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This week’s UFC event is one of the most stacked non-PPV cards of the year. Check out our MMA handicapper’s best bets and full card predictions for UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Volkov.

Bets of the Card: (2u) Doesn’t Go the Distance @ +118 (to Return 4.36 Units)

(0.5u) Courtney Casey via KO/TKO @ +750

Gillian Robertson vs. Courtney Casey

Preliminary Card Women’s Flyweight (125lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 6:45 p.m. EST.

  • All of Gillian Robertson’s last 8 fights have not gone the distance.

This fight sees wrestler/submission grappler, Gillian Robertson, take on striker/general all-rounder, Courtney Casey. When we see contrasting styles matched-up like this, it often provides many fight ending moments within the contest. This is due to each fighter possessing a strength over their opponent’s weakness, meaning either fighter will be in danger of being finished wherever the fight is taking place.

If this fight hits the mat, Gillian Robertson will try to work quickly to gain a dominant position over Casey, and either put her away with a submission or ground and pound. Should this fight play out on the feet for a prolonged period, Robertson’s inferior striking will leave her vulnerable to Casey’s boxing. Ultimately, wherever it takes place, a finish is entirely possible, even more so with Robertson’s tendency to finish fights, or get finished in fights. Take this fight not to go the distance, I think this is bettable all the way through to -125.

I’ve also taken a half unit on Courtney Casey to win via KO/TKO at +750. She does offer some submission threat as Robertson is prone to putting herself in some risky spots on the ground, but this number is a little too big considering it’s Casey’s main path to finishing the fight inside the distance.

(1u) Josh Emmett Moneyline @ +116 (to Return 2.16 Units)

(0.5) Josh Emmett to Win via KO/TKO, Submission or DQ @ +200 (to Return 1.5 Units)

Josh Emmett vs. Shane Burgos

Co-Main Event Featherweight (145lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:45 p.m. EST.  

  • Josh Emmett’s finished 3 of his last 4 fights via knockout, including a clutch 3rd round KO over the extraordinarily durable, Michael Johnson.

I see this fight largely playing out on the feet, with both fighters predominantly looking to strike. Burgos is the more technical striker and he’s capable of putting up significant volume. The issue with Burgos, however, is that he keeps his hands too low and he doesn’t appear to have a very good chin. There have been a few times in his career when he’s been hurt in fights, the most notable being when he was dropped by Kurt Holobaugh, and when he was KO’ed by Calvin Kattar. So, although he is a fierce striker, his vulnerability to getting clipped with his hands down is not likely to go well against one of the featherweight division’s hardest hitters.

I’ve got Josh Emmett knocking Burgos into oblivion with his lethal right hand. It could come early in the fight, but as seen in his fight against Michael Johnson, he maintains his power throughout, meaning he’ll be a serious threat for the entire 15-minutes. I’ve taken Emmett on the moneyline at +116, I think this is a little too wide. And, I’ve also taken a little bit of him to win inside the distance too at +200.

(1u) FOXBet Odds Boost: Curtis Blaydes to Win in Rounds 1-5 @ -162

Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov

Main Event Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 10:15 p.m. EST.

  • Curtis Blaydes is 8-1-0 with 1 No Contest in his last ten fights.
  • 10 of Blaydes’ 13 wins have come via stoppage (per _Tapology._com), and he’ll have two extra rounds to work with in this five round main event.

The money has come in hard on Curtis Blaydes in this match-up over the past week or so. Initially he was hovering around -200 but now he’s been steamed all the way up to -400. An almost ludicrously high price for a heavyweight fight, especially against someone of Volkov’s calibre. That being said, this is still a great match-up for Blaydes, and I think his inside the distance line is definitely playable at -162.

Blaydes is one of the most athletic fighters within the UFC’s heavyweight division. He’s a former NCAA D1 wrestler, and he’s worked hard to build off his wrestling base to turn himself into a top level mixed martial artist, both on the mat and on the feet. His chin looks to be amazing as even N’Gannou couldn’t fully put his lights out in their two fights, and his cardio has never really been tested as all his opponents have tired long before he’s had the chance to be pushed.

He’ll undoubtedly look to take Volkov down early and often. He averages 6.63 takedowns per 15 minutes (per UFCStats.com), an outlandishly high number for anyone, let alone a heavyweight. Should Volkov be able to return to his feet once taken down, or fend off some of Blaydes’ takedown attempts, it’s likely we see a fascinating striking battle between the two. Typically, this is the area Volkov dominates with his height and reach, but with Blaydes standing at just 3-inches shorter (6’4”) and with only one 1-inch less reach (80”), much of Volkov’s usual advantages with be nullified.

I see Blaydes having his way with Volkov in this fight. During their time striking, Volkov will likely land more strikes, but Blaydes’ raw speed and athleticism will open up the door for him to counter faster and harder. It was for this reason that he ended up TKO’ing former UFC heavyweight champion and revered striker, Junior dos Santos. When the fight does invariably hit the mat, expect Blaydes to work aggressively to advance his position. Once there, he’ll be able to rain down his brutal ground and pound. Blaydes could bring a finish to this fight at any time, with Volkov’s narrow paths to victory being; a 25-minute distance striking affair, or, either a hail Mary head kick or submission. Take Blaydes to win inside the distance, it holds significantly better value than his -400 moneyline.

Article Author


A former sportsbook trader with a passion for mixed martial arts. If there is value to be found then Christian is the man to find it.


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