Yorgan de Castro vs. Greg Hardy - 5/9/20 UFC 249 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Yorgan de Castro vs. Greg Hardy - 5/9/20 UFC 249 Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro

Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 9:00 PM (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena)

Yorgan de Castro +155 / Greg Hardy -180

TV: PPV

Greg Hardy and Yorgan de Castro fight Saturday during UFC 249 for the UFC Lightweight Championship at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Greg Hardy enters this fight with a 5-2-1 record and has won 100 percent of his fights by knockout. Hardy has split his last six fights and is coming off a November loss to Alexander Volkov. Hardy is averaging 4.77 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Hardy is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Hardy was absolutely dominated for three rounds, as his opponent doubled up the strikes and landed at a much higher percentage. It was the first real loss for Hardy and is a sign that he still has a ways to go before he’s considered a real threat in the heavyweight division. Hardy is an impressive athlete and has clear power in his hands that gives him a punchers chance against anybody, but he’s still sloppy and inaccurate with his strikes and has subpar conditioning. We must remember that Hardy just turned pro a couple of years ago and was a football player his entire life before joining American Top Team back in 2017. Hardy still has to prove himself on the ground, has to do a better job of controlling position in the clinch and has to display better footwork, which will improve his accuracy on his feet. The potential is there with Hardy, but he’s still a very inexperienced and raw fighter who isn’t a sure thing even against unproven opponents. 

Yorgan de Castro enters this fight with a 6-0 record and has won 100 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be de Castro’s fourth fight since 2019, and he is coming off an October win over Justin Tafa. de Castro is averaging 3.58 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. de Castro is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. de Castro was impressive in his UFC debut, producing a first round knockout as he landed a left hand with his opponent rushing in and he dropped him unconscious. It’s a clear sign of de Castro’s power, but he also controlled the clinch well and limited damage up against the fight. With that said, it was a sloppy fight overall and Tafa was actually the cleaner striker leading up to the knockout punch. de Castro clearly has the power to knock guys out, as we’ve seen throughout his career, but he has a lot more to prove and this is a chance for him to turn some heads on a major card against one of the better opponents he’s faced yet.

This is an interesting fight between two guys with limited careers and limited skill sets up to this point. They both have knockout power but have shown us little anywhere else and even the stand up can be questionable at times in terms of technique and accuracy. With that said, Hardy has the better team around him in American Top Team and you’d think that would start paying off. Hardy also looks to be in better shape, as de Castro didn’t look good his last time out and outside of that one power shot landed, he was slow and inaccurate. 

Hardy can’t afford to lose this fight if he’s going to start providing return on that investment. I lean Hardy, but I’m interested in what a line will look like.

Randy’s Pick Greg Hardy -180

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.