Saturday's UFC 282 main card is kicked off with a pair of undefeated fighters as Bryce Mitchell is set to face Ilia Topuria in a featherweight bout.
Two undefeated fighters will square off at UFC 282 on Saturday when Bryce Mitchell, who is 15-0, takes on Ilia Topuria, who is 12-0. This fight will kickoff the main card this Saturday and it could be one of the most entertaining, intriguing bouts.
Topuria finds himself as a mid-sized favourite on the MMA odds in this bout but is he the best bet or is there value with Mitchell? Let’s take a closer look.
Bryce Mitchell UFC 282 Odds
Mitchell is coming off a big win over Edson Barboza but that was in March earlier this year. Even with the win, it was just Mitchell’s first fight since October of 2020, so he hasn’t exactly been active.
Mitchell’s main strength is grappling and wrestling as he doesn’t have a single win via knockout in his career. If he’s going to win, it’s either via points or by submission. What’s hard to read is how good he actually is? He picked up eight submission victories in his first nine MMA bouts. Six of his last seven wins have come via decision as his submission skills have waned a little bit as he’s fought tougher competition.
Topuria is decent on the ground too and can do damage when he’s on his back, but Mitchell will try to take him down. Topuria has more power standing and if the fights gets to the ground, Mitchell would conceivably be favoured to win. We’ll have to see if Topuria’s power – either standing or when the two are down on the ground – is enough to keep Mitchell from dictating the style and pace of this bout.
Ilia Topuria UFC 282 Odds
Similar to Mitchell, Topuria is a rising star in the sport. One of the main differences, though, is some might argue that his recent wins are more impressive. He has ended his last three fights via knockout. One of those wins came against Ryan Hall, who excels at jiu-jitsu. That might be a tell that he won’t be intimidated by the style that Mitchell will bring to this showdown.
Mitchell is the No. 9 ranked fighter in the featherweight rankings while Topuria is No. 14, but the fact that the latter is favoured should be a tell here. Mitchell is the better wrestler but it’s not as if Topuria is incompetent on the ground. He’s more than capable. On the other hand, Topuria is the one with power and the potential to end this via knockout.
At the end of the day, this is one of the toughest fights to call on the entire card this weekend. Nonetheless, it does feel like the oddsmakers have this right with Topuria getting the edge. It’ll be a close fight until the end and somebody’s undefeated record will receive a blemish. It just feels like Topuria has slightly more tools in his chest to get the job done.
UFC 282 Prediction: Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria
Topuria via Decision.