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UFC 213 Main Card – Heavyweight Bout
Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem will battle for the third time come UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Werdum won the first matchup way back in Pride. Overeem won the second fight, which took place in Strikeforce. A best-of-three victory for either of these fighters puts them back on the right path to a shot at Stipe Miocic’s Heavyweight Championship.
Height: 6’4″ (193cm)
Reach: 77.0″ (196cm)
Fabricio Werdum dominated Cain Velasquez on the way to winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship in June 2015. He wasn’t able to hold onto it for long, though, as he lost his first title defence against Stipe Miocic in devastating fashion, losing by KO in the first round. He rebounded strongly from his loss with a unanimous decision victory against Travis Browne at UFC 203.
Height: 6’5″ (196cm)
Reach: 80.0″ (203cm)
Alistair Overeem enters the octagon after absolutely pulverising the face of Mark Hunt with an extremely brutal right knee. Like Werdum, this was Overeem’s return to winning form after losing against Stipe Miocic in a Heavyweight Championship bout. Overeem has looked better than ever in the last couple of years, relying on well-timed striking, patience and calculated strategies rather than his athleticism like in the past.
Werdum was so eager to get the fight onto his terms in the second fight that he often laid down on the mat waiting for Overeem or instead, shot in for desperate and somewhat pathetic single leg takedowns. Overeem stuffed these takedowns with ease and made sure to punish Werdum whenever he attempted a poor takedown.
Interestingly, though, Werdum was actually winning the stand-up battle with Overeem in this fight. Werdum would move forward with his creative and unpredictable striking and cause havoc for the usually meticulous Alistair Overeem, who had no real answer for this approach. Overeem has significant trouble fighting off the back foot and is easily tagged by the strikes of an opponent.
I don’t think that Werdum will be able to get Overeem to the mat this time. Overeem’s explosiveness combined with scrambling ability means that this fight may remain standing. However, that’s not all bad for Werdum; especially if he has success standing up again like last fight.
Prediction and Betting Strategy
Fabricio Werdum’s style causes trouble for Overeem and it will do so again. He’ll look to cause chaos with striking and beat him up with leg kicks and combinations when moving forward and pressuring Overeem. Werdum is the underdog here so I’ll be backing him to win outright.
UFC 213 Main Card – Lightweight Bout
Height: 5’10” (177cm)
Reach: 72.0″ (183cm)
Anthony Pettis steps into the cage after being stopped for the first time in his career. Pettis dropped to his knees after a buckling combination from the hands of Max Holloway in their UFC Featherweight Interim Title fight back at UFC 206. Pettis looked good early in the fight and was able to chip away at the legs of Holloway, but Holloway really got going as the fight progressed and Pettis didn’t have an answer for him in the third round.
Height: 5’8″ (173cm)
Reach: 71.0″ (180cm)
Jim Miller’s resurgence came to an end when he ran into Dustin Poirier at UFC 208 in February. Miller and Poirier went hard at it for three full rounds and won the UFC 208 Fight of the Night, but Miller fell short to Poirier in a unanimous decision. Miller had his moments, though, and through the last round, it looked as though the tide was going to turn completely as Miller practically disabled Poirier’s lead leg.
Anthony Pettis is a ‘pretty’ fighter who likes to use creative striking to keep opponents guessing. Jim Miller, on the other hand, makes every fight a war. He’ll drag opponents into the deep end and force them to give them all, plus he is super durable.
Miller had success countering the shots of Poirier, especially when he caught Dustin’s kicks and returned punches. He also had notable success with his sweeping leg kick targeted towards the lead right leg of Poirier.
Against Pettis, though, his approach of catching kicks may cause him plenty of trouble. Poirier is quite predictable with his kicking and doesn’t mix up his selections all that much. Pettis, instead, looks to throw different types of kicks every single time.
Prediction and Betting Strategy
I love the way Jim Miller fights and he always makes for a good bet. This time I’ll be betting on Anthony Pettis, though. Pettis is especially dangerous to Miller because of his submissions and his kicking versatility.
Pettis by Submission
Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem
Fabricio Werdum to Win
Saturday 8th July – 10:30 pm (ET) / 2:30am GMT
Odds: 5/4 2.25 +125 1.25 1.25 -0.80 – William Hill
Anthony Pettis vs. Jim Miller
Anthony Pettis to Win by Submission
Saturday 8th July – 10:00 pm (ET) / 2:00am GMT
Odds: 9/2 5.50 +450 4.50 4.50 -0.22 – SkyBet
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