Brown vs. Williams Preview: Bet this Plus-Money Prop in UFC 274’s Featured Prelim
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC figher Khaos Williams.
- Saturday's UFC 274 featured prelim between Khaos Williams and Randy Brown has the potential to be one of the best on the entire card.
- Williams enters as the slight favorite in a bout that is likely to end in fireworks.
- Billy Ward breaks it down, including his best bet.
Randy Brown vs. Khaos Williams Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (100 / -130)|
|Venue||Footprint Center, Phoenix|
|Time||Approx. 9:30 p.m. ET|
|Channel||ESPN / ESPN+|
|Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM.|
UFC 274’s featured prelim is between two fast-rising welterweights. Randy “Rude Boy” Brown and Khaos “Oxfighter” Williams are both 4-1 in their last five, with three finishes apiece.
For Williams, those five fights represent the entirety of his UFC Career. The 28 year old fighter from Michigan made his debut in 2020, and has been perfect outside of a defeat to veteran Michel Pereira. Brown has been with the promotion since 2016, compiling an 8-4 record overall.
Both men are powerful, exciting finishers, so this one has “fight of the night” written all over it. Will the veteran Brown be able to hold off the fast-rising Williams? Below we’ll break it down, with some betting angles to consider.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||10:12||8:24|
|Weight (pounds)||170 lbs.||170 lbs.|
|Date of birth||7/8/90||3/30/94|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.21||5.0|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.11||3.38|
|Take Down Avg.||0.86||0.0|
Williams brings elite physical tools to the Octagon. Standing 6-feet with a 6-foot-5 wingspan, he’s big and strong for the division, with great speed and explosive ability as well. That explosive power has carried him so far in his UFC career, with his first two bouts ending with a Williams knockout in under 30 seconds.
His grappling is somewhat questionable though. With no amateur wrestling background, he’s been fortunate enough to be matched up primarily with fellow strikers so far in his UFC run.
In his only UFC loss, Pereira went 2-for-2 on takedowns against him. While he successfully defended two attempts from Miguel Baeza in his most recent bout, neither Baeza nor Pereira are known as grapplers.
His challenges with grapplers even predate his UFC run. The lone blemish on Williams’ record prior to the UFC, came against former University of Michigan wrestler Dan Yates.
Fortunately for Williams, Randy Brown will likely be willing to engage him in a standup affair. Brown Brings similar skills as Williams to the table, with solid striking ability. While I’d favor Brown in a pure grappling match, it’s relatively close and I don’t think either man wants this fight to be decided on the ground.
Brown is the better point fighter, with better striking accuracy and defense. His extremely long frame helps with that, at 6-foot-3 with a 6-foot-6 reach, he’s very long for the division. Williams has just a one inch shorter reach however, so it’s not a major edge for Brown.
On the other hand, Williams brings way more power to the table than Brown. While Brown has a pair of knockout victories on his UFC resume, they both came more by attrition than one-punch power. Williams features the far more dangerous hands here, and he can end this one in the blink of an eye.
Brown vs. Williams Pick
This matchup ultimately comes down to Brown’s willingness and ability to wrestle. The wise move for Brown would be to turn this into a grappling match, and avoid the heavy hands of Williams. While Brown has the ability to win a kickboxing match with Williams, it’s certainly not the easiest path to success for him.
Unfortunately, I’m not so sure Brown takes that path. He’s attempted a takedown roughly every other round in his UFC career, and seems willing to trade strikes with almost anybody.
Even if Brown tries, there’s also no guarantee he succeeds against Williams. While it’s not one of the more well known camps, Williams trains with a very strong gym in Murcielago MMA in Lansing Michigan. Their proximity to Michigan State University means a fresh supply of high-level wrestlers to train with — dating back to Rashad Evans when he first made his way to the UFC.
Brown is still relatively young, and I like what I’ve seen from him in terms of improvements to his grappling game. The combination of knockout power and improved grappling gives him the edge here, and I’d be willing to play his moneyline down to -140.
My bigger interest is in his knockout props though. Williams has finished three of his four UFC wins by knockout, with the lone exception being the extremely tough Matthew Semelsberger. He should have no problem using his speed to close the distance on Brown, and eventually landing the big shot. Brown has been knocked out twice — including by hammerfists from bottom position — so it’s not as if he has an iron chin.
The best line there is +190 courtesy of FanDuel. For the risk-adverse, you could also hedge with a Brown decision win, or the Brown submission/decision double chance prop. Both are at plus money, and I don’t see Brown putting away Williams standing here.
The Pick: Khaos Williams by (T)KO +190 (FanDuel)