UFC Vegas 65 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak: Fade ‘Black Beast’ in Main Event? (Saturday, November 19)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Sergey Spivak
- Heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Sergey Spivak meet in Saturday afternoon's UFC Vegas 65 main event.
- Former title challenger Lewis is the underdog as he looks to snap a two-fight skid against the fast-rising Spivak.
- Below, Sean Zerillo offers his favorite betting angle for the headliner.
(Editor’s note: UFC officials announced midway through the card that the UFC Vegas 65 main event of Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak has been pulled from the card due to an undisclosed medical issue for Lewis.)
Derrick Lewis vs. Sergey Spivak Odds
UFC knockout king Derrick Lewis will look to add another notch to his record-setting tally (13) in Saturday’s UFC Vegas 65 main event as rising contender Sergey Spivak searches for a spot in the top 10 of the heavyweight rankings.
After 37 professional fights, Lewis physically appears on the downside of his career, sustaining three losses by KO or TKO in the past 15 months, including a first-minute stoppage in July against Sergei Pavlovich.
Spivak owns a 6-3 record in the UFC and enters off of a pair of finishes against Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai. Still, Spivak hasn’t dealt well with big punchers in the past, and his knockout losses against Tom Aspinall and Walt Harris are worrisome, considering Lewis’ substantial power.
At age 27, Spivak has half the fight experience (18 bouts) as his opponent, but a win on Saturday would represent the most significant moment of his career – and potentially propel him toward contention in a division light on grapplers.
Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s matchup (1 p.m. ET, ESPN+) and utilize those factors to bet on the UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Spivak at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:02||8:34|
|Weight (pounds)||260 lbs.||260 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/7/1985||1/24/1995|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||2.57||3.79|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.57||2.96|
|Take Down Avg||0.60||4.09|
Spivak will make his first appearance in a five-round fight as part of Saturday’s event while Lewis will headline a UFC card for the 10th time.
Only two of those 10 bouts went to the championship rounds (Lewis went 1-1), and despite the lack of experience in five-round fights, Spivak has a clear cardio advantage. He’ll need to weaponize his cardio by consistently grappling a fighter with bad takedown defense (55%) who relies on pure strength – over technique – to fight off submission attempts or scramble back to his feet.
Spivak may win the striking exchanges too. The Moldovan prospect has made drastic improvements to his game since joining the promotion in 2019 but has also filled out his frame and looks like a true heavyweight as he enters his physical prime.
Unless he scares his opponents into a starting contest – which has happened against the likes of Francis Ngannou – Lewis tends to absorb more strikes than he lands. He’s a liability on the defensive end (41% striking defense) and much more easy to hurt and hit to the body and legs than to the head.
Still, striking with Lewis is exactly what he wants; all “The Black Beast” needs is one connection to turn around any fight, and he’s typically trailing on the scorecards:
Spivak will look to get into clinch positions and wear on the power puncher. He can trip in open space or switch to legs against the cage, but as long as he’s inside – and out of Lewis’ punching range – he should look dominant as the clock ticks down.
Getting to those inside positions will be the hairiest moments of the fight for Spivak. Lewis landed that vicious uppercut on a sloppy shot from Curtis Blaydes – where he put the wrestler out with his forearm – and you seemingly need to avoid making a mistake against him for the first 10 minutes to avoid getting hurt once.
Power is always the last thing to go, and no matter Lewis’ physical state in terms of his ability to last for multiple rounds – the idea that one clean punch can end things, at least for the first 15 minutes – makes it challenging to price his fights. Lewis is the most volatile of fighters in a division with a 72% finish rate, and Spivak also has a relatively questionable chin.
A few things are quantifiable: Spivak is the far superior minute-winner, with much better cardio and all of the grappling upside. And Lewis has bad takedown defense. Spivak should get to some dominant positions if he doesn’t get clipped on the way in:
Lewis may never be a champion, but he has evolved into the perfect chin-check gatekeeper for ranked UFC heavyweights, and Spivak will see if he can pass the test that prospects such as Chris Daukaus and others have failed.
Additionally, we’ll see if Spivak’s wrestling (6.5 takedown attempts per 15 minutes) will work on Lewis, who tends to overpower most of the division when he’s fresh.
Lewis vs. Spivak Pick
I projected Sergey Spivak to win this fight 65.6% of the time (-191 implied odds), and that is roughly in line with the betting market, which has him winning the fight around two out of three times.
I’m also roughly in agreement with the totals, projecting the bout to end inside the distance 87% of the time (-653 implied). That’s between the best available odds of -670 to end inside the distance or +500 to reach a decision.
And nothing stands out concerning the winning method props. Although I would lean to Spivak inside the distance (projected -126), the market (-140 at BetMGM) is too steep for me.
I often find value in betting the Same Game Parlays at DraftKings for these main events, and Spivak with the Over 0.5 Rounds (-120, 54.5% implied) seems mispriced.
Spivak will look to wrestle if Lewis comes out aggressively, which should kill at least a couple of minutes off the clock.
And with Spivak’s moneyline sitting at -200 (66.7% implied) at the same book, they’re indicating that 18.2% of his win condition occurs in the first 2.5 minutes of the fight. Unless Lewis is completely shattered, you can’t weigh 20% of Spivak’s win condition to the first 10 percent of the fight time.
Spivak is a grinding grappler who breaks opponents – not a power puncher.
I bet another SGP of Spivak and the Over 1.5 Rounds (+230) small; his win condition should increase the longer the fight goes. I doubt that you find a better live price on him after Round 1 unless he gets wobbled – and in that case, you’d be hesitant to pull the trigger anyway.
And if you can’t access the SGP plays for the main event, take a look at tiny sprinkles on Spivak in Round 2 (+500) and Round 3 (+1200), with Spivak potentially starting slow and then breaking a tiring Lewis.
The Pick: SGP: Spivak and Over 0.5 Rounds (-120, Risk 1u at DraftKings) | SGP: Spivak and Over 1.5 Rounds (+230, 0.25u at DraftKings)