UFC 282 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria: He’s the Favorite for Good Reason (Saturday, December 10)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC featherweight Ilia Topuria
- The UFC 282 main card kicks off with a potentially electric fight between featherweights Bryce Mitchell and Ilia Topuria.
- This bout has seen lots of line movement, with Topuria now a small favorite.
- Below, Sean Zerillo explains why one fighter is clearly the right side of betting on this matchup.
Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria Odds
Undefeated Ilia Topuria looks to move to 13-0 when he faces 15-0 Bryce Mitchell on Saturday at UFC 282.
The can’t-miss pay-per-view opener features two contenders in the UFC 145-pound division’s top 15.
A win for either would produce a major push toward title contention, but which fighter has the edge?
Let’s look at the matchup.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||13:13||7:08|
|Weight (pounds)||145 lbs.||145 lbs.|
|Date of birth||10/4/1994||1/21/1997|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.28||2.87|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||1.39||2.28|
|Take Down Avg||3.40||3.15|
Saturday’s main-card opener is my most anticipated fight at UFC 282 – both from a betting and a viewing perspective.
Either or both Mitchell and Topuria could be future title challengers or champions, and Saturday’s contest should go a long way toward determining their respective ceilings within the featherweight division.
Mitchell is officially 5-0 under the UFC banner, though he did lose to Brad Katona (via submission) on The Ultimate Fighter. He has a highly effective style, smothering opponents with pressure and top control, where he can kill the clock (6.5 takedown attempts per 15 minutes, 52% accuracy) and stay out of danger.
Mitchell’s three most recent wins – against Edson Barboza (four takedowns, 11:28 control time), Andre Fili (seven takedowns, 10:12 control time) and Charles Rosa (five takedowns, 12:51 control time) – are a trio of masterclasses in imposing your will on your opponent. “Thug Nasty” is extremely difficult to break away from.
Mitchell even scored a knockdown against Barboza – the takedown threat is so overwhelming – but his striking is still underwhelming as a whole, and some older fights point to potential trouble when he eventually goes up against another elite grappler.
Enter Topuria, an undefeated Spanish-Georgian prospect with potentially world-class striking and grappling. Mitchell has faced strikers of Topuria’s caliber – but never a grappler at his level nor an opponent with such a developed blend of both skillsets.
And when Mitchell has faced competent grapplers, he’s lost grappling exchanges.
Mitchell may be the superior wrestler in the matchup with Topuria, and if he can get on top of Topuria, perhaps he can consolidate position and maintain pressure, as he’s been able to do against lesser opponents. Still, I view that as his only path to victory. And it requires multiple takedowns.
Even if Mitchell is the superior wrestler, I view Topuria as the better grappler overall. I would expect him to be able to either deny takedowns or scramble and return to his feet if he’s put on his back.
And if Mitchell is forced to strike at a distance for extended stretches of this fight, he will get dominated or finished.
It’s challenging to envision Mitchell finishing the fight unless Topuria gasses out completely. Conversely, Topuria should be the more dangerous fighter for the duration. Even if Mitchell can control positions, he may not land substantial damage; an out-wrestled Topuria can still swing rounds with minimal striking exchanges.
Mitchell vs. Topuria Pick
Topuria has more ways to win the fight. Mitchell essentially needs a clean 15-minute grappling-based decision in which Topuria’s defensive wrestling doesn’t pass the test, and that seems like a reasonably improbable result.
I projected Topuria as a -156 favorite, and I would bet his moneyline to a break-even price.
I also show slight value on his submission prop (projected +556, listed +650 at BetRivers) or inside the distance prop (projected +153, listed +180 at DraftKings).
Moreover, I see slight value in the fight to end inside the distance (projected -123, listed -115 at BetRivers), but most of that edge is tied to Topuria’s finish prop.
The Pick: Ilia Topuria (-140, Risk 1u at DraftKings) | Topuria wins Inside the Distance (+180, 0.2u)