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Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes UFC 225 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/9/18

Blaydes vs. Overeem

UFC: Saturday, June 9, 2018 (United Center)

The Line: Blaydes -125 / Overeem +105 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Alistair Overeem and Curtis Blaydes fight Saturday during UFC 225 at the United Center.

Alistair Overeem enters this fight with a 43-16 record and has won 49 percent of his fights by knockout. Overeem has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a December loss to Francis Ngannou. Overeem is averaging 3.67 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 61 percent. Overeem is averaging 1.46 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 62.7 percent. Overeem is coming off a brutal knockout loss in which he landed just one strike and was finished in under two minutes. Overeem now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 2013 and win his first fight in 11 months. Overeem is one of the more balanced fighters in the sport, as 38 of his 43 wins have been stoppages, and he can hold his own striking or on the canvas. Whether it's the nasty leg kicks or the guillotine choke, Overeem can win any style of fight even at 37 years old. It’s the devastating power that makes Overeem most dangerous, as he’s produced knockouts in four of his last six victories. Unfortunately, Overeem’s striking ability is a blessing and a curse, as each of his last seven losses have come by knockout. This will be Overeem’s first career fight in Chicago.

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Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes UFC 225 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/9/18

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Blaydes enters this fight with a 9-1 record and has won 78 percent of his fights by knockout. Blaydes has won each of his last five fights and is coming off a February win over Mark Hunt. Blaydes is averaging 4.49 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Blaydes is averaging 7.29 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 54.7 percent. Blaydes will fight for the second time this year, and he’s coming off a dominating performance over Hunt in which he produced 10 takedowns and landed 126 strikes. At just 27 years old, Blaydes has been flying up the rankings rather quickly with five straight wins and hasn’t lost a fight since his 2016 bout with Francis Ngannou. Blaydes has clear striking power and has won majority of his fights by knockout, but his wrestling and takedown success is top notch. Blaydes has produced a combined 14 takedowns in his last two fights and it’s rare to see a heavyweight so determined to take a fight to the canvas. Blaydes has a strong tackling like form and can frustrate the hell out of other heavyweights when he’s executing. Blaydes’ conditioning and ground and pound ability makes him one scary fighter for anybody within this division. This will be Blaydes’ third career fight in Chicago, his birthplace. 

This is just another ridiculous matchup on a card that’s absolutely loaded, and there’s a strong case to be made for either one of these guys. Overeem and Blaydes are two of the more balanced heavyweights in the world, as they have the clear power that everybody in this division have, but their willingness to fight on the canvas and high takedown percentages separate them from the rest of the pack. This is sure to be a chess style fight, but I’m giving the edge to Blaydes. His relentless ground game and ability to get the fight where he wants it can’t be ignored, and his ground and pound once he gets it there isn’t what a guy like Overeem, who has a suspect chin and is prone to knockouts, wants to see. Blaydes should be able to control this fight and is far more comfortable in those deep waters. Not to mention this fight is in Blaydes’ hometown of Chicago, so the crowd will be out in full force.

I like the American to get the nod.

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