In the co-main event, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will take on Omari Akhmedov. This is the first fight for Weidman in ten-months and he has moved back down to middleweight after getting brutally knocked out in his light heavyweight debut against Dominick Reyes at UFC Boston last October.
Before, the co-main event, fans get to watch a middleweight fight between Maki Pitolo and Darren Stewart. Later in the undercard in the women’s bantamweight division Yana Kunitskaya takes on Jujila Stoliarenko.
The main card will be started by a highly exciting lightweight fight between Beneil Dariush and Scott Holtzman.
The MMA India Show started a prediction series last month, where, I, Jay Rock, analyse the upcoming fight cards and giving my predictions, analysis, betting tips and giving you a chance to improve your Verdict score.
For last weekend’s prediction, I went 2-2 for the main card. Check out my last week’s prediction.
What is Verdict?
To explain it easily, Verdict is a comprehensive and entertaining fight picking and scoring platform out there. You can earn ‘experience’ for predicting fights correctly and scoring rounds in real-time. If accurately predicted the match, you will be able to top the leaderboard. See how much you understand the sport and compete with MMA fans around the world.
Now let’s get back to the upcoming event, which is titled UFC on ESPN+ 32 and is filled with exciting fights from top to bottom.
Aleksei Oleinik (2.56) vs Derrick Lewis (1.47)
In the battle of the heavyweights, Aleksei Oleinik takes on Derrick Lewis. The Russian is coming off of a split decision win over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 249, whereas Derrick Lewis is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Ilir Latifi at UFC 247.
Derrick Lewis is the betting favourite and is priced at 1.47, which means if you bet ₹100 on him and he wins, you will be making ₹147, whereas, Oleinik is priced at 2.56, which essentially means you will be making ₹256 if he wins.
Heading into the fight, the 43-year old Aleksei ‘The Boa Constrictor’ Oleinik is a slight underdog against Derrick Lewis.
To place bets on tomorrow’s UFC card, click here.
I know what you’re thinking, underdogs in the last few fight cards have been pulling off massive upsets, be it Fabricio Werdum, Bobby Green or Derek Brunson and in ideal circumstances, I would have liked to back the underdogs here too, but this time around the stats tell us something different.
Aleksei Oleinik has 72 fights under his belt and he has won 59 of those with 46 of them coming via a way of submission. Derrick Lewis is also known for carrying a violent knockout power in the division and both fighters have combined 104 fights and only 16 have gone to the judges’ scorecards.
Oleinik has slowed down over his past couple of fights. In his last fight, he scored a split decision win over Fabricio Werdum, which to be clear wasn’t the same version that defeated Alexander Gustafsson last month.
Prior to that, he came off of a submission win over Maurice Greene, who was coming off of a first-round TKO loss to Sergei Pavlovich. In his last fight, Greene was losing to an out of shape Gian Villante, until Gian ran out of gas and Greene scored an Arm triangle submission.
While Oleinik’s last two wins came against opponents that were over the hill opponents, prior to that, he lost to Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem via TKO in Round 1.
On the other hand, Lewis is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Ilir Latifi who had moved up to the heavyweight division at UFC 247. Lewis also has made much-needed changes in his personal lifestyle.
Both fighters are well aware of each other’s strong attributes and the fight may end up being a low volume striking match with occasional submission attempts from Oleinik, as the American has a takedown defense average of just 53%, while the Russian has a takedown accuracy of 46% and his takedown average is around 2.41.
However, Lewis has promised to come guns blazing in the opening round and given the fact that Oleinik’s last two losses have come via TKO in the first round, it’s not difficult to assess, why Lewis feels the need to come stronger in the opening round.
“I think you’ll see something you haven’t seen from me in a long time in the octagon,” Lewis said during media day. “I’m going to come out balls blazing. Something crazy. Something different. You’ll see something different that you haven’t seen before. That’s all.”
While fans may think that Oleinik may dominate with his grappling heavy game if the fight lasts longer, but Lewis has been submitted just once in his professional career, that that submission loss came against Daniel Cormier at UFC 230.
With that being said, Aleksei Oleinik absorbs nearly 3.30 significant strikes per minute, whereas lands 3.72 strikes per minute, which is much better than Lewis, who lands only 2.53 significant strikes per minute. But it’s important to note that a powerful puncher like Lewis only needs to catch Oleinik a few times, who absorbs significant more punches than him to end the fight.
Jay Rock’s Money line Prediction: Derrick Lewis defeats Aleksei Oleinik outright.
Props: Derrick Lewis defeats Aleksei Oleinik via stoppage (TKO/KO/SUB).
Chris Weidman (1.66) vs. Omari Akhmedov (2.20)
Jay Rock’s Money line Prediction: Chris Weidman defeats Omari Akhmedov outright.
Props: Chris Weidman defeats Omari Akhmedov via decision.
Darren Stewart (1.61) vs. Maki Pitolo (2.30)
Jay Rock’s Money line Prediction: Darren Stewart defeats Maki Pitolo outright.
Props: Darren Stewart defeats Maki Pitolo via decision.
Yana Kunitskaya (1.44) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (2.75)
Jay Rock’s Money line Prediction: Yana Kunitskaya defeats Jujija outright.
Props: Yana Kunitskaya defeats Jujija via decision.
Beneil Dariush (1.54) vs. Scott Holtzman (2.57)
Jay Rock’s Money line Prediction: Beniel Dariush defeats Scott Holtzman outright.
Props: Beneil Dariush wins via stoppage (KO/TKO/Submission).