UFC on ESPN 11 Betting Guide, Tips & Picks: Blaydes vs Volkov
Jed Meshew | 7 mins
This Saturday, the UFC will keep its momentum rolling, hosting its third event in June and seventh in the past two months.
Though the card lacks huge names, it’s actually one of the most competitive fight cards of this run from the UFC, with a number of great bouts and good UFC betting opportunities.
That includes the main event, which features a heavyweight contest between third-ranked Curtis Blaydes and seventh-ranked Alexander Volkov. One might expect that bout to have title implications, but instead, given the logjam at heavyweight right now, it’s just a big fight with big betting chances.
UFC on ESPN 11 Best Bets
|Curtis Blaydes |
Bet it at FanDuel ➜
| Josh Emmett |
Win vs. Shane Burgos
Bet it at DraftKings ➜
| Roxanne Modafferi |
Bet it at PointsBet ➜
All odds current as of publication
Curtis Blaydes by KO/TKO
Curtis Blaydes might be the best heavyweight on the planet right now. Yes, he has two losses to Francis Ngannou, but Blaydes also brings to the table a skill set and level of athleticism that make him a serious problem for anyone in the world. That certainly includes Alexander Volkov.
Volkov is a rangy striker but, despite his size (6 feet 7, 250 pounds), he seems to lack KO power. He’s an attrition-based puncher; that is an anomaly at heavyweight and one that is a pretty major disservice going against a guy who will give Volkov no room to breathe.
Blaydes is a relentless wrestler who has recently added a serviceable striking game to his arsenal, such as when he knocked out former champion Junior dos Santos. There just aren’t many good avenues for Volkov here as Blaydes is going to press forward, throw bombs, score takedowns and beat Volkov up on the floor. Because this fight is 25 minutes, bet on Blaydes at -145 with FanDuel ➜ to get a stoppage, probably in the later rounds.
Josh Emmett over Shane Burgos
Josh Emmett is a tough fighter to pin down. Since dropping down to featherweight, Emmett has used his massive KO power to completely destroy some huge names in the division, but he fell short to another power puncher in Jeremy Stephens.
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Meanwhile, Burgos has quietly been putting together a sensational run through the division with a high-volume attack that has seen him defeat talented, if less well-known opposition.
Ultimately, this fight is a coin flip, so getting plus money on Emmett is good value given his fight-changing power and the overall quality of his competition. Bet on Emmett at +115 with DraftKings ➜.
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Roxanne Modafferi by decision
Buried in the prelims is a bout that could determine the next women’s flyweight title contender. Roxanne Modafferi’s run in the UFC has been up and down, alternating wins and losses, but her record is much better when you consider that two of her losses came against opponents who missed weight. On top of that, her most recent performance, against the surging Maycee Barber, was a big step up for “The Happy Warrior” and showed vastly improved athleticism to go with a strong ground game.
Her opponent on Saturday, Lauren Murphy, is a nuts-and-bolts fighter who is durable but lacks a strong offensive game. Even without the Barber performance, Modafferi would have had a good chance to win, but Roxy’s late career resurgence makes her a good bet to win by decision at +155 with PointsBet ➜ against Murphy.