Pedro Munhoz vs. Dominick Cruz UFC 269 Odds, Pick & Prediction: ‘Young Punisher’ Can Win in Variety of Ways (Saturday, December 11)

Pedro Munhoz vs. Dominick Cruz UFC 269 Odds, Pick & Prediction: ‘Young Punisher’ Can Win in Variety of Ways (Saturday, December 11) article feature image
Credit:

Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Pedro Munhoz (blue tape).

  • Dominick Cruz is favored at UFC 269 against Pedro Munhoz.
  • Cruz won his last fight against Casey Kenney, while Munhoz has lost three of his last four.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and makes his pick for bettors below.

Pedro Munhoz vs. Dominick Cruz Odds

Munhoz Odds
-120
Cruz Odds
+100
Over/Under
2.5 (-255 / +190)
Venue
T-Mobile Arena
Time
Approx. 9 p.m. ET
Channel
ESPN 2
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz goes for a second straight win, as he faces Pedro Munhoz at UFC 269.

Cruz beat Casey Kenney at UFC 259 in March in a tightly contested fight that ended by split decision. Munhoz has lost three of his last four fights, although those were against Aljamain Sterling, Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo.

Both fighters are in the top-10 at 135 pounds, so a win would push them toward the top of the division.

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

Munhoz Cruz
Record 19-6 (1 NC) 23-3
Avg. Fight Time 10:34 16:56
Height 5’6″ 5’8″
Weight (pounds) 135 lbs. 135.5 lbs.
Reach (inches) 65″ 68″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 9/7/86 3/9/85
Sig Strikes Per Min 5.55 3.65
SS Accuracy 43% 32%
SS Absorbed Per Min 6.02 2.42
SS Defense 57% 72%
Take Down Avg 0.62 2.99
TD Acc 21% 46%
TD Def 80% 83%
Submission Avg 0.7 0.1

Saturday will mark Cruz’s third fight since returning from a 3.5-year layoff. While he is still a top-level fighter, Cruz has shown some signs of regression, and notably, for this fight, he did not deal well with the leg kicks from Henry Cejudo (landed 23-of-25) and Casey Kenney (landed 23-of-26) in his last two bouts.

Munhoz fires leg kicks as hard and as often as anyone in the sport (landed 37-of-42 against Jose Aldo, 44-of-52 against Frankie Edgar, and 32-of-42 against Aljamain Sterling in his last three fights). Cruz’s game is predicated on movement and his ability to dart in and out of the pocket, but if Munhoz can land his leg kicks early and cut off that movement, he should take complete control over the fight.

Cruz has a 3-inch advantage in both height and reach but seemingly has no finishing upside against Munhoz, who is a durable high-level jiu-jitsu practitioner.

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Munhoz vs. Cruz Pick

In theory, Cruz could have a path to victory through control time (2.99 takedowns per 15 minutes, 46% accuracy), but Munhoz has excellent takedown defense (80%) and a nasty guillotine choke.

At best, Cruz can win a close decision in this fight, predicated on volume. However, nearly all of the finishing upside lies with Munhoz, who possesses a clear power advantage.

The four outcomes here, in my assessment, are 1) Munhoz finish; 2) dominant Munhoz decision; 3) close Munhoz decision; 4) close Cruz decision. Even if Munhoz can’t entirely disrupt Cruz’s movement, the striking should be close on power optics alone.

I projected Munhoz’s moneyline closer to -150, and I think he’s the clear value side in this fight.

However, I also value the fight to go the distance (projected -256, listed -200) and Munhoz to win by decision (projected +176, listed +200).

The Pick: Pedro Munhoz (-120)

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