The Early Prelims of UFC 286 will conclude with the featured bout in the Featherweight (145 lb) Division. England’s own Lerone Murphy will be looking for another win against Brazil’s Gabriel Santos making his UFC debut. Don’t miss this bout as the Prelims follow immediately after! Check out our UFC odds series for our Murphy-Santos prediction and pick.

Lerone Murphy is undefeated at 11-0-1 in his professional fighting career and has gone 3-0-1 in the UFC. With this bout originally scheduled to be against Nathanial Wood, Murphy will have to adjust as he welcomes a new opponent. Murphy has been on a tear with his striking and has seven KO/TKO wins to his name as he looks for another here tonight. Lerone Murphy stands 5’9″ with a 73.5-inch reach.

Gabriel Santos is also undefeated in his career at 10-0 and will be making his UFC debut in this fight on a big PPV spot. After dominating the Brazilian regional circuit, Santos went 2-0 in LFA with spectacular knockouts and got the call to step into this bout on short notice. He’ll hope to impress against an already established prospect in Murphy. Santos stands 5’9″ with a 71.5-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

UFC 286 Odds: Lerone Murphy-Gabriel Santos Odds

Lerone Murphy: -176

Gabriel Santos: +142

Over (2.5) rounds: -152

Under (2.5) rounds: +120

How to Watch Lerone Murphy vs. Gabriel Santos


Stream: ESPN+

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Time: 12:30 p.m. ET/ 9:30 a.m. PT (Early Prelims)

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Why Lerone Murphy Will Win

Lerone Murphy continues to flaunt his high-level striking in the UFC and has seen a ton of success with it against opponents thus far. His last time out saw him KO Makwan Markhani with a flying knee and preserve his undefeated record. With four decision wins, seven of Murphy’s wins have been by KO/TKO. He’s a very dangerous striker and has a lot of pop behind his shots. If he can land clean, he has the ability to put his opponents out quickly. Look for Murphy to welcome the striking against an opponent who tends to keep his hands down.

Lerone Murphy has shown that he has room to grow when it comes to his grappling, but can hold his own in wrestling transitions. Santos will have the clear edge in the jiu-jistu, so Murphy should look to keep this one standing and piece Santos up on the feet. If Murphy can keep his composure and preserve his energy, his opponent could gas out early and leave it for Murphy to open up his kicking attack.

Why Gabriel Santos Will Win

Gabriel Santos is still coming into his own as a fighter and should focus on growing his game each time out. He has great jiu-jitsu and can turn the tide of the fight if he can just gain control of his opponent. There’s limited tape on him, but Santos tends to throw shots recklessly and leave his head hanging high. He was clipped bad in his LFA fight against Marcio Barbosa but withstood the onslaught and came back to win the fight. He’s faced a good amount of adversity and has bounced back each time to remain undefeated.

To win this fight, Santos will have to focus on defending himself and not letting Murphy land clean on him. He’ll have to bring his hands up and not be lazy with his defense as he has been in past fights. If Santos can get into a scramble on the mat, he’ll be very dangerous with his BJJ advantage and can shock Murphy with a creative submission. He’ll be stepping in on short notice, so there’s no telling how he will acclimate to the conditions of London.

Final Lerone Murphy-Gabriel Santos Prediction & Pick

Lerone Murphy will have the significant striking advantage in this fight and will undoubtedly land some shots if Santos continues to fight with his hands downs. Santos has however displayed a great chin and ability to stay in the fight. He doesn’t have much to lose in taking a debut on short notice, so it may make him even more dangerous and willing to take risks in the fight. With his superior advantage in the jiu-jitsu, let’s take the underdog in another close matchup.

Final Lerone Murphy-Gabriel Santos Prediction & Pick: Gabriel Santos (+142)