Daniel Zellhuber vs. Christos Giagos prediction | UFC Fight Night 227 1

Daniel “Golden Boy” Zellhuber, 24, entered the UFC following a Dana White Contender Series unanimous decision win over now-UFC fighter, Lucas Almeida.

Since that win, Zellhuber has gone 1-1 under the bright lights; both fights have gone the distance. Nearly a full decade older, Christos “The Spartan” Giagos is 6-6 in the UFC with nearly even splits between finishes and decisions.

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Betting Odds

Zellhuber is still sitting at his opening number as the favorite.

  • Daniel Zellhuber: -270 (BetUS)
  • Christos Giagos: +190 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Zellhuber entered the UFC with some hype behind his name. He is a tall and long stance-switching kickboxer who uses length, tempo, and dynamic striking to pick opponents apart from range. Zellhuber fell flat, to the surprise of many, as a large favorite in his debut. What was even more surprising was Zellhuber being out-struck on the feet against an average striker. He rebounded nicely in his last fight showcasing an impressive combination of patience and dynamacism. What is concerning about both fights, though, is Zellhuber’s tendency to allow opponents to hang around in fights. He uses his length well with an educated jab and an athletic but not overeager pressure on the feet.

Whether it is hesitation because of a lack of experience or something more serious, Zellhuber does not often press the issue when he starts to land cleanly. He’s like a car that can’t quite get to 4th gear. He’s smooth with the jab, patient with the pressure, and creative with his attacks- smooth transitioning from first to second to third gear- but when it comes time to go for the finish, he tends to pull back. Even in his last fight, a decisive win, Zellhuber landed the least amount of significant strikes in round 3 despite appearing fresh and with plenty of cardio. His technical ability is clear, he is a tight and snappy kick boxer with intelligent attacks and a range wisdom that keeps him safe. But, if he continues to win while allowing opponents to hang around, he may find himself in trouble late in fights.

Giagos is one of the dogs in the division. He’s not overly technical, he doesn’t really concern himself with defense, and his cardio is inconsistent. But, one thing is for sure, Giagos comes to fight each and every time he’s in the cage. Giagos has a near even strike differential (2.86 landed to 2.85 absorbed), a sub 50% striking accuracy rate; and, while he attempts over 3 takedowns a fight, he only lands them 41% of the time. Once again, Giagos is not technical nor defensively sound but he makes up for those shortcomings with an ability to pressure forward and bully his way into position.

At least he does early in fights. Giagos also struggles with cardio. Some fights, typically the ones where he can offensively wrestle, Giagos can weaponize pressure for all 3 rounds. But, in fights where opponents can stuff his takedowns, Giagos’ perpetual pressure comes back to haunt him and he can gas out in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Typically, the fighters Giagos can beat are fighters who he can bully against the cage and on the mat. Much like Clay Guida, Giagos will look to make the fight dirty early and exhausting late. Unlike Guida though, in fights where Giagos can’t bully his opponent, Giagos doesn’t have a backup plan or path to victory. He tends to lose to fighters who can keep it standing and hurt him on the feet.


There is a real chance that Giagos big-brother’s Zellhuber here and bullies his way to a gritty and exhausting win. However, I think Zellhuber has the makings of a talented fighter and this is his opportunity to win emphatically. Giagos can’t match Zellhuber’s skill on the feet, will move right into Zellhuber’s well-timed counters, and will likely gas out after round 1.

Giagos’ best path is to wrestle but Zellhuber has strong takedown defense, fundamental scrambling, and the edge in natural size, strength, and youth; so, I expect Giagos to have at most moderate success grappling. Instead, I like Zellhuber to finally find his 4th gear and get a TKO stoppage in round 2 or 3.

Best Bet: Zellhuber to win inside the distance (-110)

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