Fernando Padilla vs. Kyle Nelson prediction | UFC Fight Night 227 1

Fernando Padilla, 26, won his UFC debut against veteran UFC journeyman, Julian Erosa. Padilla has finished 13 of 15 wins and has only lost – 4 times – via decision.

He takes on another aggressive fighter in Kyle “The Monster” Nelson. Nelson is 32 got back in the win column with a decision win back in June. That win brings his UFC record to 2-4-1.

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Betting Odds

Padilla is a respectable favorite ahead of Saturday night.

  • Fernando Padilla: -265 (BetUS)
  • Kyle Nelson: +180 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Padilla fighting, and beating, Erosa is significant beyond beating a UFC vet. Both Padilla and Erosa have similar fighting styles; but, Padilla proved he is a step ahead athletically and lethally. Unafraid of a firefight, Padilla tends to start his fights pushing a high pace from the opening seconds. In only an :80 fight, Padilla threw 29 significant strikes and landed 20 of them. Despite a tall and long frame for the division, Padilla tends to forego his reach advantage in favor of an in-the-pocket brawl. He tends to rush forward on a straight line, rely on his chin for defense, and unload heavy hooks in the pocket.

He tends to keep his head on the center line and can get tagged coming in; but, because of his chin and natural power, Padilla has tended to get the better of 50/50 exchanges so far in his career. Beyond being a successful brawler on the feet, Padilla has a strong submission game. His wrestling is basic, instead more often looking for a club and sub. If he stuns or drops and opponent, he can pounce on them quickly and secure a submission soon after. We haven’t seen him tested in the UFC yet but his pre-UFC fights also show that he can continue a higher-paced fight for 3 rounds.

Nelson, much like Padilla, is a brawler who hunts the finish early and often. Unlike Padilla who has a height and reach advantage over some of his opponents, Nelson is often the shorter fighter. Because he’s often a bit smaller than his opponents, Nelson has to strike upwards. Depending on the chicken or the egg debate, this reality has resulted or benefited from his big over hand strikes. Nelson tends to swing from his hip, lead with his head down, and strike with violent intentions.

Because of his wild style, Nelson has a sub 50% striking accuracy rate and a negative strike differential. He makes up for his technical shortcomings with aggression, power, and a willingness to go into dangerous waters. Fighters unwilling to scrap or unprepared to brawl tend to struggle against the Canadian. However, fighters who are willing to test their chins have not only found success but often the finish.


Nelson’s biggest issues are his defense, his chin, and his cardio. However, he is always a live dog. Padilla is green and hittable himself which gives me pause at the -265 number next to his name.

However, I do expect Padilla to win. He is more dynamic, more athletic, and has the submission x-factor ability. Nelson might crack him early and blow up some parlays; but, I feel the more likely outcome is the young Padilla getting another early finish.

Best Bet: Padilla to win inside the distance (-120)

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