UFC Vegas 76 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Sean Strickland vs. Abus Magomedov: Betting on a Late Stoppage (Saturday, July 1)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC middleweight Sean Strickland
Sean Strickland vs. Abus Magomedov Odds
On Saturday at UFC Vegas 76, the UFC returns to the UFC Apex center in Las Vegas for an important main event for the middleweight rankings.
No. 7-ranked UFC contender Sean Strickland takes on the unranked Abus Magomedov, who scored a 19-second knockout win in his promotional debut in September.
The six-fight UFC Vegas 76 main card, including the Strickland vs. Magomedov middleweight headliner, airs on ESPN (7 p.m. ET). The prelims begin at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN. A simulcast of the entire card is also available on ESPN+
The 32-year-old Strickland will enter his fifth main event in his past six fights and has proven his cardio and durability across those 25-minute bouts (3-1 on the scorecards, including a split-decision loss to Jared Cannonier).
Magomedov will enter his first UFC main event, and he has never been past the 15-minute mark in his professional career.
Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections and utilize those factors to bet on the UFC Vegas 76 main event.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:26||0:19|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/27/1991||9/2/1990|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.76||22.11|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.25||0.0|
|Take Down Avg||1.04||0.00|
Magomedov is the bigger man – and the more natural middleweight. He'll be an inch taller than Strickland and should own a two-inch reach advantage that might help to negate the effectiveness of Strickland's crisp jab.
Strickland, who used to fight at welterweight before a gruesome motorcycle accident, is slightly undersized for the division. Still, he relies on his speed, volume, footwork and timing to lull opponents into a sparring style of a fight in which Strickland thrives.
Stickland spends most of his training camps sparring because his fights tend to have that tempo.
He uses his jab to pick at opponents and eventually set up combinations. Still, he relies too much on parrying strikes defensively, leading to his knockout loss against Alex Pereira.
Strickland doesn't move his head particularly well but instead relies on hand fighting and footwork to avoid strikes defensively. If opponents can crash the pocket – and land – they could catch Strickland clean and put him away.
Strickland seems annoying to fight over multiple rounds, however. He constantly sticks that jab in your face and rarely goes on the back foot. He doesn't necessarily pressure his opponents – or hunt for a finish – but he doesn't give them a moment to relax or reassess their approach.
Unfortunately, Strickland doesn't have the best fight IQ. He's ignored a potential wrestling or grappling edge against several opponents and chose to strike simply because he enjoys it more.
It's challenging to justify betting on Strickland as a favorite when he's unlikely to pursue the path of least resistance. Strickland also doesn't carry considerable one-punch power. Still, he puts a ton of attritional damage on his opponents and can undoubtedly stop otherwise durable fighters by repeatedly hitting the body across five rounds.
Strickland might have the wrestling advantage in this matchup – and the ability to generate significant control time from top position against Magomedov.
However, even if he does, Strickland is unlikely to pursue those takedowns, even though he has completed seven of nine takedowns since moving to middleweight.
Strickland is an excellent counter-wrestler (85% takedown defense) who can typically decide where his fights take place; still, we don't know a ton about the current version of Magomedov, who has just 19 seconds of fight time in recent years.
Magomedov may have significantly improved his overall game since his last extended fight in December 2020, but we haven't seen it play out beyond the training room.
Relative to his previous opponents, Strickland represents a massive step up in competition for Magomedov. And the fact that Strickland's style is proven over five rounds presents an added layer of intrigue to see if Magomedov can overcome several hurdles and immediately insert himself into title contention at 185 pounds.
Based on the overall dynamics of the fight, however, I'm left to assume that the striking should be competitive. At the same time, Strickland should have the grappling edge (which he won't pursue) and likely a cardio advantage too.
As a result, I expect Strickland to win most iterations of this fight that extend beyond the 10 or 15-minute mark. And you can look to live bet Strickland after Round 2 and/or Round 3 at plus money.
Additionally, given the potential cardio discrepancy, consider betting Strickland to win in Round 3 (+1400), Round 4 (+1800), or Round 5 (+2200) as he potentially takes over down the stretch against a tiring opponent.
Strickland vs. Magomedov Pick
I projected Sean Strickland as a -135 favorite (57.5% implied odds) in this matchup, and I don't see value on either side of the moneyline.
Additionally, I expect this middleweight bout to end by finish 57% of the time (-133 implied odds), and I don't see value concerning the total.
In the winning-method market, Strickland by decision (projected +190, listed +215 at BetRivers) is the one prop that stood out.
However, as I mentioned, I likely prefer Strickland's late-round props (plus money in Rounds 3, 4 and 5) over his decision prop given the cardio dynamic of the two fighters. As a result, look to live bet Strickland after Rounds 2 and 3.
I considered betting a same game parlay with Strickland and the Over 1.5 Rounds (-120). However, based on the individual lines for Strickland (-155) and the Over 1.5 (-450), the fair odds on that parlay should be closer to +100. The same goes for Strickland and the Over 2.5 Rounds SGP at +105; the fair odds on that bet should be closer to +137 if you parlayed the actual prices of those wagers.
Strickland and Over 0.5 Rounds as an SGP (-160) at DraftKings is a longer price than you can find to bet Strickland on the moneyline (-155) at DraftKings; that pricing is predatory, and I won't bet into those markets.
As a result, target Strickland's juicy late-round props, or look to back him live two or three rounds into the fight, when the cardio discrepancy and championship-round experience should start to factor in.