Updated Roxanne Modafferi vs. Casey O’Neill UFC 271 Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can ‘Happy Warrior’ Cap Her Career With a Win? (Saturday, February 12)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Roxanne Modafferi.
- Roxanne Modafferi and Casey O'Neill face off at UFC 271 in what will be Modafferi's last career bout.
- The long-time vet is a huge underdog to close out her career with a win Saturday night.
- Sean Zerillo explains how he's betting the matchup.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Casey O’Neill Odds
Roxanne Modafferi will enter the Octagon for the final time in her career Saturday to face Casey O’Neill at UFC 271.
Modafferi is calling it quits win or lose after an 18-year run as a fan-favorite in MMA. She hopes to close out her career with a win after dropping her last two bouts. On the flip side, O’Neill is 3-0 in her short UFC career and every win has come by stoppage.
Will the Modafferi pull the huge upset in her last UFC bout? Below I break down how these two fighters matchup and where to find betting value in this bout.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:11||10:27|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||125 lbs.|
|Date of birth||9/24/82||10/7/97|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.97||5.48|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.92||3.09|
|Take Down Avg||1.30||3.83|
Modafferi has apparent advantages in overall experience and strength of schedule, and this is undoubtedly a step up in competition for O’Neill, relative to her previous opponents. That said, Modafferi also looks completely shopworn – reacting poorly to strikes, and absorbing more damage than she ever has before.
Still, Modafferi never relied on athleticism or durability to win striking battles; she is an adept grappler who can neutralize O’Neill’s strengths, reverse her in the clinch, and sweep from the bottom position if she gets taken down (25% accuracy).
Typically, Modafferi has to lumber forward on her opponents to close distance, clinch them, and drag them to the ground. However, unless O’Neill chooses to change her tactics, she should play right into Modafferi’s game plan and initiate those grappling exchanges for her.
While this is O’Neill’s first UFC fight outside of the APEX, I doubt the bigger cage makes much of a difference since she will look to fight in close quarters.
However, her record is a bit overrated. She was put in bad positions by Antonina Shevchenko and Lara Procopio — both won the first round in their respective fights before O’Neill rallied to victory.
Casey is a bit of a slow starter, and I could see Modafferi getting a takedown, holding position, and getting out to an early lead. Perhaps she rallies from behind yet again, but O’Neill is still very green as a fighter, and Modafferi will find and exploit whatever positional weaknesses that she has in the grappling realm.
Modafferi vs. O’Neill Pick
It would be fitting if Modafferi rode off into the sunset, cashing another big underdog ticket – as she has done throughout her career – but I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline.
I do show slight value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected +142, listed +155) or on Modafferi to win by decision (projected +492, listed as high as +550), and I’ll take a slight poke at the latter; and ride with “The Happy Warrior” one last time.
I suppose you could also play both props and profit if O’Neill doesn’t win a decision.
The Pick: Roxanne Modafferi wins by Decision (+550)