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UFC Fight Night: Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira preview

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

March 4th, 2020

Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira will face off for the right to remain at the top of the deep and dangerous lightweight division at UFC Fight Night on Saturday, March 14.

Lee hopes a new training team is the key to his resurgence, as Oliveira will look to score the biggest win of his career. BetAmerica has you covered on what should be a action-packed fight to the finish, between two of the UFC’s most ferocious competitors.

Kevin Lee vs. Charles Oliveira odds

FighterOdds
Kevin Lee
-145
Charles Oliveira
+115

Lee's versatility gives him an edge

Though both of these fighters are coming off of huge stoppage wins and are floating near the top of the lightweight division, Lee boasts a considerable advantage in experience and versatility. Lee has fared better against elite opposition over the course of his career and put up a valiant effort against the bigger and stronger Rafael dos Anjos in a failed move to welterweight.

A recent switch to Tristar Gym following the loss has made Lee look lean and strong, which suggests the weight cut was less burdensome this time around. Lee has the advantage in power, and Oliveira‘s endurance when on the wrong side of a beating is questionable.

Oliveira has struggled against the UFC's top dogs

Oliveira is a human highlight reel, but he just can’t get it done against established competition. He’s a journeyman fighter who can present a rough night for anyone but is a level or two below the top tier. His losses have been wipeouts, and his recent winning streak has come against subpar opposition. Lee is the best opponent Oliveira has fought since Paul Felder stopped him almost three years ago.

Oliveira’s stunning submission prowess might suggest an advantage, but Lee looked revitalized in his stand-up game against Gregor Gillespie and can win rounds on work rate alone, as Oliveira tries to shoot in. Unless Lee’s conditioning has eroded from his last fight, Oliveira is going to need to take some risks if he hopes to take Lee to the ground, but Lee isn’t going to be outmuscled.

Oliveira needs to get Lee off balance

Oliveira has to hope he can connect with something big that will send Lee down, then immediately try to apply a rear-naked choke before Lee can collect himself. Oliveira will have to force Lee off balance, but that’s easier said than done for a fighter with a leaky defense and questionable chin.

Lee is the bigger man, and with his size and experience, he should survive some rocky moments to control the pace of the fight and stay clear of Oliveira’s recklessness. Oliveira could make a dramatic push toward the end of the fight that will come too late. Lee has been at this level before, and he’ll show his class, outwork Oliveira, and take this fight on the cards.

MMA free pick: Lee (-145)


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