UFC 219 is set to take place this Saturday night (Dec. 30) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and let’s just say it does not scream”quality” like previous end-of-year UFC cards.
The UFC stacks its final card of the year from top to bottom. Rather, in 2017, we get a main event between Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg. Though it has the potential to be a fantastic fight, it does not necessarily scream”buy this pay-per-view!”
Additionally, this is a very hard card to bet on since there aren’t a lot of fights which you can get a strong read on. Many of the favorites, such as Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to become overwhelming favorites, yet might also readily get merked by their competitions. Danger lurks.
That said, we need to generate a few plays. So let’s do the best we can to come across a few golden underdogs, some worthy props, and a rewarding softball. Also checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from a 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 at BetOnline seems perfectly acceptable, but when you have a closer look at this preliminary matchup, you can get some solid reasons to select the dog in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Although Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a bigger fighter who loves to throw , averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per minute, he doesn’t possess enough power to shoot Akhmedov out through (T)KO, therefore this battle could wind up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has shown previously that he has some power in his hands (seven wins by knockout and two”Fight of the Night” bonuses in the UFC), where he really shines is in the wrestling section. The Dagestani grappler could easily wind up controlling the struggle if the majority is spent at the clinch or around the mat.
The kryptonite I watch for Akhmedov is that his gasoline tank. Will he strike a cardio wall like he did in successive 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 palms and wrestling acumen for a second possibly rewarding upset.
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