — other than the fact that Maia is old — concerning analyzing this matchup.
Maia vs. Muhammad Pick
I don’t see any value regarding the moneyline or total for this fight – but I would have considered playing Muhammad’s moneyline at -200 (opened -220) or his decision prop at +116 (projected +102, listed +105).
I show slight value on Maia’s submission prop (projected +341, listed +400), but not enough value to make it a play — particularly since I think Belal can survive on his back.
My initial read on this fight was Belal by KO/TKO, which is listed at +400 compared to my projection of +473, so I cannot justify a play in that market either.
Ultimately, I’m passing on this fight unless there’s significant price movement before the event.
The Pick: Pass