Rhys McKee vs. Khamzat Chimaev - 7/25/20 UFC on ESPN 14 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
2020-07-25 20:00:00 EDT
Khamzat Chimaev and Rhys McKee fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 14 at the Flash Forum.
Khamzat Chimaev enters this fight with a 7-0 record and has won 57 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be Chimaev’s fourth fight since 2019 and is coming off a July win over John Phillips. Chimaev is averaging 6.94 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 82 percent. Chimaev is averaging 4.84 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Chimaev is coming off a dominating performance at UFC on ESPN 13 where he won in the second round with a Brabo Choke. Chimaev landed 124 total strikes and produced two takedowns while his opponent landed just two total strikes. Given the lack of damage, there’s little concern about Chimaev hoping right back into the octagon a week later, which is almost unheard of. Chimaev has a background in wrestling and usually keeps his opponent on the ground once he gets it there, always fighting for position and changing guard. Chimaev can be a bit sloppy with the standup, but he has power in his hands and usually swings with a purpose of ending things. Chimaev has never seen a fight make it out of the second round. This will be Chimaev’s third career fight in Abu Dhabi.
Rhys McKee enters this fight with a 10-2-1 record and has won 70 percent of his fights by knockout. McKee has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a November win over Hakon Foss. McKee is riding a three-fight winning streak and will make his UFC debut as he’s coming over from Cage Warriors. McKee has produced finishes in all 10 of his victories and six of those have taken place in the first round. McKee is a lengthy fighter at 6’1”, and he seems most polished on the feet where he thitems heavy punches and has some great athleticism in those leg kicks. McKee is the aggressor in most fights, as he’s always coming forward and looking to be active. McKee has good ground and pound, but he’s also a solid scrambler who can change positions quickly on the canvas and find a submission hold. All three of McKee’s submissions have taken place with different chokes, so he knows his way around the canvas well. This will be McKee’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.
You can’t overlook McKee in this fight because of his versatility, his length and the fact he probably has the edge on the feet because he appears slightly more polished with his shots. However, like most guys coming over to the UFC, you have to question McKee’s resume and if he’s ready to take on a different class of competition. Chimaev may have just fought, but he was absolutely dominant in that fight and his wrestling is going to be tough to counter if this fight goes to the ground.
I’m not stepping in front of Chimaev after what we just saw, but I’ll take him to win inside distance to give us more betting value, as this ML price is insane.