UFC 250 Betting Pick: Charles Byrd vs Maki Pitolo

Kicking off the late prelim card is Charles Byrd and Maki Pitolo.

One of these two doesn’t really belong in the UFC. I will be honest with you guys. I was not familiar with either fighter so I had to go back and tape each guy.

As I was taping each fighter, I was also handicapping them or giving them my own betting odds which converts directly over to an implied probability to win.

Normally, I have been looking at the various betting odds on a fight card and picking which betting lines I thought weren’t correct. Then, if my fight pick lined up well with the price, I would pull the trigger.

This time around, I wanted to try something different.

Handicap the fights blind with no prior knowledge of the betting odds and then compare with the numbers the sportsbooks are giving us. I know plenty of people that are successful with either method.

The blind handicapping is more time consuming because you are watching tape on the entire card but then may only pick 3 fights to bet on. You can find more diamonds in the rough that way, though.

This UFC betting pick is not a diamond in the rough, though. This one is pretty obvious.

The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us this week. Let’s look at those and make our pick for the fight between Maki “Coconut Bombz” Pitolo vs “Kid Dynamite” Charles Byrd.

Charles Byrd (-178) vs Maki Pitolo (+153)

Round Total

  • Over 1.5 (-185)
  • Under 1.5 (+145)
Fight Goes to a Decision

  • Yes (+140)
  • No (-180)

Charles Byrd is a much better fighter than his record suggests. I think he was a very good talent, and his management let him be thrown to the wolves a little early.

He is just 10-6. I get it, though. He has actually been fighting for a decade now but he didn’t get his shot at the UFC until he was 33.

That was 3 years ago and after two Contender Series wins and a victory over John Philips in March of 2017, Byrd got a step up in competition.

  • He fought England’s Darren Stewart, a strong athletic striker with solid takedown defense. Byrd looked good but Darren put him away in the 2nd with an elbow.
  • Then it was Edmen Shahbazyan a few months later who KO’ed him early. Shahbazyan is a killer and a future title contender, guys. That loss was acceptable.

I see why Byrd and his management were pushing for or just accepted the big fights now, though.

He is 36 and most likely on the athletic decline. I love his camp, though. Fortis MMA is filled with one ultra-powerful savage after another.

Their head coach, Sayif Saud, is one of the best in the business, and Dallas, Texas is becoming a hotbed for mixed martial arts.

Byrd has good wrestling, striking, and submissions. He is hittable and, of course, we know he has been KO’ed recently.

Does that mean Coconut Bombz is going to do the same thing? I just can’t imagine how.

His UFC debut was against Callan Potter who really has no business in the UFC besides the fact that he is a gamer and will go out on his shield.

You don’t have to respect his striking skills but anyone who willingly walks though more powerful punches than his own has to be respected. Pitolo isn’t particularly skillful with his striking. His hands are okay but not entirely powerful as he throws them mostly with his arms.

Maki hasn’t shown the wrestling ability to get the aggressive striker out of his face and his hands don’t work either.

I see Byrd boxing him up at range, boxing him up in the pocket, and controlling the fight on the ground should he decide to take it there.

I did hear that Charles had a car accident after his last fight with Shahbazyan and there was an extensive recovery. That does concern me slightly but Pitolo isn’t particularly dangerous so I don’t see him being able to take advantage of any potential new weaknesses.

I think he will get the finish on the feet but I’m not confident in it so let’s just stick with the moneyline here. (-178) seems like a lot but this is a mismatch and the betting odds should be much wider.

My Pick

In Conclusion

This one should NOT be fight of the night!

I think Charles Byrd is a guy who could be on the rise with the organization but when you’re coming up through the ranks of the UFC in your mid-thirties, there isn’t much time to fart around.

I understand the Darren Stewart fight but giving him Edmen Shahbazyan the next time out was just cruel. I do believe that matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard understand what they did to the guy and are throwing him a bone here after his car wreck.

Pitolo hasn’t shown me anything, honestly. He let a pure grappler repeatedly back him up to the cage with weak punches.

Charles Byrd is better than Callan Potter everywhere and I don’t think this is a close fight.

There is the fact that the Potter fight was the first time Maki Pitolo stepped into the Octagon and there are jitters but man…he looked really bad.

Get your bets in now on this fight, y’all. I really don’t see any money coming in on Pitolo.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.