UFC Vegas 7: Ike Villanueva Vs. Jordan Wright
Updated: Aug 22, 2020
Ike Villanueva -105 Vs. Jordan Wright -116
Jordan "The Beverly Hills Ninja" Wright boasts a 4" reach advantage, which implies perhaps a 10% edge his way.
Further, Villanueva is 7 years Wright's senior, adding maybe another 6-7% to the opposition's theoretical advantage.
Neither fighter has a ton of experience at the highest level of MMA competition, however, Wright is on a ten (professional) fight win streak--all coming by way of stoppage. Wright's apparent tendency is to take a few to give one, but the durability that often attends youth allows him to find success at this stage of his career, despite this tactic.
Villanueva was beat up badly and ultimately stopped in the second round of his UFC debut in May, but rattled off four consecutive KO/TKO's (albeit at lower levels of competition) previously.Four of Wright's wins resulted from rear naked chokes and one from an arm-in triangle, so he is clearly comfortable on the ground. But we primarily expect a stand-up fight, where we guess both combatants are probably most comfortable. Fighters' ability to withstand punishment generally diminishes with age though, so the likely style of this contest also favors Wright.
Bottom line: Jordan Wright's natural advantages alone suggest to us his chances of winning are closer to 60% than 50%. As such, we are happy to buy The Beverly Hills Ninja's length and youth here, at not much of a premium.
Alternate angles: Nine of Wright's wins ended in the first round (the tenth was decided in the second), while five of Villanueva's last ten professional contests didn't see the second round. This observation, coupled 1) with Wright's 'stand and deliver' inclination and 2) with Villaneuva's likely reduced ability to absorb punishment at this point in his career, brings u1.5 -120 into the fore.
Or, if you, as we do, buy the idea that Wright should be more meaningfully favored, the Wright inside the distance +140 prop appears attractive given his penchant to pursue the early finish and the years of wear on Villanueva.