UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick & Prediction: Phillip Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov (Saturday, Feb. 20)

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Phillip Hawes.

Phillip Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov Odds

Hawes odds -125 
Imavov odds +105
Over/Under 1.5 (-110/-110) 
Venue UFC APEX, Las Vegas
Time Approx. 8:30 p.m. ET
Channel ESPN+
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM

The long-awaited fight between Phillip Hawes and Nassourdine Imavov that was scheduled to take place in January on Fight Island will take place Saturday at night at the UFC APEX. In January, Imavov opened as a +150 underdog, but this is much closer to a pick em’ this time around.

Sharp bettors are siding with Imavov and the odds are reflecting that. But has anything happened to truly warrant the money flying on Imavov? Let’s take a look at the matchup and see where we can find some betting value.

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Tale of the Tape

Hawes Imavov
Record 9-2 9-2
Avg. Fight Time 2:59 15:00
Height 6’0″ 6’3″
Weight (pounds) 185 lbs. 185 lbs.
Reach (inches) 77″ 75″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 1/8/89 3/1/95
Sig Strikes Per Min 4.14 4.53
SS Accuracy 49% 61%
SS Absorbed Per Min 4.81 2.00
SS Defense 55% 69%
Take Down Avg 1.68 1.00
TD Acc 14% 12%
TD Def 0% 100%
Submission Avg 0.0 4.0

Imavov is a prospect from Dagestan, Russia with strong grappling skills, but he leaves himself open when striking. His 6-foot-3 size is quite intimidating to opponents — especially Hawes who is listed at 6-feet, but is likely closer to 5-foot-11.

However, Imavov has used this size as a false sense of security as he walks with his hands down and his chin up. If you do this against Hawes, you will go to sleep early.

While the odds have shifted this fight to a near coin flip, I think this could be an excellent opportunity to “buy the dip” and take Hawes to take home the win.

Hawes-Imavov Pick

Hawes is a far superior athlete and has lethal hands. Fighter IQ is something that experts discuss a lot when analyzing a fight. Hawes’ strategy from the beginning of the fight should be to push the pace immediately and land his hardest shots to walk out of there with a win.

In the Dana White Contender Series, we saw Hawes takedown Julian Marquez and take his back in the opening minute of the fight. Hawes looked excellent in Round 1 of this fight before later gassing out and being knocked out by Marquez. Hawes was much younger in his career in this fight and Marquez is the best opponent that either of these two fighters have faced.

Imavov has been rocked before against Jordan Williams within the first 60 seconds of their fight. Imavov was able to shoot for a takedown and take control of the fight from there. This is his path to victory in the fight.

I believe that the odds shifting towards Imavov (January open +145) makes Hawes an excellent value at -125. I would bet Hawes — up to -150 (60% implied).

Despite Hawes’ moneyline odds being more appetizing now, his odds to win via knockout are not. In January, Hawes was +145 to win by KO compared to +120 now. BetMGM is offering Hawes’ first-round prop at +290, which I would bet down to +250.

The Pick: Phil Hawes to win -125 (2u) Phil Hawes first-round +290 (1u)

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