UFC 219 is set to occur this Saturday night (Dec. 30) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and let’s just say it doesn’t scream“quality“ like preceding end-of-year UFC cards.
The UFC stacks its final card of this year from top to bottom. In 2017, we get a major event between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. Though it has the capability to be a great fight, it does not necessarily scream“buy this pay-per-view!“
Additionally, this is a very hard card to bet on since there are not a lot of fights which you can find a powerful read on. Many of the favorites, like Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to be overwhelming favorites, yet could also readily get merked by their competitions. Danger lurks.
That said, we need to make a few plays. So let us do the best we can to come across a few golden underdogs, a few worthy props, along with a rewarding softball. Also checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from a week, where I suggested a few’dogs (Carla Esparza and Neil Magny) who still hold some value.
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori (-222) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+187)
At first glance, this moneyline in BetOnline seems perfectly okay, but if you take a better look at this preliminary matchup, you can find some strong reasons to take the puppy in Omari“The Wolverine“ Akhmedov (17-4).
Even though Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a bigger fighter that loves to throw , averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per moment, he doesn’t have enough power to shoot Akhmedov out through (T)KO, so this fight could end up being a grappling affair. While Akhmedov has revealed in the past 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 may easily wind up controlling the struggle if the majority is invested at the clinch or around the mat.
The kryptonite that I watch for Akhmedov is his gasoline tank. Will he strike a cardio wall 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 those losses with two hard-working decision wins Kyle Noke and Abdul Razak Alhassan, the latter an upset at UFC Fight Night 109. Right now I’m leaning towards“The Wolverine’s“ hard hands and wrestling acumen for another potentially profitable upset.
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