SMUGGLING DUDS UFC 294 GAMBLING GUIDE
Can the late replacements who helped save a card that was clearly falling apart come together and cause some of the biggest upsets a main card has ever seen? Let’s head to fight Island and find out!
Main Card (BT Sport)
Islam Makhachev (c) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (Lightweight)
For Volkanovski to accept this rematch on such short notice, stepping up from his more comfortable weight once again, swapping gloves with an injured Charles Oliveira, we must give him respect. Limited prep time might be the main factor – mixed in with the fact 99.9% of the crowd will be rooting for Makhachev. We aren’t so sure the Ozzie will have made a full recovery from his win over Yair Rodriquez a couple months ago and will for sure come into this one with a few niggles. Nothing would make us happier to see Volk take this but it’s not the right time.
Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev (Middleweight)
Crazy to think that Usman, an athlete who was only a short time ago listed as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, is not even being given a chance against Chimaev. We love a UFC main card upset, but we have to side with the doubters here and say the former welterweight champion has little to no chance of winning. Usman is stepping up in weight on short notice (replacing an infected Paulo Costa), and the size and strength difference come fight time will be ridiculous. This could end in the first two minutes. Usman is at a point in his career when he doesn’t have to prove anything, but a good pay day here will ese the pain of all the battle worn injuries he will be carrying. Easily the biggest upset on the card if Usman can do the unthinkable.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker (Light heavyweight)
Walker will come in as the underdog, but we think the bonkers Brazilian might pull off some sort of cartwheel into spinning back fist move that could spoil the party. Whilst Ankalaev on points is the easiest pick, big Johnny by flash knockdown into submission is what we are going to go with.
Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves (Middleweight)
Another win for the Dagestan massive featured heavily on this card. Easy win for Aliskerov who faces a man who has under performed in his previous two bouts.
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov (Bantamweight)
Expect a masterclass in ground control from Nurmagomedov as he gets controls his opponent for 3 rounds to score an easy UD in safe fashion.
Tim Elliot vs. Muhammad Mokaev (Flyweight)
Whilst Mokaev may not be quite as invincible as once thought, he’s still young, hungry and undefeated. Elliot has every chance of winning here, especially as he seems to have experienced a bit of a resurgence, but ‘The Punisher’ will do whatever it takes to win to keep climbing the ladder.
Preliminary Card (BT Sport)
Mohammad Yaha vs. Trevor Peek (Lightweight)
Peek will be keen to get back to winning ways after a dip in last bout. Yaha is seasoned veteran of the domestic shows but the American should give him a rude awakening in his UFC debut.
Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry (Bantamweight)
The London based fighter is an absolute war horse and will be looking to put on another solid performance to go an impressive 15-0 in his pro MMA career.
Abu Azaitar vs. Sedriques Dumas (Middleweight)
We have never really been that impressed with Azaitar since he was allowed into the UFC, and whilst it won’t be the most exciting bout, Dumas should get his hand raised.
Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Nathaniel Wood vs. Charlie Radtke (Featherweight)
Radtke came into the UFC with purpose and ‘The Prospect’ is up against here in opposition and climate! The Englishman has the talent to win and if he shows the same aggression he has done recently, he could scrape a win here.
Victoria Dudakova vs. Jinh Yu Frey (Women’s Strawweight)
An undefeated fighter versus one who has lost her last 3 bouts? We can help but think the UFC is doing their best to build up Dudakova and send some spotlight her way.
Sharabutdin Magomedov vs. Bruno Silva (Middleweight)
It is a shame this one is on first as it has the makings of a proper slugfest! Both have dynamite in their hands, and Mogomedov is stepping into the big leagues for the first time here, but it would be wrong to not pick the fighter who is undefeated in 11 fights with 10 by stoppage.
UFC 294 WILDCARD BET: Alexander Volkanovski to def Islam Makhachev via KO/TKO