Updated UFC 272 Odds, Pick, Prediction for Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (Saturday, March 5)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Nicolae Negumereanu.
- Kennedy Nzechukwu is a slight favorite on the UFC 272 prelims against Nicolae Negumereanu.
- The two light heavyweights pack a big punch, and Sean Zerillo is expecting a finish.
- Zerillo breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu Odds
Expect action in this light heavyweight matchup on the UFC 272 prelims, when Nicolae Negumereanu faces Kennedy Nzechukwu.
Negumereanu has won two straight after dropping his UFC debut back in March 2019. Nzechukwu, meanwhile, lost in November to snap a three-fight losing streak, which saw him earn two performance bonuses last year.
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||10:26||9:42|
|Weight (pounds)||205.5 lbs.||206 lbs.|
|Date of birth||9/4/94||6/13/92|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.97||4.86|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||5.72||5.04|
|Take Down Avg||0.48||0.0|
Nzechukwu (five-inch height and reach advantage against Negumereanu) has yet to take advantage of his obvious physical gifts in the octagon, nor has he made any significant strides since joining the promotion.
He’s also an exceptionally slow starter. When Nzechukwu’s opponents are fresh, they are typically able to back him up against the cage, where he shells into a high guard and falls behind on volume while absorbing attritional damage.
Negumereanu is a big hitter who can break through that high guard in that situation, and he’s undoubtedly the more well-rounded fighter, too, with all of the grappling upside lying in his corner. However, Kennedy’s size makes him both difficult to flatten (80% takedown defense) and keep down.
Moreover, Negumereanu can maintain a solid pace (for the division) for extended periods of his fights, and I expect him to be the clear minute-winner here for significant stretches.
My primary concern with Negumereanu is durability. Like Nzechukwu, he’s very hittable in exchanges. While Nicolae has never been knocked out, Kennedy suffered his first career setback just 3 1/2 months ago in pretty violent fashion.
Negumereanu vs. Nzechukwu Pick
I like Negumereanu on the moneyline down to +115 (projected +108), and I also played his inside the distance prop (projected +246, listed +300).
- Nicolae Negumereanu (+120, 0.75u)
- Negumereanu wins Inside the Distance (300, 0.25u)