Kyle Nelson (+210) vs. Billy Quarantillo (-255)
Weight Class: Featherweight (145 lbs)
It truly seems impossible to book a bad fight in the UFC’s featherweight division. I can’t think of one fighter who doesn’t earn their roster spot and then some at 145. This match-up is more of the same, as Kyle Nelson vs. Billy Quarantillo is a low key banger buried on this card.
Quarantillo heads to Las Vegas riding a seven fight winning streak. He last defeated Spike Carlyle in a wild brawl this past May. Billy Q was able to weather an early storm and defended himself very well off his back. He then bounced back and took control of the fight from there, earning a unanimous decision victory.
It was more of the same on the Contender’s Series. Quarantillo was able to expertly adjust to some early adversity against Kamuela Kirk before knocking him out. Needless to say, Billy Quarantillo has been making a name for himself as a gritty fighter with a granite chin.
As for Kyle Nelson, he is riding high after securing his first UFC victory last September. The Canadian KO’d Polo Reyes with a viscous elbow that left him essentially out on his feet.
The win was much needed for Nelson, as the Ontario native had dropped his first two UFC appearances. Nelson last lost via Arm Triangle to Matt Sayles in May, 2019. Before that, he took a very respectable UFC debut loss to Diego Ferreira. Ferreira is currently riding a six fight winning streak and is set to take on Drew Dober in November.
It should also be noted that both fighters have KO victories over Khama Worthy, who has since won seven straight (after losing to Nelson). Worthy will be in the co-main event slot against Ottman Azaitar.
Stylistically, Billy Quarantillo has the edge on the ground. He is a BJJ black belt and has excellent scrambles. If he gets into trouble on the ground, he’s great at surviving and getting back to his feet. His stand-up is solid as well. Expect pressure and aggression. Of his 14 professional wins, 10 have come via stoppage.
As for Kyle Nelson, the 29 year-old has very heavy hands. Like Quarantillo, he has secured 10 of his 13 wins by stoppage. If Nelson does what he’s done thus far in the UFC, expect him to be throwing leather early. With that said, he hasn’t fought in just about a year, so it’s unclear whether or not his game plan has changed.
I could definitely see Nelson clipping Quarantillo, but ultimately I think this is a good match-up for Billy Q. We’ve seen Nelson struggle with high octane, aggressive grapplers in the past. Billy Quarantillo certainly is that. He will be aggressive on the mat and even if he’s on his back, the submission threat is there. Kyle Nelson certainly isn’t a bad ground fighter, it’s just that Quarantillo’s BJJ will prove too much.
The most encouraging aspect of Billy Quarantillo’s game is his ability to dig deep. He has proven that he can bounce back from a bad round more than once and after a big win over Spike Carlyle, I think we’ll see him take his time a bit more. If he doesn’t rush, I think Nelson will eventually find himself sprawled out on the mat. Even if he finds success early, Billy Q should be fine.
Billy Quarantillo is the pick, but I’m not sure on a method of victory. If I had to guess, I would say round 2 ground-and-pound KO, but I’m just not sure. Method of victory props are all north of +250 on Fanduel Sportsbook (PA), with Quarantillo by knockout (+360) providing the most value. Quarantillo inside the distance sits at (+100).
Like the oddsmakers, I like Billy Q to win, the method is just entirely up in the air. For this reason, I see this as a great parlay piece with a (-255) moneyline. I parlayed it with Bobby Green earlier in the week but as of right now, the line for that parlay comes out to (-110). Jailin Turner (-350) against Brok Weaver is another solid option, but I expect that line to expand drastically.
Prediction and play: Billy Quarantillo moneyline (-255)
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