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UFC Fight Night 145 Betting Preview: Finding Value on the Undercard

Feb 23, 2019 8:05 AM EST

Brad Penner, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Gian Villante

  • The UFC’s third event on ESPN+ is lacking in name recognition, but that doesn’t mean the event is lacking in betting angles.
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk (-190) vs. Gian Villante (+165), Liz Carmouche (-140) vs. Lucie Pudilova (+120), and Michel Prazeres (-420) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (+335) all present valuable betting opportunities.

UFC Fight Night 145 betting odds: Michal Oleksiejczuk (-190) vs. Gian Villante (+165)

  • Michal Oleksiejczuk: -190
  • Gian Villante: +165
  • Time: Approx. 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Channel: ESPN+

Polish light heavyweight “Lord” Michal Oleksiejczuk made his UFC debut in December 2017. Oleksiejczuk entered his fight against Khalil Rountree as a sizable underdog, but scored a clear unanimous decision victory.

The win was overturned when Oleksiejczuk tested positive for the anti-estrogen agent clomiphene. “Lord” was subsequently suspended for one-year by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Oleksiejczuk is a come-forward brawler. He throws a high volume of strikes on the feet – Oleksiejczuk landed. 5.07 significant strikes per minute against Rountree – but doesn’t possess notable knockout power.

“Lord” doesn’t have much in the way of head movement either. He eats strikes on the feet and is content to sit in the pocket and get one to give one.

The Polish native is able to succeed with this style due to his chin. Oleksiejczuk absorbed 52 significant strikes against Rountree without much trouble. Meanwhile, Rountree’s three knockout victories in the UFC came via 9, 15, and 3 total significant strikes.

“Lord” hasn’t demonstrated great cardio in the traditional sense; his pace slowed drastically in the third round against Rountree. However, Oleksiejczuk has the convenient ability to fight while exhausted. Oleksiejczuk may have gotten sloppy as the fight dragged on, but he was able to secure top position on Rountree and ride out the fight.

On Saturday, Oleksiejczuk may be staring across the Octagon at his future self.

Entering his 15th UFC fight, Long Island-native Gian Villante has established himself as a reliable action fighter in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.

Coming off a split decision victory over Ed Herman last October (Villante’s fourth consecutive split decision), Villante’s UFC record sits at 7-7 and he has never won or lost more than two fights in a row.

Like Oleksiejczuk, Villante is a high-volume brawler with little regard for defense. Villante lands 4.25 significant strikes per minute but shockingly possesses a negative significant strike differential: He absorbs an astounding 5.31 significant strikes per minute.

Villante is content to rely on his chin and sit in the pocket and trade with his opponents. Though he often gets off to a hot start, Villante’s tends to get figured out as he throws the same combinations repeatedly.

Again, like Oleksiejczuk, Villante has unremarkable cardio but can push forward while exhausted. Villante fights tend to devolve into messy affairs – hence his tendency for split decisions.

  • Villante has gone to decision in his last four fights and five of his last seven.
  • Of Villante’s four knockout victories in the UFC, only one was against an opponent under 30 years old (Oleksiejczuk will be 24 years old).
  • Oleksiejczuk has gone the distance in his only UFC fight.

I expect this fight to play to type for both men. Both fighters are prone to high-volume striking bouts with minimal defense that devolve into ugly affairs. Oleksiejczuk and Villante both have impressive durability and lack one-shot knockout power, so this bout should go the distance.

The Pick: Fight goes to decision (-170)

Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (-140) vs. Lucie “Bullet” Pudilova (+120)