UFC Jacksonville Odds, Pick & Prediction for Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria: Grab These Round Props (Saturday, June 24)

UFC Jacksonville Odds, Pick & Prediction for Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria: Grab These Round Props (Saturday, June 24) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC featherweight Ilia Topuria of Germany

  • Today's UFC Jacksonville main event features featherweights Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria.
  • The afternoon broadcast on ABC concludes with the five-round main-event fight.
  • Below, Sean Zerillo shares his Emmett vs Topuria breakdown and best bets.

Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria Odds

Emmett Odds
Ilia Topuria Odds
2.5 (+180 / -220)
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
4:55 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings

On Saturday the UFC returns to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, for an important main event for the featherweight rankings. No. 5-ranked contender Josh Emmett takes on No. 9 Ilia Topuria, who hopes to extend his unbeaten record to 14-0.

The five-fight UFC Jacksonville main card, including the featherweight headliner, airs on ABC (3 p.m. ET) with a simulcast on ESPN+. The prelims begin at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN.

Emmett hopes to bounce back from his interim title fight loss to Yair Rodriguez just four months ago at UFC 284. "The Fighting Falmer" has proven 25-minute cardio after winning a competitive split decision against Calvin Kattar last June – and this is his third consecutive camp training for a five-round fight.

Saturday will mark Topuria's first career main event. He has finished 12 of 13 opponents but lost the third round on all three scorecards in his short-notice UFC debut.

Below, I'll provide my analysis and projections and utilize those factors to bet on the main event for UFC Jacksonville.

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Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time12:517:20
Weight (pounds)145.5 lbs.146 lbs.
Reach (inches)70"69"
Date of birth3/4/19851/21/1997
Sig Strikes Per Min4.173.32
SS Accuracy37%49%
SS Absorbed Per Min4.432.75
SS Defense62%62%
Take Down Avg1.072.45
TD Acc37%46%
TD Def58%92%
Submission Avg0.12.5

I view Topuria as the future king of the 145-pound division. As a general assumption, I will be higher on his chances in any fight than the overall betting market.

The Spanish-trained Georgian is an incredibly dynamic athlete and a well-rounded mixed martial artist. He also possesses the elite type of killer instinct you see in fighters such as Charles Oliveira; Topuria isn't looking to win minutes – he's trying to beat you up and submit you.

A matchup against Josh Emmett – a muscular wrestler with the most knockdowns (11) in featherweight history – is an intriguing test for Topuria as he tries to break into the top five of the division. In theory, Emmett can counter-wrestle to keep the fight standing and potentially clip Topuria with a powerful overhand and put him away – or land the most significant punch in multiple rounds en route to a competitive decision.

Topuria is highly confident, and he's gotten reckless in the past. Jai Herbert nearly put him away with a head kick in their lightweight bout before Topuria rallied, bit down and the mouthpiece, and closed the show in the pocket against a taller and longer opponent:

The boxing exchanges in this fight should be competitive. Emmett hits harder, but Topuria is quicker, and I prefer his bodywork.

Emmett may try to land leg kicks to compromise Topuria's movement. Still, he cannot let Topuria turn a caught kick into a takedown attempt.

I could see a relatively tepid pace early with Emmett playing the range kickboxing game and inviting Topuria to crash the pocket.

Eventually, Topuria will try to close the distance and grapple. Emmett is likely the better wrestler, but Topuria should have a clear edge in jiu-jitsu if the fight does hit the mat. He has a lethal top game and can finish opponents in various ways.

Suppose Emmett can deny the takedown attempts, keep this fight standing, and create high variance exchanges (with the power advantage) or lull Topuria into a low-pace kickboxing match (where Emmett can land the more impactful individual strikes). In that case, he certainly has a chance of pulling off the upset.

Still, given the 12-year age differential and Topuria's speed advantage, the finishing upside on the feet seems relatively comparable. When there is a 10+ year age gap between UFC fighters, the younger fighter has won 70.7% of the bouts at average odds of -145 (59%) – nearly 12% higher than expected.

Additionally, Topuria possesses all of the offensive grappling upside, both in terms of a finish or toward securing a dominant 10-8 round with ample control time.

The one question mark Topuria needs to answer is stamina. Although I'm willing to give him a pass for tiring on short notice in his UFC debut, Topuria seems more comfortable fighting at lightweight rather than cutting to featherweight. And the championship rounds can be a difficult test for any fighter typically accustomed to finishing their opponents inside of 10 minutes.

Emmett is capable of putting anyone out. Still, if Topuria has five-round cardio, Emmett might be drawing dead beyond a knockout.

Emmett vs. Topuria Pick

I projected Ilia Topuria as a 79% favorite in this fight (-376 implied odds). I view him as a future UFC champion and would use Topuria as a parlay piece up to around -350.

I also expect the fight to end inside the distance 88% of the time (-726 implied odds). You can also consider that prop as a parlay piece with some books sitting closer to -625.

If you're looking to play the Josh Emmett side, consider betting the underdog to win by KO/TKO (+470) or in Round 1 (+1200), which likely encompasses most of his win condition.

I expect a feeling-out process between these two early before Topuria eventually seeks an opening to grapple. He's methodical in his efforts toward finishing a fight and doesn't necessarily carry the same one-hitter quitter power that Emmett packs (though Jai Herbert would disagree). Instead, Topuria looks to break down his opponents – and dismantle them – before putting them away.

Given his style, Topuria's Round 1 odds (+140 to +155) are far too low. He won't open up going berserk and give Emmett a chance to land something big. I expect Topuria's pace to increase toward the end of Round 1 – and would prefer to play his odds to win in Round 2 (+450) and Round 3 (+1000) as he steps on the gas pedal.

The Picks: Ilia Topuria wins in Round 2 (+450 at WynnBET, 0.15u) | Topuria wins in Round 3 (+1000 at WynnBET, 0.1u)

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