UFC 219 is set to take place this Saturday night (Dec. 30) at Las Vegas, Nevada, and let’s just say it does not scream”caliber” like previous end-of-year UFC cards.
Normally the UFC stacks its final card of this year in the top to base. Instead, in 2017, we now get a main event between Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg. While it has the potential to be a great fight, it doesn’t necessarily scream”purchase this pay-per-view!”
Additionally, this is a very hard card to bet on as there aren’t a lot of fights that you can get a powerful read on. A number of the favorites, like Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to become overpowering favorites, yet might also easily get merked by their competitions. Danger lurks.
That said, we must make a few plays. So let us do the best we can to come across some golden underdogs, some worthy props, along with a rewarding softball. Also checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from last week, where I suggested a few’puppies (Carla Esparza and Neil Magny) who still hold some value.
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-222) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+187)
At first glance, this moneyline in BetOnline seems perfectly okay, but when you take a better look at this preliminary matchup, it is possible to find some strong reasons to select the puppy 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 shoot Akhmedov out via (T)KO, therefore this fight might end up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has shown in the past that he has some power in his own hands (seven wins by knockout and also two”Fight of the Night” bonuses in the UFC), where he really shines is in the wrestling department. The Dagestani grappler may easily wind up controlling the fight if the bulk is spent at the clinch or on the mat.
The only kryptonite I watch for Akhmedov is his gas tank. Can he hit a cardio wall like he did in successive knockout losses to Sergio Moraes and Elizeu Zaleski? In both of these declines, 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 am leaning towards”The Wolverine’s” hard hands and wrestling acumen for another potentially rewarding upset.
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