UFC 285 Odds & Picks for Derek Brunson vs. Dricus du Plessis: 2 Bets for Saturday’s Showdown
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC middleweight Dricus du Plessis
Derek Brunson vs. Dricus du Plessis Odds
Longtime UFC staple Derek Brunson returns from a yearlong layoff to fight fast-rising Dricus du Plessis at UFC 285.
The middleweight bout is part of the ESPN-televised preliminary card.
Brunson hasn’t fought since an early-2022 loss to Jared Cannonier that snapped his five-game winning streak. He gets another tough test in du Plessis, who recently submitted Darren Till for his sixth straight victory.
Let’s break down this 185-pound attraction.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||8:33||9:27|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||1/4/1984||1/14/1994|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.50||6.62|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.84||3.73|
|Take Down Avg||3.23||3.18|
Du Plessis is 10 years younger than Brunson. As I often point out in these matchups, the younger fighter is typically undervalued, winning 69% of the time at average odds of -143 (58.8% implied).
In other words, when there is a 10-year age gap between two fighters, the younger fighter wins 10% more often than the betting market suggests. And considering the vig on moneyline bets, their win rate is likely closer to 12.5% more frequently than oddsmakers expect.
Brunson has never had particularly great cardio or durability, but his flaws are more glaring in the latter years of his career. The American has proven profitable for underdog backers, consistently fighting for their dollar and exceeding overall expectations.
However, I don’t love this matchup for him against the well-rounded du Plessis, an extremely competent grappler with above-average power on the feet. Du Plessis has finished 17 of his 18 career victories, and the only win he didn’t – against Brad Tavares – was one-sided; he beat Tavares to a pulp. Less-durable middleweights would have folded, and late-career Brunson falls in that category.
Brunson may win the first round of this fight. He has a powerful overhand and excellent offensive takedown. However, he has zero submission games and about six or seven minutes of cardio.
While du Plessis typically seems like he’s gassing – because he has a strange habit of breathing with his mouth open – volume and cardio haven’t been an issue.
I expect du Plessis to walk through the fire in the second and third rounds and eventually finish Brunson with attritional damage, ground and pound, or via submission. If Brunson doesn’t finish the fight in the first round himself, I believe he is in serious trouble.
Both fighters wade into the pocket with their chins in the air, and I could see Brunson catching du Plessis in a high-variance exchange early.
Otherwise, I think he will need multiple takedowns and extended top time to secure a decision, and du Plessis won’t accept the bottom position.
Brunson vs. du Plessis Pick
I projected du Plessis to win inside the distance (ITD) 57.5% of the time (-135 implied), and I would bet that prop up to about -125 (55.6%), at roughly a 2% edge compared to my number.
Despite Brunson never being submitted, I wouldn’t risk the plus-money bet on his knockout prop (projected +114, listed+138 at BetRivers).
I would also consider playing du Plessis on the moneyline at -230 or better (projected -255) or in a parlay up to -240.
And look to bet du Plessis live if his moneyline narrows or stays the same after Round 1.
- Dricus du Plessis Wins Inside the Distance (-110, 0.5u at BetMGM)
- Dricus du Plessis Live after Round 1
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