UFC 257 Fight Island Betting Pick: Ottman Azaitar vs Matt Frevola

The UFC was pretty freaking awesome on their first night on ABC, right?

I thought it couldn’t have gone better. Our betting night was not the best but let me tell you guys, most of the top dogs that I follow had an even worse night.

We were on Alessio Di Chirico when nobody else was.

If you were, congratulations, but I sure didn’t hear about it. Picking a fashionable underdog and it hitting is one thing. Cool story, bro.

You can tell the commentators were caught off guard. All three were talking over each other old school style like Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan.

It felt awesome to swim out to that island on my own, though, and plant my flag. The rains came and kept us afloat for the new year. How cool was it for Alessio to steal some of the hype that was on Joaquin Buckley after his knockout of the century?

Okay, no more soup/pats on the back for me. It would have been a profitable night if Santiago Ponzinibbio would have come to fight. The 3 to 1 favorite and anchor to our parlays was clipped clean by Li Jingliang and put out instantly.

The Brazilian was super hesitant the entire time. He looked nothing like his former self. I have to swallow that one whole, though, as I was well aware of him not fighting for the past two years and being 34 now.

The writing was on the mat. He was also giving Li the fight he wanted too, a striking battle. That one hurt but I know some cappers have a rule of never betting on a fighter who is coming off of a long layoff and Saturday night illustrated to us exactly why. I am feeling pretty good about this matchup I want to talk about today, though. I tipped one of these two in a UFC 257 preview from about 6 weeks ago. A close friend of mine has one of these two fighters paired up with The Notorious Conor McGregor in a two-leg parlay for a couple grand.

I’m not mad at it either. There is a definite stylistic clash that will happen between Matt Steamrolla Frevola and the Bulldozer Ottman Azaitar. I feel like we need to bust out the Tonka trucks to see who wins this one.

We could do that. I know some pretty mental construction workers also so we might be able to do this one for real. It isn’t needed, though. I think I have a great read on this fight as is.

Let’s look at the betting odds provided to use by BetOnline.AG and make a prediction for Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar.

Ottman Azaitar (-150) vs Matt Frevola (+130)

This fight actually opened up as a pick’em and the market, unfortunately, corrected itself immediately and we were unable to take advantage of incredible value. I still like where we are now, though, and I guess I just gave away my pick.

Yes, Ottman is my guy. We won when he was (-130) against Khama Worthy.

I think we are in another great spot with Ottman at (-150) to defeat the Tampa trained Matt Frevola. Matt is a great wrestler with that ginger athleticism.

Hey, don’t act like that’s not a thing. It certainly is. Have you seen Spike Carlyle? Okay, he isn’t the best fighter but how about Blake Griffin? No?…Kathy Griffin?

Matt really is a great athlete and we haven’t seen the takedown defense of Ottman Azaitar tested. I think the sportsbooks and bettors both agree that the Moroccan is the better prospect but stylistically will have to deal with a strong offensive wrestler.

Please Note:
Frevola is also an LT in the Army Reserve. I know he has had to undergo some pretty gnarly mental training to get to that point. Okay, an LT in the reserves doesn’t at all mean you know jack squat about your job but people have to salute you.

I don’t think we are going to see any of that from his opponent on Saturday night at UFC 257. Ottman is coming out there to take Matt’s head clean off and Frevola just wants to Steamrolla.

Who is going to be able to impose their will on the other man? Let’s see how they stack up physically and then analyze their recent fights.

Same height, same reach, same age. Ottman is 13-0 and 2-0 in the UFC with two early knockouts. Matt is 8-1-1 in his pro MMA career with 2 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw inside the Octagon.

The Long Island-born full-time Tampa snowbird has a good win over Jalin Turner who he was able to take down to the mat 4 times en route to a unanimous decision victory. I think Jalin was still a little green at that point and that fight might play out a little differently today.

Matt did get the 4 takedowns but he had to work for it. 13 times is the official number for takedown attempts by Frevola against Jalin Turner. Even if the percentage isn’t that high, I like to see it from a fighter I may bet on because at least they are fighting for your money.

Nothing is more frustrating than betting on a guy or gal that won’t even try to get the fight where they want it out of fear of getting knocked out or submitted.

The result of Matt’s first UFC fight is a worry when you consider the strengths of his opponent, Azaitar. Frevola got knocked out in the first round by Marco Polo Reyes. Most of you guys probably don’t know who he is but you gotta put some “respeck” on his nickname. Take away this win for Marco Polo and he lost his last four fights inside the Octagon all by knockout. Getting finished by this guy in the first round is not a good look but to his credit, Matt stormed back and went to a draw with a wily veteran and creative striker, Lando Vannetta. Just like Polo did, Lando dropped Matt not once but twice in their fight. It was the two takedowns from Frevola that saved him. Lando isn’t the most powerful striker in the world but he can surely catch anyone with something if you give him enough time. So, getting caught by Calrissian doesn’t mean your striking defense is trash.

Matt has won his next two fights against the aforementioned Turner and most recently against the Violent Bob Ross Luis Pena. I am not that high on Pena and we faded him against Khama Worthy for a filthy (+245) payout against him.

Matt’s troubles with Luis gave me pause and I just don’t think the guy has the chin to hang in the UFC’s Lightweight Division. There are some athletes in this division that can really crack. Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, Drew Dober, Nasrat Haqparast, and his opponent this week, Armen Tsarukyen are all very powerful. That being said, I rank Ottmain up there with them as far as punching power goes.

Does he have the rest of the game to support said strength?

After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. He has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu growing up in Germany since he was in elementary school.

He took up boxing and Thai boxing in middle school and later represented his country of Germany in the world championships in Russia. Ottman is 13-0 but Matt has fought more in the UFC.

I don’t think it matters too much because there is a difference in levels between these two. Maybe Matt is able to get him down early but I don’t think it will be often. Azaitar has great range and what look like awesome hips. There is the relentlessness of the Steamrolla to take into consideration.

Please Note:
If you’re a knockout artist then your worst nightmare is a guy who has zero interest in trading with you whatsoever. His only goal is to get in on your legs, get you to the mat, and hopefully keep you there. Stylistically this seems like a play for the underdog considering UFC experience level and wrestling pedigree but I don’t think these two men have the same career trajectory. To me, Ottman is going to be a top ten guy in the promotion’s toughest division while Matt will be lucky to crack the top 20.

If Reyes and Vanetta are dropping you then much more powerful and effective strikers in the division will probably do the same. I do think Ottman can finish Frevola but Matt is likely going to shorten this fight tremendously with his wrestling attempts.

The method of victory prop bets are tempting here but maybe we will attack those later in the week when we get more lines.

Right now, Ottman is (+165) to get a finish and that isn’t enough value for me.

If he was (-300) to win then yea, maybe, but the books did open this as a pick ’em so to only get (+165) on a (-150) favorite is not that appetizing. We could go anti-narrative and take Ottmain by decision for more than 3 to 1 but history tells us that less powerful strikers have put Frevo down and Ottmain should be able to do the same and put him away.

My Pick
Azaitar

In Conclusion

This is going to be a fun fight to watch, that is as long as it lasts. BetOnline.AG has the over/under set at 1.5 rounds and (+135) on the under. I really don’t like to bet the under 1.5 much but at plus money, nah…

Matt Frevola has too much energy and wrestling sticktoitiveness to favor a first round knockout.

Ottman is still affordable at (-150).

I think he should be up at (-200) but there is the question mark around his ability to defend UFC level takedowns and we can say that he might not have much else but Matt can at least put you on your back.

Even money would have been great but it is what it is. Shoutout to Max Holloway. My top of the line Google brand Pixelbook just stopped working out of nowhere today after only 10 months of use.

Even though he won and the quote doesn’t at all fit with what happened this past weekend, I immediately thought of Max and told myself that it is what it is. Hopefully, they can fix the thing soon but until then, I’m on old faithful-an HP Chromebook from 2016 that is built to last.

There will be a lot of money bet on UFC 257 and the public likes knockouts so I wouldn’t be surprised if Ottman became even more expensive by week’s end. You might as well bet on him now because it is going to take something out of the ordinary to move the line in the opposite direction.

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.