A gatekeeper middleweight faces a UFC newcomer that is undefeated and heavily favored when John Phillips takes on Khamzat Chimaev as the final fight on the preliminary card of UFC on ESPN 13 this Wednesday from Fight Island on ESPN+.
John Phillips: $7,300
Khamzat Chimaev: $8,900
Phillips is the big underdog here at +260, with the UFC rookie Chimaev at -345
“The Welsh Wrecking Machine” Phillips has been getting wrecked himself with a 1-3 record in the UFC. His last fight was a 17 second knockout of Alen Amedovski, but prior to that he was giving out 2.64 strikes per minute, but receiving 5.01. He also has defended only 14% of takedown attempts. He’s got a 22-9 career record, with 20 knockouts and two submissions. But in his four fights in the black octagon, he’s averaged only 39.8 DFS points an outing.
Chimaev is 6-0 as an MMA fighter and hasn’t found the third round in his career with three KO’s and three submissions. He’s starred in the Brave promotion in his last four fights, which is based in the Middle East, and the 26-year-old from Sweden is based out of the Allstars Training Center. He’s a highlight video that looks pretty impressive.
This one is tough to handicap as Chimaev’s previous opponents are hard to grade. But he certainly looks the part and passes the eye test. First time UFC fighters often struggle with the better competition and being under the bright lights, and there’s simply not a ton of information available to see how a fighter with less than 15 minutes of MMA time will react.
Phillips is for sure a pass, but if you think Chimaev can make as quick a work of Phillips as he has everyone else in his path, there’s of course value here.