Updated UFC 272 Odds, Pick, Prediction for Brian Kelleher vs. Umar Nurmagomedov (Saturday, March 5)
Via Chris Unger/Getty Images. Pictured: Umar Nurmagomedov.
- Brian Kelleher is a massive underdog against Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC 272.
- Khabib's cousin is, you guessed it, a wrestling specialist who has a high upside in the UFC.
- Erich Richter breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Brian Kelleher vs. Umar Nurmagomedov Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-148 / +114)|
|Time||Approx. 7:30 p.m. ET|
On the ESPN+ prelims, Umar Nurmagomedov will face off against veteran Brian “Boom” Kelleher. In the featherweight division, Nurmagomedov is more of a well-rounded fighter than his brother Khabib and teammate Islam Makhachev.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Umar Nurmagomedov is the biggest favorite on the card at -850. Below I preview this weekend’s early prelim bout.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:15||8:39|
|Weight (pounds)||145 lbs.||146 lbs.|
|Date of birth||8/19/86||3/1/96|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.49||2.89|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.63||0.81|
|Take Down Avg||1.87||8.67|
Nurmagomedov has some of the best training partners you could ever ask for. With world-class grapplers in his family and at his gym, Eagles MMA, Nurmagomedov has plenty of grappling prowess at his disposal.
However, Nurmagomedov actually profiles as a striker first. According to his teammate and coach, Daniel Cormier, his grappling is only now starting to catch up to his striking.
Nurmagomedov has some incredible kicks and one that nearly put his last opponent, Sergey Morozov, unconscious. What’s interesting is that Nurmagomedov immediately chased after Morozov with a takedown attempt. Nurmagomedov appears to be looking for club and sub opportunities.
As a massive -800 or bigger favorite on almost all books, it is clear that Nurmagomedov is expected to win this weekend. It’s somewhat confusing that this is the biggest underdog that Kelleher has ever been in his career.
Kelleher is a grizzled veteran who will step into the octagon for the 14th time. He has most of his wins by submission (10) and most of his losses (6) by submission and a 24-12-0 overall record.
Furthermore, finishes are common methods of victory for both of these fighters. Kelleher has a 69.4% finish rate in his UFC fights while Nurmagomedov comes in at 53.4%. It is worth noting that three of Nurmagomedov’s last four fights have ended in a submission win. He is undefeated in those fights with a 13-0 overall record.
Kelleher vs. Nurmagomedov Pick
Nurmagomedov is a big favorite in a fight that this profiles as a step up in competition. Oddsmakers are expecting him to win this fight by decision (+100, 50% implied), and submission is his most likely finishing prop (+175, 36.36% implied).
To be fair, Nurmagomedov has six of his 13 wins by submission and only one KO win in 2017. There will be plenty of backers for Kelleher at this massive price of +550.
However, that will not be me. Nurmagomedov looked dominant in his first UFC fight and extremely well rounded. Moreover, his kicks could really give opponents something to fear if they plan to pressure Nurmagomedov.
If you are looking for a +500 bet, I would steer you to his KO/TKO prop. Kelleher is very difficult to knock out, but Nurmagomedov was one shot away from his opponent being out on his feet. The precision he possesses with his kicks is special.
Instead of laying a massive moneyline price on the big favorite, I will instead back a time prop for this fight. The fight to end in under 2.5 rounds is +114 on PointsBet. This would cover a submission or KO/TKO win for either fighter if it happens before the 2:30 mark of the third round.
This is a significant step from where most sportsbooks have the “fight doesn’t start Round 3” time prop which can be found around +104. Here you get an extra 2.5 minutes and better odds. The under 2.5 rounds prop is worth a bet down to +100.
The Pick: Under 2.5 Rounds +114 (PointsBet)