UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig Preview & Best Bets

A top-15 middleweight bout headlines UFC Fight Night 232 as No. 10 ranked Brendan Allen and No. 13 Paul Craig.

  • Date: Saturday, November 18, 2023 | Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Enterprise, Nevada | TV: ESPN+

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Monkey King Dreams

Unnranked lightweights Chase “The Dream” Hooper and Jordan “The Monkey King” Leavitt lock horns on Saturday. Hooper is coming off a win but is 4-3 in seven UFC fights. Leavitt is also coming off a win, owning a 4-2 UFC record.

Hooper is four inches taller and has a three-inch reach advantage. Leavitt has the power advantage, averaging 0.29 knockdowns per 15 minutes to Hooper’s zero. Hooper lands 2.36 more significant strikes per minute but absorbs 1.74 more. Leavitt is a more active wrestler, averaging 2.31 takedowns per minute to Hooper’s 1.47. Hooper also averages almost one submission more per 15 minutes.

The numbers slightly support Hooper, but he hardly deserves to be a -235 favorite. As a value play, we have to side with Leavitt at +180.

Michael Morales vs. Jake Matthews

Unnranked welterweight Michael Morales and Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews will face off. Morales is 15-0, with three straight wins to start his UFC journey. Matthews is 19-6 and 12-6 in the UFC.

Morales is an inch taller and has a six-inch reach advantage. He also has the power edge, averaging 0.62 more knockdowns per 15 minutes. Morales lands 5.17 significant strikes per minute to Matthews 3.27 but absorbs 1.21 more. They possess similar takedown averages, but Morales has a much better takedown defense rate.

At -310, Morales is a pretty significant favorite. Matthews is more inconsistent but can end fights by a knockout or submission. Morales’s takedown defense and power should be the difference. Take Morales by decision at +230.

UFC Middleweight Main Event

Brendan Allen vs. Paul Craig

  • Odds to Win: Allen -440 | Craig +310
  • How Will Fight End: KO/TKO -105 | Submission +140 | Decision +490
  • Will the fight go the distance? Yes +490 | No -800

Brendan “All In” Allen takes on Paul “Bearjew” Craig. Allen is riding a five-fight win streak, beating Sam Alvey, Jacob Malkoun, Krzysztof Jotko, Andre Muniz, and Bruno Silva. Craig is coming off a win over Muniz but dropped his two previous fights to Volkan Oezdemir and Johnny Walker at light heavyweight.

Craig is an inch taller and has a one-inch reach advantage. Allen will have the power edge, averaging 0.54 knockdowns per 15 minutes. He also averages 1.39 more significant strikes per minute. However, both fighters are strong grapplers. Allen gained 13 of his 22 wins by submission, while 13 of Craig’s 17 wins were also by submission.

Although both men are primarily grapplers, sometimes that results in a wholly striking match. Ideally, this fight hits the ground because both combatants are similarly successful there. Allen is a massive favorite at -440. In MMA, that almost begs for a longshot wager on Craig, but the matchup really favors Allen. Take Allen to win by ground and pound KO/TKO at +125.

UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig Betting Card

  • Leavitt to win (+180)
  • Morales by decision (+230)
  • Allen by KO/TKO (+125)

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