After a short break from Fight Island action, UFC is finally back with Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov. This event has a stacked lineup of six fights with the main event of No. 5 Heavyweight Alistair Overeem and No. 6 Alexander Volkov. Here are the Fightlete staff’s betting picks for Saturday’s event!
(All odds are via Draftkings Sportsbook. Please gamble responsibly.)
Here are our betting records in 2021 thus far:
Drew: 3-5, -2.03 units
Sean: 3-5, -2.08 units
Michael: 3-5, -2.88 units
Kirien: 2-6, -4.93 units
Alexander Volkov (-182) vs. Alistair Overeem (+150)
O/U 1.5 rounds (-225/+165)
Drew’s Pick- Overeem/over 1.5 rounds
Both of these fighters have tallied some impressive wins and some devastating losses against top contenders. Stylistically, this is a really good matchup, so expect to see some A-1 kickboxing. However, I see Overeem looking for a takedown that leads to ground and pound. I’m taking Overeem in the later rounds coming out on top.
Sean’s Pick- Volkov/over 1.5 rounds
Volkov wins this fight by keeping the distance early on against Overeem, although a finish might happen, it’s safe to say Volkov beats Reem by decision using this strategy.
Mike’s Pick- Volkov/Over
Alistair Overeem has been a staple of the Heavyweight division for many years and is currently on a roll winning four out of his last five. Despite this, however, I see the Volkov having a striking advantage and keeping the fight on the feet, ultimately leading to either a late finish or a decision victory.
Kirien’s Pick- Overeem/over 1.5 rounds
The 40-year-old Overeem is apparently on the Tom Brady regime and will overwhelm Volkov early and often. Volkov will fight conservatively and hope to outlast his aggressive opponent, but Overeem will prove too much.
Cory Sandhagen (-455) vs. Frankie Edgar (+330)
O/U 2.5 rounds (-200/+150)
Drew’s Pick- Sandhagen/under 2.5 rounds
At -455, there is really no value in taking this pick, but I can’t see Sandhagen dropping this one. After defeating Marlon Moraes in October, he is going to be too much for Edgar to handle. I’m looking for fireworks and a pretty quick stoppage from the “Sandman.”
Sean’s Pick- Edgar/over 2.5 rounds
I think Edgar thrives in the underdog role as he did in previous matchups with Gray Maynard and Yair Rodriguez. I see him dominating from the top on Sandhagen using his wrestling to control this fight.
Mike’s Pick- Sandhagen/ Over
I believe Sandhagen will be too young, fast, and fresh for Frankie. Frankie is only 1-0 since moving down to Bantamweight, and while his debut win was impressive, it was a very close fight and a controversial decision. Though I believe Sandhagen will get the win, I do think the line should be closer than it currently is.
Kirien’s Pick- Edgar/over
Sandhagen is on the verge of stardom. The young gun with everything to lose vs. the veteran with nothing to lose. The 39-year-old Edgar stuns Sandhagen early and rides the early momentum to a win via decision.
Alexandre Pantoja (-136) vs. Manel Kape (+110)
Drew’s Pick- Pantoja
Both of these fighters have been fairly inactive and haven’t won since 2019. In my eyes, this is a toss-up, and I am going with Pantoja only because he fought once in 2020.
Sean’s Pick - Pantoja
Kappe is a former RIZIN fighter who's had many finishes recently. Pantoja has a win over Brandon Moreno in the past who took the Flyweight Champion Figueroda to a Draw. I think that Pantoja has experience with tougher competition and has proved himself then, and I think he will do so again.
Mike’s Pick- Kape
Manel Kape is making his UFC debut after a long, successful stint with RIZN, and I think he’ll start his UFC tenure off with a big win. This fight could go either way, but with both guys having high finishing rates, particularly high for flyweights, we at least know that it's going to be entertaining.
Kirien’s Pick- Kape
A UFC debut will have Kape’s adrenaline pumping 10-fold. As long as he can harness that energy into controlled fighting I expect him to emerge from this fight with his first UFC victory.
Cody Stamann (-305) vs. Askar Askar (+230)
Drew’s Pick- Askar
This pick is purely a value play. Askar is a young fighter coming out of the midwest, and he has a lot to prove, especially when jumping into the Octagon on very short notice. Statistically, Stamann is supposed to win, but when the favorite is -305 and fighting a hungry underdog, I am going with the challenger solely for the odds value.
Sean’s Pick - Stamann
Stamann is one of the most underrated guys in the 135lb division having lost to Jimmie Rivera in his last fight, Askar Askar who has long been a top prospect in the division faces the tough task of fighting Stamann in the main event. We predict that although Askar will likely drop this fight, he’ll display his durability and likely last all 3 rounds/
Mike’s Pick- Stamann
Askar is making his UFC debut in this bout on only a few days’ notice against a very tough Cody Stamann. Stamann is a UFC veteran who has only faltered against truly elite competition. Additionally, the fight is at Featherweight, a weight Stamann has a fair amount of experience fighting at, while Askar has only fought at Bantamweight and even Flyweight.
Kirien’s Pick- Stamann
Stamann is a veteran who won’t overlook the talented Askar making his debut. Neither fighter had much time to prepare but I think Askar will come out strong with something to prove. Stamann will weather the storm and hand a humbling loss to Askar.
Diego Ferreira (-125) vs. Beneil Dariush (+105)
Drew’s Pick- Dariush
This is going to be a banger to open up the card. These fighters have fought once before and Dariush won, but that was over six years ago. Again, I see this as a dogfight that is almost a toss-up. I’m going with Dariush solely because he has been slightly more active.
Sean’s Pick- Dariush
Dariush defeated Ferreira awhile ago, I enjoy seeing Beneil evolve from a BJJ Specialist to a devastating striker, this will be an exciting one, Ferreira is tough but I feel Beneil has the game plan to potentially finish him.
Mike’s Pick- Dariush
Beneil Dariush is on fire right now, riding a five-fight winning streak including back-to-back spectacular knockouts in his last two outings. Further, Dariush picked up a win against Ferreria back in 2014, and the winner of the first fight wins the second in about 62% of UFC rematches. Having said all that, Ferreria is as tough as they come, and it should be a great fight.
Kirien’s Pick- Ferreira
Ferreira lost to Dariush six years ago. It's a loss that not only do we suspect he has learned from (based on his more recent performances) but will hopefully motivation Ferreira and lead him to victory.