Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval Betting Preview for UFC 253

| September 23, 2020 5:11 am PDT

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced that a flyweight contest between Kai-Kara France and Brandon Royval would get the antepenultimate slot at UFC 253 on September 26.

Kara-France, who is 4-1 in the UFC, faces a very tough test in submission specialist Royval. I’d venture a guess that anyone who has watched these two going at it in previous fights will know that there is a great matchup awaiting us here.

On that note, there are a few questions I’m keen to answer about this fight. Questions like, who wins? Or, where are the best bets for Kara-France vs. Royval to be found? Hang with me and I’ll guide you to the important bits.

I’ll start with the first question and we’ll progress through the odds and best bets before I end with a rationale for my pick. 

Kara-France vs. Royval – Who Wins This Fight?

  • Brandon Royval by Submission

One of the most slept on fighters at UFC 253, Royval could really make a name for himself with a win on Saturday night.

The former LFA champion is an exciting fighter with an impressive finish ratio. But there is more to it than that.

I’ll explain my thoughts for picking “Raw Dawg” a little later. Let’s first check out the odds for this matchup.

Latest Odds for Kara-France vs. Royval

Brandon Royval to Win+200
Kai Kara-France to Win-250

The oddsmakers at Betway make Royval a +200 underdog in this fight, perhaps on account of his minimal experience in the UFC.

Kara-France is a firm -226 favorite to triumph at UFC 253. 9-1 in his last ten pro fights, “Don’t Blink” has lost just the once in the UFC, to Brandon Moreno, and has an overall record of 4-1 since joining the promotion in 2018.

I like Royval’s odds in this fight. He looks like a solid betting value and could be the wager to make on the night. If you are betting on UFC 253, it’s worth knowing that you can find several markets for each fight. 

Let’s take a look at a couple of the best bets for Kara-France vs. Royval.

Kara-France vs. Royval Best Bets

  • Royval to Win (+200)
  • Royval to Win by KO/TKO/DQ/Submission (+300)
  • Fight Not to Go the Distance (+130)

The moneyline odds for Royval to beat Kara-France are +200, which are good enough to take.

At 11-4, the American might not have the same level of experience as Kara-France (21-8), but less mileage can often be a good thing in MMA. There is no substitute for experience, but Royval is hardly wet behind the ears.

If you’re looking to make even more potential profit, I would consider backing Royval to win by KO/TKO/DQ/Submission at +300.

Royval has won his last three fights by way of submission — including an impressive late stand-in against Tim Elliott — and has finishes in all of his other wins, apart from two. All in all, he is an action fighter that will go for the kill when he identifies an opening.

My final bet to consider is the fight not to go the distance (+130).

Although Kara-France is a decision machine, I think he will be forced into fighting Royal’s game from the get-go. The danger here is that he might be thrown off his gameplan. Either way, I believe Royval can stop him, unless Kara-France decides to push himself towards his first stoppage victory since tapping Xiaoyu Shi in March 2018.

Why Royval Beats Kara-France

I’m a fan of Kai Kara-France. He’s an exciting dude that always seems to be running on a bottomless gas tank. Simply put, I don’t think I’ve ever been bored watching one of his fights.

But he has yet to face a guy with such a nasty, awkward submission game like Brandon Royval. And I’m not sure that he has the power or grappling chops required to keep his opponent away from him on the night.

To make matters worse, Royval is a southpaw that will enjoy a five-inch height advantage over his man. From what we have seen of him, he uses his height exceptionally well on the floor against guys that tend to be much shorter. But amazingly, Royval gives up an inch in reach to his man.

In terms of UFC stats, it’s unfair to compare Royval’s to Kara-France’s. Why? Well, he has only fought once. I’m not sure he will still have a 100% takedown accuracy rate, nor 49% striking accuracy when he is done.

But what I am expecting here is that he will walk away with his second submission win in the UFC and a higher profile with fight fans.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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