It’s the post “Money Fight” era, and we are back to business with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in full swing with their first event since the Mayweather / McGregor spectacle. This Saturday, it’s UFC: Rotterdam, a show that is flying under the radar but one that could put some coin in your pocket.
Headlining the show will be a heavyweight tilt between UFC vet Stefan Struve (+100) and Moscow’s Alexander Volkov (-120).
Two fights into his stint with the big show, the Russian has gone the distance and defeated Timothy Johnson and Roy Nelson. He’s not the easiest guy to finish but he is facing a fighter in Struve who is a wild card. You just never know how he truly matches up with opposition until the fight unfolds.
On paper, he will always have the reach advantage, but it doesn’t always mean he can use it to his advantage. One day, he’s knocking out current UFC Champion Stipe Miocic or submitting some other big man, and the next day he’s getting finished in spectacular fashion. He’s hit or miss, so the fun bets in this fight are a plenty.
While pinpointing that one prop for this fight does not seem like a prudent exercise, I would definitely consider Struve winning by T/KO at +310 or by submission at +650. Unfortunately that submission fun bet is dropping quickly.
Of course, considering Struve’s inconsistency means he could get shocked, dropped and T/KO’d at anytime, Volkov via T/KO at +165 doesn’t seem like much of a fun bet, but does feel like a safer one, more than anything.
In the co-main event, it’s the return of Siyar Bahadurzada (-140), once considered one of the top free agents when the UFC signed him, vs. Rob Wilkinson (+120), a 6’2”, undefeated Australian middleweight, who will be making his octagon debut vs. the Afghan.
Seems every UFC event has an unknown that breaks through the scene and makes the MMA bubble burst. The 25 year old Wilkinson is 11-0, with 10 finishes. Bahadurzada is now 33 years old, and has only fought four times in the past six years.
Could we be on the precipice of an upset here? And maybe even a finish? If you buy this weird MMA math, you can get Wilkinson to win inside the distance at +225.
Looking down the rest of the card, here are some other fun bets that may be worth your time:
Bryan Barbarena (+225) straight up over Leon Edwards. Bryan has a history of proving everyone wrong, so I have no issues with this wildcard of a fighter surprising us once again.
Desmond Green (+245) straight up over Rustam Khabilov. Green’s wrestling and control could steal 2 rounds in this fight. Then again, I’ve seen Khabilov in person many times, once during out stay in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he and Khabib Nurmagomedov put on some intense MMA technical clinics that were awe inspiring. Khabliov has the technical prowess to turn any fight on it’s head, and can shock anyone with a T/KO. I would not be surprised at all if he does this on Saturday night, and that +490 on a finish with strikes is very tempting.
Talita is 5-1, with four submission victories. I do not see her wanting to stand and trade with Reneau in this fight here, as Marion’s precision will likely be far more on point than hers, considering she’s put in a full training camp for this one, while Talita took this one on short notice.
I don’t foresee this one going the distance, and a finish will likely come fast and furious. If you fancy Marion in this fight, the finish will pay you +135 on your money. But that’s no fun. The real fun bet here is Oliveira by finish, which pays a yummy +515.
What are your thoughts? Any fun bets that you think should be considered? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section or hit us up on social media: @FightfulMMA or yours truly, @ShowdownJoe.