UFC 219 is set to occur this Saturday night (Dec. 30) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and let us just say that it doesn’t scream”quality” like previous end-of-year UFC cards.
The UFC piles its card of the year from top to base. Instead, in 2017, we now get a main event between Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg. Though it has the potential to become a great fight, it doesn’t necessarily scream”buy this pay-per-view!”
Additionally, this is an extremely hard card to bet on since there are not lots of fights that it is possible to find a strong read on. A number of the favorites, like Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to be overwhelming favorites, yet might also easily get merked with their opponents. Danger lurks.
That said, we must make some plays. So let’s do the best we can to come across some golden underdogs, some worthy props, and a rewarding softball. Additionally checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from a week, where I suggested a couple of’puppies (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 find some solid reasons to select the dog in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Although Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a bigger fighter that loves to throw , averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per minute, he doesn’t have enough power to take Akhmedov out through (T)KO, therefore this fight might end up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has revealed in the past he has some power in his hands (seven wins by knockout and also two”Battle of the Night” bonuses at the UFC), in which he really shines is in the wrestling section. The Dagestani grappler could easily end up controlling the struggle if the bulk is invested in the clinch or around the mat.
The sole kryptonite I watch for Akhmedov is that his gasoline tank. Can he hit a cardio wall like he did in consecutive 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 those losses with two hard-working conclusion wins over Kyle Noke and Abdul Razak Alhassan, the latter an upset at UFC Fight Night 109. Right now I am leaning towards”The Wolverine’s” hard palms and wrestling acumen for a second potentially rewarding upset.
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