UFC Fight Night - Volkov v Blaydes Preview
June 17, 2020
UFC Fight Night – Eye v Calvillo review
Followers of last week's OddsBoom selections will have been pleased to go two-for-two, with the co-main event ending by way of submission and Cynthia Calvillo outpointing Jessica Eye in the main event.
The action keeps coming in the UFC. The use of the Apex centre in Las Vegas has really allowed the organisation to continue to showcase the best MMA fighters on the planet.
The smaller octagon continues to play a role in the fights with much less room for anyone to hide or run. This will continue to be a feature of all bouts until the UFC relocates once again, this time to Abu Dhabi.
Dana White’s promise of a ‘Fight Island’ has been fulfilled. Although, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is not really what most fight fans had in mind. The man-made area, home to the Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix circuit has actually already hosted a UFC card before. UFC 242, headlined by Khabib v Poirier took place in the same arena.
Although the location is not quite what people expected, the line-up of fights slated for Abu Dhabi is sensational. Starting July 11 – the UFC will run 4 events in 2 weeks. It will all kick off with UFC 251, showcasing 3 title fights.
The Bantamweight Title will be up for grabs when Petr Yan takes on Jose Aldo. Alexander Volkanovski will match up with Max Holloway for the Featherweight strap and the event will be headlined by Kamuru Usman v Gilbert Burns – for the Welterweight title.
Josh Emmett v Shane Burgos
There are a number of experienced fighters on show this weekend in Las Vegas. Raquel Pennington, Belal Muhammad and Jim Miller should all score wins in the early fights.
The co-main event in the Featherweight Division is a good looking fight between Josh Emmett (15-2) and Shane Burgos (13-1).
Burgos comes into this one the younger man, by 6 years. He has a 12cm height advantage as well as a significant, 13cm reach advantage. His recent fights have seen him go 6-1 in the UFC with notable wins over Makwan Amirkhani by way of TKO, Cub Swanson (decision) and Kurt Holobaugh (submission). 3 wins – each by a different method showcase Burgos’s all-round MMA skillset.
His only loss in the UFC has come at the hands of Calvin Kattar – back in January 2018. Since then he is on a 3 fight win streak and will be looking to extend that run to 4 this weekend.
Josh Emmett has, himself, gone 6-2 in the UFC – with his only losses coming against Jeremy Stephens and Desmond Green. Having KO’d his previous 2 opponents, Emmett comes into this in good form. However, he does not appear to be as well rounded a fighter as Burgos.
Burgos should have the tools to keep this fight at distance – with such a significant reach advantage. If he can do this, he could control the bout throughout and take a decision victory on the scorecards.
Our recommendation is to back Burgos this weekend.
The younger fighter might not have it all his own way but should possess the skills to keep the judges interested, and can score a win over Josh Emmett.
Curtis Blaydes v Alexander Volkov
This Heavyweight bout is a really interesting matchup. Blaydes (13-2) and currently ranked the number 3 Heavyweight in the organisation takes on the ultra-experienced Alexander Volkov (31-7).
Blaydes UFC record reads 8-2, with both losses coming at the hands of the current Heavyweight Champion, Francis Ngannou. He has beaten a number of major players in the division – including Junior Dos Santos (TKO), Alistair Overeem (TKO) and Mark Hunt (decision).
Of his 13 career wins – 10 have come by way of KO. Blaydes possesses serious power. At 29, he is 2 years the younger man this weekend. Alexander Volkov has himself beaten a number of top calibre Heavyweight fighters. Scoring wins against the likes of Fabricio Werdum (KO), Stefan Struve (TKO) and Roy Nelson (decision).
Volkov’s only UFC loss has come at the hands of Derrick Lewis, who viciously knocked him out at UFC 229 in October 2018. Since then, he has fought just once – in November 2019, taking on and beating ex NFL player Greg Hardy.
The lack of recent fight activity could count against Volkov this weekend. He will be looking to keep the fight on the feet this weekend and does possess an excellent takedown defence. However, his takedown defence may not come into play. Blaydes looks capable of fighting fire with fire, despite being the shorter man by 8cm, Blaydes will likely be far the heavier man this weekend.
If this weight can be translated into power, then Blaydes stands an excellent chance of catching Volkov cold. Blaydes KO win over Dos Santos in January 2020 shows far better recent form than Volkov’s most recent scrappy win over Greg Hardy.
Our suggestion is to back Curtis Blaydes to extend his win streak this weekend.
Look for Blaydes to make a fast start and KO Alexander Volkov. By doing so he will be looking to propel himself back into title contention in the Heavyweight division.