UFC Nashville Odds, Pick & Prediction for Jeremiah Wells vs. Carlston Harris: This Fighter Has a Clear Out (Saturday, August 5)

UFC Nashville Odds, Pick & Prediction for Jeremiah Wells vs. Carlston Harris: This Fighter Has a Clear Out (Saturday, August 5) article feature image
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Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC welterweight Jeremiah Wells

Jeremiah Wells vs. Carlston Harris Odds

Wells Odds-125
Harris Odds+105
Over/Under1.5 (-145 / +115)
LocationBridgestone Arena in Nashville
Bout Time7:30 p.m. ET
TVESPN and ESPN+
UFC odds as of Saturday afternoon and via Caesars

Two of the UFC's surging welterweight "prospects" square off this Saturday at UFC Nashville with Jeremiah Wells vs. Carlston Harris.

The 170-pounders have a combined 7-1 UFC record between them, with five of those wins coming inside the distance.

Both are all-action fighters whose striking technique is long on power but short on restraint. With both featuring an average fight time of under seven minutes, this fight should be fun however long it lasts.

With both fighters at the ripe age of 36, this is an important matchup in their respective careers.

There probably isn't enough time for multiple runs to the top of the division, but the winner of this featured UFC Nashville prelim is nicely positioned for a top-10 matchup in his next bout.

Tale of the Tape

WellsHarris
Record12-2-118-5
Avg. Fight Time6:416:10
Height5'9"6'0"
Weight (pounds)170.5 pounds170 pounds
Reach (inches)74"76"
StanceSwitchOrthodox
Date of birth10/30/19867/9/1987
Sig Strikes Per Min2.964.14
SS Accuracy48%52%
SS Absorbed Per Min1.462.88
SS Defense40%50%
Take Down Avg3.933.04
TD Acc38%31%
TD Def100%75%
Submission Avg0.60.6

There are more similarities than differences in the fighting styles of Wells and Harris, especially in the striking realm.

Both are plus-athletes with massive power, but their technique could be generously described as "unrefined."

Harris, in particular, throws weird strikes from all angles, chopping down with punches and winging shots at range. While he's fairly long for the division, he's unable to take much advantage of it due to his inability (or unwillingness) to work behind straight punches.

The reach difference here is only two inches, but a skilled striker could make use of that.

That also takes away from Harris' striking accuracy to an extent, though outside of Shavkat Rakhmonov he hasn't fought strikers with the ability to put that on display. While Wells isn't known for his striking defense either, I'd still prefer a more technical approach from Harris.

Of course, the trade-off with his style is the damage he does when he is able to land.

While he has just one knockdown on his record, he seemingly wobbles his opponents with every clean shot he lands. He hurt Christian Aguilera with a left hook, which led to Aguilera taking a bad shot and Harris finding a submission.

๐Ÿ ANACONDA ๐Ÿ

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡พ @CarlstonMMA makes good on his UFC debut! #UFCVegas26pic.twitter.com/4IE2OxUzpV

โ€” UFC (@ufc) May 8, 2021

Harris might be better as a grappler than striker, all things considered. While statistically he (and Wells) have fairly low takedown accuracy rates, those numbers are a bit misleading.

Many of the failed "attempts" he's been credited with have eventually ended with him securing the takedown, and others weren't really earnest attempts to begin with.

His grappling is much better suited to his body style, using a front-choke series both for control and submission attempts. That's an ideal strategy for longer fighters, as locking up anacondas and D'arce chokes is much easier with long arms

Harrisย does tend to get a bit greedy hunting for the submission in situations where he'd be better suited to advance his position, though.

Which could easily cost him against Wells, one of the truly elite grapplers at welterweight. Wells is a black belt out of the highly respected Renzo Gracie Philly team, sharing a practice room with Sean Brady, Andre Petroski and Pat Sabatini. It's not a coincidence that all of those fighters are known for their excellent jiu-jitsu.

Like Harris, Wells is a better wrestler than his takedown accuracy numbers indicate. Four of his failed takedowns were in the fight against Blood Diamond, a kickboxer who spent most of the round running away from Wells.

Wells landed six of 10 takedowns on Matthew Semelsberger in his last fight โ€“ despite being nearly unconscious for some of the attempts.

Unlike Harris, Wells' takedowns are all extremely high-impact. He mixes in a combination of aggressive judo throws, and driving, football-esque tackles are damaging in and of themselves. I suspect the violence of those throws is what allowed him to steal rounds from Semelsberger, despite being hurt early in each of the first two rounds.

Wells has an excellent top game for MMA, staying patient inside the guard and capitalizing when his opponents make space to attempt to stand up. While he doesn't aggressively hunt damage on the ground, he tends to do more than enough to win minutes.

When his opponents are able to get back to the feet, he generally is able to return them to the mat fairly quickly as well. I mention only his top game because he's never been on his back in the UFC, with 100% takedown defense.

Wells made a splash in his early UFC career with some massive knockouts, starching Warlley Alves and Court McGee with huge, leaping hooks.

JEREMIAH WELLS TURNED THE LIGHTS OUT ๐Ÿ˜ฑ #UFCVegas30pic.twitter.com/C1NiVFSJyQ

โ€” ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 26, 2021

While his power is undeniable, he lunges forward on most of his strikes, getting himself into trouble when his opponent fires back.

The Semelsberger fight was a great example of this, with Semelsberger catching Wells standing square for both of his knockdowns.

Wells carries his hands well defensively, maintaining a tight guard with solid head movement. He gets himself into trouble with his footwork, though, and finds himself off-platform far too often. While he's officially listed as a switch-stance fighter, most of the time he finds himself in a southpaw stance is by accident.

To his credit, he's never been finished as a professional with his only losses coming in five-round decisions. He has excellent survival instincts, though all it takes is one knockout to change the narrative around a fighter's chin.

Wells also had a reputation for poor cardio heading into the Semelsberger fight, one that I feel was undeserved. He dominated the third round of that fight, which hopefully dispelled those concerns.

Wells vs. Harris Pick

This fight should be roughly a toss-up on the feet, with the explosive speed and power of Wells enough to make up for the reach and diversity of attack of Harris.

Either man scoring a knockout wouldn't be a huge surprise, though I have far more faith in the chin and recovery ability of Wells.

Where this one gets interesting is in the grappling. Both fighters do their best work from the top, with Harris struggling in his last fight until he started working for takedowns. Those will be extremely hard to come by against Wells, whose frame and athleticism supplement his elite ability to make him nearly impossible to take down.

On the other hand, I expect Wells to be able to find success grappling with Harris, as Wells has the BJJ chops to avoid the front-headlock submissions Harris excels at.

He should also be able to get inside the longer Harris and fight from the clinch, where he's had success landing takedowns in the past.

Which ultimately leads to a fight that should be close on the feet, but one fighter has a clear out via grappling if things turn south. That's Wells, who was a bit thin at heavier juice early in the week, but has since dropped as low as -130 on Caesars, as of this writing on Wednesday.

I'd take that line in a heartbeat, and I'm comfortable playing it to -145.

The Pick: Jeremiah Wells (-130 at Caesars)

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