Kai Kara-France vs. Cody Garbrandt UFC 269 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Former Champion Set for Flyweight Debut (Saturday, December 11)

Kai Kara-France vs. Cody Garbrandt UFC 269 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Former Champion Set for Flyweight Debut (Saturday, December 11) article feature image

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Cody Garbrandt.

  • Cody Garbrandt is favored in his 125-pound debut against Kai Kara-France at UFC 269.
  • The former bantamweight champion lost his last time out, while the New Zealander is coming off a victorious finish.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick for bettors below.

Kai Kara-France vs. Cody Garbrandt Odds

Kara-France Odds
Garbrandt Odds
2.5 (+100 / -130)
T-Mobile Arena
Approx. 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

Former 135-pound champion Cody Garbrandt makes his flyweight debut at UFC 269 against No. 6-ranked Kai Kara-France.

Garbrandt was originally supposed to face Deiveson Figueiredo for the UFC Flyweight Championship back in November 2020, but he had to pull out of that fight after testing positive for COVID-19 during his camp. He returned to 135 pounds and lost to Rob Font back in April.

Kara-France, meanwhile, got an impressive knockout win over Rogerio Bontorin back in March, which puts him at 5-2 in the UFC. The training partner of Israel Adesanya has only lost to Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval since his debut for the promotion.

Below I preview how these fighters stack up and which side has betting value in this matchup. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Record22-9 (1 NC)12-4
Avg. Fight Time12:1510:25
Weight (pounds)125 lbs.126 lbs.
Reach (inches)69"65"
Date of birth3/26/937/7/91
Sig Strikes Per Min5.023.17
SS Accuracy39%38%
SS Absorbed Per Min3.844.14
SS Defense66%61%
Take Down Avg0.531.05
TD Acc23%32%
TD Def86%83%
Submission Avg0.00.0

Garbrandt is finally moving down to flyweight after losing four of five fights since winning the bantamweight title in 2016.

Kara-France represents a step down in competition from Garbrandt's recent opponents. Though the Kiwi will hold a four-inch reach advantage in his fight, he'll have to overcome a four-inch height discrepancy and significant difference in power.

On paper, Kara-France has the superior striking metrics (+1.18 to -0.97 differential, +6% combined accuracy and defense) and while Garbrandt is likely the better striker, he looked lost against Rob Font's jab.

Kara-France loves to duck into the pocket and throw shots upstairs. Garbrandt will look to counter with big hooks, and if he connects, it could be lights out in a hurry. He was a big hitter for 135 and could be a menace at 125.

Kara-France has been hurt in multiple fights. Likewise, Garbrandt's durability was already a concern and could get worse after cutting down further in weight.

Kara-France will likely win minutes on the feet with activity until getting caught with a power shot. However, if Garbrandt proactively wrestles (1.05 takedowns per 15 minutes, 32% accuracy), he should have a definitive grappling advantage.

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Kara-France vs. Garbrandt Pick

Ultimately, this is probably an excellent buy-low spot on Garbrandt. He's taking a serious step down in competition while likely moving to the appropriate weight class, and he is superior everywhere except striking volume and Fight IQ.

Garbrandt will likely lean into pocket exchanges and create a high variance situation, instead of taking a more measured approach.

That said, I don't show value on any moneyline, total, or prop for this fight, and I'm going to pass from a betting perspective.

The Pick: No Bet

For the rest of my betting card, check out my breakdown of the entire slate here.

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