Charles Byrd vs. Darren Stewart UFC 228 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 9/8/18
Darren Stewart vs. Charles Byrd
UFC: Saturday, September 8, 2018 (American Airlines Center)
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Charles Byrd and Darren Stewart fight Saturday during UFC 228 at the American Airlines Center.
Charles Byrd enters this fight with a 9-4 record and has won 44 percent of his fights by submission. Byrd has won each of his last four fights and is coming off a March win over John Phillips. Byrd is averaging 3.33 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 58.2 percent. Byrd is averaging 3.77 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Byrd is coming off a submission victory in which he dominated from start to finish, landing 34 strikes and ending things in the first round. It was a flawless performance from Byrd, and with each of his last three fights ending in submission, it may be time to pay closer attention to the 34-year-old middleweight. Byrd is a super athletic fighter who clearly knows his way around the canvas and has some pop in his hands with three knockout victories. Byrd has produced finishes in each of his last five victories and has a background in Muay Thai. Byrd has fought most of his career in Texas, his birthplace.
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports
Darren Stewart enters this fight with a 8-3 record and has won 88 percent of his fights by knockout. Stewart has split his last six fights and is coming off a May win over Eric Spicely. Stewart is averaging 3.2 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44.2 percent. Stewart is averaging 2.59 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42.8 percent. Stewart is coming off a second round knockout in which he landed 34 strikes and earned performance of the night honors for the first time in his career. Stewart now hopes to win back-to-back fights for the first time since 2016, as he’s still trying to redeem himself after three straight losses. Stewart relies on hand speed and power, as he’s quite accurate with his strikes, lands 55 percent of his shots standing up and has produced knockouts in his last four wins when you include the first bout against Francimar Barroso. Stewart knows his way around the canvas just enough to keep his opponent honest, but he’s never produced a submission victory. This will be Stewart’s second career fight in the United States.
This will be a great test to see if Byrd can live up to the hype or if he’s just anther tease who can’t produce on the bigger stage against better competition. Stewart is the bigger fighter and will have a clear advantage in stand up striking. However, Byrd is the more athletic fighter and his knack for finishing fights on the canvas has to concern Stewart. As long as Byrd can survive early powerful strikes and force Stewart into deep waters late, he should have the edge here.
I like Byrd to get the victory in front of his home fans.