Martin Buday

Martin “Badys” Buday, 31, joined the UFC later in life following a first-round knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series. He’s since gone 2-0 with two decision wins, one of which was a technical decision.

Meanwhile, Jake “The Prototype” Collier, 34, has been in the UFC, across several weight classes, since 2014. His UFC record is 5-7; and, in the heavyweight division, he’s 2-4.

Buday and Collier will clash at this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 223 event in Las Vegas.

Betting Odds

Buday and Collier are at pick’em odds, suggesting it’s anyone’s fight.

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Fight Breakdown

Buday entered the UFC primarily as a range striker who regularly used an active jab and cage-cutting footwork to trap opponents so he could land bigger punches against a stationary opponent.

He looked very much like ex-UFC fighter Ben Rothwell with this approach. Rothwell has a much more proven and advanced game; but, the basic jab pawing, plodding but strategic footwork, and heavy right hand were similar. Interestingly, or possibly concerningly as he continues to fight better competition, Buday followed the jab and cage-cut game plan; but, once he trapped an opponent, instead of looking for the knockout shot, he clinched.

To his credit, Buday showed a solid clinch game with surprisingly athletic knees. However, he didn’t deal any real fight-ending damage and didn’t seem interested, or capable, in advancing the fight to the ground. Instead, he looked to press against the cage and avoid a striking battle at range, even with his decided reach advantage.

The change in fight style suggests that Buday is concerned with the strikes coming back his way more in the UFC than outside of it. This makes sense given the increase in talent and power in the UFC and Buday’s lack of speed makes him an easier target to hit cleanly. His audible, changing to more of a clinch fighter, might be an intelligent move or indicate an inability to hang at the UFC level.

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Collier fights frantically, like a child’s windup toy that has been overwound. I suspect the goal of his style is to attempt to use movement and chaotic striking to get into range so his hand speed and volume can become assets. Collier’s issue, though, is his frame.

Previously a middleweight, Collier has the frame of a much smaller fighter, with shorter arms and legs. This results in him getting hit often well before his frantic style can close the distance. Collier has found more success with this “crash and overwhelm” approach when he starts with leg kicks and an intelligent jab. While Collier lacks the natural size of a heavyweight, he does often have the advantage in technique when he chooses to use it. In his two heavyweight wins, Collier showcased an ability to strike from range early, create an opening to crash distance, and hurt his opponent once in tight.

However, those wins came against two of the lowest-level UFC heavyweights, one of which is no longer on the roster. Against a slightly higher level of competition, Collier struggled with that timing and couldn’t regularly get into range. When he did, he still landed volume and showed nice boxing combinations, often working both the body and head. However, his opponents often landed the more damaging shots and were able to muscle their way out of the pocket and force Collier to reset.

Prediction and Betting Guide

Bottomline, neither of these fighters will ever fight for the belt and neither is likely to hold a ranking. Given that it is a low-level heavyweight fight with 4oz gloves, staying away is probably a smart strategy.

However, the pick’em odds offer a unique opportunity to risk less and still win a typical amount. I like Buday in this one.

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Collier’s struggles at heavyweight have typically come against true heavyweights with true heavyweight size and reach. Collier’s only two wins have come against a fighter who moved up from 205 and a fighter who regularly weighs in the 245 range. Meanwhile, Buday is 6’3 and every bit of 260, plus his game plan is designed to keep him all the way out where his range is an advantage or all the way in where his size is an advantage.

Collier will likely struggle to keep this fight in the middle, boxing range, against someone of Buday’s size. Lastly, Collier has a shaky chin; and, although Buday hasn’t shown it yet, he does have some power.

Best Bets: Buday to win (-105) and Buday by knockout (+285)

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