UFC 219 is set to take place this Saturday night (Dec. 30) at Las Vegas, Nevada, and let us just say it does not scream”caliber” like previous end-of-year UFC cards.
The UFC stacks its final card of this year in the top to bottom. In 2017, we get a major event between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm. While it has the capability to be a great fight, it doesn’t necessarily scream”buy this pay-per-view!”
This is also an extremely hard card to bet on since there are not lots of fights that you can get a powerful read on. Many of the favorites, such as Cyborg and Khabib Nurmagomedov, deserve to be overwhelming favorites, yet might also readily get merked with their opponents. Danger lurks.
That said, we need to generate a few plays. So let us do the best we can to come across some golden underdogs, some worthy props, along with a lucrative parlay. Also checking out my Best Bets for UFC Futures from a week, in which I suggested a few’puppies (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 okay, but if you take a closer look at this preliminary matchup, you can find some solid reasons to select the puppy in Omari”The Wolverine” Akhmedov (17-4).
Although Marvin Vettori (12-3) is a larger fighter that loves to throw down, averaging 3.13 significant strikes landed per moment, he does not possess enough power to take Akhmedov out through (T)KO, so this fight could wind up being a grappling event. While Akhmedov has revealed previously that he has some power in his hands (seven wins by knockout and two”Fight of the Night” bonuses at the UFC), in which he really shines is in the wrestling department. The Dagestani grappler could easily wind up controlling the fight if the majority is spent at the clinch or on the mat.
The sole kryptonite I see for Akhmedov is his gas 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 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. At the moment I am leaning towards”The Wolverine’s” hard palms and wrestling acumen for another possibly rewarding upset.
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