UFC 219 is set to take place this Saturday night (Dec. 30) at Las Vegas, Nevada, and let’s just say that it doesn’t scream”quality” like preceding end-of-year UFC cards.
Usually the UFC stacks its final card of the year in the top to base. Instead, in 2017, we now get a major event between Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg. While it has the potential to be a great fight, it does not necessarily scream”buy this pay-per-view!”
Additionally, this is an extremely hard card to wager on since there aren’t a lot of fights that it is possible to get a strong read on. Many of the favorites, like Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to be overwhelming favorites, yet might also readily get merked by their opponents. Danger lurks.
Nevertheless, we need to make some plays. So let’s do the best we can to come across a few golden underdogs, a few worthy props, and a rewarding softball. Additionally checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from a week, where I suggested a few’dogs (Carla Esparza and Neil Magny) who hold some value.
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-222) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+187)
At first glance, this moneyline in BetOnline seems perfectly acceptable, but if you have a better look at this preliminary matchup, you can get some strong reasons to take the dog in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Even though Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a larger fighter that loves to throw , averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per minute, he does not possess enough power to take Akhmedov out via (T)KO, so this battle could end up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has revealed previously that he has some power in his own hands (seven wins by knockout and two”Battle of the Night” bonuses in the UFC), where he excels is in the wrestling department. The Dagestani grappler could easily end up controlling the struggle if the bulk is invested in the clinch or on the mat.
The kryptonite I see for Akhmedov is his gasoline tank. Can he hit a cardio wall just like he did in consecutive knockout losses to Sergio Moraes and Elizeu Zaleski? In both of those losses, Akhmedov started strong but faded badly in the subsequent rounds.
He followed up those losses with two hard-working conclusion wins Kyle Noke and Abdul Razak Alhassan, the latter an upset at UFC Fight Night 109. At the moment I’m leaning towards”The Wolverine’s” hard hands and wrestling acumen for another possibly profitable upset.
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