UFC 219 is set to occur this Saturday night (Dec. 30) at Las Vegas, Nevada, and let’s just say it doesn’t scream”caliber” like previous end-of-year UFC cards.
Usually the UFC piles its final card of the year from top to bottom. In 2017, we now get a main event between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. While it has the potential to become a fantastic fight, it doesn’t necessarily scream”buy this pay-per-view!”
This is also a very hard card to wager on since there are not a lot of fights which you can find a strong read on. Many of the favorites, such as Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to become overpowering favorites, yet might also easily get merked with their competitions. Danger lurks.
That said, we must generate a few plays. So let’s do the best we can to come across a few golden underdogs, some worthy props, along with a lucrative parlay. Also checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from a week, in which I suggested a few’puppies (Carla Esparza and Neil Magny) who hold some value.
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-222) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+187)
At first glance, this moneyline at BetOnline seems perfectly acceptable, but when you have a closer look at this preliminary matchup, it is possible to find some solid reasons to select the puppy in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Even though Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a larger fighter who loves to throw , averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per minute, he does not have enough power to take Akhmedov out via (T)KO, so this battle might end up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has shown previously he has some power in his own hands (seven wins by knockout and also two”Battle of the Night” bonuses in the UFC), in which he really shines is in the wrestling department. The Dagestani grappler may easily wind up controlling the struggle if the majority is spent in the clinch or around the mat.
The sole kryptonite I watch for Akhmedov is his gas tank. Will he hit a cardio wall just like he did in consecutive knockout losses to Sergio Moraes and Elizeu Zaleski? In both of these losses, Akhmedov started strong but faded badly in the subsequent rounds.
He followed up those losses with two hard-working decision 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 potentially rewarding upset.
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