For 2021 and until further notice, AJ’s Bets is providing his bets and breakdowns free of charge.
Bet: Risking 1.5 units @ +170 Calvin Kattar to win versus Max Holloway.
The implied odds I made for this fight are -150/60% Kattar to win. Let’s discuss!
I believe the odds are where they are currently (i.e., -200 Holloway, +170 Kattar) because many believe Holloway beat Volkanovski in the rematch and therefore should be the champion. I understand that argument though I respectfully believe it is irrelevant to assessing this matchup. Also, I am placing this bet on December 14th.
The fight is very likely to be won or lost in the striking as both fighters are outstanding defensive grapplers, and neither shows much willingness to pursue takedowns or clinch exchanges.
In a striking battle, I like Kattar here. He is a more technical boxer than Holloway, has superior punching power, and will hold a 3-inch arm reach advantage over Holloway. Kattar is also very comparable in terms of the strike volume Holloway accrues over a 5 round fight, which is important because Holloway typically wins fights by landing more volume than the opposition by a significant margin.
Max has a great chin, but we’ve seen him rocked more than once (i.e., multiple times against Poirier and Aldo), so Kattar can swing rounds more convincingly by landing the significantly more powerful strikes. Kattar’s chin is great though Max has not shown to be as dangerous of a striker as Kattar.
Kattar is the fighter prototype that has given Max the most trouble in the past (i.e., Volkanovski, Poirier, and the first fight w/Aldo in rounds 1 & 2), which is why I like Kattar as a bet at these underdog odds.
TLDR: Betting Kattar here because he is a more dangerous and superior technical striker relative to Holloway. Kattar also has a 3-inch arm reach advantage. This fighter prototype has to give Holloway issues in the past (i.e., Poirier and Volkanovski).