SMUGGLING DUDS UFC 284 GAMBLING GUIDE
We are heading back to a land down under for this one where home native Alexander Volkanovski will attempt to become the fourth champion in two divisions, in UFC history in one of the biggest fights of the year so far. Can ‘The Great’ do it? Let’s find out!
Main Card (BT Sport)
Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski (c) (Lightweight)
A true warrior who has ducked absolutely no challenges – but what does the Ozzie have to do to get the respect he truly deserves? Beat Islam Makhachev and become a ‘Champ Champ’. It is as simple as that. Nobody expects the current lightweight champion to win here so this would finally shut up any critics and armchair fans. But let’s get real for a second. Whilst the Ozzie might have the better footwork and boxing, heck he might even have the better cardio! All of this goes out the window in the first round when he gets pinned to the ground by the best grappler in the lightweight division. This will be a frustrating one to watch as it will consist of a take down at the start of each round until Makhachev works in a submission at the midway point. Just as well Volk has nothing to lose here – because he will. It will still be awesome to see him walk out second in front of a packed Australian audience.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett (Featherweight)
We’ve gone back and forth on this one as both possess exceptional skills and bring something different to the table. Can the raw power of Emmet dispose of the former TUF star, or can Rodriguez prove to be too much of a puzzle for him to solve? If this one makes it past the first, we expect ‘El Pantera’ to finish it in the final round. This interim title bout is a real contender for FOTN.
Jack Della Maddalena vs. Randy Brown (Welterweight)
Brown is arguably the most awkward fighter Maddalena has faced so far in his UFC career, but he will still find a way to find his range and do what he does best. Put people to sleep. The Ozzie has been a real cash cow for us in recent years, so we’ll be backing him once again for the finish.
Justin Tafa vs. Parker Porter (Heavyweight)
Whilst neither could be classed as ‘specimens’ and certainly won’t be challenging for the UFC heavyweight title anytime soon, they could provide us with a scrap filled with sloppy boxing and wild haymakers. Tafa should be able to feed off the local crowd to summon a left hook to end this one.
Jimmy Crute vs. Alonzo Menifield (Light Heavyweight)
Many think Crute is just a heavy-handed brawler, but he’s actually got tremendous grappling – just has a tendency to get caught up in the excitement of a fist fight. It is crazy the think that with all these scraps under his belt, and time spent in the UFC, he is still only 26. The young Ozzie is up against an absolute tank in the form of Alonzo Menifield who we believe will be too big and too strong. Crute has to get this one to the ground in order to stand a chance. Easier said than done.
Preliminary Card (BT Sport)
Tyson Pedro vs. Modestas Bukauskas (Light Heavyweight)
Back in October 2021, Cage Warriors star Modestas Bukauskas suffered a career threatening leg injury during his bout with Khalil Roundtree. Released from the UFC and at a crossroads in his career at such a young age, the Baltic Warrior didn’t even dwell for a second and seemed to rebuild the moment he stepped off the hospital bed. Returning to Cage Warriors in style last year, it was clear Bukauskas was not only back, but built differently. With Zhang Mingyang out, Tyson Pedro needed a late replacement. Bukauskas has legit stepped up to the plate here, because it’s in his opponent’s back yard, but also Pedro has looked better than ever in recent outings. We will be backing Mo all the way.
Joshua Culibao vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan (Featherweight)
Tough one to call but we are going to go with Ozzie fighter Culibao to scrape the decision victory.
Shannon Ross vs. Kleydson Rodrigues (Flyweight)
Not entirely sure how Ross has managed to get a contracted considering he was sparked out in his previous outing? Nevertheless, he’s got a chance to turn the tables here, but we expect Rodrigues to either put him away as well, or get his hand raised in an extremely scrappy affair.
Jamie Mullarkey vs. Francisco Prado (Lightweight)
Argentinian Franscisco Prado is 11-0 with 5 stoppages and the rest by submission. The most impressive part is that he only 20 years old! It will be very interesting to see how he copes against someone as experienced and tough as Mullarkey. There won’t be many experts picking Prado we can’t help but get caught up in the hype.
Jack Jenkins vs. Don Shainis (Featherweight)
What an absolute barn burner this one is going to be. Two featherweights with dynamite in their hands will attempt to get their UFC careers up and running. Shainis joined the UFC on late notice in October of last year and it couldn’t have gone worse so he will be on a mission to bounce back in style. Can he, do it? We aren’t so show.
Loma Lookboonmee vs Elise Reed (Women’s Strawweight)
Highly unlikely this one will hit the floor and produce any form of drama, but what it definitely will do is go the distance. Lona Lookboonmee (or Konklak Suphisara as we like to call her) to get the nod from all three judges.
Shane Young vs. Blake Bilder (Featherweight)
DWCS stand out Blake Bilder is on an incredible run and is yet to taste defeat in his professional MMA career. He’s up against a member of the City Kickboxing team that not only hasn’t experienced the success of his team-mates but has been inactive for ages! It would be wrong to overlook Shane Young, but we can’t see how he wins here.
Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Elves Brenner (Lightweight)
Our only concern with this one is that the late replacement Brazilin debutant loves a submission! So, a cheeky flutter on this is certainly a decent shout. Tukjhugov should be able to control this one and get the UD though.
UFC 284 WILD CARD BET: Volkanovski to def Makhachev via KO/TKO in Rnd 2