Knockout artist Devonte “King Kage” Smith will have his fifth UFC fight since earning a contract from Dana White’s Contender Series with a first-round finish in 2018. Since in the UFC, Smith is 3-1 with three knockout wins and one knockout loss. Professionally, Smith has never seen the judges’ scorecards. He is 11-2 with 10 knockouts, 1 submission win, and 2 knockout losses. In fact, in the UFC, he’s never had a fight last more than 8.5 minutes.
Jamie Mullarkey is a finishing specialist himself. One year younger than Smith, at 27 years old, Mullarkey is 13-4 professionally. He has 9 knockouts, 3 submissions, and 1 decision win. In his losses, he’s been knocked out twice and lost twice by decision. Despite his successful professional record, in the UFC, Mullarkey is 1-2. Both losses have been by decision and the one win was by knockout.
Smith vs. Mullarkey betting odds
Smith and Mullarkey are close to a pick’em for odds and the line is getting narrower.
Smith vs. Mullarkey breakdown
This fight should be a banger for as long as it lasts. Both fighters have fire in their hands and shaky chins. Smith, specifically, pushes calmly forward in the octagon, hunting the finish. While moving forward, Smith will piece his opponent up with combinations to open the guard and expose the chin. Once he finds his opponent’s chin, it’s only a matter of seconds before lights out. Statistically, Smith averages 5.6 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.6. That positive strike differential mixed with his top-tier power has resulted in a 100% finish rate for Smith’s wins.
Mullarkey has similar power to Smith but approaches the fight in a different way. While Smith pushes forward and uses combinations, Mullarkey is comfortable letting the fight come to him where he can unload one or two massive shots to try and finish the fight. In fact, Mullarkey only averages 2 significant strikes per minute with a lowly 34% accuracy while absorbing 4.6. When he times it right, Mullarkey is a counter striker who can finish an opponent getting too aggressive too quickly.
Smith vs. Mullarkey prediction
Both Smith and Mullarkey share a lot of similarities – power, suspect chins, and even a recent common opponent. The narrative that Mullarkey finished Worthy after Worthy earned a decision victory over Smith is popular but incomplete. Worthy and Smith were training partners and friends which created a fight where both men were uncharacteristically patient. Meanwhile, Worthy played right into Mullarkey’s hand by rushing forward with a high chin.
MMA math isn’t reliable; instead, we have to examine this fight statistically and stylistically, both of which favor Smith. He is the more technical and crisp striker, will have a higher volume, and has a good enough fight IQ to pick his shots strategically. Mullarkey has the chance to land a big shot and either guy can drop; but, I’m siding with the more talented and technical fighter.
Prediction: Smith by TKO/KO
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.