UFC 286 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Sam Patterson vs. Yanal Ashmoz: Take Big Underdog’s Moneyline, KO Prop (Saturday, March 18)
Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC lightweight Yanal Ashmoz
Sam Patterson vs. Yanal Ashmoz Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+120 / -150)|
|Venue||The O2 Arena in London|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Channel||ESPNews and ESPN+|
|Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings|
Two UFC newcomers square off on Saturday’s UFC 286 preliminary card with Contender Series winner and England native Sam Patterson greeting Yanal Ashmoz.
Ashmoz is a veteran of the PFL’s “Challenger Series” fighting out of Israel.
As is often the case when the UFC travels to the U.K., the hometown fighter is a considerable favorite. However, with both fighters making their debuts, there’s plenty of volatility in the matchup.
Will Patterson defend home turf, or did the oddsmakers get this one wrong?
I dug into some recent tape on both men to find out.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:18||10:24|
|Weight (pounds)||155 lbs.||155 lbs.|
|Date of birth||4/30/1996||3/31/1995|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.69||n/a|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.9||n/a|
|Take Down Avg||0.0||n/a|
Patterson is making his official UFC debut on Saturday, having picked up a second-round submission win in the final event of the 2022 Contender Series, which serves as a feeder system for the UFC. At 6-foot-3, he’s tied for the tallest lightweight on the roster, presenting a unique challenge for his opponents.
Patterson is a well-rounded fighter but does his best work when attacking with front chokes, where he can put his long limbs to use. He has a solid jab while striking but doesn’t throw with a ton of volume.
Perhaps his best weapon is his cardio, which stems from his slender frame as much as his intense training methods.
I noticed some flaws in his standup game when watching him on the Contender Series, though. He has a tendency to drop his hands after throwing while “pulling” his upper body out of range. While that can work for taller fighters, it’s a risky strategy. He paid for it in his Contender Series bout when he was hurt on multiple occasions with overhand punches.
He also hasn’t quite mastered keeping his opponents at range. While he used his long jab effectively, his footwork was very linear, allowing his shorter opponent to close the distance. To his credit, his grappling and clinch work pose enough of a threat that merely closing the distance doesn’t always mean he’s in trouble.
The statement second round submission for Sam Patterson! #DWCS pic.twitter.com/sOzGo60r3B
— UFC (@ufc) September 28, 2022
Ashmoz enters the UFC with a perfect 6-0 record, though his quality of competition is somewhat questionable. His opponent on the PFL Challenger Series was 7-3 at the time and probably a slight step down from most Contender Series fighters.
Still, Ashmoz was very impressive in that fight. He did his best work with his wrestling and showed excellent balance and body control while defending and securing takedowns. One on top, he was able to crowd his taller opponent while staying active with strikes.
He also packs some power on his feet, with three of his six professional wins coming by way of knockout. He throws everything hard, but it’s mostly single shots or short combos to close the distance and get to the clinch.
At 5-foot-9, he’s a bit on the shorter side for the division. Fortunately for him, that means a fighter like Patterson – with his reach edge – isn’t a new challenge for him. The vast majority of his bouts have been against taller opponents.
Ashmoz also has excellent cardio. He threw more than 200 significant strikes while landing four takedowns in his PFL fight, and he ended the bout hunting for a submission. That’s a high pace for a lightweight, and it bodes well for him should this one make it to the later rounds.
Patterson vs. Ashmoz Pick
Ultimately, this one comes down to whether Ashmoz is able to close the distance on the much taller Patterson and keep this fight in confined spaces. Ashmoz is the superior wrestler but could struggle while being picked apart on the outside.
The tape I’ve seen on both men suggests he should be able to do just that, though. Patterson’s somewhat limited footwork will allow Ashmoz to work his way in. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Ashmoz clip Patterson on the feet, if the taller man hasn’t fixed his habit of dropping his hands and leaning back following his combos.
My biggest concern for Ashmoz is getting caught in some form of front choke (guillotine, D’Arce, anaconda, etc.) while looking for takedowns. Patterson used a guillotine to set up his back-take in his Contender Series bout, and he has finished fights with the technique in the past. If taking the Patterson side, I’d be far more interested in his submission prop than his moneyline.
However, given the betting odds on this fight, I’m willing to roll the dice on Ashmoz. He’s well-equipped to face longer fighters, and Patterson being hurt in his Contender Series bout doesn’t inspire much confidence.
I’ll be on his moneyline with a slight sprinkle on his (T)KO prop.
The Picks: Yanal Ashmoz (+235 at FanDuel) | Ashmoz by KO/TKO/DQ (+650 at DraftKings)
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