UFC 219 is set to take place this Saturday night (Dec. 30) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and let us just say that it does not scream”caliber” like preceding end-of-year UFC cards.
Usually the UFC piles its card of this year in the top to base. In 2017, we get a major event between Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg. Though it has the capability to be a great fight, it doesn’t necessarily scream”purchase this pay-per-view!”
This is also a very hard card to wager on as there are not lots of fights which you can get a powerful read on. Many of the favorites, such as Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to be overwhelming favorites, yet could also readily get merked by their opponents. Danger lurks.
That said, we need to generate some plays. So let us 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 still hold some value.
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-222) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+187)
At first glance, this moneyline at BetOnline seems perfectly okay, but if you take a better look at this preliminary matchup, it is possible to find some strong reasons to take the puppy in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Even though Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a larger fighter that loves to throw down, averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per minute, he does not have enough power to take Akhmedov out through (T)KO, therefore this fight could end up being a grappling affair. While Akhmedov has shown in the past that he has some power in his own hands (seven wins by knockout and also two”Battle of the Night” bonuses in the UFC), where he excels is in the wrestling section. The Dagestani grappler may easily wind up controlling the struggle if the majority is invested in the clinch or around the mat.
The sole kryptonite I watch for Akhmedov is his gas tank. Can he hit a cardio wall just 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 later rounds.
He followed up those losses with two hard-working decision 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 another potentially rewarding upset.
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