Matthew Semelsberger (+142) vs. Khaos Williams (-170)
Weight Class: Lightweight (155 lbs)
Khaos Williams and Matthew Semelsberger will be squaring up at UFC Vegas 29 in what will be a pivotal fight for both fighters.
For Khaos Williams, he will be looking to get back in the win column following a December loss to Michel Pereira. Had he won the Pereira fight, however, the 27-year-old would likely be one of the most talked about prospects on the roster.
Williams finished each of his first two UFC bouts in under 30 seconds with knockout wins over Alex Morono and Abdul Razak Alhassan. He then took the Pereira fight a little over a month after the Alhassan KO and lost via unanimous decision. He did hold his own, however, and I think it was very beneficial for Williams to get a loss like that under his belt. He was forced to not only go past the 30 second mark for the first time in his UFC career, but it was also his first time going to the score cards.
Pereira has great movement and was able to avoid getting backed up completely, though Williams was cutting off the cage and moving forward for much of the fight. Williams also kept power in his hands late into the fight, which was a great sign. He has very accurate striking, which makes for a deadly knockout artist.
As for Semelsberger, he is coming off of a quick knockout win himself. He last KO’d Jason Witt with his first strike of the fight back in March. Before that, he picked up a decisive UFC debut win over Carlton Minus.
All told, Semelsberger holds a professional record of 8-2. He is quite well rounded, though it’s tough to get a definitive read on his ceiling. This will be a huge fight for him, as a win here would mark three in as many UFC attempts.
Ultimately, I have to lean with Khaos Williams in this one. I think he will be able to land some accurate, heavy 1-2 combos on Semelsberger’s defense. I also don’t think that Semelsberger has faced someone with the power bar of Williams yet, so that could be a factor. I also don’t think Williams is one-dimensional, though his quick wins then lost could raise red flags in that regard. Since he got an extended look out of the way and has had six months to work on whatever faults his team identified in that performance, I like his chances.
At (-176), this moneyline is very good as a parlay piece. I might go with a knockout prop depending on the price.
Check out the video below for a more detailed analysis.
Prediction and play: Khaos Williams moneyline (-176)
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