Jack Hermansson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Bet Middleweight Clash at UFC Fight Night (Saturday, May 22)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Hermansson.
- Two promising middleweights face off at the UFC Fight Night on Saturday night when Jack Hermansson faces Edmen Shahbazyan.
- Hermansson was once in the thick of the title picture and looks to bounce back against the 23-year-old Shahbazyan.
- Erich Richter breaks down the fight below, delivering his best bet for the matchup at the UFC Apex.
Jack Hermansson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+140 / -165)|
|Venue||UFC APEX, Las Vegas|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.|
After being taken off of UFC 262's main card last week, UFC fans get a quick reschedule for one of this weekend's best matchups. Jack "The Joker" Hermansson takes on Edmen "The Golden Boy" Shahbazyan in the UFC Middleweight division.
Shahbazyan is just 23 years of age and has been training with Ronda Rousey since he was 15 years old. Edmen came into his last fight undefeated as a -360 favorite. He left that fight battered, broken, and bruised at the hands of Derek Brunson who handed him his first loss.
Brunson has laid out the blueprint for beating the rising prospect: Take Shahbazyan past the first round and test his ability to grapple. The UFC has given Shahbazyan one of the worst possible matchups with that weakness in mind.
Below I preview the matchup and odds for Saturday's first main card matchup and detail which side has the most value.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||8:56||5:04|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/10/88||11/20/97|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.03||3.85|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.46||4.31|
|Take Down Avg||1.96||4.44|
Hermansson Path to Victory
Hermansson is known for his impeccable submission and grappling ability. The Swedish-born fighter averages 1.96 takedowns per 15 minutes per UFC Stats and has out-grappled black belts like Jacare Souza and Gerald Meerschaert.
However, we have seen Hermansson struggle against strikers if he cannot land the takedown. Hermansson was knocked out by Jared Cannonier in the second round of their fight. Hermansson shot in for a double leg takedown and was clipped by a right uppercut on the way in.
Hermansson's knockout loss to Cannonier is a bit different than this fight. Cannonier was able to utilize his takedown defense and strength to turn the tide in that fight. There is nothing to show that Shahbazyan features that level of takedown defense. Hermansson is a much better grappler than Brunson is and Shahbazyan was totally dominated in that fight.
This is to say, the best path to victory for Hermansson will be to wear Shahbazyan out with takedown attempts and heavy top pressure.
Unfortunately, this does not lend itself to many method of victory prop bets. Strong ground attacks make TKO victories — via ground and pound — very possible as well as submissions and even decisions.
Shahbazyan Path to Victory
Shahbazyan's last three wins have been in the opening minutes of the first round. He was even able to knockout middleweight Brad Tavares — a feat that even Israel Adesanya was unable to accomplish.
Shahbazyan looked capable in the first round against Brunson until he grew extremely tired in the second round. Shahbazyan was nearly KO'd at the end of Round 2 against Brunson.
His coaches should've thrown in the towel in between rounds — they did not — and he was subsequently KO'd in Round 3 via ground and pound. His vulnerability on the ground was glistening in that fight. If he did not sure up his grappling game he is in for a rough outing.
This would make his most likely win condition by knockout (+550). If he does not land that knockout, it is unlikely that he will win a decision and even more unlikely that he gets a submission against a superior grappler in Hermansson.
Hermansson vs. Shahbazyan Pick
This matchup is a nightmare for Shahbazyan and I have been a fan in the past. He is just 23 years old and has loads of time to improve his game. Moreover, I think the matchmaking was a little cruel to Shahbazyan.
Hermansson is 32 years old, specializes in his ground and pound, and has even heal hooked Kelvin Gastelum who fought for a title not too long ago. His submission grappling is top tier.
My biggest issue with backing Shahbazyan is the way round two went for him. His body language in that fight grew worse and worse as he got more frustrated. When I see a fighter lose their will and confidence, I find it particularly difficult to back them in a bet especially so soon after.
Of course, anyone can get clipped and Shahbazyan has very creative and powerful striking. Hermansson moneyline opened up at -185 at some books and that number has dwindled down. Bettors are still backing Shahbazyan despite the poor showing last time, but I think "The Joker" wins this fight more times than not.
Being given the extra value down to -152 is a gift in my opinion. I would bet Hermansson up to -170 on Saturday. Hermansson should be able to land takedowns at will which is bad news for Edmen.
I also love the under 2.5 rounds prop as my best bet on the card. This takes into account most win conditions for either fighter.
Edmen has historically sold out for finishes early in his fights. If he does not get the finish he could gas out and open himself up for a guillotine choke that Hermansson is very skilled at locking up. Hermansson via second round submission is +1600 on BetMGM, which is solid value if you want to take a shot.
The Pick: Jack Hermansson -160 | Under 2.5 -165