The heavyweight and flyweight titles are on the line at UFC 270 on Saturday, January 22. Outside of those fights, many bouts on the undercard are worth paying attention to.
Sporting News, with the help of Sports Interaction, is eyeing a contest that’s too close to advertise: a welterweight showdown between UFC veteran Trevin Giles and newcomer Michael Morales.
Giles (14-3) made his MMA debut in 2014. After fighting primarily in the LFA, he found his way to the UFC in 2017. He is 5-3 with the promotion. Giles lost his last fight in July against Dricus du Plessis. That ended a three-fight win streak. “The Problem” looks to regain its momentum.
Morales (12-0) made his professional debut in 2017. He made his mark on the “Dana White Contender Series” in September, defeating Nikolay Veretennikov by unanimous decision. He is one of eight athletes set to make their UFC debut on Saturday following a DWCS run.
How is the fight tilting?
This is the closest matchup when it comes to the betting lines. According to FanDuel bookmaker, Giles is the +100 underdog while Morales is the -118 favorite. Sports Interaction he has Giles at -105 and Morales at -125. More than likely, according to Sports Interaction, the fight will go to -155 compared to +115.
Best bets would be Giles winning via some form of knockout, according to Sports Interaction. At +450, you can bet $18 to get back $99 ($81 profit). Giles winning by decision is +175, which means a bet of $36 would result in a win of $63 and a payout of $99. Morales via decision is at +150. A bet of $40 would result in a profit of $60 and a return of $100.
A decision win is favored, as seen by the odds of -190 for the 2.5+ round fight compared to +150 for the 2.5+ round fight.
Who has the advantage?
In eight fights with the UFC, Giles has averaged 3.14 significant strikes landed per minute. It also has a hit accuracy rate of 54 percent and a significant hit defense mark of 60 percent. During his three-fight win streak, Giles has defeated his opponents twice. Overall, it has a takedown accuracy rate of 80 percent.
Morales scored four takedowns in his last fight, with a 50 percent accuracy rate. In his last four fights before competing in DWCS, he won by knockout.
Morales has the reach advantage (79 inches) against Giles (74 inches), but Giles is as tough as he looks. His 75 percent takedown defense means he’ll be hard to stop. Morales, however, has the upper hand when it comes to unpredictability. There’s a reason White hired him, and his power may well be a factor in him winning.
This matchup could go either way, according to Sports Interaction, but the upstart has a chance to surprise and make an immediate impact.