UFC London Odds, Pick & Prediction for Jack Hermansson vs. Chris Curtis: Target the Total in Co-Main Event (Saturday, July 23)
Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Chris Curtis.
Jack Hermansson vs. Chris Curtis Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-130 /+ 100)|
|Venue||The O2 Arena|
|Time||Approx. 5 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings.|
Ranked middleweights square off in the co-main event of UFC London. Jack Hermansson is a perennial top-10 fighter in the class, alternating wins and losses against tough competition over the past three years.
Chris Curtis burst onto the UFC scene with a bang last year. He picked up two knockouts in less than a month – both on short notice – after a long career in regional promotions.
Can Curtis keep the momentum going in this one, or will Hermansson remain in the rankings mix? Read on to find out, as well as my favorite way to bet the fight.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||10:31||9:31|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/10/1988||7/15/1987|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.97||7.23|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.83||6.28|
|Take Down Avg||1.73||0.00|
This one sets up as a pretty clear striker vs. grappler matchup. Hermansson is the grappler of course, with all of his UFC finishes coming by either submission or ground and pound.
He’s struggled considerably when he’s been unable to get fights to the ground. That was on full display in his most recent fight, against Sean Strickland. Hermansson attempted eight takedowns – securing none of them – in a decision loss.
Hermansson’s not a bad striker overall, with a slightly positive striking differential in his UFC tenure. His lack of power is concerning, though. He’s never landed a knockdown in the UFC, which is surprising for a middleweight competitor.
Hermansson will almost certainly want to bring this one to the mat, with the winner of this fight decided by whether or not he’s able to.
Taking down Curtis is a tough task though. He fended off three takedowns each from Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen, both strong grapplers, and won a decision against Rodolfo Viera, another grapple-heavy fighter.
Curtis is yet to surrender a takedown in the UFC, which is a problem for his competition thanks to his heavy hands.
Curtis strikes with a ton of volume and power, as evidenced by his two quick knockout wins to begin his UFC career. While Hermansson is fairly durable, he’s been stopped by Thiago Santos and Jared Cannonier in the UFC.
The X factor, of course, is the short-notice nature of this bout. Hermansson was originally slated to fight Darren Till, a somewhat similar fighter to Curtis who would’ve required the same game plan from Hermansson.
Of course, a bit over two weeks of notice is a lifetime for a guy like Curtis. With most fighters, I’d be wary of the lack of preparation time, but Curtis has made a living over short-notice step-ups.
It’s also a fairly similar fight to the bouts he’s already contested, with Curtis needing to keep the fight standing against a superior grappler. For that reason, I’m not adjusting my expectations for either man based on the timing of the fight.
Hermansson vs. Curtis Pick
This fight is a fairly significant step up in competition for Curtis. While Hawes and Allen were tough opponents, Hermansson has been a win away from a title shot at multiple points in his career, and he’s a perennial top-10 middleweight.
With that said, Curtis’ takedown defense against similar opponents makes me lean his way here. Hermansson struggled standing against the much lighter-hitting Strickland, and he won’t be able to take that many shots from Curtis.
I still have my doubts, though. Curtis’s late-career breakout still feels a bit improbable, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the wheels fall off in a hurry. If I had to pick a moneyline side on this toss-up of a fight, it would be “Action Man,” but that’s not my angle here.
Both fighters have a fairly clear advantage in one area of the fight. Curtis uses his striking to end fights, not stick and move like Strickland or Israel Adesanya.
Similarly, Hermansson looks for finishes on the ground, He’s finished six of his nine UFC victories, and he should be able to do the same to Curtis if he can bring him down.
Therefore, I’ll be playing the under 2.5 at even money, which I’d take down to -115. Whichever of these two can make the fight happen on their terms should be able to put his opponent away.
The Pick: Under 2.5 +100 (DraftKings)
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