UFC Fight Night Odds & Picks for Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar: Back the Total in Saturday’s Main Event (Jan. 16)

UFC Fight Night Odds & Picks for Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar: Back the Total in Saturday’s Main Event (Jan. 16) article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Calvin Kattar.

  • Max Holloway headlines the first UFC card of the year opposite Calvin Kattar on Fight Island.
  • Holloway is looking to snap his two-fight losing streak against the dangerous Kattar, but Sean Zerillo is looking at betting the round total in this matchup.
  • Read his comprehensive fight analysis and check out his betting picks below.

Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar Odds

Holloway odds
-160 [BET NOW]
Kattar odds
+135 [BET NOW]
Over/Under
4.5 (-185/+150) [BET NOW]
Venue
Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi
Time
Approx. 5 p.m. ET
Channel
ABC/ESPN+

Odds as of Friday evening and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The UFC finally returns for 2021!

The promotion kicks off the year with an exciting Fight Night card headlined by fan favorite and No. 1-ranked Featherweight contender Max Holloway and No. 6-ranked contender Calvin Kattar. Holloway is coming off back-to-back title fight losses and is looking to get back on track while Kattar is heating up winning four of his past five matchups.

So which fighter has the edge in this matchup? I’ll break down the matchup and betting odds below, but you can find my full breakdown of Saturday’s card here.

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Tale of the Tape

Holloway Kattar
Record 21-6 22-4
Avg. Fight Time 14:36 12:05
Height 5’11” 5’11”
Weight (pounds) 145 lbs. 145 lbs.
Reach (inches) 69″ 72″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 12/4/91 3/26/88
Sig Strikes Per Min 6.47 5.01
SS Accuracy 44% 41%
SS Absorbed Per Min 4.52 5.66
SS Defense 61% 56%
Take Down Avg 0.22 0.47
TD Acc 83% 37%
TD Def 83% 88%
Submission Avg 0.4 0.0

These two fighters are similar from a physical standpoint, though Kattar has the 3-inch reach advantage. Holloway’s experience and skill against top competition is evident in his numbers. Among active fighters in the division, Holloway ranks first in finishes and KO/TKO wins. He ranks second in significant strikes landed and fourth in striking differential.

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Holloway vs. Kattar Betting Pick

A decent amount of money has come in on the underdog side of this fight, taking Kattar from a peak of +165 around Christmas to +135 as of writing, right in line with my projection.

Holloway, the former Featherweight champion, obviously has significantly more experience in five-round fights, against better competition than Kattar.

Though he initially lost his title to Alexander Volkanovski, most fans and media members scored the rematch for Holloway.

Suppose Kattar was fighting for the Featherweight title on Saturday after Holloway had recorded the decision over Volkanovski; what would the line be? Probably -200 or higher.

Holloway has never been knocked out or even knocked down. He keeps a ridiculous pace (6.47 strikes landed per minute) and maintains it for five rounds, though despite a 61% striking defense rate, he is certainly there to be hit.

Holloway has proven to be significantly more efficient (+1.95 to -0.55 strike differential) than Kattar against better opponents. While Kattar has some of the best boxing amongst all UFC fighters and is the more powerful man that Holloway, I don’t see any reason to suddenly suspect that Kattar will be the first to put him out.

If the significant strike numbers are close, Kattar could sway the judges with the more powerful strikes.

In addition to being the younger man, Holloway is the better and faster athlete. He should be able to get in and out of range more quickly than Kattar, despite a three-inch reach discrepancy, and eventually start to pull away in the striking metrics.

Both of these men are extremely durable, and even though five-round fights ended inside the distance 51% of the time in 2020, I have this bout going the distance 69% of the time and would play that prop to -180. Alternatively, I would bet the Over 4.5 rounds up to -200.

I also see value on either man to win by the decision (projected +121 for Holloway, +325 for Kattar), but given the expected close nature of this fight – and Holloway’s previous issues with the judges — I’m sticking to the total.

The Pick: Holloway/Kattar, Over 4.5 Rounds (-185)

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