UFC on ESPN 29 Predictions: Vinc Pichel vs. Austin Hubbard odds, analysis 1

American lightweights Vinc Pichel and Austin Hubbard will meet in a main card bout at UFC on ESPN 29 to determine a winner. Although Pichel is almost a decade Hubbard’s elder, both men hold 13 victories to their name with the opportunity at a 14th on Saturday.

A California native deemed Vinc “From Hell” Pichel, had a rocky start, losing his UFC debut in 2012. From there he would go on an eight-year tear, slipping up only once to Gregor Gillepsie. En route to 2021, Pichel picked up a notable win over Jim Miller in his last outing. Against Hubbard this weekend, he will look to earn his first victory of 2021.

While it took those eight years for Pichel to rack up his 6-2 UFC record, Hubbard has managed to compete six times in just the past three since entering the promotion. In 2019 made his UFC debut losing to grappling standout Davi Ramos but bouncing back before alternating between wins and losses. On Saturday he will have the chance to snap this pattern and begin his first UFC win streak.

Pichel vs. Hubbard odds

The two fighters meet in a pick’em fight at exactly -115 each. Essentially according to the oddsmakers, this matchup is as close as it gets.

  • Vinc Pichel: -115
  • Austin Hubbard: -115

Pichel vs. Hubbard Breakdown

Austin Hubbard does not have a particularly pretty style, at times even looking awkward but still effective. Without particular athletic gifts, he finds himself at a power and speed disadvantage in most matchups, especially in the opening round. We’ve seen him beaten to the punch early, and find himself in very dangerous positions dry when fighting good grapplers. Historically, at least in the UFC, he has given up the first round in each of his fights.

However, he makes up for this lack of technical skills and athleticism early, through a consistent, disciplined, and long game approach. He will work at a constant pace, never really allowing long pauses in the fight in which his opponents can recover. He stays calm under pressure and never over commits to failing techniques and knows when to reset and continue. His best technique is a chopping low leg kick, which reflects his overall approach while he chops down his opponent base which he can capitalize on later.

In terms of grappling there is a big distinction between the wrestler Austin Hubbard and the Jiu Jitsu Austin Hubbard, from top position, he likes to control with classic forehead under the chin pressure, and like his striking, will work at a constant rate. He often keeps half guard and picks his shots in order to create panic with which he can take advantage of. On the bottom though, his jiu jitsu game is mostly defensive, his anti-submission skills are powerful but he would much rather reset on the top before attacking himself.

Vinc Pichel is a much heavier hitter and physical specimen. Moreso a boxer, Pichel has a slight edge in head movement and fluidity. However he does also have a habit of dipping very low looking for his lunging overhands, which when connecting, does land very heavy. The downside to doing this is if his opponent can time it, the knee in that position could be devastating, and he will have to be wary of Hubbard’s counters.

Like Hubbard, Pichel is much better in top position than bottom, although he can threaten he has been controlled there in the past for long segments of the round. On top, however, he is extremely strong, and he blends his grappling and striking to perfectly complement each other. He will dominate position and use short elbows and punches to force the transitions he wants. Likewise in the clinch, he will use short elbows and knees in order to present himself with a worn-out opponent later on and look for power strikes and ground and pound.

Pichel vs. Hubbard prediction

Pichel will likely come on strong first in the opening round. Hubbard begins his constant picking apart style right away, but with a speed and power advantage, he is rarely able to deliver with as much impact as he receives in those opening moments. He does have a chance to come back late, however.

The area where I think the fight will really be won though is in the takedowns, whoever can secure top position first will be sending a strong message. I think that Pichel is stronger on top and has the potential to do more damage, although he has never won by submission, this statistic does not reflect his ability. Ultimately I think that Pichel earns the first submission victory of his career.

Prediction: Vinc Pichel by submission

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