Drew Dober vs. Brad Riddell UFC 263 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Expect Tactical Lightweight Matchup (Saturday, June 12)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC Fighter Brad Riddell.
- UFC 263's featured prelim bout pits lightweight Drew Dober aagainst Brad Riddell in matchup with fight of the night potential.
- The undefeated Riddell has a slight edge in the odds (-150 favorite), but the veteran Dober has lost just two fights in four years.
- Sean Zerillo previews the fight, including why he expects a back-and-forth scrap from both fighters.
Drew Dober vs. Brad Riddell Odds
Israel Adesanya’s teammate, Brad Riddell, will hope to score a big win for City Kickboxing in Saturday’s featured prelim, in a fight designed — and placed — to encourage users to buy the PPV card.
Riddell is undefeated (3-0) in the UFC against fighters who have tried to wrestle the former professional kickboxer. His opponent, No. 13-ranked lightweight Drew Dober, hopes to bounce back from a loss to (potential future lightweight champion) wrestling stud Islam Makhachev at UFC 259.
Hopefully, these two fun strikers keep this bout on the feet and turn in a scrap that should contend for fight of the night honors. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate.
Tale of the Tape
|Record||23-10 (1 NC)||9-1|
|Avg. Fight Time||7:44||15:00|
|Weight (pounds)||155 lbs.||155 lbs.|
|Date of birth||10/19/88||9/30/91|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.33||4.36|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.87||2.62|
|Take Down Avg||0.80||1.00|
Riddell was initially scheduled to face Gregor Gillespie before this booking and he wouldn’t have looked any better trying to stay on his feet against Gillespie than Dober looked against Mahkachev.
In fact, Dober might have the wrestling and grappling edge in this matchup, but I’m not sure that the Elevation Fight Team product will try to utilize those skills with consistency.
It would certainly benefit him to keep mixing things up since Riddell is likely the more technically refined striker, and his combinations figure to help him pull away on volume against Dober, who tends to sit down on his strikes load up for power.
Moreover, if Riddell doesn’t have to focus on his takedown defense, then he might really fall into a rhythm and completely pick Dober apart at range.
Riddell (+1.74 strike differential; 103% combined striking accuracy and defense) is a more efficient striker than Dober (+0.46; 94% combined accuracy and defense), but this fight seems likely to play out in a way that could be both very close and difficult to score.
While I might give the output edge to Riddell, Dober — like any Elevation Fight Team competitor — has the assumed edge in cardio; I could see him trying to shoot takedowns to finish off and/or flip rounds late.
While Riddell is good at getting up from his back, his first-level takedown defense (60%) isn’t great, so if Dober times those late in rounds, then he might do enough to flip the scorecards if the striking is otherwise close.
That being said, I’m expecting to see a 15-minute war that contends for Fight of the Night and raises the stock of both lightweights in the eyes of fans.
Dober vs. Riddell Pick
I projected slight value on the over and/or fight goes the distance prop for this fight (projected -170, listed -150), and I considered making a play at current odds.
However, I also spotted some value on Riddell to win by decision (projected +235, listed +250), and I ended up debating between those two plays.
Although there’s less projected value on Riddell’s decision prop than betting the fight to go the distance, I do see Dober as the man who is much more likely to finish. I’m happy to take Riddell at a higher price (and with reduced risk) when he has a solid path to a volume-based decision on the feet.
I wouldn’t fault you for playing the over 2.5 rounds, or the fight goes to decision prop, but this sets up as a potential slugfest, and I don’t want too much exposure to this fight.
The Pick: Brad Riddell wins by Decision (+260, 0.25 units)