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UFC Fight Night: Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov preview

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

June 18th, 2020

Two of the best heavyweights in the UFC will take center stage Saturday, when Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov face off with title implications on the line.

This explosive matchup should be a treat for fight fans, and BetAmerica has the inside scoop for a big night of action.

Sun, June 21 2020, 4:00 AM

Curtis Blaydes

-430

VS

Alexander Volkov

+295

Volkov's odds are very attractive

Volkov at these odds looks like a steal. The durable veteran has won seven of his last eight fights and is an accurate and busy striker. Volkov has the chin, inside fighting ability, and overall skill set to give any top heavyweight trouble, so seeing him as a decided underdog is a bit of a surprise.

At the same time, Blaydes has come into his own and has produced some of his best work recently. A supremely talented wrestler with overwhelming power, Blaydes’ formidable ground game can end anyone’s night early. He is on the cusp of a title shot, and his recent destructive performances have made him a significant favorite going into this contest.

Volkov needs to stay on his feet

The big question here is if Volkov can prevent Blaydes from coming forward and working him over on the inside. It’s safe to say Volkov doesn’t hit as hard as Francis Ngannou, but if he can’t get Blaydes to respect his striking, he’ll have a hard time winning the fight going backward.

Blaydes will have to bypass Volkov’s reach and soften him up a bit before shooting in. Blaydes' violent takedowns are a sight to see, but he will find himself in a bit of trouble if Volkov stuffs his takedowns or keeps him on the outside.

Volkov can take Blaydes out of his comfort zone

Volkov's reach and strong takedown defense could force Blaydes to fight outside his comfort zone and take some punishment. Both men can eat a good shot, so this fight is going to go the rounds, unless Blaydes can catch Volkov and get him on the ground. It will take a superhuman effort from Volkov to hold off Blaydes for the entire fight.

While Volkov could slow the pace and make it methodical early on, Blaydes will force the action and break through Volkov’s reach with a vengeance. Blaydes will eventually score a takedown, then a stoppage, via a volley of follow-up strikes by fight’s end.

MMA free pick: Blaydes

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