UFC 301 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Paul Craig vs. Caio Borralho: Don’t Expect Any Caution (Saturday, May 4)

UFC 301 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Paul Craig vs. Caio Borralho: Don’t Expect Any Caution (Saturday, May 4) article feature image

Pedro Vilela/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC middleweight Caio Borralho of Brazil

Paul Craig vs. Caio Borralho Odds

Craig Odds+425
Borralho Odds-575
Over/Under1.5 (-195 / +150)
LocationFarmasi Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Time10 p.m. ET
How to WatchESPN+ PPV
Odds as of Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings. Bet on UFC 301 with our DraftKings promo code

Here's everything you need to know about the Paul Craig vs. Caio Borralho odds at UFC 301 on Saturday, May 4 – our expert UFC prediction and pick.

UFC 301 is a big night for the delightfully named "Fighting Nerds" team from Sao Paulo. They have fighters throughout the lineup, with a main card appearance from their de facto leader Caio Borralho.

Borralho has now won five straight UFC fights – following a 2-0 Contender Series stint – to earn himself a No. 14 spot in the UFC middleweight contender rankings. That's propelled him into a bout against No. 13 Paul Craig, a 17-fight UFC veteran.

While Craig and Borralho are separated by just one spot in the rankings, their careers seem to be trending in opposite directions. Craig has dropped three of his last four, including a submission loss to Brendan Allen in November.

The Brazilian Borralho is a heavy favorite in his native country, but Craig's hyper-aggressive submission game is a challenging puzzle for anyone. Can Borralho pick up a signature win against "Bearjew," or does the veteran have another upset left in him?

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time8:0011:55
Weight (pounds)185 lbs.186 lbs.
Reach (inches)76"75"
Date of birth11/27/19871/16/1993
Sig Strikes Per Min2.422.73
SS Accuracy46%58%
SS Absorbed Per Min2.861.98
SS Defense45%60%
Take Down Avg1.762.16
TD Acc22%63%
TD Def37%57%
Submission Avg1.60.5

Paul Craig spent the bulk of his UFC career at light heavyweight with a roughly .500 record but plenty of highlight-reel finishes. He trails only Charles Oliveira for the UFC record in all-time Performance of the Night bonuses with eight.

Craig brings an old-school one-dimensional style to the octagon. He relies on his elite submission ability – and little else – to finish fights. While he has three knockout wins on his UFC record, two were via ground and pound, and one was made possible by breaking Jamahal Hill's arm with an armbar before fishing him with punches.

To Craig's credit, he throws hard on the feet, trying to distract his opponents long enough to score a takedown. He's also made some strides with his striking and wrestling since dropping to 185 pounds with a newfound strength edge that helps him compensate for his lackluster technique.

He's not above pulling guard, either. Sometimes that works – as it did in the Jamahal Hill fight – and sometimes it leads to an ugly fight in which his opponent refuses to engage on the ground.

That creates an interesting dynamic against Borralho. "The Natural" is an excellent grappler in his own right, and he has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and some national judo championships to his name.

Still, the Plan A for Borralho is – or at least should be – to keep this one standing. He's a considerably better technical striker than Craig, and he should also have a speed and durability edge.

The lefty Borralho maintains solid range, using his speed to dart in and out of the pocket while counterstriking opponents at range. While he has the shorter reach by an inch, his footwork and posture should make him effectively longer in this fight.

Borralho's ability to fight at range will also go a long way toward keeping Craig from getting this one to the ground. Craig's best takedowns are typically executed from the clinch rather than shooting from outside. Even if Craig manages to get inside position, he could have a hard time forcing the issue against the experienced judoka.

Borralho might just be willing to follow Craig to the ground, though. While Craig's advantage on the mat isn't quite as large as he typically enjoys, I still make him the better pure grappler here. Hopefully, we get to see some grappling exchanges; it would make for a much more fun fight than Borralho picking Craig apart on the feet.

Craig vs. Borralho Pick

You never know which kind of Paul Craig fight you're going to get. Will he swing wildly before desperately pulling guard, and then either pull off a miracle submission or get finished with strikes? Or will he desperately shoot at the feet of a retreating opponent who wearily waves him back up?

The total of 1.5 rounds cautiously suggests the former. I also expect that the uber-confident Borralho, in front of a hometown crowd screaming "uh vai morrer" ("you're going to die") at his foreign opponent won't be playing this one cautiously.

He also has the grappling chops to, at worst, hang with Craig on the ground and, at best, land significant damage while Craig throws up armbars and triangles from his back.

At most sportsbooks, Borralho is roughly equally likely to end this one by KO/TKO as he is via submission. I'm having a hard time deciding myself since a "club and sub" following some ground and pound feels entirely plausible.

Therefore, I'm taking Borralho to win by finish at -125 at DraftKings. I'm also interested in the fight to end inside of two rounds ("Starts Round 2: No") on DraftKings, given the danger posed by Craig. I'll be betting both myself, but I'm sticking with the former as my "official" selection.

The Pick: Caio Borralho Inside the Distance (-125 at DraftKings)

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