Michael Morales is favored against Jake Matthews at UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig on Saturday, November 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event is one of 15 fights on ESPN+. Morales is 15-0 in his career, while Matthews is 19-6 in his career. There are a total of 15 fights, all on ESPN+ at UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig. Let’s look at the bout between Morales and Matthews and UFC predictions.
UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, November 18 with 15 fights, all on ESPN+.
UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig Betting
Michael Morales (15-0, 3-0 UFC)
Morales came into the UFC with a record of 12-0 and he has three wins and no losses in the UFC. He defeated Trevin Giles by TKO, Adam Fugitt by TKO, and Max Griffin by unanimous decision. Morales has been a pro since 2017 and he has 11 wins by TKO/KO and one by submission. He has seven first round finishes.
Jake Matthews (19-6, 12-6 UFC)
Matthews came into the UFC with a record of 2014 and he has 12 wins and six losses in the UFC. In his last six fights, he has four wins and two losses. He defeated Emil Weber Meek by unanimous decision, Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision, André Fialho by KO, and Darrius Flowers by rear-naked choke submission; while losing to Sean Brady by arm-triangle choke submission and Matthew Semelsberger by unanimous decision. Matthews has been a pro since 2012 and he has five wins by TKO/KO and eight by submission. He has four first round finishes.
Strikes landed per minute: Morales 5.17 /Matthews 3.27
Striking Accuracy: Morales 48% /Matthews 45%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Morales 3.54/Matthews 2.33
Defense: Morales 48% /Matthews 60%
Takedown average: Morales 1.66/Matthews 1.71
Takedown Accuracy: Morales 45%/Matthews 41%
Takedowns defended: Morales 91%/Matthews 61%
Submission average: Morales 0.0/Matthews 0.7
Morales got on everyone’s radar when he upset Nikolay Veretennikov at Dana White's Contender Series. That win got him into the UFC and he has looked good in wins over Trevin Giles, Adam Fugitt and Max Griffin. On the other side, Matthews has been alternating wins and losses. He lost to Sean Brady in 2021 but then came back in 2022 and beat Andre Fialho. He lost to Matthew Semelsberger six months later. Matthews came back to beat Darrius Flowers last time out.
Morales is listed as a 3-1 favorite in UFC betting odds to win this fight. There is no question that Morales has been impressive, as he comes into this fight unbeaten. The question is whether or not he should be a big favorite over Matthews. The list of fighters who Morales beat in the UFC is not impressive. Wins over Giles, Fugitt and Griffin don’t tell us much. The problem is that a win over Matthews may not tell us much either.
Matthews has been around a long time and he has a decent overall record, but nothing spectacular. He usually wins against weaker or similar competition and loses against top fighters. That likely means he will lose this fight against Morales if Morales is as good as advertised. Matthews is actually just 29 years old, but he has been in the UFC for a decade.
The obvious issue I have in this fight is that I don’t lay big prices so that prohibits a play on Morales. I am not sold on Matthews so that means I am not taking the underdog. That leaves the rounds. I was not that impressed with Morales in his win over Griffin, but he still found a way to get the job done. I don’t know that Matthews is someone Morales can simply roll over in short order so this could be a fight that goes the distance. I will take the UFC betting rounds to go over the total in this fight.
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