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.
The UFC stacks its final card of the year in the top to bottom. In 2017, we 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”purchase this pay-per-view!”
Additionally, this is an extremely hard card to bet on since there are not a lot of fights which you can find a powerful read on. A number of the favorites, like Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to become overwhelming favorites, yet could also readily get merked with their opponents. Danger lurks.
That said, we need to generate a few plays. So let’s do the best we can to find a few golden underdogs, some worthy props, and a rewarding softball. Additionally checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from last week, in which I proposed a couple of’dogs (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 take a better look at this preliminary matchup, you can find some solid reasons to select the puppy in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Even though Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a larger fighter who loves to throw , averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per moment, he does not have enough power to take Akhmedov out via (T)KO, so this battle might 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”Fight of the Night” bonuses at the UFC), where he really shines is in the wrestling department. The Dagestani grappler could easily end up controlling the struggle if the bulk is invested at the clinch or around the mat.
The kryptonite that I watch for Akhmedov is his gasoline tank. Can he hit 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 declines with two hard-working conclusion 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 hands and wrestling acumen for another potentially rewarding upset.