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Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres UFC 273 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Bet the Favorite To Bounce Back (April 9)

Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres UFC 273 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Bet the Favorite To Bounce Back (April 9) article feature image
Credit:

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Mackenzie Dern.

  • Mackenzie Dern and Tecia Torres will battle it out at UFC 273 in an intriguing strawweight matchup Saturday.
  • Dern is the favorite (-120 odds) in a close matchup while Torres seeking a fourth straight win.
  • Sean Zerillo explains why there's value on the submission specialist.

Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres Odds

Dern Odds
-120
Torres Odds
+100
Over/Under
2.5 (-175 / +145)
Venue
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Fla.
Time
Approx. 10:30 p.m. ET
Channel
ESPN PPV
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.

Two ranked among the top-10 in the Women’s Strawweight division, Mackenzie Dern and Tecia Torres, will battle it out on the main card of UFC 273.

Dern is coming off a loss — just the second in her career — and Torres is riding a three-fight win streak. Who has the edge in this compelling matchup between two MMA veterans?

Below, I’ll provide my analysis and picks for Saturday’s 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

Dern Torres
Record 11-2 13-5
Avg. Fight Time 10:27 13:38
Height 5’4″ 5’1″
Weight (pounds) 115.5 lbs. 115.5 lbs.
Reach (inches) 63″ 60″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 3/24/93 8/16/89
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.13 4.71
SS Accuracy 36% 48%
SS Absorbed Per Min 4.22 3.61
SS Defense 57% 60%
Take Down Avg 0.54 0.71
TD Acc 10% 15%
TD Def 0% 58%
Submission Avg 1.8 0.1

I have generally bet against Dern throughout her UFC run — and have largely lost money in the process. (I’m still confident that Virna Jandiroba would have secured the decision if she held position for the final minute of their fight instead of letting Dern back up.)

I’m surprised to find Dern as a favorite in this matchup since Torres possesses the vast majority of minute-winning ability. More surprising, however, is the discrepancy between Dern’s submission line (+250) at BetMGM and her moneyline.

I project a submission victory as 65% of Dern’s win condition (with an additional 5% for positional TKO), but the current odds are that it’s closer to 50-55% of her win condition.

Unless she manages to take Torres down and hold her there, I don’t see how Dern wins minutes without Torres getting submitted.

And I’m reasonably confident that if Dern does get this fight to the mat, there will be levels in the grappling, and she will eventually secure the tap.

Torres has mostly faced strikers instead of grapplers, and Dern’s grappling is levels above the other top grapplers at Strawweight. Pound-for-pound, she’s one of the most dangerous submission grapplers in the world.

One takedown could be the end of the fight; even if Dern is losing 14:59 of this 15-minute bout, she only needs a moment to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Dern nearly secured a fourth-round finish despite losing the vast majority of her fight with Marina Rodriguez.

Dern vs. Torres Pick

Dern’s not dissimilar from fighters like Paul Craig or Brian Ortega, who are generally losing until the moment they slap on a submission. However, she struggles to get her fights to the mat (0.54 takedowns per 15 minutes, 10% accuracy), so she needs to pull guard, catch kicks, or capitalize on scrambles to create opportunities.

One thing going for her here is the size advantage (3-inch height and reach advantage), which she can use to gain leverage over her smaller opponent. That’s something she couldn’t do while ceding 3 inches in both categories to Rodriguez.

In a vacuum, I would pick Torres to win this fight by the decision; because I generally favor minute-winners, but there’s no value in her moneyline or her decision line.

The discrepancy between Derns’s submission line (projected +201, listed +250) and her inside the distance prop (projected +180, listed +200) relative to her moneyline is stark enough to bet.

The Pick: Mackenzie Dern wins Inside the Distance (+200, 0.25u)

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