Two heavyweights’ storm into the smaller Octagon at the UFC Apex Centre to headline a card that does contain numerous evenly matched contests. While last weeks card on paper was underwhelming, it provided us with three winners from three selections but this week with a card full of potential betting propositions, I have had to throw in some extra selections into both a main card and prelim multi to eek out all the possible value in the card. Not to even make the multi cut is Jim Miller to win by submission at around $6 and Reneau to upset Pennington. Let’s get into the selections below.
Volkov is the most underrated fighter in the Heavyweight division but his opponent Curtis Blaydes’ only defeats have come to Francis Ngannou and the rest of his opponents have crumbled under the pressure of ‘Razor’. Unfortunately for Volkov, the smaller cage hurts him for one, and he also doesn’t have the wrestling chops or raw power to prevent being taken down or expose Blaydes weakness for getting caught on the feet. This is a terrible, terrible fight for Volkov who has only lost to Derrick Lewis when he had a brain explosion in a fight he was clearly winning and has amassed a fine record to date. Volkov must improve his wrestling to be a threat at the top of the division as he doesn’t have the one punch knockout power that some of the feared strikers in the division have. This will be hopefully a trigger fight for him to take this next step as Blaydes gets this to the mat and we have what could closely resemble a crime scene thereafter.
Oskar Piechota is in a rough patch of late which has seen him drop his last three fights. He meets the Canadian Barriault in this fight who is 0-3 in his UFC career, losing all three on the judge’s scorecards. Piechota was submitted last time by Rodolfo Viera who is one of the world’s best submission artists and the fact he troubled him in that fight early and scrambled well before being inevitably finished is enough for me to lean towards him here. Piechota is well adept on the ground although his recent record would suggest otherwise and has the ability to stand and match Barriault on the feet as long as he needs to before taking the fight to the ground. Piechota gets it done here, likely handing Barriault his first UFC stoppage loss in doing so.
Most importantly this selection is purely a selection based on value. Courtney Casey moved up in weight in her last fight and looked almightily good, but Gillian Robertson has recently joined Din Thomas which is a fantastic move for her general game and fight IQ. Gillian Robertson does have substandard striking and this is where the value comes in. I believe she will be able to take Casey down repeatedly and Casey is too complacent on her back as she has way too much trust in her jiu jitsu game which while decent isn’t anything to rave about. I see Robertson being able to rack up large amounts of control time and land unanswered ground and pound strikes to potentially earn the knock out. I usually wouldn’t have touched this fight at all, and Robertson has little to no chance of a knock out on the feet but at $15 that is ridiculous value for what I deem to be around a one in five chance.
Shane Burgos win ($1.73)
Belal Muhammad win ($1.70)
Shane Burgos v Josh Emmett is the best fight on the card, I just have a massive opinion of Shane Burgos and think he really is a title contender. Emmett can never be ruled out and has insane power, but Burgos is elusive and a top striker with an underrated ground game as an X Factor and I see him getting it done. Muhammad should be able to use his striking enough to take it to the ground and from there dominate. His opponent Good, has a tendency to fade in the latter rounds and against a cardio machine such as Muhammad, it doesn’t bode well for him.
Matt Frevola win ($1.88)
Roxanne Modaferri vs. Lauren Murphy: Fight to go the distance: Yes ($1.33)
Max Rohskopf win ($1.76)
Max Rohskopf wrestling pedigree should be too much to handle for Austin Hubbard who was taken down eight times by Mark Madsen in his last fight. If this fight goes to the latter rounds there is some concern over his conditioning, but the likely outcome sees another early Rohskopf finish. Modaferri and Murphy are both tough but counter strikers and this likely leads to a slow and relatively boring affair that goes to the judge’s scorecards. I like the selection but not the fight, sorry ladies. Matt Frevola has a massive wrestling advantage here and should be able to hold his own on the feet and take it down as required to dominate the fight.
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