UFC Fight Night 49 Fight Breakdown: Max Holloway (-440) vs Clay Collard (+350)

Max Holloway One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 49 is a three-round catchweight (149lbs) bout between Max “Blessed” Holloway and UFC newcomer Clay Collard. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Holloway as a -440 favorite (bet $440 to win $100) while Collard is a +350 underdog (bet $100 to win $350). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Holloway at -385 and Collard at +265, and so far the public has been all over the favorite Holloway. I agree with the action on “Blessed” as I’m picking him to win this fight. Here’s why. Holloway (9-3) is one of the top featherweights in the UFC, holding a 5-3 record in the promotion with wins over Andre Fili, Pat Schilling, Justin Lawrence, Leonard Garcia and Will Chope and losses to Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. Holloway is just 22 years of age and already has racked up amazing experience for someone his age and that experience is going to help carry him to a nice career in the UFC once he hits his prime. But even at 22 he’s a highly-skilled fighter and one of the most dangerous at 145lbs for sure. A long-range striker, Holloway has excellent boxing and uses long punches to hurt his opponents to both the head and the body. He also has long arms which can help him score submissions, which is how he finished his last fight against Fili at UFC 172. Although his wrestling isn’t great, it’s improving, and as long as he can keep his fights on the feet he’s extremely dangerous. Holloway was set to fight Mirsad Bektic until Bektic pulled out at the last second due to injury, and now the UFC has tapped Holloway to fight Collard and he’ll take on the UFC newcomer in a fight he should definitely win this weekend at UFC Fight Night 49. Collard (13-4, 1 NC) is a talented prospect and at only 21 years of age could potentially make some waves in the near future. He trains out of The Pit Elevated in Utah and is riding a five-fight unbeaten streak that includes a win over former UFC fighter Justin Buchholz. Collard is a dangerous and aggressive striker who should be able to do some damage in the UFC. The problem with this fight though is that he’s taking it on just one week’s notice and he’s fighting a top guy in the form of Holloway. Although Collard certainly has the skills to win fights in the Octagon, Holloway is a much better version of where Collard is right now in his career and in my mind it would be a big upset if he wins, which is why I understand completely why the betting line is the way it is. Although Collard might be better than I think he is, I honestly believe Holloway is one of the top 20 featherweights on the UFC roster and at 22 years of age he has all the potential in the world. Although he has flaws in his game, Collard is not the fighter to take advantage of them. Look for Holloway to light up Collard on the feet en route to an impressive decision victory or possible a highlight-reel knockout as he continues to make waves in the UFC’s 145lb division. Even though he’s a big favorite, Holloway should absolutely win this fight and at he’s likely worth throwing into a parlay or two.

Written by Adam Martin.

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