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UFC on ESPN+ 9 Undercard Betting Preview: Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou, More

May 04, 2019 7:00 PM EDT
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Derek Brunson, Elias Theodorou

  • James Carlucci makes his pick for the UFC on ESPN+ 9 co-main event between No. 9 ranked middleweight Derek Brunson (-110) and No. 13 ranked Elias Theodorou (-110).
  • A heavyweight contest between Juan Adams (-120) and Arjan Bhullar (-105) offers the best betting opportunity of the night.

UFC on ESPN+ 9 Betting Preview

  • Early Preliminary Card: 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+
  • Main Card: 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+

>> Start your ESPN+ free trial to watch UFC.


Derek Brunson (-110) vs. Elias Theodorou (-110)

The co-main event features two unorthodox but effective middleweights.

Derek Brunson (18-7) is an all-or-nothing fighter who blitzes his opponent from the opening bell and is ready to either finish or be finished. He’s 6-4 over his past 10 fights, with nine of those ending via first-round knockout.

Brunson is a powerful striker and wrestler who is at his best against slow starters that lack finishing power and/or are unable to compete with him athletically.

Brunson runs into issues when he cannot put his opponent away early. His striking is reckless and he often leads with his chin. Fighters who are tough enough to withstand Brunson’s initial burst and/or technical enough to capitalize on Brunson’s mistakes are the his worst matchups.

Among all active middleweights, Brunson is ranked:

  • No. 4 in shortest average fight time (5:56)
  • No. 5 in knockdowns landed (8)

On the other hand, Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou (16-2) is one of the most risk-averse fighters in the UFC. Inside the cage, he prefers to fight either all the way out or all the way in.

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