MMA Betting First Look: Whittaker vs. Hill On Fight Island
If you’re looking for an early look at some UFC betting odds for the upcoming UFC Fight Night event on Fight Island, then you’ve come to the right place.
After a fantastic month of action at the UFC’s Fight Island, we’ll end the adventure with a massive 15-fight card that includes former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker headlining against top contender Darren Till.
What: UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Hill
When: Saturday, July 25, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET
Where: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Watch: ESPN/ESPN+ for prelims and main card
If you’re new to MMA betting, give a read to the SharpSide MMA Betting Guide: Ins and Outs of Wagering On Mixed Martial Arts to get yourself up to speed.
Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till
After two historic matchups against Yoel Romero, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker finally suffered a defeat to the hands of Israel Adesanya in 2019. Meanwhile, Darren Till defeated Kelvin Gastelum in his first attempt at middleweight and will be primed for a title shot if he can get past Whittaker on Saturday.
Quite honestly, the public isn’t sure which side to back, as Whittaker opened up at -175 but has trended toward even money, currently sitting as a small -120 favorite. It makes sense, considering the damage Whittaker has taken throughout the past few years.
The problem is that Till has only landed 2.41 significant strikes per minute and has failed to reach 50 sig. strikes in any of his 10 UFC bouts. It will be a challenge for Till to win this fight if he can’t hurt and finish Whittaker inside the distance.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Coming out of a brief retirement, Alexander Gustafsson will be moving up to the heavyweight division on Saturday to take on former champion Fabricio Werdum.
Both fighters have suffered recent setbacks and massive disappointments, Gustafsson at the hands of Anthony Smith, and Werdum at the hands of Alexei Oleinik. Though it seems neither fighter can be trusted, Gustafsson is a heavy favorite, currently sitting at -350.
It may be a surprise to see Gustafsson being bet up from his open at -245, but Werdum is 42 years old and looked much worse coming off a USADA suspension.
Even though Gustafsson is stepping up in weight, he’ll be the much faster man and won’t lack in size either. Werdum may have difficulty tracking him down and might be reliant on getting this fight to the mat to earn the victory.
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Rhys McKee
Fresh off a dominant performance in his UFC debut against John Phillips, top prospect Khamzat Chimaev is being pushed right back into action against Rhys McKee on Saturday.
Chimaev wasn’t necessarily considered a top prospect before his debut, but his wrestling and grappling looked brilliant and clearly had the UFC excited as well.
The public isn’t missing this time around, backing Chimaev endlessly to the point where he is now a -1200 favorite, up from his -550 opener. Frankly, it’s another favorable matchup against McKee, who is making his debut on short notice and has fought much of his career at lightweight, while Chimaev is moving down from middleweight.
Whether the betting is too high remains to be seen, but keep an eye on Chimaev now and for the future, as he may be climbing the ranks of the middleweight or welterweight division very soon.
If you’d like full breakdowns of each fight on the card, you can find that in the RotoGrinders MMA Premium section.