You guys know how tall Deron Winn is? The man is 5’6”. I know he is pretty stocky and all. The guy can wrestle too. He teaches kids in his spare time just like his good buddy Daniel Cormier.
At Middleweight, though, where most fighters rise above the 6-foot mark and poor Deron is literally and figuratively fighting an uphill battle for potentially another 15 minutes. His fights have given us mixed results since his Octagon debut back in June of 2019.
After getting his hand raised in his Octagon debut against Eric Spicely, a BJJ guy without much physicality. This was a great matchup for Deron and Winn did just that unanimously on the judges' scorecards.
Following that victory, though, Deron lost two fights in a row to fighters, not in the top 25 of the UFC's Middleweight Division. Most recently, he fought the gigantic Antonio Arroyo scoring a career-high 12 takedowns on the Brazilian striker.
Phil Hawes is a different animal altogether, though. I can see an outside shot with Deron wearing Phil down with his constant grappling attack. If Hawes has a weakness, it is certainly his cardio.
I get the hot take on Deron here but short and stocky vs tall and stocky doesn’t look good for the guy giving up half of a foot in height. It isn’t often we see this, of course, because fighters are usually maxed out at their weight class.
If they have height, they probably give up thickness or maybe the shorter guy has extra-large tree trunks for legs. Those girls and guys end up fighting athletes with bigger bone structures.
You may have heard me say it before. I will take the fighter with the bigger frame over the guy with the bigger muscles. Bones don’t get tired and physics is a thing. Even if I was too chicken to take it in high school.
I honestly think Phil Hawes has more frame but more muscle as well. This may work against him in the third round so he is going to have to keep lil' man at a distance.
Let’s look at the betting odds for this Middleweight matchup and make a prediction.
Phil Hawes (-320) vs Deron Winn (+260)
Wow, the books really want us to take a shot on the underdog here but let's not forget that Phil Hawes was a nationally ranked wrestler in high school and college at the same time Deron Winn was competing in the same ranks.
Deron is a little spark plug but it isn’t like Phil is long and lanky. His nickname is Megatron!
I think he can knock out Deron here. His reach advantage and striking edge should add up to a lot of punches landing on the end of the whip. I believe one of those will hurt Deron and from there, Phil can get vicious with the quickness.
The only two guys to go the distance with Phil are Kyle Daukaus and Nas Imavov who have proven themselves to be highly durable rising stars in the UFC’s Middleweight Division.
Okay, decision time. Phil is dead even money at (+100) to win by stoppage. Deron Winn has been stopped before inside the Octagon. Gerald Meerschaert got him by mata leao or rear-naked choke but the grappling specialist did drop him first.
In Brazil: Mata Leao! (Emphasis on the “a” in leao) To kill the lion.
In the States: Rear-naked choke…
RNC has a nice ring to it but I would love to go back to mata leao but the rear-naked choke seems like it has stuck for now. Maybe we can get back to the Vale Tudo roots sooner than later.
The decision money on Hawes here is really good. I mean, pretty hot and tempting at (+265). Phil knows that Deron will probably win the third round due to cardio so do we expect him to come out blazing or play it smart and safely bank two rounds on the cards?
I know my dude is tough and can probably wrestle the webs away in his head if he gets caught by shooting and hanging on but again, Phil Hawes is not Antonio Arroyo or any of the lower-level competition that Deron has fought.
This one is hard. You can bet both and hope for a decision. If he gets the finish and you bet 1 unit on each play, you get your money back essentially. Deron can get the W here but he is really up against it and his specialty sauce might not be enough to get Megatron on his back.
I am not mad at all if you want to take a shot on Phil Hawes, a more than 3 to 1 favorite, to win a decision with better than a 2 to 1 payout. Any time I see a discrepancy like this, I want to attack it.
With the stoppage play still in the plus money or at least even, I have to go with that. Phil isn’t a young buck at 32. The time is now so I believe he will be making a statement this weekend in Vegas.
I feel like the sharp value move is the decision line for Hawes because it pays more than 100% more than the stoppage bet but I have this thing that covers up my abs.
It's called a gut and sometimes I can't get away from it. Don't overthink this one like I did, though. Bet both the Hawes by stoppage and decision lines.
Depending on how you spread the unit sizes between the two, at the very least, we can break even. The major worry is, of course, losing 2 bets on one fight which is not something anyone wants to explain to their girlfriend.
This is a unique spot and if everything is Kosher at the weigh-ins, I might invest heavily here.
Pick: Phil Hawes by stoppage (+100)
Spooky Express is your UFC Vegas 39 headquarters with Fight Breakdowns, Betting Analysis, Fight FREE PLAYS, Sportsbook Bonuses, and much more! CLICK HERE to read each handicapping breakdown from this UFC event!