Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson UFC 264 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Bet Wonderboy (Saturday, July 10)
Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Stephen Thompson (left) and Geoff Neal (right).
- The UFC 264 co-main event should be a good one, as Gilbert Burns is set to take on Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson.
- Burns has shown some cardio issues as late, potentially leaving the door open for Thompson to pick up a victory.
- Check out Erich Richter's full betting preview below, complete with odds, predictions, and a pick.
Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-145 / +115)|
|Time||Approx. 11:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson faces off against jiu-jitsu world champion Gilbert Burns in UFC 264’s co-main event Saturday night.
Burns is the second-ranked fighter in the UFC welterweight division and just fought for the title at UFC 258. Notably, Burns nearly knocked Kamaru Usman out cold in their fight.
Burns is an extremely dangerous grappler who might have the best submission grappling in the welterweight division. This is a spot Thompson will clearly want to avoid. Thompson is a karate-style fighter who has incredible kicks that help him to control the distance at will.
Below, I preview the matchup and odds for tonight’s co-main event. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out Sean Zerillo’s projections for the full card.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||11:15||14:31|
|Weight (pounds)||170 lbs.||170 lbs.|
|Date of birth||7/20/1986||2/11/1983|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.22||4.24|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.04||2.80|
|Take Down Avg||2.08||0.32|
Thompson is a very impressive striker and lands an extremely high volume of strikes. In his last fight against Geoff Neal, Thompson landed an incredible 171 significant strikes over a 25-minute span.
His karate background allows him to control distance with ease and makes it extremely difficult for opponents to land takedowns. Furthermore, he has clearly improved his takedown defense. Thompson has stuffed 17-of-19 takedowns (89.47% defense rate) since 2012, per MMAByTheNumbers.
Burns profiles to have the power advantage in his striking. His hard shots landed on Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley, and Usman were a thing of beauty. Unfortunately for Burns, he couldn’t finish Woodley or Usman.
Burns’ best bet to win this fight is on the ground. He’s so elite on the ground that even Usman didn’t want to engage in any grappling against him. Burns lands 2.08 takedowns per 15 minutes, according to UFCStats.
What could be potentially troubling for Burns is his takedown accuracy and ability to close distance. He lands takedowns at a 35% rate. Thompson will need to continue his elite takedown defense and ability to control the distance from Burns to take home a victory.
Burns vs. Thompson Pick
Thompson is clearly going to be the more efficient striker and should make use of his sizeable reach advantage (75 in. vs. 71 in.). That could look even bigger with Thompson’s high volume of kicks.
The sticky part of this fight is the grappling and power of Burns. Burns has out-grappled the likes of JT Torres, Lucas Leite, and Kron Gracie and can knock anyone out if he connects. If you’re backing Burns, there’s some value on Burns to win ITD at +240.
However, my issue with Burns is that his body of work against elite MMA talent is very suspect. Woodley and Maia were on major downturns in their careers when he defeated them.
Furthermore, Burns has not defeated a single opponent in the top 10 of the division. He was also knocked out by Dan Hooker when he was at lightweight.
Burns undoubtedly has serious power in his fists, but his cardio has shown to really be a problem for him. Perhaps Burns deals with an “adrenaline dump” of sorts, but cardio issues against a world-class striker like Thompson are going to be a nightmare for Burns. Thompson should be the much better striker in this matchup.
I will be backing Wonderboy Thompson in this fight. Thompson Round 3 or decision is +136 on PointsBet. I think that’s a great slot for Thompson, who is +150 to win by decision.
I can sell the third round for a small fee in case Burns completely gasses out and gets finished.
I would bet this alternate round prop down at +115. Thompson’s body of work is leaps and bounds more impressive than Burns. This should carry him to victory.
The Pick: Stephen Thompson Round 3 or by Decision +136