UFC 289 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis: Bet on Full 15 Minutes (Saturday, June 10)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Chris Curtis
Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis Odds
The UFC 289 preliminary card on Saturday concludes with a featured bout between Nassourdine Imavov and Chris Curtis.
The ranked middleweight contenders – Imavov is No. 12 and Curtis is No. 14 – are both coming off losses in recent high-profile bouts.
Who bounces back at UFC 289? Let's dig in.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:40||10:50|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||3/1/1995||7/15/1987|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.32||5.59|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.81||6.22|
|Take Down Avg||0.68||0.00|
Imavov and Chris Curtis have seen 30 of their 56 combined MMA fights (53.5%) end by finish. And on average, UFC middleweight fights end by knockout or submission more than 60% of the time.
Still, I project Saturday's featured prelim to reach a decision around 62% of the time (-160 implied odds). You can bet the distance prop up to -150.
Curtis has never attempted a takedown – nor been takedown down in the UFC – and while Imavov has the grappling upside, I mostly expect a low- to moderate-tempo kickboxing match between these two ranked middleweights.
Although Curtis – the shorter man – has a one-inch reach advantage, Imavov will look to play the outside game with his leg kicks and attempt to time Curtis' forward movement to land punches. Curtis thrives in the pocket, where he shows a strong high guard and works body/head combinations, but Imavov isn't the type of fighter who will stand in front of him and oblige his game.
Curtis should see a similar matchup to what he faced in Jack Hermasson, who frustrated Curtis from the outside and used movement and footwork to keep Curtis chasing him. I expect to see some clinch battles between Curtis and Imavov as Imavov potentially looks for level changes. But I expect the Frenchman to be all the way in – attempting takedowns – or all the way out – hammering leg kicks. And if Curtis presses forward, he needs to look to stay safe, escape and re-engage from a distance.
Imavov vs. Curtis Pick
Aside from a boxing edge, Curtis, a former welterweight, may have the cardio advantage too. Imavov has slowed in other three-round fights, and with the way Curtis consistently rips the body, I could see him dropping the first round on optics before taking over late against a tiring opponent.
As a result, look to live bet Curtis after round 1 – when his price would presumably peak – in addition to the over or goes-the-distance prop.
Conversely, Imavov to win by decision (projected +147, listed +180) isn't the worst look in the winning method market. Still, I expect any decision to be close and competitive, and I'd instead grab a juicier plus money ticket in the live market on the fighter more likely to carry his energy late.
The Picks: Chris Curtis vs. Nassourdine Imavov, fight goes to decision (-128, 0.5u) at FanDuel | Chris Curtis live after Round 1