Derrick Lewis faces Aleksei Olienik

UFC Fight Night

Derrick Lewis v Aleksei Oleinik

With the UFC back in Las Vegas, we are provided with the ever-entertaining Heavyweight contender, Derrick Lewis. Furthermore, the five fights on the main card are still of the highest calibre, despite their names not being of the highest stature.

Derrick Lewis takes on Aleksei Oleinik in a fight that is bound to be stopped early. The American defeated Swedish opponent Ilir Latifi back in February, just before the lockdown measures were implemented. His counterpart Oleinik has been active, with a decision victory against Fabricio Werdum, yet the standard of fighting will be at a higher level against a competitor like Lewis. For me, Oleinik will last maybe one round, unless Lewis piles on the pressure and seeks to have an early night. This is dependent on how fit the American is and how much training he has endured. With odds of 1/7 for the fight to be stopped prematurely, I’m more than confident that Lewis will get the job done in round 2 at a price of 9/2. A hopeful bet which can be added to a more convincing double or treble.

The co-main event sees veteran Chris Weidman return to the octagon, in a middleweight clash against #11 ranked fighter, Omari Akhmedov. Surprisingly, the Russian comes in as the underdog at 11/10 which to me, is a steal in this matchup. The American last fought at heavyweight in a devastating loss to Dominick Reyes, so nobody really knows what to expect from the 36-year-old. His cardio and weight will be questioned, just like any fighter during this period however, but to drop back down in weight against a fighter like Akhmedov, raises a lot of eyebrows.

Darren Stewart looks set to make it three wins in a row, as he takes on prospect Maki Pitolo.

This will be Pitolo’s second fight in the UFC, with the Hawaiian looking sharp against Charles Byrd. Both men have knockout strength in their striking, but Stewart to me edges it with his ground game being a feature of his game that can make the difference in this matchup. At 5/8, Stewart would be backed in an accumulator, rather than risking a lump sum of money on a single.

Women’s bantamweights Yana Kunitskaya and Julija Stoliarenko take to the floor, in what is very much a one-sided fight. Kunitskaya is a dominant fighter, who was unfortunate to get caught late into the fight against Aspen Ladd. The Russian has an excellent percentage rate of total strikes landed at 47% and 44% of them are significant strikes which her Lithuanian opponent need to be careful of. At 2/5, there perhaps isn’t any value to add this selection to a betting slip.

Finally, we get the main card kicked off by the exciting Beneil Dariush, who takes on Scott Holtzman. I believe the Iranian fighter will make it five wins in a row against Holtzman, with his ferocious combinations and fast level changes, Dariush is a real problem for opponents even on a bad night. Holtzman however, is also on a two-win fight streak, yet those opponents come in the form of Kim Dong-Hyun and Jim Miller. I believe the test of Dariush will be too much for Holtzman, which is also reflected in the odds of 8/15 for the #14 lightweight to come out on top.

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