Maia vs. Condit - A Clash Of Styles That Appear To Favor The Underdog

Jason Lake

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 8:18 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 8:18 PM UTC

Demian Maia has been shredding the MMA odds the last couple of years. Carlos Condit, not so much. Any reason we should expect different this Saturday night in Vancouver?

And the UFC lives on. Conor McGregor did just enough to beat Nate Diaz at UFC 202, winning by majority decision as a –140 favorite on the closing line. This fight could easily have gone the other way; the big surprise was that it went the full five rounds. We expected something a little closer to the 13-second knockout Anthony Johnson delivered to Glover Teixeira.

Now that McGregor is back on top, we move our attention to Saturday's UFC event in Vancouver – just a flying knee away from our home office. This is more than just a palate-cleanser following the big pay-per-view. The main card looks better than a lot of UFC Fight Night shows, headlined by a solid Welterweight bout between Demian Maia and Carlos Condit. At press time, the UFC odds have Condit as a very slight –115 favorite. Some books say it's a pick'em.

Ladder Match
We're not so sure about that. Maia (23-6 lifetime, 17-6 UFC) has yet to hold a championship in his 15-year career, losing by decision to Anderson Silva (–1100) in his only title shot back at UFC 112. Losses to Chris Weidman (–160) and Rory MacDonald (–435) have kept Maia a rung or two down the ladder. However, those were high-quality opponents; Maia has thrived against lesser competition, winning each of his last five fights dating back to May 2014.

Condit (30-9 lifetime, 7-5 UFC) is moving in the other direction. He's the former WEC Welterweight champ, and he beat Nick Diaz (–238) four years ago to win the interim UFC title. Not much has gone right since then. Condit is 2-4 in his last six fights, including a split-decision loss to Robbie Lawler (–130) this past January at UFC 195.

Four Degrees of Separation
To be fair, Condit was probably the better man in the Octagon that night. He mostly had his way with Lawler during the first four rounds, only to fall apart in the fifth and allow Lawler to escape with his title intact. But a loss is a loss, and this Saturday, Condit finds himself in a difficult matchup with Maia, a 4th-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

It's a clash of styles that appears to favor the underdog. Condit lands more strikes (3.80 per minute), but Maia has the superior defense (63 percent). On the grappling side, Maia has the higher takedown frequency (2.96 per 15 minutes), while Condit doesn't defend well (40 percent). We've seen Maia win by rear-naked choke over Neil Magny (+160) and Matt Brown (+225) in recent fights; that might not be the exact result in Vancouver, but we're happy enough to put Maia in our UFC picks at these odds.

Free UFC Pick: Maia +102
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
Record: 7-1 ML, 1-1 Totals, 9-3 Props (+9.72 units)

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