Betting Tips

Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green – Betting Odds and Pick

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Fan favorite Bobby Green will be making an unprecedented turnaround against a possible future champion that the rest of the division seems to be ducking when he faces Islam Makhachev in the main event of UFC Vegas 49, just two weeks after fighting in UFC 271 on February 12th.

Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

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  • When: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Line: Bobby Green (+550) and Islam Makhachev (-800); Over 2.5 rounds (-115) and Under 2.5 rounds (-115); Green wins inside the distance (+850) and Makhachev wins inside the distance (-200); Green wins by decision (+1400) and Makhachev wins by submission (-120) or decision (+270); odds from Draftkings Sportsbook. 

Bobby Green

Bobby “King” Green might be one of the most likeable and unique characters in the UFC and his decision to fill in as a short notice replacement for Beneil Dariush to take on one of the most feared contenders in the division, and his sincere belief in himself in facing this challenge, only confirms his one-of-a-kind style.

Green has a one inch reach advantage, averaging 5.93 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 51 percent striking accuracy, 3.65 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 62 percent striking defense, 1.36 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 38 percent takedown accuracy, 72 percent takedown defense and 0.3 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.

Green has won three of his last five contests in the UFC including victories over Nasrat Haqparast (UD, 2022), Al Iaquinta (TKO Rd1, 2021) and Alan Patrick (UD,  2020) and narrow losses that some have argued could have gone the other way to Rafael Fiziev (UD, 2021) and Thiago Moises (UD, 2020). During this time frame, Green also competed in the UFC Fight Pass Invitational and lost to Shane Shapiro (sub Rd1, 2021)

Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev has emerged as a future champion and one of the most dominant wrestlers in the organization to the point of being referred to as Khabib 2.0 and speculation that other fighters are avoiding him.

Makhachev is five years younger than Green and averages 2.21 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 58 percent striking accuracy, 0.79 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 70 percent striking defense, 3.37 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 66 percent takedown accuracy, 88 percent takedown defense and 1.3 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.

Makhachev has won nine straight in the UFC with his last five victories coming over Dan Hooker (sub Rd1, 2021), Thiago Moises (sub Rd4, 2021), Drew Dober (sub Rd3, 2021), Davi Ramos (UD, 2019) and Armen Tsarukyen (UD, 2019).

Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green Narratives

Reflected in the profoundly wide line, the consensus narrative heading into this contest is that Bobby Green stands little chance on such extremely short notice and with a style that might seem limited in being able to stop Makhachev from doing what he does. The majority of MMA handicappers are not debating whether Makhachev beats Green but rather how many rounds the fight will last.

Green backers are doing so on the principle of this line being obscenely wide for any MMA contest and a belief in Green’s speed, describing Green’s takedown defense and wrestling skill as underappreciated and his tendency to keep his hands low as a potential obstacle to Makhachev’s takedowns. Some have pointed out that Green has rarely been submitted as a justification for why he stands a chance and may go the distance this Saturday.

Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green Prediction

One of our general approaches to MMA handicapping is to favor a dominant wrestler against a dominant striker, and the question about Islam Makhachev is not whether he is dominant but whether he is a transcendant wrestler like his life long friend Khabib Nurmagomedov.

With each successive contest during his nine-fight win streak, Makhachev appears to be getting more dominant as the opposition gets tougher and more experienced, and this does not bode well for a thirty-five year old Bobby Green who just fought two weeks ago.

In the interview above, Makhachev explicitly says that he feels he is deserving of a title shot, that he wants to make a point in his contest with Bobby Green and that he plans to finish him in the first round. Who are we to doubt him? And since all but one of Makhachev’s finishes have come by submission, we can only look one way with regard to exact method of victory. The line for submission opened at +110 but in a day has shifted to -120 and could get wider.

Pick: Makhachev by submission (-120)

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