Edson Barboza vs. Billy Quarantillo prediction | UFC on ESPN 44 1

In a rare battle of fighters without nicknames, Edson Barboza, 37, takes on the 34-year-old Billy Quarantillo at UFC on ESPN 44.

Barboza, who still has one of the best resumes in the UFC, has dropped his last 2 fights and is 2-5 in his last 7. He’s split his two wins between knockout and decision while his losses include 2 unanimous decisions, 2 split decisions, and 2 knockouts.

Quarantillo is 5-2 in the UFC but is only 3-2 in his last 5. All three of his wins have come via knockout, in late round two and round three, while both of his losses were via unanimous decision.

Betting Odds

Quarantillo opened as a slight favorite and has grown throughout the week.

Fight Breakdown

Most MMA fans know who Edson Barboza is and how he fights. He has excellent kicks, strikes with speed and power, and has an athletic and electric style. He is, even at 37, incredibly fast and dangerous, and ramps up his power as the fight goes on. His striking, at one time, was one of the most feared skill sets in the lightweight division. The criticism of Barboza has been the same for his whole career: grappling. Because of his long frame, athletic ability, and natural strength, Barboza’s takedown defense has been solid throughout most of his career. However, because of his kick heavy attack and explosive striking, he can often be caught on one leg or off balance and create openings to be taken down.

As he’s gotten older, his style has stayed the same but his takedown defense, once rooted in youthful athleticism, has started to dip. In his last fight, we saw Barboza get ragdolled by Mitchell, a strong wrestler in his own right. This presented the question: is Mitchell that good of a wrestler, or is Barboza’s age finally starting to catch up to him? I think both are true. Offensively, Barboza is still twitchy, powerful, and can hit like a truck. But his ability to keep the fight upright is starting to decline with age.

Special Offer: Click here to sign up to MyBookie and get our exclusive sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000.

Quarantillo, or “Billy Q,” is one of the most gritty fighters on the roster. He has excellent cardio, one hell of a chin, and a will to push through adversity like few others. In each of his fights, Quarantillo shows that he can not only withstand punishment but thrive despite it. He faces that punishment in most fights because he is often a step behind athletically, not the most polished striker, and his takedown defense is inconsistent. Quarantillo has to often overcome the lack of natural gifts in the cage and rely on toughness, cardio, and pressure to win fights.

That is not to say he is without skill. Bill Q has a black belt, is good on the ground on top and from his back, and can pile up damage on the feet through relentless volume. His typical game plan is to pressure, pressure, and then pressure some more. No matter what comes back his way, Quarantillo looks to drown his opponent with a constant mix of striking, grappling, and clinch fighting. No matter where the fight goes, Billy Q is comfortable and is capable at inflicting punishment. The knock on him as has always been a lack of athleticism and he faces one of the most naturally athletic fighters in the division.

Prediction and Betting Guide

If Barboza never fought Mitchell, I think he would be favored in this fight. Barboza has the striking speed and variety that should allow him to piece Quarantillo up for 15 minutes given the predictable movement and pressure from Billy Q. However, the Mitchell fight did happen and it showed a less-than-skilled striker who was a step slow land cleanly and even drop Barboza. That leads many to believe Billy Q can have similar success on the feet.

Moreover, Mitchell landed 4 takedowns and controlled Barboza for over 11 minutes. While Billy Q is not the wrestler that Mitchell is, Barboza seemed exhausted by the end of his previous fight and Billy Q is more than capable of exhausting opponents through his grappling. I think this fight will come down to round 1. Barboza, with the speed advantage, will likely land early. If Billy Q can time those strikes with counters of his own, get Barboza against the cage where his kicks are nullified, or even land a takedown, then I expect Billy Q to relentlessly rinse and repeat. However, if Barboza can enter a flow state, strike with fluidity, and keep Quarantillo back, he should be able to keep that up for all 3 rounds.

My best bet is a live bet on Billy Q after round 1 if he can achieve any of the above successes. If round 1 is close or even in Billy Q losses it, his line should drop to near pick’em. Many of us though don’t have access to live lines, so, my favorite straight bet on this fight is fight goes to decision. Quarantillo is insanely tough so Barboza will be unlikely to get the finish. And Billy Q will likely look to grind out a decision win to negate the flashy attacks, resulting in a clinch and wrestle-heavy fight that lends itself to a decision as well.

Best Bets: Fight goes the distance (-105) and Quarantillo live after round 1

Special Offer: Click here to sign up to MyBookie and get our exclusive sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *