Just before Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor take on each other for the third time, Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson will serve a tasty appetizer for the main event with an intriguing fight of their own. In this battle of top-five contenders in the welterweight division, who will come away with the W? Check out our preview of this fight below.
Betting Preview for the Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson Welterweight Bout at UFC 264 on July 10, 2021
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
When: Saturday, July 10, 2021
TV Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass
Betting on Gilbert Burns (+145)
MMA Record: 19-4-0
Ranked as the No. 2 contender in the welterweight division, will look to rebound from a failed attempt to take the title away from division king Kamaru Usman. Burns got roasted by Usman in a TKO loss in the third round of their title fight back in February 2021. Durinho was coming in hot in that fight, as he had a six-fight win streak going for him. At the time, he was coming off a unanimous decision victory over Tyron Woodley in May 2020. Burns have shown a propensity to push the action standing up or on the ground. He can stun opponents with his power, as he’s got six knockout wins. He can also get the job done on the mat, as evidenced by his8-0 submission record. He overpowered Woodley in both departments, scoring 83 significant strikes to just 28 by Woodley, while also recording two takedowns and avoiding all attempts from his opponent to take him to the ground. In the fight prior to that, Burns knocked out submission specialist Demian Maia. Burns is a dangerous fighter for Thompson either way.
Betting on Stephen Thompson (-175)
MMA Record: 16-4-1
Unlike Burns, Thompson has considerable momentum heading into this fight. He has won his last two fights, scoring unanimous decisions back to back against Vicente Luque way back in November 2019 and Geoff Neal in December 2020. This will be Thompson’s first fight in 2021, so he should be extremely fresh when he squares off with Burns. Thompson has the tools to live up to his favorite label on fight night. He is taller by two inches than the 5-foot-10 Burns and owns a four-inch reach advantage (75 to 71). Burns will likely try to cut down the size of the Octagon to tailor-fit his strengths, but Thompson’s not going to make that easy because of his physical advantages and the fact that he’s got a superb takedown defense. Thompson has a 78% takedown defense. He is getting taken down just 0.32 times per 15 minutes. A kick-boxer, the 38-year-old Thompson is going to rely on his power and length to keep Burns at bay. Thompson has seven knockout wins.
Burns wins via decision.
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