Bet of the Card: (2.5u) Dan Ige Moneyline @ -110 (to Return 4.773 Units)
Main Event - Featherweight (145lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:45 p.m. EST.
- Dan Ige has won 7 of his last 8 fights, and he’s 4-1 when going to the scorecards over that span.
- Since the beginning of 2009, The Korean Zombie has only gone to 3 decisions, losing all 3 (per Tapology.com).
This feels like one of those crossroad fights. One fighter is aging and seeming like he’s on the decline, in The Korean Zombie (TKZ), and the other is beginning to hit his peak fighting age and performance, in Dan Ige.
I’m not somebody to overly steer into one-off performances, but TKZ’s fight against Brian Ortega was deeply troubling to watch. Sure, Ortega may have caught him early and displayed striking that we never knew he had, but that doesn’t fully justify why Zombie looked so off the pace and out-of-sorts. Looking beyond that fight, TKZ was putting on great performances to his credit, and any fighter can have an off night, but I just feel like Zombie (pictured below) could be on the way out. Afterall, his reckless style, albeit crazy and entertaining, isn’t exactly conducive to career longevity, and that could be catching up to him, especially after we saw him dropped two times in his fight against Ortega (per UFCStats.com).
Dan Ige is a fighter under the management of Ali Abdelaziz, and regardless of what you make of Ali, he gets favorable match ups for his fighters, whether it seems that way at face value or not. This, of course, isn’t something you can solely make a case for betting a fighter on, but I always prefer to be betting on fighters under Ali’s management, rather than against them.
Stylistically and physically, they’re both pretty well aligned, with neither having any serious holes to their game. I could argue that Zombie is perhaps marginally more technical on the feet, but I’d edge the speed, volume, and power, all towards Ige. On the mat, they’re both sneaky-good grapplers, although neither fighter works too much grappling into their gameplans.
Ultimately, I do give the advantage to Ige in most categories, except experience, quality of previous opposition, and striking technicality. Both fighters are incredibly tough, but if one fighter were to fall down, I see it more likely that Ige would be the one scoring the finish, largely due to TKZ’s chin showing us the effects of his wars over the years. That being said, I do see this fight going the distance more often than not, and with that, I see Ige landing the higher number of shots with his speed and movement, and although Zombie will have his own success, I think he should be out-shined by the younger guy. I’m taking Dan Ige on the moneyline to win this fight
(1u) Aleksei Oleinik Moneyline @ +188 (to Return 2.88 Units)
(1u) Aleksei Oleinik to Win in Round 1 @ +600 (to Return 7 Units)
Co-Main Event - Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:15 p.m. EST.
- Aleksei Oleinik will be the most dangerous submission grappler Sergey Spivak has ever faced.
- 54 of Oleinik’s 59 career wins have come via stoppage (8 KO/TKO, 46 Submissions), 46 of which have come in the first round (per Sherdog.com).
At 43 years old (44 later this month), Aleksei Oleinik (pictured below) is on borrowed time, but I think he may have one last win up his sleeve here.
With an absurd 59-15-1 record, it’s safe to say Oleinik has seen his fair share of fights. Over the years, he’s bulked up through multiple weight classes, adjusted his style with his age, and focused more and more on his grappling. At one time, he was slow but durable, but after getting KO/TKO’ed in 4 of his last 6 fights, it’s now looking more like he’s just plain slow. That being said, those four KO/TKO defeats came against devastating, high-level strikers, a far cry away from the calibre of striking he’ll be seeing from Sergey Spivak this weekend.
Spivak is predominantly a wrestler, although over the past year or two, his striking has stepped up a great deal. He’s by no means athletic, but the ridiculous 17-year age gap in this fight against the plodding Russian, Oleinik, will make it seem like he is. Spivak’s wrestling base should be his most useful tool in this fight, but Oleinik is a savvy veteran, and we’ve seen him sucker fighters down to the mat far too many times to think he can’t do so against a middling heavyweight, such as Spivak.
Once on the mat, from bottom or top position, Oleinik can work for all sorts of submissions. Spivak may yield a strong top game, but he’s never faced anyone with a semblance of the unique and tricky submissions that Oleinik is capable of, even from disadvantageous positions.
Should Spivak choose to take Oleinik down, which would be highly ill-advised, or Oleinik take Spivak down, or pull guard, then Oleinik is going to be live to get the finish, if not reverse position and win minutes from top control. Oleinik’s cardio is always a concern at his advanced age, but I still favor his near 2-to-1 moneyline, over his slightly improved inside the distance prop, as we saw him win a decision against Fabrício Werdum, just over a year ago. In addition to that, I’m also playing him to win in round one at +600, this number is far too wide given that his gameplan is often to come out hard and fast, looking to chase down a finish as quickly as possible.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Ige / Korean Zombie vs. Ige / TKZ vs. Ige / Jung vs. Ige / UFC on ESPN 25 / UFC Vegas 29 / #UFCVegas29
Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Date: Saturday, June 19th, 2021
Start time: Main Card: 7 p.m. EST, Prelims 4 p.m. EST.
Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN/ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+
UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Ige Full Fight Card Predictions
UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Ige Main Event Prediction
Featherweight (145lbs): Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige – Ige via Decision
UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Ige Main Card Predictions
Heavyweight (265lbs): Alexey Oleynik vs. Sergey Spivak – Oleynik via Submission
Bantamweight (135lbs): Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant – Grant via Decision
Featherweight (145lbs): Julian Erosa vs. Seung Woo Choi – Choi via KO/TKO
Middleweight (185lbs): Wellington Turman vs. Bruno Silva – Turman via Submission
Welterweight (170lbs): Matt Brown vs. Dhiego Lima – Brown via Submission
UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs. Ige Prelim Card Predictions
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Aleksa Camur vs. Nick Negumereanu – Camur via Decision
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Virna Jandiroba vs. Kanako Murata – Jandiroba via Submission
Welterweight (170lbs): Khaos Williams vs. Matt Semelsberger – Williams via KO/TKO
Heavyweight (265lbs): Josh Parisian vs. Roque Martinez – Parisian via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Joaquim Silva vs. Ricky Glenn – Glenn via Decision
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Casey O'Neill vs. Lara Procópio – Procopio via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.