Betting Guide for UFC Fight Night on 8/8/20
What would a Saturday night be like without a UFC card? We haven't seen that in a long time and -- lucky for us -- we won't until September.
We get a big heavyweight matchup, to go along with a former champion taking on a surging prospect on this card, and FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of odds: outright winners, method of victory, and more.
Let's take a look at the best bets to make.
Derrick Lewis (-190) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+160)
This is as clear of a striker versus grappler matchup we will see in the UFC, especially in the heavyweight division. Derrick Lewis' 10 KO/TO wins are tied for the most among all heavyweights in UFC history, while Aleksei Oleinik's six submission wins rank second in that same group.
There is very little chance of this fight going all five rounds, as the -700 line to finish inside the distance suggests. Lewis opened as a big favorite and has now been bet down below -200. At the moment, there is still a slight value lean on Oleinik at +160, but that will change if the line keeps moving at this drastic pace.
Though Lewis is known as a knockout artist, three of his past five wins have actually come via decision. And one of those knockout victories came with just 11 seconds left in a fight which he was clearly losing to Alexander Volkov. Prior to Oleinik's decision victory over Fabricio Werdum in May, he went 5-3 in his past eight fights, with all five wins coming by submission and all three losses by KO/TKO. And all eight of those ended within the first two rounds.
Oleinik will obviously need to avoid getting knocked out, and the best way for him to do that is to get Lewis to the ground and submit him, which gives appeal to Oleinik by submission at +260. And his tendency to get submissions early presents us with interesting prop bets like Olenik submission & round 2 at +1200.
Chris Weidman (-136) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+116)
The former champion Chris Weidman is back at middleweight after a failed one-fight experiment at light heavyweight. There are certainly concerns over his chin, as he is 1-4 over his past five middleweight fights, with all four of those losses coming by KO/TKO. But those losses all came against top competition, and he was actually winning each of those fights before getting clipped.
Now he draws Omari Akhmedov, who has gone the distance in six straight fights. His last win by KO/TKO came back in 2015, and it was actually due to a knee injury to his opponent.
Numbers-wise, the matchup provides Weidman with a great opportunity to avoid getting knocked out, as he holds a two-inch height and five-inch reach advantage, which will allow him to use his range against the smaller Akhmedov, who previously fought at welterweight. Akhmedov also carries a low 34% striking accuracy, further helping Weidman's chances of avoiding big strikes.
Akhmedov's 2.40 takedowns landed per 15 minutes would look advantageous in most matchups, but Weidman actually tops that, at 3.82, and carries a takedown defense rate of 11% higher than Akhmedov.
Weidman is the superior fighter in this matchup, and this line really should be bigger than it is. Anyone really pressed on Weidman's chin being completely shot will want to take a shot at Akhmedov by KO/TKO at +360, but the bet to make in this fight is Weidman -136.
Wellington Turman (-162) vs. Andrew Sanchez (+136)
The favorite here is Wellington Turman, who is just 1-1 in the UFC so far, with both of those fights going to decision. On the other side is Andrew Sanchez, who has put together a 4-3 UFC record. All four wins and one loss went the distance, while the other two losses came by third-round KO/TKO. Both fighters own a decision win over Markus Perez.
With so many of their fights doing the distance, it's very likely that this fight goes all three rounds, and probably even more than the -164 line to go the distance suggests.
As to who will pick up the decision on the judge's scorecards, Sanchez has been the more active fighter, landing 4.49 significant strikes per minute, compared to just 2.43 for Turman. Sanchez does absorb 1.62 more significant strikes per minute compared to Turman, but he actually has a 7% higher striking defense rate. Turman averages 0.75 more takedowns landed per 15 minutes, but with both fighters carrying a sub-40% takedown accuracy and a 100% takedown defense rate, this fight is likely to stay standing.
Sanchez looks like the pick to win straight up, so the +136 juice just makes the pick even better. And for a cherry on top, he can also be bet at +260 to win by decision.