Betting Guide for UFC Fight Night on 6/20/20
Proving itself to be the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas is playing host to the UFC for the fourth week in a row. As was the case with the past three events, this one will take place in the UFC APEX facility, using the smaller 25' octagon.
We're back to a full 12-fight card this week, and FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of odds: outright winners, method of victory, and more.
Let's take a look at the bets that stand out.
Curtis Blaydes (-440) vs. Alexander Volkov (+320)
This week's main event is a classic striker versus grappler matchup. The striker is Alexander Volkov, who ranks second all time among UFC heavyweights in both strikes landed per minute (6.19) and striking differential (3.42). And the grappler is the 29-year old Curtis Blaydes, who has landed 11 more takedowns (45) than any other UFC heavyweight in history and ranks inside the top-five among that group in takedown accuracy (55.6%), control time (53:36) and top position time (43:03).
Despite his heavy striking volume, Volkov hardly presents much knockout potential. His fourth round KO of Fabricio Werdum is his only inside-the-distance victory throughout his six UFC fights. He does lead all UFC heavyweights in takedown defense (82.8%), so his path to victory in this one would be to hold off the takedowns and out-strike Blaydes en route to a decision victory, which has value at +950. But none of the takedowns he's faced so far have come against a fighter with Blaydes' wrestling expertise.
Both of Blaydes' only two UFC losses have come by way of TKO to former (and likely future) title contender Francis Ngannou. He has won all nine of his other UFC fights, with six of those ending inside the distance. And the three decision victories were only three-round fights, while this one will be five.
Blaydes opened as a big favorite in this fight, and his line has continuously grown. He is the pick to win in this fight and can be thrown into parlays. For a straight bet, his -185 line to win by KO/TKO or submission is more attractive.
Shane Burgos (-136) vs. Josh Emmett (+116)
This week's co-main is a much closer contest than the lopsided main event. Shane Burgos, the slight favorite, holds a 6-1 record in the UFC, while underdog Josh Emmett has put together a 4-1 record since dropping down to featherweight, where this fight will take place.
This fight will likely be held on the feet for the most part. Burgos is the all-time featherweight leader with 7.09 significant strikes landed per minute and trails only Jose Aldo with a 90.9% takedown defense rate. On the other side, Emmett is the featherweight leader in significant strike defense (72.0%), bottom position time (0:09) and knockdowns per 15 minutes (2.68).
Burgos is six years younger than Emmett and holds a 5" advantage in both height and weight. His wins are split between three decisions and three finishes, while his lone loss came by third round TKO to rising prospect Calvin Kattar. Emmett's lone decision fight at featherweight was his debut in the division back in 2017. All four of his fights since then have ended in KO/TKO, with Emmett winning three of those.
Emmett clearly has the power and proven ability to end this fight by KO, which is priced at +210 for anyone looking to take that side. Burgos' higher striking output and efficiency makes him more likely to pick up more points on the judges' scorecards, and he has shown the ability to win by both KO/TKO and submission in this weight class. The odds are about right in this one, which provides little value, but the play is on the Burgos moneyline. He just needs to avoid getting hit by one of Emmett's bombs.
Gillian Robertson (-120) vs. Cortney Casey (+102)
This will be Gillian Robertson's seventh flyweight fight in the UFC, which will tie her for the most in the short history of the division. Meanwhile, Cortney Casey will be fighting at 125 pounds for just the second time following her 10 UFC fights at strawweight.
All six of Robertson's fights have ended inside the distance (4-2 record), and her average fight time (5:49) is nearly half of the next closest fighter (10:33). Casey's lone fight at 125 ended with a first-round submission victory, but she fought to a decision in eight of her 10 strawweight bouts.
Casey has been the more active fighter standing up, averaging 4.72 significant strikes landed per minute compared to just 2.18 for Robertson. But the accuracy tilts heavily toward Robertson at 50%, compared to just 38% for Casey. Robertson is also very active in the grappling department, averaging 3.44 takedowns per 15 minutes. That gives her a strong advantage over Casey, who holds just a 39% takedown defense rate despite spending most of her career in a lighter division.
Robertson provides a tough test for Casey in just her second flyweight fight, and the favorite looks to be the smart bet in this one at -120.
Max Rohskopf (-188) vs. Austin Hubbard (+154)
Kicking off this fight card is a bout between two fighters with little or no UFC experience. Austin Hubbard holds a 1-2 UFC record and will take on UFC newcomer Max Rohskopf, who stepped in as a replacement on just one week's notice.
Like the fight above, this one is a tilt between a decision fighter and a finisher. Including his career before the UFC, Hubbard's past 10 fights went into the third round or longer, with eight of them going to decision, including three five rounders. Rohskopf, on the other hand, has won all five of his pro fights by submission, with the past four coming inside of one round.
Rohskopf is a rightful favorite in this fight, and his +270 line to win by submission is attractive, but his first UFC fight won't be an easy one to continue his finish-streak. Olympic Silver medalist wrestler Mark O. Madsen, who is a much more decorated wrestler than Rohskopf, controlled Hubbard en route to a decision victory in their most recent fight but was unable to finish him.
Simply taking the moneyline favorite at -188 in this one looks to be a smart play to open up the night on Saturday.