UFC Vegas 24: Drakkar Klose vs Jeremy Stephens Picks, Odds, and Predictions

UFC Vegas 24: Drakkar Klose vs Jeremy Stephens Picks, Odds, and Predictions Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Stephens vs. Drakkar Klose

Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)

The Line: Drakkar Klose +105 / Jeremy Stephens -125 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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Jeremy Stephens and Drakkar Klose fight Saturday in UFC Vegas 24 at the UFC APEX.

Jeremy Stephens enters this fight with a 28-18 record and has won 68 percent of his fights by knockout. Stephens has split his last eight fights and is coming off a May loss to Calvin Kattar. Stephens is averaging 3.18 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Stephens is averaging 1.16 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Stephens is coming off a second round knockout loss at UFC 249 where he landed 57 total strikes and 54 percent of his significant strikes. Stephens could have very well been ahead on the scorecards until the knockout, and he still hasn’t won a fight since UFC on Fox 28. Stephens is an aggressive fighter who throws a lot of strikes and can take a beating when he gets into these brawl style fights. Stephens has only been knocked out three in his career and his strike output is always high. Stephens has very heavy hands and can end things quickly, and 10 of his 19 career knockouts have ended in the first round. Stephens is also a good grappler and has solid success with takedowns, but he does a lot of his best work on his feet where he can unload on his opponent. Stephens is a purple belt in BJJ. This will be Stephens’ 13th career fight in Las Vegas.

Drakkar Klose enters this fight with a 11-2-1 record and has won 64 percent of his fights by decision. Klose has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a March (2020) loss to Beneil Dariush. Klose is averaging 3.89 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Klose is averaging 1.56 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 30 percent. Klose is coming off a second round knockout loss at UFC 248, a bout where he landed 27 total strikes. Klose is now 5-2 under the UFC banner and it will be interesting to see how he responds from being finished for the first time in his career. Klose comes from a wrestling background and is a blue belt in BJJ, but he seems to rely mostly on his standup and fighting out of the clinch. Each of Klose’s last eight wins have ended in decisions, so there is reason to question the power we saw earlier in his career. Klose has shown impressive conditioning to survive these decisions, good takedown defense throughout his time in the UFC, and he works all areas of the body with his standup striking. However, Klose has to show a killer instinct at some point if he’s going to be be taken seriously on the big stage. This will be Klose’s fourth career fight in Las Vegas.

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Stephens is probably the favorite here because he has the more proven resume, he probably has the edge on the feet and he has to win eventually, right? However, it’s been a while since Stephens has looked great and I’m not trying to lay juice with somebody who hasn’t won in ages. Klose is the more balanced fighter in this spot, is naturally the bigger fighter and he would have an advantage if the bout went to the ground given his wrestling background. Real close fight that could go either way, but I lean toward Klose and the slight plus money.

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Randy’s Pick Drakkar Klose +105

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

Mitch's Take...

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