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Themba Gorimbo-Ramiz Brahimaj Pick, Odds and Preview

The UFC world is obviously waiting on June’s thrilling UFC 303 card, which will bring us the return of Conor McGregor, but we’ve got a nice Fight Night card tonight to satiate us as we keep waiting. Let’s dive into our Themba Gorimbo-Ramiz Brahimaj pick, odds and preview as we break down one spot bettors should plan to exploit. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC articles, including our full-card breakdown, and our betting model’s top picks.

Themba Gorimbo-Ramiz Brahimaj Pick, Odds and Preview

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GorimboBrahimaj Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Welterweight
Gorimbo: -148 | Brahimaj: +124
Gorimbo -3.5: +105 | Brahimaj +3.5: -140
Over 1.5: -166 | Under 1.5: +130

GorimboBrahimaj Pick & Preview

In what is expected to be a low-output grappling chess match, Themba Gorimbo (12-4) squares off against Ramiz Brahimaj (10-4). Both come off a great performance in their last fight, but Gorimbo has a clear edge on the feet and in grappling exchanges. Without a change in approach, this could be a rough night for Brahimaj.

It’s shocking that Gorimbo is able to get down to Welterweight in the first place. Standing at 6’1” with a reach of 77 inches, Gorimbo has a nearly identical build to Sean Strickland and other Middleweights. With such long arms, Gorimbo has a decided reach advantage over most fighters in the class. Even Kamaru Usman, who only gives up an inch in height, gives up five inches in reach. This could prove difficult for Brahimaj who measures 5’10” with a 72-inch reach.

Neither fighter has a particularly high output on the feet, with Gorimbo landing 2.30 significant strikes per minute, and Brahimaj landing 2.47. Even with the lack of strikes, Gorimbo’s length has given him a clear advantage in the past, and that should be the case in this one too. Gorimbo looks to grapple more than strike, but even so he sports a stunning 60% rate on his significant strikes. His length also helps to keep his opponents on the outside, as he only absorbs 1.67 significant strikes per minute.

Gorimbo’s last opponent, Pete Rodrigues, faced the consequences of Gorimbo’s reach advantage, as he was caught flush while trying to close the distance, and was finished shortly thereafter. Brahimaj likely won’t have any better answers on the feet. He is the exact type of striker to avoid, as he is both inefficient (41%) and absorbs more damage on the feet than he lands (2.47-4.08).

Brahimaj usually has an advantage over his opponents when it comes to grappling to make up for the flaws he has on the feet, but that very well may not be the case against Gorimbo. Gorimbo attains more takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time (3.39) than Brahimaj (1.90).

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Though Brahimaj is more efficient with his takedowns than Gorimbo (66%-45%), inefficiency in takedown attempts is less concerning than inefficiency striking. When a fighter is inefficient on the feet, it opens them up to counters or damage in exchanges. On the other hand, lack of efficiency in grappling doesn’t generally lead to the same level of damage and is mainly a concern for a grappler who can’t strike with their opponent.

Whatever advantage Brahimaj has from his efficiency on his own takedowns he gives up in his inefficiency defending the takedown. For a grappling-heavy fighter, only defending the takedown at a 58% clip is a concern. Some high-level jiu jitsu practitioners may strategically give up a takedown to get in a position to submit their opponent, but the only fight Brahimaj’s opponent attempted a takedown, he didn’t attempt a single submission.

Overall, Gorimbo’s length should give him an edge on the feet and in grappling exchanges. I am riding with Gorimbo’s moneyline while laddering it with the spread.

Best UFC Gorimbo-Brahimaj Bet & Pick: Gorimbo Moneyline (-148)

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