Ankalaev vs. Oezdemir Odds, Pick, Preview: The 20-1 Prop to Play for UFC 267
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Magomed Ankalaev.
- Magomed Ankalaev is a big favorite against Volkan Oezdemir on Saturday at UFC 267.
- Ankalaev has won six straight fights at 205 pounds, while Oezdemir hasn’t fought since a KO loss in July 2020 vs. Jiri Prochzaka.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the pay-per-view opener and makes pick below.
Ankalaev vs. Oezdemir Odds
Two top-10 Light Heavyweight contenders open the main card at UFC 267 when Magomed Ankalaev and Volkan Oezdemir face off in the Octagon Saturday.
Ankalaev has been on a streak since losing his first bout in the UFC, rattling off six consecutive wins entering Saturday’s fight. Oezdemir, who once fought for the 205-pound belt, is coming off a brutal knockout loss in his last fight and has been inactive since June 2020.
Below I preview how these fighters stack up and which side has betting value for this main card table setter. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:05||9:13|
|Weight (pounds)||205.5 lbs.||205.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/2/92||9/19/89|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.41||5.03|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||1.78||4.24|
|Take Down Avg||1.18||0.36|
Jiri Prochazka — the No. 2 Light Heavyweight contender — is serving as the backup for the main event, and I would expect him to get the next title shot in the 205-pound division.
Both Magomed Ankalaev (No. 7) and Volkan Oezdemir (No. 8) are likely two wins away from a title shot — needing to beat the man in front of them, followed by one of Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, or Aleksandar Rakic in order to fight for UFC gold.
Oezdemir is coming off of a knockout loss to Prochazka (last July), but “No Time” has faced stiff competition in the UFC (including Rakic, Smith, Daniel Cormier, Ovince St. Preux, and Dominick Reyes) and posted solid metrics (+0.80 strike differential; 80% takedown defense) across those matchups.
The Swiss kickboxer pushes at a good pace (5.03 strikes landed per minute) and carries solid power — but his cardio can level off later in fights.
Ankalaev doesn’t have many (if any) weaknesses. And a large percentage of the MMA community considers him the uncrowned Light Heavyweight champion.
The Dagestani is an incredibly efficient striker (+1.63 strike differential) and is both more accurate (+8%) and defensively responsible (+10%) compared to Oezdemir. The one concern is volume — Ankalaev lands just 3.4 strikes per minute. He is very calculated and picks his spots, but he tends to land clean once he lets his hands go.
Still, if this is a 15-minute kickboxing match, Oezdemir could edge by on the scorecards.
However, in this matchup, Ankalaev has the grappling upside (1.18 takedowns per 15 minutes, 33% accuracy, 85% takedown defense). Even if he can’t take Oezdemir down, Ankalaev should be able to control the fight in the clinch, push Oezdemir up against the cage, and tire him out.
Ankalaev vs. Oezdemir Pick
I would use Anakalev as a parlay piece up to -300 (projected -305). I paired him with Alexander Volkov.
I also show value on his submission prop (projected +1227, listed +2000 at FanDuel) given his grappling upside – even though he doesn’t have a submission on his record. Some books have this prop at +1000 — others (like FanDuel and PointsBet) are double that number. It’s a worthy dart throw.
The Pick: Magomed Ankalaev wins by Submission (+2000)