UFC Vegas Odds, Pick & Prediction for Alexander Volkov vs. Alexander Romanov: How to Bet the Big Men (Saturday, March 11)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC heavyweight Alexander Volkov of Russia
- The big men will fill the smaller UFC cage on Saturday night with Alexander Volkov vs. Alexander Romanov.
- The UFC Vegas co-main event features a pair of top-15 heavyweights looking to climb the ladder.
- Below, MMA analyst Dan Tom breaks down the matchup with some betting cleans for the clash.
Alexander Volkov vs. Alexander Romanov Odds
The UFC Las Vegas: Yan vs. Merab Dvalishvili co-main event on Saturday features a heavyweight tilt between Alexander Volkov and Alexander Romanov.
A seasoned veteran and perennial contender, Volkov will be looking, once again, to defend his top-10 ranking against the next wave of up-and-coming heavyweights.
An aggressive grappler with a brand of wrestling that’s usually not seen in the weight class, Romanov has been making statements since stepping onto the UFC scene.
Although Romanov’s last fight should’ve clearly been scored a draw, he’ll likely be heading into Saturday’s event (3 p.m. ET, ESPN+) with a big chip on his shoulder as he comes off his first professional loss.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||13:37||8:42|
|Weight (pounds)||250 lbs.||264.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||10/24/1988||12/11/1990|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.88||3.78|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.04||1.86|
|Take Down Avg||0.51||5.18|
Despite my usual complaints regarding heavyweight selections on UFC Fight Night main cards, this is a solid styles match between two skillful competitors.
Romanov, who fights out of a southpaw stance, brings a few unique looks to the table that aren’t often seen from the big boys. From a healthy bounce on his toes to his quick, athletic explosions, Romanov can quickly change the tempo of a fight.
The Moldovan fighter doesn’t appear to have much depth to his striking game outside of some powerful kicks and singles shots, but he looks to be an absolute nightmare in close quarters.
Although Romanov chains well off of singles and will occasionally dust off a power double for good measure, he arguably does his best work from the clinch. Whether he’s trying for tips or hitting variations of Polish throws from tie-ups, Romanov appears to have a plethora of takedown options from the cage.
Thankfully for Volkov, the Russian fighter has proven to be more than just a striker over the years.
Volkov may come from a karate base, but he is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt like Romanov. More importantly, Volkov – due to the number of wrestlers he’s had to encounter during his career – has been working diligently on his wrestling stateside for years with well-respected coaches such as Kenny Johnson (Bolt Wrestling).
The former M-1 champion may have slipped up against super prospect Tom Aspinall, but Volkov has shown to make marked strides in his grappling game since signing on with the UFC. Volkov also tends to strike very well with southpaws (officially standing at 3-0 opposite UFC-level lefties), seemingly preferring to fight from an open stance whenever possible.
Volkov vs. Romanov Pick
Despite the UFC Las Vegas bookmakers opening the Russian as the favorite, public money has come in on the Moldovan, listing Romanov -155 and Volkov +130 as of this writing.
Although I’ve been a big proponent of being on the same side as the better on-paper grappler inside the smaller cage, I can’t shake what ultimately feels like a trap spot.
I don’t blame anyone who jumped on Romanov at plus money, but I have a hard time getting behind an unproven prospect against a pressure-tested veteran like Volkov at the current price.
Aside from having the propensity to get stuck on the outside of striking range, Romanov also appears to have stamina issues past the seven-minute mark. Add in the fact that Volkov actively fills space at range and brutalizes the body extra in open-stance matchups, and this could be a recipe for disaster for Romanov.
For that reason, I recommend keeping an eye on the live lines at the end of Round 1.
I expect Romanov to have a dominant start, and I see the smaller cage only encouraging both men to grapple more/at a higher pace. Should that scenario play out, then you will likely get an even better line on Volkov if he’s able to survive the first round.
You are more than justified to fire on Volkov now given the value of the line flip, but waiting for a live bet could save you some money if Romanov is able to successfully storm the Russian’s castle in the first round.
I’m not sure if I’ll be investing in Volkov’s money line beforehand considering my awful history when it comes to picking his fights, so I’ll probably just keep my eyes on the live lines and sprinkle small on Volkov to win in Round 3 (which, in the neighborhood of +650 odds, could also serve as a possible hedge for Romanov bettors).
The Lean: Look to bet Volkov after Round 1 for added profit or a potential hedge
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