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MMA handicapper Christian Broughton offers up his best bets for this weekend’s UFC card, UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov

Bet of the Card: (2u) Beneil Dariush Moneyline @ +105 (to Return 4.1 Units)

(1u) Fight Goes To Decision – Yes @ +105 (to Return 2.05 Units)

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush

Main Card Opener Lightweight (155lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 8:15 p.m. EST.

•            Diego Ferreira’s first MMA defeat came at the hands of Beneil Dariush, a fight in which Ferreira was the -220 betting favorite (per Tapology.com).

Carlos Diego Ferreira (CDF) and Beneil Dariush have already met once before back into October 2016. The fight went Dariush’s way via a unanimous decision, with all three judges awarding him a 30-27 scorecard. It’d be fair to say that this bodes well for Dariush in their rematch, but it’d be foolish to overlook the adjustments and improvements both fighters have made since then. Both guys have polished their games and became even more well-rounded, and with that promises a closer fight, which is reflected in the betting line.

Now, although I expect the fight to be closer, I still have to look towards Dariush (pictured above) as my favored fighter to get the W. He’s on a five-fight winning streak, with four straight finishes over some of the lightweight division’s most solid, fringe contenders. His striking is about on par with CDF’s, yet I’d actually give him the advantage in the wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. He also appears to be the stronger, more physical fighter, which can go a long way in a fight that should be a complete mixed martial arts display. This physicality could prove to be pivotal in winning clinch positions and determining who is able to get the fight to the mat and control from top position.

On top of the technical and physical edges that I see for Dariush (31), he’s also roughly 4.5 years CDF’s (36) junior, which is notable considering CDF’s at the age where he could be on the brink of decline. Ultimately, there’s a load of little things I give the upper hand to Dariush for, and in my opinion, he should actually be the favorite for this fight, albeit only a -140(ish) one. That being said, we’re getting him as a plus-money underdog, meaning that there’s some clear value on him, and for that reason, I’m going to be betting him for two units.

In addition to my Dariush moneyline play, I’m also taking a unit on the fight going to decision at +105. I see their striking exchanges being well-matched, and their ground games should cancel each other out for the most part, regardless of who’s on top or bottom. Of course, there is the potential for either guy pulling off a surprise finish, as we’ve seen both get hurt and put away in the past, but they should be heading to the scorecards more often than not.

(1.75u) Alexander Volkov Moneyline @ -172 (to Return 2.767 Units)

Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov

Main Event Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 10:45 p.m. EST.

  • Alexander Volkov ranks amongst active UFC heavyweights: fourth for strikes lander per minute (5.22), second for striking differential (2.46), fifth for striking defense (56.7%), seventh for strikes absorbed per minute (2.76), and sixth for takedown defense (65.5%) (per StatLeaders.UFC.com).

I’m generally one of the biggest advocates for betting Overeem (pictured below) at ‘dog-odds, but I simply can’t do it for this particular matchup. Volkov’s younger, faster, tough to takedown, and he’s one of the few that outmatches him in height.

I see problems all over the shop for ‘Reem. At range, he should be getting picked apart by the taller and quicker, rangy attacks of Volkov. In close, he will have a strength and technical advantage, but that’s not to say that Volkov can’t do some serious damage from inside the clinch too. In recent years, Overeem has put a lot of emphasis into working for takedowns and controlling his opponents from top position. And although that could be a good path for him, I struggle to see how he’s going to maintain a pace to do that effectively against someone with Volkov’s tricky guard and tireless attempts to get back to the feet.

I see a tentative striking match when standing, one that Volkov should win based on his speed and greater volume. Overeem may be able to take the fight to the mat, which could be troublesome if ‘Reem is able to get separation and do damage, but with Volkov’s solid defense off his back, I would expect this to be more detrimental to ‘Reems cardio than anything.

I still think there’s a lot of guys that Overeem can style on at his advanced age, but against someone with Volkov’s particular skill set and defensive work-rate, I think this is just a bad matchup for him, even in areas that favor his style of fighting. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Volkov catch ‘Reem with something early, late, or by a decision, so for that reason, I like taking his moneyline at a reasonable -172.

(1u) Marion Reneau Moneyline @ +180 (to Return 2.8 Units)

(0.25u) Marion Reneau to Win in Round 3 @ +2500 (to Return 6.5 Units)

Marion Reneau vs. Macy Chiasson

Main Card Women’s Bantamweight (135lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:45 p.m. EST.

  • Marion Reneau ranks amongst active UFC women’s bantamweights: first for submission attempts (9), second for total fight time (2:23:31), and fifth for striking defense (60.9%) (per StatLeaders.UFC.com).

My final play of the card is an underdog shot on the 11-UFC fight veteran, Marion Reneau.

Reneau has her back up against the wall in this fight. She’s currently on a three-fight skid, and the matchmakers probably think they’re not doing her any favors by throwing a significantly younger and more physical opponent her way.

Chiasson will have a 5-inch height and 4-inch reach advantage (per UFCStats.com), and she’ll also be the stronger and more imposing fighter. Her downside, however, is that she’s still fairly green and incredibly prone to gassing out in her fights. Her first round burst and finishing ability is pretty unique in women’s MMA (WMMA), but if her opponent is able to weather the storm, her fights can get very dicey for anyone who’s laid money on her. This is where I see Marion Reneau getting the upper hand and pulling off the upset.

Reneau may be 43-years-old, but she’s one of the pound-4-pound (P4P) most durable fighters in WMMA. Moreover, she’s also one of the most physically fit fighters, meaning that even when she’s facing adversity, she can often out-cardio her opponents and become the stronger in the later rounds.

I see Reneau getting out of the first round alive following the early Chiasson onslaught. Then flowing that, she should be able to bounce back and turn this into a real dog fight. I have some concerns that Chiasson may have improved her conditioning in the 12-months since we last saw her, but I’d be pretty shocked to see her look like value here as the -210 favorite(best price), should she not get the early stoppage.

Take Marion Reneau to get the win, +180 is a touch wide, and I see her conditioning and grappling being the difference maker the longer the fight goes on. I’ve also had a small quarter unit play on her to win in round 3 at +2500, she could look like the seriously stronger fighter in the final five minutes, and with her being a legit BJJ black belt, a late submission could definitely be on the cards.

Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.

Event: UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov / UFC on ESPN+ 42 / UFC Vegas 18 / #UFCVegas18

Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Date: Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Start time: Main Card: 8 p.m. EST, Prelims 5 p.m. EST.

Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+

UFC Odds: Click here to view the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night: Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov

UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov Full Fight Card Predictions

UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov Main Event Prediction

Heavyweight (265lbs): Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov – Volkov via Decision

UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov Main Card Predictions

Bantamweight (135lbs): Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar – Sandhagen via Decision

(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Marion Reneau vs. Macy Chiasson – Reneau via Submission

Flyweight (125lbs): Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape – Pantoja via Decision

Bantamweight (135lbs): Cody Stamann vs. Askar Askar – Stamann via Decision

Lightweight (155lbs): Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush – Dariush via Decision

UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov Prelim Card Predictions

Lightweight (155lbs): Michael Johnson vs. Clay Guida – Johnson via Decision

Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Mike Rodriguez vs. Danilo Marques – Rodriguez via KO/TKO

Featherweight (145lbs): Timur Valiev vs. Martin Day – Valiev via Decision

Catchweight (160lbs): Devonte Smith vs. Justin Jaynes – Jaynes via KO/TKO

(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Karol Rosa vs. Joselyne Edwards – Rosa via Decision

(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Molly McCann vs. Lara Procópio – McCann via Decision

Featherweight (145lbs): Youssef Zalal vs. Seung Woo Choi – Zalal via Decision

Catchweight (140lbs): Ode Osbourne vs. Denys Bondar – Bondar via Submission

*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.

Click here to check out the all the Best Odds for the Fights!

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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