WSOF 11 Fight Breakdown: Justin Gaethje (-425) vs. Nick Newell (+340)

Justin Gaethje The main event of WSOF 11 is a five-round title fight between WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and challenger Nick Newell. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Gaethje as a -425 favorite (bet $425 to win $100) while Newell is a +340 underdog (bet $100 to win $340). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Gaethje at -735 and Newell at +445, meaning there has been action on the dog Newell so far. I disagree with the action on Newell as I’m picking Gaethje to defend his title. Here’s why. Gaethje (11-0) is the current WSOF lightweight champion. Only 25 years of age, Gaethje is considered one of the top prospects in the sport and continues to get better and better each time we see him in the cage. He is so far 4-0 in WSOF with wins over JZ Cavalcante, Brian Cobb, Dan Lauzon and Rich Patishnock, having won all four of those fights by T/KO. In fact, nine of his 11 wins have come by way of knockout and overall he has only been to decision once in his career. Although he has wrestled his whole life, Gaethje’s success in MMA has come from his wicked striking attack. He is extremely aggressive on the feet, always moves forward, and he always tries to finish his fights early. He is a stud, and could be close to the UFC with a few more wins in WSOF to finish out his contract with them. He takes on Newell next in a very interesting challenge, but one that he should realistically pass with flying colors based on styles, which is why he is the favorite heading into the fight. Newell (11-0) is one of the best stories ever in MMA. He only has one hand, but somehow he is talented enough to win fights against solid opposition and right now he is undefeated in mixed martial arts and earned this title shot against Gaethje. He has eight career submissions and even though you would think it’s hard to do that with just one hand, somehow Newell makes it look easy. He comes from a solid wrestling background and has very good wrestling to help him get his fights to the ground where he locks up his submissions. He is 2-0 in WSOF so far with wins over Sabah Fadai and Keon Caldwell, both by way of guillotine choke. Newell is only 28 and he is getting better and better at the sport, but at some point the fact he has one hand will hurt him in a fight. Although he hasn’t lost yet, he hasn’t fought anyone nearly the caliber of Gaethje, and unless Newell really is more special than we think he is, he’s going to have his hands full in this fight and that’s why he is the underdog heading into it. I believe Gaethje can keep this fight standing and outstrike Newell on the feet en route to a TKO stoppage in the first few rounds. Although Newell is a terrific story and a great fighter, I don’t see him beating Gaethje and I’m surprised the public is backing Newell here. I think that at -425 there is some value on Gaethje as a parlay leg as I believe he should be closer to the -735 line that he was opened at. I also lean towards UNDER 1.5 rounds, which is -120, but prefer to just bet on the Gaethje moneyline in this fight instead as 1.5 rounds is also a tough total to bet on.

Written by Adam Martin.

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