After another uber-successful three-fight run on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, the UFC will once again return home to the UFC Apex for, at minimum, the next six fights. Always pushing the envelope, the UFC had limited fans at its most recent string of fights in the UAE, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we see the same in a state-side arena here soon.
Streaming in its entirety on ESPN+, two-storied heavyweights will cap off this weekend’s card, which is stacked from top to bottom.
Let’s take a closer look at the main event itself and see where we can find some value.
Betting Profile: Alistair Overeem (47-18-0)
Last Five Fights
As heavyweights often tend to be, Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem is a KO/TKO kind of man. For better or worse. Over his last 12 fights, only one has ended in anything other than a KO/TKO, with seven ending before the second bell.
For as much as he throws them, Overeem’s Strikes Landed per Min. (SLpM) remains relatively low at 3.71 coming into this fight. However, given his size, he does defend himself better than expected, as he absorbs just 2.33 Strikes per Min. (SApM) and possesses a defense ratio of 58%.
Betting Profile: Alexander Volkov (32-8-0)
Last Five Fights
On Saturday, Overeem’s opponent will be Russian fighter Alexander “Drago” Volkov, who comes into this one eight years is junior. Also, a KO/TKO specialist, Volkov has shown the endurance needed to go the distance relatively often.
Unlike Overeem, however, Volkov possesses the technique as evident by his 4.76 SLpM, which ranks him near the top of the division. Currently ranked the #6 contender amongst heavyweights (Overeem #5), a win here would put him one step closer to his ultimate goal: a shot at the heavyweight belt.
From a statistic and recent fight standpoint, Volkov has the clear edge in this one. Haven taken out Walt Harris and Greg Hardy in the past 18 months, Volkov’s only loss was in a five-round marathon with one of the sharpest killers in the sport in Curtis Blaydes. In this one, I like for Volkov’s youth and skill to have the upper hand and expect it to be over well be for the final bell.
Top Prop Bet
Assuming Volkov’s to win, there are very few scenarios where I can see it being via anything other than KO/TKO. Having only gone to the 5th round once in his 20-year professional career, Oveerm lacks the stamina which Volkov has often shown to possess.
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