In a light heavyweight bout on the main card of UFC 254, Magomed Ankalaev will take on Ion Cutelaba this Saturday live from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and available via pay-per-view on ESPN+.
Ankalaev will come in as a strong favorite. With a 13-1 MMA record and 4-1 in the UFC, he has an average fight time of under nine minutes, with two of his four victories being first-round knockouts. His last win in February was a 38-second knockout of Cutelaba in one of the more unusual fights of the year: Cutelaba was clearly playing possum, yet referee Kevin Anderson stopped the fight.
Ankalaev averages 3.46 significant strikes per minute and absorbs just 1.24, defending 67 percent of what’s thrown his way.
His opponent Cutelaba will be looking for revenge. He’s enters with a 15-5 MMA record, 4-4 in the UFC. Excluding Ankalaev, Cutelaba has only lost to top-ten opponents.
Averaging 5.29 significant strikes per minute, “The Hulk” is a heavy-handed fighter that takes 3.26 as well. He also averages 2.59 takedowns per 15 minutes. Ankalaev got the best of him last time, but this fight should be much closer than that previous first-round beatdown showed.
Here are the betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook for Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba at UFC 254 on October 24th.
Magomed Ankalaev: -335, (55% of action, 78% of bets)
Ion Cutelaba: +250, (45% of action, 22% of bets)
Winning method splits
Here are the splits for the method of victory at DraftKings Sportsbook for Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba at UFC 254 on October 24th:
Magomed Ankalaev: $8,900
Ion Cutelaba: $7,300
If you want to bet on a quick fight, this may be the one to spend on.
Cutelaba has had four of his last five fights (three wins and two losses) end in the first round. Ankalaev is on a four-match win streak, with two of those being first-round finishes.
This likely won’t go the distance, and at $7,300 Cutelaba is a solid bet given the revenge he’ll be seeking and his skilled past. With a win over his opponent already in his books, Ankalaev might know what to prepare for and might be able to finesse another quick knockout, this one actually earned.
It’ll be tough to predict and certainly worthy of a bet in DFS. It’s a boom-or-bust fight, especially given these prices.
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