UFC Fight Night 65 Fight Breakdown: Sam Alvey vs. Dan Kelly

sa-alvey One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 65 is a three-round middleweight bout between Sam Alvey and Dan Kelly. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Alvey is a -380 favorite (bet $380 to win $100) while Kelly is a +315 underdog (bet $100 to win $315). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Alvey at -290 and Kelly at +210, and action has come in on the favorite Alvey. I do agree that Alvey deserved to be favored, although at this point I believe the line may be too high. Here’s why. Alvey (25-6, 1 NC) is 2-1 in the UFC with KO wins over Dylan Andrews and Cezar Ferreira and a decision loss to Tom Watson. The 28-year-old American is an extremely powerful striker who has collected 16 wins via knockout in his career. He is not the most active fighter on the feet, but when he touches your chin he has that special power to put you to sleep. However, while he is a solid offensive striker, he gets tagged a ton in his fights, although he does have an awesome chin and has never been knocked out. As far as his grappling goes, he has average wrestling but he can certainly be put on his back by a better wrestler. His submission game is almost nonexistent. He’s a throwback fighter who does one thing well, and that’s knocking your head off. If he can connect with your chin things can be over in a second, but outside of his power he doesn’t offer much else, making this fight against a grappler like Kelly fairly intriguing. Kelly (9-0) is 2-0 in the UFC with a decision win over Patrick Walsh and a submission win over Luke Zachrich. The 37-year-old Australian was a cast member on TUF Nations where he lost via submission to Sheldon Westcott after sustaining a knee injury. Since the show he has healed his body up and he’s looked better than expected in the Octagon, winning both of his fights. An Olympian in judo, Kelly is a very strong grappler and has five submissions to his credit. He is also improving his striking, as she showed off some decent boxing in his fight against Walsh. The knock on Kelly is his age and injury concerns, but he’s a tough and durable fighter and is not someone to be taken lightly. Alvey called Kelly out for this fight in Australia, and while the majority of bettors figure he’ll get outstruck on the feet, his advantage in the grappling department is intriguing and makes you wonder what could happen if he could get this fight to the floor. It’s an interesting fight, despite the long odds indicating otherwise. At the end of the dy I do favor Alvey here, but jeez, the price is really steep on him here. I know Kelly gets absolutely no respect from the betting public, but he’s an undefeated fighter who is tough and durable and who comes from an Olympic-caliber grappling background. He will hold the advantage on the mat in this fight should be get it there, making him an intriguing underdog given the odds. More times than not this fight will stay on the feet where Alvey holds the edge in the power department, but Alvey also just stands there and eats strikes without delivering any at times and Kelly is a busy striker. This fight is also in Kelly’s home country, which could make things interesting if the fight hits the scorecards. Overall I have to lean towards Alvey because he has been more impressive in the UFC, he’s younger, and he has the better overall striking, but this is not a situation where I think laying 4-to-1 on him is a good idea, and I think at the price it’s a dog-or-pass situation, although personally I’m going to pass.

Written by Adam Martin.

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