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UFC 264: Burns vs. Thompson betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

Danny Howard

July 5th, 2021

Two top welterweights compete in an elimination bout for a future title shot when Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson go head-to-head. This battle of established contenders serves as the co-main event of UFC 264 this Saturday, July 10, and we have the betting odds and pick you need to be the big winner when they step into the octagon.

Sun, July 11 2021, 4:00 AM

Burns, Gilbert

Moneyline

+125

Thompson, Stephen

Moneyline

-155

Thompson has turned the corner

After his iron chin was cracked by the undersized and faded Anthony Pettis, Thompson quelled any talk that his time was up with a pair of excellent performances. Thompson dispatched Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal in recent bouts, and the awkward kickboxer is on the cusp of a welterweight title shot.

Thompson is a crafty striker who utilizes excellent footwork to fire at odd angles. He has a good chin, but is notoriously difficult to take down. With an incredible 78% takedown defense rate, opponents have to beat him at his own game.

Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson tale of the tape

Gilbert Burnsvs.Stephen Thompson
19-4
Record
16-4-1
34
Age
38
5'10"
Height
6'0"
71"
Reach
75"
4-1
Last 5 fights
3-2
Grappling skills
Key Intangibles
Takedown defense

Burns angling for Usman rematch

Burns is coming off a competitive loss to Kamaru Usman in his last fight. In the first round, Burns gave Usman a lot of trouble with his pressure, but he couldn’t capitalize on that momentum and Usman stopped him in the third round.

His striking has improved tremendously, but his bread and butter is his submission skills. Eight of his wins have come by submission, but unlike the traditional mat specialist, Burns can strike with the best of them. The most intriguing subplot here is that Burns has never dropped back-to-back fights in his career.

Thompson’s striking and footwork will win the night

This fight can unfold in a multitude of ways. Because Thompson is difficult to take down, this will end up a conventional striking match. Burns will pressure early to try and crowd Thompson, but Thompson’s footwork will make him hard to pin down. Either way, the fight is going to move at Thompson’s pace.

While Burns’ striking has improved, he’ll be playing the wrong game unless he can land something big early and coast the rest of the way.

The two will eventually exchange blows, but Thompson’s frequent movements will have Burns out of position and unable to land with much effect. Expect Thompson to control the action and to land the heavier shots, putting in enough effort to earn a decision win.

UFC 264 pick: Thompson

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