The UFC is back at it again this week, live from their Las Vegas headquarters. UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Oleinik will be the second of five events the promotion will be running from their UFC Apex gym in the month of August, not including four Tuesday night Contender Series events they are also hosting there this month. Busy times, especially considering the U.S. is still knee deep in a pandemic.
Saturday’s main event should be a classic clash of styles. In one corner we have knockout machine ‘The Black Beast’ Derrick Lewis, who with one more knockout will have the distinction of having the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history (he’s currently sitting on 10 knockouts, which is also sixth best in any weight class in the organization’s history). In the other corner, we have the 43-year-old Aleksei Oleinik, aka ‘The Boa Constrictor’. The Ukrainian has an incredible 73 pro fights on his ledger, and an even more impressive 46 submission wins.
However, Lewis has only been submitted once in his career, against all-time great Daniel Cormier, so Oleinik will be swimming upstream trying to tap him out. Plus, he’s been knocked out seven times in his career, including twice just last year, so there’s a good chance someone who hits as hard as Lewis will eventually catch him and put his lights out. Lewis is currently a
20/41* favourite to win the fight and
5/8 to win via knockout.
Weidman v Akhmedov
The co-main event sees former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman return to his normal weight class after experimenting a class up at light heavyweight. Weidman is basically trying anything at this point, seeing if something will work, as he’s been sinking like a stone since losing his title five years ago. Including that fight, he’s going 1-5, with all five of those losses coming via knockout. While his opponent on Saturday, Omari Akhmedov, is far from a knockout specialist – he hasn’t put someone out since 2013 – Weidman is getting knocked out by pretty much any clean shot at this point. Plus, Akhmedov is a good enough wrestler to keep this one standing. I’d jump all over him at plus money –
21/20 currently on MansionBet’s board.
Extra Money on the Underdogs
There are a few other betting underdogs I’m high on for this event, if you’re into plus money (and who isn’t?!). Take ‘El Dirte’ Andrew Sanchez, for instance. Sanchez is sitting at
5/4 for his tilt against Wellington Turman. While Turman is a very impressive prospect, the 24-year-old has won seven of his 16 fights via submission. And Sanchez has never lost via submission before, so this might be a matchup he can win.
I also like Justin Jaynes at even money (
1/1 currently) against Gavin Tucker. ‘The Guitar Hero’ had a very impressive UFC debut, knocking out Frank Camacho this past June at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Volkov. And he also has a wrestling pedigree, so Tucker’s wrestling chops, which he showcased last fight, will likely be nullified. Which means JJ will be able to take aim at Tucker’s chin in a striking battle and flash that power of his.
If you want to go the other way and zero in on some locks, turn your attention to Youssef Zalal at
2/11. Zalal already has two UFC wins under belt – this year alone! He’ll be facing a debuting Peter Barrett, who is 10 years his senior. Look for the 23-year-old to make it 3-0 for 2020. Kevin Holland is also pretty much a lock at
4/21 against last minute signee Joaquin Buckley. Holland was set to fight last weekend before his opponent, Trevin Giles, fainted backstage.
*All odds correct at time of writing.