UFC 259 Betting Pick: Dominick Cruz vs Casey Kenney

You know UFC 259 is a stacked fight card when Dominick Cruz, one of if not the greatest Bantamweight MMA fighter of all time is competing on the prelims.

Yes, that is correct. Dominick Cruz vs Casey Kenney could headline a Fight Night any day but with a fight card this powerful with so few combined losses, Dom and Casey got pushed down to the prelims.

None of this really bothers me either way.

I am going to watch every single second of every fight like always and this fight has me as intrigued as any other. The Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan fight is one that I have no idea who is going to win.

I think Aljo maybe takes the win 55% of the time because he does have the wrestling advantage on paper and 4 inches of reach on his Russian opponent. I would say take one of the overs in that fight depending on your betting style.

Dominick Cruz is making his return to the Octagon on the heels of a TKO loss to then world champion, Henry Cejudo. Henry caught him with a knee and some fiery follow up punches, and referee Keith Peterson called a stop to the contest with just a couple of seconds remaining in the round. It was pretty quick. Cruz chose to eat the punches and try to stand back up. The ref saw that he is eating shots and stopped it. This is when Cruz came out and said that Peterson is a terrible ref who always smells like beer and cigs.

I recently saw a twitter post and I would have embedded it here for you guys but I believe it’s a fake account but Cruz did come out and request from the NSAC that Keith Peterson not referee his fights.

The next tweet read: I don’t referee prelims.

Savage. I love it. Now, for the Dominator’s matchup at UFC 259, Casey Kenney is a young up and coming fighter who is getting his first big step up in competition with this fight against Dominick Cruz.

Kenney had an incredible battle in his last fight with Great Britain’s Nathaniel Wood.

The first round was sensational and possibly the best round of 2020 in the entire UFC.

Going into the third round seemingly tied at 1 round apiece, Kenney pulled out the wrestling card in the third like a true mixed martial artist and that was the difference.

Against Dominick Cruz, though, I don’t think he will be able to do that. Cruz comes from the great wrestling state of California and has always had some of the best takedown defense in the history of mixed martial arts.

Please Note:
The age gap is a real thing here and remember that smaller fighters age faster than their larger peers, well kind of. One of the first things to go is reaction time and it isn’t like the little guys lose more of it. They just have to deal with much faster strikes coming their way than a heavyweight would.

Kenney is quick but I don’t think he is going to have an easy time landing on one of if not the most defensively sound fighters in the history of the sport.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds on this fight among others. Let’s look at those and make a prediction on a winner in the Cruz vs Kenney fight and also explore some other options including method of victory and/or a round total.

Casey Kenney (-139) vs Dominick Cruz (+119)

A little bit of money has come in on the now favorite Casey Kenney and I get it. He is the younger man by a full 6 years with both men March babies awaiting their birthdays.

Casey Kenney is going to be at a striking disadvantage on the feet, in my opinion.

He was likely going to lose his fight with Nathaniel Wood if not for his wrestling. Wood is a very good striker himself but it still isn’t a good look for Kenney.

This one is simply very difficult to predict. It was hard to tell how strong Dominick Cruz was in his comeback fight against Henry Cejudo for a couple of reasons. Cejudo was the champ and Cruz had a very long layoff prior to the fight.

So, we don’t really know where he’s at right now.

He does an incredible job in the broadcast booth and a big part of that is him studying fighters in depth. Dom is notoriously intelligent and it pays off for him inside of the Octagon as much as when he is commentating.

Picking a winner is tough here but I do love the extra dog money that has come in this week on Dominick.

Why pick a winner, though, in a fight like this one when you don’t have to?

Let’s see what the round totals look like. Wow, the fight goes to a decision prop bet is (-260). The overs are, of course, even more expensive. They have been hammered super hard this week and the books know what’s up as well.

Cruz at (+119) is still a solid play but what I like even more is Cruz by decision. We know he doesn’t have a great deal of power of submission prowess. Dom wins decisions and you can get him still for (+185) to take it on the judges’ scorecards.

That’s a tremendous number, in my opinion.

The Bets
Cruz by Decision

In Conclusion

This is going to be some high level stuff! Dominick Cruz is one of the greatest fighters of our generation. He may not be the knockout artist or submission stylist that a lot of his peers are but defense is his specialty.

Even if it means only landing 3.5 significant strikes per minute for the entirety of his UFC career, Dom is down.

Just look at his defensive numbers!
Sig Strikes absorbed per minute: 2.3. Striking defense: 73%! Takedown defense: 83%. Dom does average 3 takedowns per 15 minutes even though he prefers to out strike his opponents. I think he has the wrestling edge or at least enough to match Kenney.

Then, I give Dom the edge in striking. I lean toward him slightly and if he wins, it will most likely be a decision so why not take the (+185) on that method of victory?

Get your bets in now and enjoy the fights!

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.