UFC on ESPN+ 11 Undercard Preview: Chris Fishgold vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: UFC featherweight Makwan Amirkhani.
- Oddsmakers expect 10 of the 13 fights on Saturday's UFC on ESPN+ 11 card to be close close.
- With fights this hard to predict, looking at props may be the best way to find betting value.
UFC on ESPN+ 11 Undercard Betting Preview
- Preliminary Card: 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2
- Main Card: 1 p.m. ET on ESPN+
There will be unpredictable violence in Stockholm, Sweden this Saturday, as UFC on ESPN+ 11 is filled with close fights:
- 54% (7/13) have favorites of -145 or closer
- 77% (10/13) have favorites of -200 or closer
There’s one matchup I like at these odds, but I think props provide more value on a tough-to-predict fight card like this. Unfortunately, one of my original bets — Volkan Oezdemir vs. Ilir Latifi — has been scratched due to the latter fighter suffering a back injury.
Chris Fishgold (-120) vs. “Mr. Finland” Makwan Amirkhani (+100)
This featherweight contest is between two aggressive grapplers.
Fishgold (18-2-1) made his name on the European MMA scene, mainly in the Cage Warriors promotion. When he finally got called up to the UFC, Fishgold was knocked out in the first round by No. 15 ranked Calvin Kattar.
He responded with a sloppy, but successful, submission victory over Daniel Teymur. The Englishman has the grappling prowess to rule the regional scene, but there are concerns how far his frenetic style can take him in the UFC.
Amirkhani (14-3) was one of the hottest prospects in the featherweight division. He won his debut via eight-second knockout in 2015.
However, despite going 4-1 in the UFC, things haven’t exactly panned out for the Straight Blast Gym Ireland fighter.
Due to inactivity, Amirkhani has more or less treaded water in his UFC career. He’s typically fought only once a year, and thus has been unable to gain any real momentum. It’s four years since his debut and Amirkhani is still in the same place: fighting on the undercard of European fight nights.
Still, there is reason to hope for Amirkhani’s UFC career. He has a great wrestling pedigree and has shown to be very tough (if defensively porous) on the feet. More importantly, Amirkhani has not been resting on his laurels.
Prior to entering camp for the Fishgold fight, Amirkhani dedicated 10 months exclusively to developing his boxing. He competed in six amateur boxing bouts and has completely refocused his lifestyle and training.
Based on what we’ve seen in the Octagon alone, I’d favor Amirkhani. He has strong takedowns and control and is a slick submission grappler. He’s also more proven against higher-level competition.
Fishgold’s swarming style worked on the regional scene, but he can get desperate when things don’t go his way. Compound this with the fact that Amirkhani has apparently been shoring up the holes in his game, and I like the Iraqi-born “Mr. Finland” to get the win.
The Pick: Makwan Amirkhani (+100)