UFC 219 is set to occur this Saturday night (Dec. 30) at Las Vegas, Nevada, and let’s just say it does not scream”quality” like preceding end-of-year UFC cards.
Normally the UFC stacks its card of this year from top to bottom. Instead, in 2017, we get a main event between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. Though it has the capability to become a fantastic fight, it doesn’t necessarily scream”purchase this pay-per-view!”
This is also an extremely hard card to bet on as there are not a lot of fights that it is possible to get a strong read on. A number of the favorites, like Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to become overwhelming favorites, yet could also easily 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 a few golden underdogs, some worthy props, and a rewarding softball. Additionally checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from last week, where I proposed 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 better look at this preliminary matchup, you can get some solid reasons to take the dog in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Even though Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a larger fighter who loves to throw down, averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per minute, he doesn’t possess enough power to take Akhmedov out through (T)KO, so this battle might wind up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has revealed in the past that he has some power in his own hands (seven wins by knockout and two”Fight of the Night” bonuses in the UFC), in which he excels is in the wrestling section. The Dagestani grappler could easily wind up controlling the fight if the bulk is invested in the clinch or around the mat.
The kryptonite that I see for Akhmedov is his gasoline tank. Can he strike a cardio wall just like he did in successive 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 possibly rewarding upset.