Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
2023-10-21 16:00:00 EDT
The Line: Islam Makhachev -250 / Alexander Volkanovski +210
(Get latest betting odds)
Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski fight Saturday in UFC 294 at the Etihad Arena. Makhachev enters this fight with a 24-1 record and has won 46 percent of his fights by submission. Volkanovski enters this fight with a 26-2 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout.
Islam Makhachev Betting Preview
Makhachev has won each of his last 12 fights and is coming off a February win over Alexander Volkanovski. Makhachev is averaging 2.35 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 59 percent. Makhachev is averaging 3.24 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 62 percent. Makhachev is coming off a decision win at UFC 284 where he landed 95 total strikes and produced 4 takedowns. Makhachev defended his belt for the first time and the bout earned fight of the night. Makhachev is now 9-0 in career decisions. Makhachev looks for his seventh win since 2021, and he’s 13-1 under the UFC banner. Makhachev has a background in sanshou, judo and sambo, so he’s highly effective in close range, relentless with his takedown attempts and almost always has the edge on the canvas. Makhachev grew up with Khabib Nurmagomedov, and they often train together, so it’s no surprise he has a similar fighting style and wants to drag his opponent into deep waters. Makhachev’s only loss was a knockout at UFC 192. Makhachev will be 32 years old in a couple of weeks, and he’s an absolute nightmare on the canvas. This will be Makhachev’s fourth career fight in Abu Dhabi.
Alexander Volkanovski Betting Preview
Volkanovski has won 10 of his last 11 fights and is coming off a July win over Yair Rodriguez. Volkanovski is averaging 6.25 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 56 percent. Volkanovski is averaging 1.86 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Volkanovski is coming off a knockout win at UFC 290 where he landed 149 total strikes, produced 7 takedowns. It was Volkanovski’s 13th career knockout. Volkanovski is taking this fight on 11 day notice after Charles Oliveira pulled out due to injury. A really strong fighter with extreme pop in his hands and a boxing background, Volkanovski has some of the better standup striking in the sport and counters very well. Volkanovski is also an effective takedown artist with a strong upper body and a wrestling background. Volkanovski has a black belt in BJJ, and he defends takedowns at a very high level, so he’s going to force his opponent to fight the fight he wants and that gives him a great deal of confidence. Volkanovski has never been submitted in his career. This will be Volkanovski’s second career fight in Abu Dhabi.
These two fought at UFC 284, a fight Islam Makhachev won in a decision that earned fight of the night honors. Makhachev landed 95 total strikes and produced 4 takedowns, while Volkanovski landed 164 total strikes.
Randy’s Free Pick
Volkanovski and big plus money is worth a look because of his ability. You simply don’t get elite level fighters at two times your money, so I wouldn’t talk you off the ledge if looking that direction. However, Makhachev is a tough matchup regardless of the circumstances. Less than two weeks to prepare? It’s an even taller order for Volkanovski. Makhachev had little trouble taking down Volkanovski and controlling the fight in the first meeting, and you should expect more of the same when one guy hasn’t been able to have a full camp. Give me Makhachev to win inside distance to shave down the price.