Phillip Rowe (+138) vs. Orion Cosce (-164)
Weight Class: Welterweight (170 lbs)
Orion Cosce (7-0) will be looking to remain undefeated when he takes on Phillip Rowe at UFC Vegas 33.
For Cosce, all seven of his victories have come via stoppage. He has secured most of his wins by knockout to go along with one Kimura. He last defeated Matt Dixon on the Contenders Series as a two-to-one underdog.
Orion Cosce should certainly have the grappling advantage, though it should be noted that Rowe did miss weight. He also looked shaky on the scales, so I have a hard time believing the extra weight will help him here. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy when discussing grappling.
Cosce has very good ground-and-pound once he works the fight to the ground as well. He is always moving and will likely look to get this one to the clinch and eventually the ground. The undefeated fighter has a solid kickboxing pedigree with some great training partners, but he might not want to make this one a kickboxing match.
This is because Phillip Rowe will be heading in with a whopping eight inch reach advantage. Typically, that would bode very well for Rowe, but I’m not sure that he’ll use it. Cosce has straighter punches and will likely be looking to get in close. Rowe could certainly pick him off from range, but having the reach advantage doesn’t always translate to using it in the Octagon.
As for Rowe’s record, he is (7-3), though it could be argued he has faced better opponents than Cosce. Rowe lost to Gabe Green his last time out and didn’t look great, but I do think Gabe Green is above average.
Ultimately, this is a tough one to call. The jury is still out on each fighter, which is typically the type of fight you find on the prelims of a fight night card. I do have to go with Orion Cosce, however. It isn’t the most confident read and I will only be placing .5U on it in a parlay, but I do like the line at (-164).
Plenty are picking Cosce to get the finish, however, and the price isn’t bad on those props. FanDuel has the KO prop at (+155), which could be worthwhile, but there’s too many unknowns for me to definitively pick that. Some may be factoring in the weight cut issues, so that is certainly worth keeping in mind.
Prediction and play: Orion Cosce moneyline (-164)
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