UFC Vegas 86: Jack Hermansson vs. Joe Pyfer Prediction, Pick and Odds

Best bet for the UFC Vegas 86 main event

Apr 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Joe Pyfer (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Gerald Meerschaert
Apr 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Joe Pyfer (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Gerald Meerschaert / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

With another middleweight main event on Feb. 10, Jack Hermanson looks to avoid his first two-fight losing streak since 2013 as an underdog against the rising Joe Pyfer.

Despite being the UFC's no. 10 ranked middleweight, Hermansson comes in as a 2-1 underdog against the 12-2 Pyfer. Now 3-0 in the UFC, Pyfer has not lost since dislocating his shoulder on Dana White's Contender Series in 2020 and is coming off of a dominant submission win over Abdul Razak Alhassan at UFC Vegas 80.

The UFC is clearly behind Pyfer and his 'rags to riches' story, but Hermansson has seen everything this division has to offer, having been in the top 10 since 2019. With the moneyline being a bit wide in Pyfer's favor, the round total is where we want to focus.

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Jack Hermansson vs. Joe Pyfer odds, total

Jack Hermansson vs. Joe Pyfer best bet

As a big fan of Jack Hermansson, this matchup has pained me since its announcement with all signs pointing to a Joe Pyfer showcase on Feb. 10.

It is clear what the UFC wants with Pyfer and their matchmaking of him to this point has been tremendous. Now, in just his fourth fight in the promotion, Pyfer has a chance to burst into the top 10 of the division and knock on the door of a title shot with a win on Saturday.

However, make no mistake, as Hermansson is certainly capable of handing Pyfer a stiff reality check as he did with Edmen Shahbazyan and Chris Curtis. But since entering the top 10 at middleweight, Hermansson has been a stereotypical gatekeeper, alternating wins and losses for the better part of five years. While that trend suggests a win at UFC Vegas 86 following his last loss, Hermansson has continuously struggled with fighters with Pyfer's skill set.

From what we have seen from Pyfer's team to this point, they are amongst the best in the sport at creating efficient game plans. While Pyfer is a top-tier grappler himself, the obvious advantage for him is his power in the striking department as Hermansson lands just 29% of his takedown attempts and has struggled with power throughout his career. In similar matchups, Hermansson has been finished by Jared Cannonier and Thiago Santos while also being dropped by Marvin Vettori.

In 14 professional fights from Pyfer, just one has gone the distance — his second professional fight — while all of his other fights have ended within 12.5 minutes. Hermansson has seen the cards much more often in a larger sample size, but 17 of his 23 wins have been by finish while 17 of his 31 total bouts have gone under 2.5 rounds. In their two respective careers, 30 fights have gone under 2.5 out of 45 combined bouts, hitting at a 66% clip.

When Hermansson loses, it tends to be early and violent while when Pyfer wins, it tends to be in a similar fashion. With the moneyline price favoring Pyfer, all signs point to the under in this matchup.

Prediction: Joe Pyfer by knockout in round two

Best Bet: Under 2.5 (-160)

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change