UFC 293 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov: 2-1 Underdog Worth a Shot (Saturday, September 9)

UFC 293 Odds, Pick & Prediction for Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov: 2-1 Underdog Worth a Shot (Saturday, September 9) article feature image

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa of Australia

Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov Odds

Tuivasa Odds
Volkov Odds
Total (Over/Under)
1.5 rounds (-120 / -110)
Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia
Start Time
11:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via Caesars

The UFC 293 co-main event on Saturday features a heavyweight showdown between Alexander Volkov and Tai Tuivasa in Australia.

Volkov is the fighter who is entering this contest with some positive vibes behind him, winning two in a row via stoppage since losing to fast-rising prospect Tom Aspinall.

Tuivasa, on the other hand, is trying to stop the bleeding of a two-fight skid since upsetting fan favorite Derrick Lewis back in 2022.

Although the pairing may not make much sense from a momentum perspective, heavyweight is a division where fortunes can flip at the drop of a dime.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time6:4112:54
Weight265.6 pounds262.9 pounds
Reach75 inches80 inches
Date of birth3/16/199310/24/1988
Sig Strikes Per Minute4.104.89
SS Accuracy49%57%
SS Absorbed Per Minute4.463.00
SS Defense45%53%
Take Down Average0.000.51
TD Accuracy0%70%
TD Defense52%73%
Submission Average0.00.1

Despite Volkov and Tuisvasa making quiet improvements within the wrestling realm, striking is traditionally where both men make their money.

Volkov, for example, comes from a kyokushin karate background but has transformed into a fully-fledged kickboxer during his tenure as a mixed martial artist.

Fighting to his frame, Volkov wields the range weapons that you'd expect from a man of his stature.

When Volkov is prodding with jabs or stabbing with front kicks down the centerline, the Russian fighter maintains a solid sense of space while keeping his patent counter cross on a hair-trigger.

Although bodywork will likely serve Volkov well, he can't afford to sleep on the power coming back his way.

Tuivasa may have started his career as a rugby player who favored the brawl, but the native of Western Australia has put in some serious work to further polish his kickboxing abilities.

Not only has Tuivasa added crushing leg kicks as effective range weapons, but the 30-year-old has also developed a sneaky good striking game inside of the clinch.

No matter what range these two end up fighting in, expect fireworks from both sides.

Tuivasa vs. Volkov Pick

The oddsmakers and the public are favoring the Russian fighter, listing Volkov -250 and Tuivasa +205 as of this writing.

Despite not disagreeing with who is favored, I find myself leaning toward the underdog in this spot.

Although Volkov deserves the distinction as the favorite for his bodywork and superior arsenal at range, Tuivasa has a history of both training and performing decently against tall kickboxers who aren't the most mobile.

Even against agile athletes such as Ciryl Gane, Tuivasa still had his moments of success countering the kicks of the rangier fighter.

I also believe that Tuivasa's leg kicks could be a quiet X-factor from range.

Not only is Volkov's style sometimes heavily lead-footed, but the Russian has traditionally faired poorly in the kick defense department, allowing opponents to land with a minimum success rate of 90% or better.

Factor in the recency bias and sprinkle in a little heavyweight volatility, and I find it hard not to take a shot on the more dangerous fighter at north of 2-1 odds.

Again: Volkov deserves to be the favorite; I just have a hard time trusting him or the inflation that's coming his way.

The Pick: Tai Tuivasa (+205 at Caesars)

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