Werdum Battles Volkov For Potential Title Shot
One is the former UFC champion looking to regain his title and the other is a former Bellator champion on a relentless quest for gold. Werdum (-190) and Volkov (+150) headline a potential title eliminator especially if either fighter wins in impressive fashion.
While both have solid kickboxing backgrounds, Werdum will have the experience and grappling edge while Volkov, the youth and size advantage.
This is a dangerous fight for both. Werdum is fighting the bigger man who represents his weakness: a well-versed striker who can potentially nullify his ground game. But for Volkov, this will be a significant step up in competition and will be a true test to see if his evolving game is ready to make him a contender. Yet, the edge goes to the proven Werdum for the moment.
Despite being the significantly better fighter on paper, there is a reason Werdum is only a 2-1 favourite. Volkov remains an enigma even with 35 pro bouts under his belt. Volkov blends karate, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and at 6'7" with an 80" reach, he has the physique and technique to outstrike his opponents. His wrestling leaves a lot to be desired, however.
But Werdum, despite his phenomenal BJJ, isn't much of a wrestler himself. Werdum's method of getting his opponents to the mat is by flopping on his back and he often feigns getting hurt to lure his opponents to his guard like he did against Fedor Emelianenko. If Werdum finds himself getting outstruck by Volkov, who has the reach advantage, he'll have issues taking him down.
The x-factor here is who wins the battles in the clinch. Cheick Kongo exposed Volkov by utilizing this to repeatedly take him down. A boring but effective tactic. Werdum and his camp have undoubtedly scouted this although Volkov showed improvements to his takedown defence.
Prediction: the threat of Werdum on the ground will open Volkov up and make him more hesitant to attack. This will allow Werdum to better dictate the pace of the fight and become the aggressor. It will be a close battle and it will likely end in a decision but Werdum should edge Volkov.
Our Record: 10-4
Fabricio Werdum (-190)
Betting Stats & Tidbits:
- 55%: the expected outcome of Werdum finishing Volkov, the highest expected outcome of the fight and of the card; a decision outcome is 16% each for either Werdum or Volkov
- 4-1: Werdum's record as a favourite in his last five fights; his only loss came against Stipe Miocic in 2016 when he lost his championship via first round knockout
- 75.8%: the percentage of UFC heavyweight bouts ending in a finish; of 592 fights, 297 (50.2%) ended by T/KO while 150 (25.3%) ended by submission
- 5/1: the combined over/under record for Werdum and Volkov's last three fights; four of their last six fights combined have gone to a decision
UFC Fight Night Predictions
All betting odds via Sports Interaction.
Lock it Up! For both Tom Duquesnoy (-315) and Canadian Hakeem Dawodu (-360); both fighters are facing overmatched strikers in Terrion Ware (+230) and Danny Henry (+250), respectively. Both Duquesnoy and Dawodu are significantly faster and stronger and have the technique edge wherever the fight goes. While Ware and Henry are both tough, their only path to success is a hail mary knockout.
You can bet Duquesnoy and Dawodu separately or you can put them in a parlay. This cuts the odds to -146 and has more bang for your buck.
Our Record: 11-2
Just Say No: to Magomed Ankalaev (-525) versus Paul Craig (+350); Ankalaev is tempting chalk because he is a bluechip prospect and is fighting Craig, who has durability and fight IQ concerns. Ankalaev should roll through him but this price is too steep especially for an unproven fighter against a hometown favourite. Pass.
Main Card (Fight Network and UFC Fight Pass, 5:00 PM ET)
- Heavyweight (265 lbs): #3 Fabricio Werdum (-190) vs #8 Alexander Volkov (+150)
- Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): #4 Jimi Manuwa (-235) vs #11 Jan Blachowicz (+175)
- Bantamweight (135 lbs): Tom Duquesnoy (-315) vs Terrion Ware (+230)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): #15 Leon Edwards (-235) vs Peter Sobotta (+175)
Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, 1:45 PM ET)
- Middleweight (185 lbs): John Phillips (-115) vs Charles Byrd (-115)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Danny Roberts (-190) vs Oliver Enkamp (+150)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Danny Henry (+250) vs Hakeem Dawodu (-360)
- Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): Paul Craig (+350) vs Magomed Ankalaev (-525)
- Lightweight (155 lbs): Stevie Ray (-185) vs Kajan Johnson (+145)
- Heavyweight (265 lbs): Mark Godbeer (+235) vs Dmitry Sosnovskiy (-325)
- Lightweight (155 lbs): Nasrat Haqparast (-145) vs Nad Narimani (+115)
While not the sexiest card on paper, UFC 222 is filled with solid MMA fights from top to bottom and hardcore fans will delight. Canadians head to these online sportsbooks to wager. Be sure to read our reviews and find the best book for you.
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