UFC 266 Odds, Pick & Prediction: Matthew Semelsberger vs. Martin Sano (Saturday, September 25)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Matthew Semelsberger.
Matthew Semelsberger vs. Martin Sano Odds
Matthew Semelsberger will face off against UFC newcomer Martin Sano on the prelim portion of Saturday’s card. Sano has just seven professional fights under his belt and hasn’t been in a pro fight since 2017. Semelsberger is looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss in June and enters the day as the biggest favorite on the card.
Below I preview the betting odds and break down the matchup for this welterweight fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can also check out my projections for the entire slate.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||10:05||0:0|
|Weight (pounds)||170 lbs.||170 lbs.|
|Date of birth||11/23/92||5/30/91|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||6.11||0.0|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||5.68||0.0|
|Take Down Avg||0.99||0.0|
Sano is only on this card at the request of his friend and training partner Nick Diaz. Otherwise, it’s difficult to assume that he’s a UFC caliber fighter.
Like Diaz, Sano hasn’t competed in a professional fight in quite some time, with his last appearance coming back in 2017. He hasn’t won a professional bout since 2014 and owns a 4-2-1 career record.
Perhaps the 30-year-old Sano has made some improvements to his game since he last competed in Bellator. From what we’ve seen, he is a decent grappler with good cardio and very green as a striker.
Semelsberger has had his entire 11 fight professional career since Sano last competed. He’s a far more durable man and a far better striker, with a significant power advantage.
The former college football player also typically maintains a high pace (6.11 strikes landed per minute), though he was sightly gun shy in his most recent loss against Khaos Williams.
Despite the obvious advantages on the feet, Semelsberger remains relatively untested on the mat. He’s shown some concerns on the regional scene when he gets put onto his back.
If Sano can get this fight to the ground, I doubt that Semelsberger will justify his steep price tag. But if the favorite can keep this fight standing, he might finish the proceedings within one round.
Semelsberger vs. Sano Pick
I do show value on the Semelsberger side (projected -648), and I may consider using him as a small parlay piece.
Depending on the book (+380 at FanDuel), I slightly value Semelsberger to win by decision (projected +362).
However, it’s challenging to assess Sano’s current skill level. And outside of those options, I don’t see any betting value on this fight.
The Pick: Semelsberger wins by Decision (+380)