Updated UFC 272 Odds, Pick, Prediction for Bryce Mitchell vs. Edson Barboza (Saturday, March 5)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Bryce Mitchell.
- The undefeated Bryce Mitchell is favored against veteran Edson Barboza at UFC 272.
- The wrestler is going to face a stiff test with Barboza's striking if he isn't able to take the Brazilian down.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and lays out his betting strategy below.
Bryce Mitchell vs. Edson Barboza Odds
Undefeated Bryce Mitchell faces the toughest test of his UFC career against Edson Barboza on the UFC 272 main card.
Barboza is 2-2 since moving down to 145 pounds, and Mitchell’s wrestling ability will present a very difficult test. The Arkansas native is 5-0 in UFC and is making his first appearance since Halloween 2020.
Below I preview the matchup and odds for tonight’s fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||11:28||12:52|
|Weight (pounds)||145.5 lbs.||145.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||1/21/86||10/4/94|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.11||2.29|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.19||1.46|
|Take Down Avg||0.40||3.26|
We featured this bout as our “Fight of the Night” candidate on the Action Network podcast.
And this matchup is about as binary of a striker vs. grappler match as you can find at the highest levels of modern MMA. Mitchell seemingly needs tons of control, time and pressure to win his toughest test to date.
On the feet, the striking should be one-way traffic in favor of Barboza, who will make use of his size advantage (five inches of reach) and kicking game to take away Mitchell’s movement from a distance.
Mitchell will attempt to turn this fight into a grind, both up against the cage and on the mat, to see whether Barboza can fend him off or get back to his feet.
While Barboza can be taken down (78% takedown defense), only Khabib (10:32 of control in a 30-25, 30-25, 30-24 decision) kept him there for extended periods.
Barboza returned to his feet to out-strike a similar archetype to Mitchell in Makwan Amirkhani (landed three of six takedowns, but only 3:13 of control) in October 2020, just weeks before Mitchell’s most recent bout. If the Brazilian can do the same here, he will put a hurting on the camouflaged prospect.
This fight represents a significant level jump for Mitchell relative to his previous opponents. However, he’s still at an age where he can make significant improvements from one fight to the next, especially after a long layoff.
Mitchell is a relentless fighter, and he’ll look to get inside of Barboza’s range to either submit him immediately or turn this fight into an absolute grind.
Barboza vs. Mitchell Picks
At favorite money, this looks like a “prove it” spot for Mitchell. I’d be happy to consider Barboza at plus money in what amounts to a binary finish on either side — or a potentially back and forth decision where judges have to weigh Barboza’s effective striking against Mitchell’s effective grappling.
I’d give more credence to Mitchell in the smaller cage at the APEX, but I like Barboza’s chances to find his range in the full-size cage.
That said, I missed the best price on Barboza’s moneyline (+150), and I’m inclined to wait for that price to pop up again before making a play since the number has since moved in line with my projection (+135).
For now, bet Barboza to win inside the distance (+300 at DraftKings, projected 30% or +233). He can stop Mitchell with attritional damage, land big at range with a spinning attack or high kick or potentially catch Mitchell with a knee as he searches for a level change.
Barboza’s knockout prop (listed +330, projected +290) is an acceptable alternative, but I always side with the finish wager when the discrepancy is that marginal.
Additionally, I may look to live bet Barboza after Round 1 if Mitchell cannot secure takedowns or maintain top position.
- Edson Barboza (+140, 0.25u)
- Edson Barboza wins Inside the Distance (+300, 0.5u)
- Edson Barboza Live after Round 1
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