Gaethje v Nurmagomedov
We are treated to a 6 fight main card which will be televised at an earlier time on Saturday evening, rather than the late-night Sunday that us UK folk are used to.
The lightweight title is on the line, as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje square off in the Octagon, in a battle of the wrestlers. Purely because of his ability to also strike at a great standard, Gaethje will hand Khabib his first loss in my opinion. If the contender can defend the takedown well, then I don’t see how Khabib can fend off the power that the American has in his hands. Great odds at 11/4 with Bet365 to win outright.
Robert Whittaker takes on Jared Cannonier, in what looks like a one-sided fight. Despite the setbacks that Whittaker has faced in recent years, I think his recent win against Darren Till has shown viewers that he’s still one of the best in the business. While Cannonier’s toughest opponent came in the form of Anderson Silva, who he disposed of in quick fashion, yet I don’t see the 36-year-old causing an upset here. At 10/11, a double of Whittaker and Gaethje is worth the big punt.
Heavyweights Alexander Volkov and Walt Harris will tee-off inside the octagon, in a bout that is surely not going to go the distance. These two power hitters both have something to prove, especially in a clash that consists of a pair in the top two of the division. Harris is coming off the back of an unfortunate loss to Alistair Overeem, while Volkov was treated to a ground and pound by Curtis Blaydes. With the two fighters far from title contention, they’ll be looking to put a spanner into Dana White’s plans for the heavyweight division and I think Harris can produce the knockout of the night if he is in top form. Despite the odds not being in his favour, at 6/4 to win outright he is worth every penny.
Jacob Malkoun takes on Phillip Hawes in a close middleweight matchup. Malkoun comes into the fight unbeaten in his professional MMA career, while Hawes featured in a win on Dana White’s contender series and produced a very convincing win in round one. I believe Hawes will produce another TKO win in his first outing on the UFC stage, at 10/11 to win by TKO it isn’t a for sure bet but I am confident in Hawes’ ability.
Flyweights Lauren Murphy and Liliya Shakirova provide us with a contest from the women’s division. Shakirova makes her UFC debut, where I think Murphy will be too much of an opponent for the Uzbekistani’s big night. Murphy comes into the fight off the back of 2 wins so far this year. At 4/9 Murphy is definitely the one to back in this fight.
Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba kick off the main event, in another one-sided fight of the main card. The two have already squared off, with Ankalaev coming out on top in a first round KO back in march, where I can see a reoccurrence of their first bout being played out. Ankalaev is a 3/10 favourite, so I wouldn’t bother putting any money on this fight if it was me.