UFC predictions, picks and best bets for UFC on ABC 1

Calvin Kattar celebrating his win at UFC 238
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Matthew Lowrimore


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Matthew has been with Pickswise for a while now, covering a wide variety of sports. His main passions are college football and UFC, and those are the sports he has covered the most. Matthew uses a variety of methods to handicap games, including stats, trends, injuries, and situational factors. His goal is to consistently give out winners and will put in the research to try and achieve this. For Matt Lowrimore media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

The UFC is back for 2021 and we are in Abu Dhabi on Fight Island for this weeks’ card. This weeks’ Main Event will feature a Featherweight fight between two of the top contenders.

We’ll share our UFC on ABC 1 best bets here but head over to our main UFC on ABC 1 predictions homepage if you want picks for every fight on the main and preliminary card. Please gamble responsibly when following our MMA picks and predictions.

UFC on ABC 1 Best Bets

Main Card

Calvin Kattar Money Line (+140)

Max Holloway enters this fight with a record of 21-6 in the MMA and 17-6 in the UFC. He is a sizeable favorite here, though it is worth noting that he has lost two fights in a row and three of his last four. His back to back losses were against Alexander Volkanovski with the most recent fight ending in split decision. Holloway is averaging 6.47 significant strikes per minute, landing them with 44 percent accuracy. He is absorbing 4.52 strikes, but has never been knocked out. Holloway is not really a guy looking for the takedown, averaging just 0.22 per every 15 minutes. He does defend takedowns 83 percent of the time, which will be helpful here.

Calvin Kattar comes into this fight on a two-fight winning streak and has won four of his last five fights. He is 22-4 in the MMA and 6-2 in the UFC. Kattar is also a striker, averaging 5.01 significant strikes per minute. His striking accuracy is 41 percent. He is also absorbing 5.66 strikes per minute, but has also never been knocked out. Like Holloway, Kattar is not keen to fight on the ground. He is averaging 0.47 takedowns per every 15 minutes and only landing them 37 percent of the time. He does defend takedowns 88 percent of the time, so expect a stand-up brawl.

Kattar is looking like the real deal here after wins over two solid opponents. Holloway put up a decent fight against Volkanovski, but overall has lost a step over his past few fights.

Carlos Condit/Matt Brown Fight to go the Distance – No (-106)

Carlos Condit finally snapped a five-fight losing streak when he beat Court McGee back in October of 2020. He now comes in as a sizable favorite, though it does not feel warranted. Condit is averaging 3.69 significant strikes per minute, but only lands them 39 percent of the time. He is absorbing 2.52 strikes, and has been knocked out just once in his career. Grappling may be the bigger issue for Condit, who is averaging 0.55 takedowns per every 15 minutes. More concerning is his 36 percent takedown defense.

Matt Brown snapped a two-fight winning streak in May of 2020 when he lost to Miguel Baeza by TKO. Brown is averaging 3.81 significant strikes per minute, while absorbing 2.68 strikes per minute. Even with a decent striking defense, Brown has been knocked out three times. He will want this fight on the ground where he is averaging 1.6 takedowns per every 15 minutes and 1.5 submission attempts during the same time period.

Both fighters seem to be inconsistent, so backing either of them feels far too risky. However, 35 of Condit’s 44 professional fights have ended inside the distance and 33 of Brown’s 39 fights have done the same. Not to mention that seven fights in a row have ended inside the distance for Brown.

Preliminary Card

Phil Hawes Money Line (-126)

Phil Hawes is coming off a win in his official UFC debut, beating Jacob Malkoun by KO in the first-round. Hawes is averaging 4.14 significant strikes per minute, landing his strikes 49 percent of the time. He does absorb 4.91 strikes, but has only ever been knocked out once. He has some grappling ability, landing 1.68 takedowns per every 15 minutes, but only lands them with an accuracy of 14 percent.

Nassourdine Imavov is also coming off his UFC debut win, beating Jordan Williams by unanimous decision. Imavov is averaging 4.53 significant strikes per minute and is landing his strikes 61 percent of the time. His grappling game is also looking to be decent, averaging 1.00 takedowns per every 15 minutes and 4.00 submission attempts during the same time period.

Hawes’ striking ability will still more than likely be the difference, which is why Hawes on the money line will be my play.

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