Tony Gravely, another Dana White Contender Series alum, fights Saturday night and looks to extend his win streak to three in a row. Gravely is 29 years old with a 21-6 professional record; and, he is 2-1 in the UFC. Of his 21 wins, 9 have come by knockout and another 9 by decision. Possibly an Achilles heel, five of his six losses have come by submission. Maness, 30 years old, is 13-1 professionally and is 2-0 in the UFC. He has four knockout, three submission, and six decision wins. His sole loss was a knockout in 2019.
Gravely vs. Maness betting odds
Gravely is a slightly higher than a 2:1 favorite over Maness who returns a little better than 1.5 times your investment with a win.
Gravely vs. Maness breakdown
Gravely is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who, at 29 years old, is entering his prime but still growing. Gravely has some pop in his hands and is a polished and committed wrestler. Gravely lands four significant strikes per minute and has turned them into nine knockouts. He also averages six takedowns per fight; and, in his last fight, controlled his opponent for 4.5 minutes of a 7.5-minute fight. He moves well in the cage, is conscientious about his striking defense, and can withstand a few shots if his defense fails him. Not a perfect fighter, Gravely has two clear gaps in his game – his cardio and his submission defense. Likely tied together, if a fighter can get Gravely’s back to the mat, he can exhaust him and synch up a submission. With only a 52% takedown defense, Gravely has struggled against this strategy in the past.
Fortunately for Gravely though, Maness is not a wrestle-first fighter. Instead, he prefers to box with his opponents and looks to land big overhand rights. With a reliable chin, Maness is comfortable taking a shot to land one of his own. In fact, on average, Maness only lands 2.4 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.6. At 13-1, his counter heavy strategy has worked well. But, in the UFC, allowing your opponent to dictate the fight, move forward, and land when and how they chose is a dangerous proposition. Nevertheless, with that powerful right hand only a moment away, Maness is never completely out of a fight.
Gravely vs. Maness prediction
Maybe I’m not giving Maness enough credit; but, I have not been impressed in his UFC tenure so far. In the last fight, even though he won, he was getting overwhelmed by a pressure heavy striker with solid wrestling to fall back on. Gravely is that same archetype of a fighter but has more success and a better ability to manage his output. Gravely could punch himself out like Manness’ last opponent did, but I see Gravely only striking for a few minutes before getting takedowns and a win.
Prediction: Gravely by decision
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.