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UFC 265 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Michael Chiesa vs. Vicente Luque: Can Winner Emerge as Title Contender? (Saturday, Aug. 7)

UFC 265 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Michael Chiesa vs. Vicente Luque: Can Winner Emerge as Title Contender? (Saturday, Aug. 7) article feature image

Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Michael Chiesa (left).

  • Two red-hot welterweights face off when Michael Chiesa and Vicente Luque take the octagon at UFC 265.
  • Chiesa has won four straight and Luque three, and a win here could vault either into title contention at 170 pounds.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and where he sees betting value in Houston on Saturday night.

Michael Chiesa vs. Vicente Luque Odds

Chiesa Odds
Luque Odds
2.5 (-152 / +118)
Toyota Center
11 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday night and via PointsBet.

A matchup of red-hot 170-pounders is set for UFC 265, with Michael Chiesa taking on Vicente Luque.

Both fighters enter this one on win streaks, with Chiesa having taken his last four bouts and Luque his last three.

Chiesa has an impressive list of names on his winning streak, having beaten Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, Rafael dos Anjos and Neil Magny, the last one coming back in January on Fight Island. His wrestling background will make this one a difficult matchup for Luque.

Luque, though, is dangerous in his own right. He has won three straight and earned performance bonuses in five of his last seven. In total, he is 13-2-1 in UFC. He has nine wins in his last 10 fights, with a loss to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in November 2019 serving as the only blemish. Luque also has finished his last three fights against Niko Price, Randy Brown and Tyron Woodley.

A win here would go a long way in potentially establishing either Chiesa or Luque as a potential contender for Kamaru Usman’s title. Let’s break it down.

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Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time9:598:33
Weight (pounds)170.5 lbs.170 lbs.
Reach (inches)75"75"
Date of birth12/7/8711/27/91
Sig Strikes Per Min1.895.74
SS Accuracy40%54%
SS Absorbed Per Min1.715.78
SS Defense54%52%
Take Down Avg3.600.66
TD Acc52%50%
TD Def68%65%
Submission Avg0.90.9

This could be a fairly binary fight lined around a pick'em, where the winner looks like a massive favorite in hindsight.

Incredibly, Chiesa used to compete at 155 because he is still massive in the cage at welterweight and has dominated opponents with control (roughly half of his octagon time) throughout his career.

Luque's takedown defense (65%) hasn't been tested all that frequently against high-level grapplers. Once Chiesa gets his opponents down, he smothers them like a weighted blanket, prioritizing position over submission while staying active enough to force the referee to intervene.

Chiesa (3.60 takedowns per 15 minutes, 52% accuracy) is mostly a one-trick pony, but he is excellent in that area and can neutralize some opponents while dominating minutes with relative ease.

Luque (5.75 strikes landed per minute, 5.78 absorbed) is more of a brawler with a much more well-rounded skill set. If he can keep this fight standing or scramble out of Chiesa's control to get back to his feet for the majority of the contest, he should either find a finish or pull away on the scorecards.

Chiesa needs to close the distance and get this fight to the ground at least two or three times. Otherwise, he will get dominated at range.

Chiesa vs. Luque Pick

If Luque is doing enough to win on minutes here, I would tend to think that he finds a finish.

Conversely, I think the majority of Chiesa's win equity is tied to a decision, and I show value on his decision prop (projected +180, listed +220).

Moreover, I show value on Chiesa to win on the moneyline (projected 55%), and I would bet that up to -115.

I'm a fan of Luque and it's personally difficult to bet against him, but Chiesa's size and grappling control can overwhelm opponents in three-round fights.

The Pick:

  • Michael Chiesa (+100, 0.5u)
  • Michael Chiesa wins by Points (+240, 0.25u)

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