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UFC 258 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher (Saturday, Feb. 13)

UFC 258 Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher (Saturday, Feb. 13) article feature image

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Ricky Simon.

  • Sean Zerillo breaks down Saturday's exciting Pay-Per-View matchup between Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher at UFC 258 in Las Vegas.
  • Check out Zerillo's full analysis and pick below.

Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher Odds

Simon odds
Kelleher odds
2.5 (-244 / +185) 
UFC APEX, Las Vegas
Approx. 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet

Ricky Simon and Brian Kelleher were supposed to face off in the first card of the year on Fight Island, but that fight had to be rescheduled due to Kelleher testing positive for COVID-19. Now they find themselves facing off on the UFC 258 main card due to a late scratch in the fight between Jim Miller and Bobby Green.

Kelleher was active all 2020 — he won three of his four fights over the course of the year, all by finish. Simon is riding a two-fight win streak after submitting Gaetano Pirrello on Fight Island in January.

Both men have a chance to prove they belong on the Pay-Per-View stage. So where is the value in the matchup?

Below I break preview the matchup and odds for what should be a Fight of the Night contender Saturday. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Simon Kelleher
Record 17-3 22-11
Avg. Fight Time 12:28 7:32
Height 5’6″ 5’6″
Weight (pounds) 145 lbs. 145 lbs.
Reach (inches) 69″ 66″
Stance Orthodox Switch
Date of birth 8/31/92 8/19/86
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.09 4.45
SS Accuracy 42% 40%
SS Absorbed Per Min 3.41 5.97
SS Defense 63% 53%
Take Down Avg 7.07 1.20
TD Acc 53% 25%
TD Def 72% 72%
Submission Avg 0.3 0.8

Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher Betting Pick

Simon scored a submission win against an overmatched debutant in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 20 and is making a quick turnaround at 145 pounds against Brian Kelleher, who finished three opponents last year (two by guillotine).

I think bettors are overestimating Kelleher’s ability to snatch the guillotine against Simon in particular when he shoots for legs (7.07 takedowns landed per 15 minutes, 53% accuracy vs. 72% defense for Kelleher) given his propensity for that choke in particular, which account for eight of his 22 career wins.

The guillotine won’t be his primary gameplan, rather an aggressive form of defense designed specifically for the type of fighter he is facing. Kelleher is still more likely to win if he can keep this fight standing and either outpace Simon on volume or clip him.

Simon should control the majority of minutes here with pressure wrestling, and I would consider a half unit play on the chalk moneyline at -220 if his odds take a dip. Still, I prefer Simon’s decision prop at -120 or better (projected -139) – which is my read on pretty much any one of his fights.

The Pick: Ricky Simon Wins by Decision -120

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