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Justin Gaethje-Max Holloway Pick, Odds and Preview

Let’s dive into our Justin Gaethje-Max Holloway pick, odds and preview, breaking down one spot bettors should plan to exploit for UFC 300. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC articles, including our full-card breakdown, and our betting model’s top picks.

Justin Gaethje-Max Holloway Pick, Odds and Preview

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Gaethje-Holloway Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Lightweight
Gaethje: -165 | Holloway: +130
Gaethje -5.5: -105 | Holloway +5.5: -125
Over 4.5: -115 | Under 4.5: -115

Gaethje-Holloway Pick & Preview

If more than 10 seconds of the BMF title fight between Justin Gaethje (25-4) and Max Holloway (25-7) is spent on the ground, I will be a bit disappointed. Everyone expects this one to be an absolute war, and it not only could be the fight of the night on such a stacked card, but it could also be a fight of the year contender when all is said and done.

Both fighters will look to put on a show, but I expect Holloway to use his speed and superior boxing to get the job done in a five-round slugfest. Holloway and Gaethje are game for a brutal fight. In their combined 40 UFC fights, they have only combined for two knockout losses, both suffered by Gaethje. If Holloway can avoid getting knocked out in yet another fight, his superior boxing should be the perfect counter to Gaethe’s aggression.

Holloway’s pace is well-documented. He lands 7.17 significant strikes per minute, 91% of which are trained toward the head and the body. He keeps a constant forward pressure which melts opponents that can’t keep up, which has pretty much been everyone other than Alexander Volkanovski of late.

Beyond his pace, Holloway has an impressive knack for avoiding damage despite staying in constant range. He only absorbs 4.79 significant strikes per minute, defending at a 59% rate. His unrivaled cardio, combined with his great instincts on the feet create lopsided striking numbers, such as his performance against Calvin Kattar, who only landed 133 significant strikes to Holloway’s 445.

Gaethje is usually game for a fast-paced fight, too. He lands a ballistic 7.35 significant strikes per minute, though his strike dispersion differs greatly from Holloway’s. Gaethje’s greatest weapon of late has been his nasty calf kicks, which constitute 28% of all his strikes. Holloway will need to find an answer for this as they can threaten to limit his mobility and cause a great deal of pain. Some fighters say calf kicks hurt more than a shot to the head, even if they can’t shut your lights out.

In my view, the canary in the coal mine for this fight is something I’m always skeptical of: Gaethje absorbs more significant strikes than he lands. This can pay dividends as it can lead to a knockout if his opponent can’t stand up to the pressure. However, where the fight goes to a decision, particularly over five rounds, the striking numbers could lead to a decision loss.

This could be even more of a problem against a fighter like Holloway, who is known for pulling out lopsided decision victories. The even bigger issue lies in the fact that it could also lead to a knockout, which make up half of Gaethje’s UFC losses.

With a big day ahead, let's get to our Justin Gaethje-Max Holloway pick, odds and preview. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC...

OddsShopper’s betting model reveals a pricing disparity in the odds for Saturday’s Yusuff-Lopes bout: SuperBook has the under 2.5 at odds of just -145, below the true odds of -154 and far below the odds at Pinnacle, a sharp book, making a wager on the under a +EV Bet. For the rest of our model’s projections — for more than just the UFC — subscribe to OddsShopper Premium for $49.95!

One question coming into this fight is how well Holloway will adjust to going up a weight class. While this is a concern, or at least a factor, for many other fjghters, Holloway has fought at Lightweight a few times in the past. The biggest issues fighters tend to have when they go up in weight relate to the damage sustained from heavier shots and grappling against heavier opponents. Holloway hasn’t yet been finished as a Lightweight, nor do I expect this fight to find its way to the ground too often.

As an underdog, I like Holloway’s speed, endurance and superior boxing to carry the day. It’s always possible that Gaethje is the first man to crack him since entering the UFC — or that he will slow him down through leg kicks, but I’m not going to put my money on that with Gaethje as a favorite.

Best UFC Gaethje-Holloway Bet & Pick: Holloway ML +130 at DraftKings

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