UFC Fight Island Betting Pick: Tyson Nam vs Matt Schnell

You may have never heard of either fighter but both men are pretty talented and at the top of the UFC’s Flyweight Division at what they do. Currently, Tyson Nam ranks 13th in the division and Matt Schnell is 8th.

  • I rank Tyson’s knockout power right up there with Pantoja’s and the champ’s.
  • Matt Schnell has some of the best grappling in the division.

I think Schnell is up there with said Pantoja as well as Brandon Royval and Askar Ansarov. So, their strengths rank top three. Does either strength match up well against another’s weakness? Yes.

Tyson can crack and Matt Schnell has a suspect chin.

That is a worry for “Danger” Schnell backers. And by suspect I mean that thing is already a felon. We have corroborating witnesses. It’s not looking good for the “suspect”.

How about Tyson? Does he have weak submission defense? If so, then Matt has a clear path to victory in that regard. Tyson has lost 11 times in his career and many were front loaded. The only time on record at tapology.com that he was finished was by a head kick from Marlon Moraes.

I think we can forgive that. The same thing happened to a lot of people including Aljamain Sterling who is about to fight Petr Yan for the Bantamweight title.

Please Note:
I know he is 37 now but it appears that it is all coming together for Tyson Nam. He has 100% takedown defense listed but that is just from one fight when a non-wrestler tried 4 times and failed. I just worry that his striking game is too low volume. There is a formula or blueprint I should say to beat Nam.

We will get to that in a moment but first, let’s get to the betting odds brought to us by the good ole boys over at BetOnline.AG. They continually lead the way for mixed martial arts betting from week to week and I expect them to open most of the lines in America and also continue to have the most competitive in the country as well.

Tyson Nam (-130) vs Matt Schnell (+110)

Tyson Nam is from Hawaii. I just thought I would put that out there. I feel like I must after this past weekend’s Fight Night from Fight Island. Punahele Soriano broke my heart as well as the face and overconfidence of his opponent, Dusko Todorovic.

The Serb was sliding out of the way of everything the Hawaiin was throwing at him…until he didn’t and that was pretty much the end of it. Soriano looks the part with his neck wider than some men’s quads and those lats he so stylistically flared out at the weigh ins were wings that helped him find the chin of the favorite and crush our betting play.

Then, Max Holloway decided since the UFC was on ABC for the first time in history, that he should probably put on the greatest performance inside the Octagon anyone has ever seen. It was like he just felt like it that night.

I ate a lot of words watching that fight but it was still something special to see and I am thankful and honored to see that fight live. That was greatness. Max Holloway is special and that brings me around to my point.

Hawaiians are just built different. I don’t know what it is but they appear to have more durability than most and a great deal of power as well. Then, there’s strength too. Max is skinny. He just is.

I am too so I am allowed to say the s-word. I know some skinny people are strong to be skinny but come on. How can he defend all those takedowns from guys with so much more muscle on their frames. He is a legend in the sport already and we appear to be just scratching the surface with Max Blessed Holloway.

Tyson Nam, though, eh. He has a good year or two left in him. He looks like the picture of health and not a day over 25. The man has over 30 fights, though, and has won 20 of them. He has very good power in his hands, particularly his right one.

We have seen Tyson head kick finish Ali Baugutinov outside of the UFC. Ali once challenged Mighty Mouse for the Flyweight belt. It didn’t go the Russian’s way that day. Nam is very dangerous but history shows that if you have just a little bit of reach on him and you hold that range, you can win a decision.

Tyson is a very low volume striker. I mentioned that already but it is one of the most important things to note for this matchup. It has really been a tale of two fights for Tyson Nam inside the Octagon. His losses to Kai Kara France and Sergio Pettis were because they stayed on the outside and threw more shots.

It wasn’t just that. Both fighters have phenomenal footwork and took advantage of the plodding Nam.

Please Note:
Matt Schnell has the athletic ability, boxing, and quickness to do the same thing. He also has a little more reach and is taller than those two guys.

Nam’s last opponent did as well. Jerome Rivera has even more height and reach at 5’10 and 70”. That is almost unheard of in the Flyweight division. Nam was a clean 36/72 in significant strikes before the ref pulled him early in the second round.

I think Schnell can definitely win this fight.

Will he be able to avoid the power shots of Nam, though?

Here is the thing w Schnell: They don’t call him Danger for nothing. The guy doesn’t care if he has the reach.

He wants to SCRAP! Now, he is at American Top Team, one of the best camps in the world and I imagine they are telling him that he needs to use his quickness and footwork. All he has to do is jab and move.

Oh, and avoid the overhand right. That is not his style, though. He is a wild crazed dog and I don’t see him all of a sudden harnessing that and turning into a Kai Kara France or Sergio Pettis who are content with staying on the outside and winning a decision.

Schnell has been knocked out 3 times in his UFC career including his most recent bout but thankfully for him, he took a year off. It was in December of 2019 when Alexandre Pantoja blasted him with a counter right as he ran in recklessly. He got into a wreck because he was reckless. I have never understood that word but oh well. Schnell has also been put out by just a few hammer fists while he has Sandoval in a triangle choke. Matt’s head wasn’t even bouncing off the mat so I don’t know. I think we need to make an arrest on his suspect chin. The guy loves to fight. You can tell and he loves to fight a certain way.

Maybe he puts away Nam. Who knows but I think Matt won’t be able to help himself. There are guys as legendary as they are like Khabib, GSP, and Jon Jones.

They all prefer to fight outside of the fire.

That is one of the reasons they have all been virtually flawless for a long time. It doesn’t matter how talented Matt Schnell is.

If he is going to fight like he has in the past, even as a Flyweight, he is going to get starched.

Maybe he has changed his ways and we see a much more measured approach from Matt in this fight. This has happened before but good luck getting out in front of it. By that, I mean predicting it.

That’s like saying this batter is in a slump. He is 0 for his last 14. I’m gonna bet on him to get a hit! Matt Danger Schnell has never fought anyone where he wasn’t constantly putting himself in danger so you have to expect the same from him this Saturday night.

From there, Nam has the experience and the power to put him away.

Please Note:
Nam TKO in Round 1 is only (+400). I’m not saying it’s a great bet but you would think that number would be much higher having to predict now only how but when a knockout will happen in a big Octagon in the Flyweight Division.

Nam is (+160) to get the TKO win. That is the line I like. I don’t think I can say what round but we only need to say that we think Nam gets a TKO 35-40% of the time to make a strong play.

Schnell is a freaking wildman, though, and I see this fight ending inside the distance. That is (-160), though, which is wild for a 3 round Flyweight bout. They know these two are going to go at it.

My Pick
Nam by TKO

In Conclusion

Fun fight, here! I will admit that I went into tape wanting to bet on Matt Schnell. I think I was overrating his takedown abilities, though.

  • He is only 32% in his career inside the Octagon attempting to get his opponents to the mat.
  • He only averages .64 takedowns/15 minutes so we know what this guy is about.
  • He is kill or be killed.
  • He wants to get in your face and rip shots even if he is taller and longer.

Then you get him on his back and he isn’t trying to stand up but a massive threat with triangles and guillotines. Then, someone like Sandoval lands a few fairly light hammer fists and Danger is done.

I can’t get behind his chin and I can’t get behind his poor fight IQ.

I will be watching Matt Schnell fight anytime he steps in there because he is a fighter’s fighter.

He is not, though, a bettor’s fighter and for that, I have to fade him here against Tyson Nam who has multiple knockouts at 125 and 20 pro wins in total.

Get your bets in now because I think more people are jumping on this Hawaii bandwagon right now. Hey, I’m not leaving my Dagestani bus for long but I can make an exception for Team Hawaii right now.

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.