Julian Marquez vs Maki Pitolo Predictions
February 10, 2021
Julian Marquez -160 vs Maki Pitolo
Fight is at 170 lbs and is -170 to end inside the distance
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If you’ve followed this UFC picks column for any amount of time, you know how I feel about Maki Pitolo, and what I see as huge limitations in his game. He has dropped three of four fights under the UFC banner and it is important to note the one win comes with an asterkisk.
Charles Byrd retired after his loss to Pitolo and the remainder of the body of work from this fighter is underwhelming. He was beaten handily by Callan Potter in his debut, a fighter who was knocked out in the first round of his other UFC bouts. He was submitted by Darren Stewart, who previously had no career submissions and was handled easily by Impa Kasangany.
On the Marquez side, he is coming off a two year layoff due to a rather rare injury he suffered in his most recent fight against Alessio Di Chirico. He had a full torn lat muscle and needed multiple surgeries in his recovery. Now back to full time training, the layoff has given us a value opportunity, as I believe this line would be significantly wider had Marquez been on the scene in recent months.
Dating back to 2016 and excluding the loss in his last fight in which he was injured, Marquez had won five straight fights via finish inside the first two rounds, and both of his UFC fights. Included in that was a KO of Phil Hawes who looks quite dangerous, and a submission of Darren Stewart.
I would give Marquez the edge in every skill based facet in this fight. The one area in which Marquez may be at a disadvantage is activity. Pitolo may be the busier fighter which would put him in line for a decision win should a finish not come.
That said, I believe a finish comes and I believe this UFC 258 fight was made to be a stepping stone for Marquez. While his +160 ITD line is not the most value laden we’ve seen, it speak volumes to the ease in which bookmakers and bettors believe he will be able to finish Pitolo. Marquez ITD at +160 is the play.