Breaking Down the Best Bets for the UFC Saint Petersburg Main Card
UFC Fight Night 149 is this Saturday, April 20, live from Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The UFC first moved into Russia last year and held an event that was popular with the locals. It hasn’t been too long before they’ve returned to showcase some of the best Russian and European talent there is to offer.
The main event is a bout that will feature Alistair Overeem and Aleksei Oleinik. Overeem’s striking matches up well against Oleinik, who will be relying on a takedown to succeed. Read our Overeem vs. Oleinik betting guide before continuing to read about our best bets and tips for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 149 card.
Let’s get started by breaking down the co-main event.
Islam Makhachev vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Saturday, April 20 – 3:00 pm (ET) / 7:00pm (GMT)
Now six fights into his UFC career so far, Islam Makhachev has developed into a promising 155-pound fighter with first-round stoppage wins against Kajan Johnson and Gleison Tibau in his last two fights. He’s now won four fights in a row.
At UFC Saint Petersburg, Makhachev will be facing a fighter making his UFC debut, Arman Tsarukyan. Relatively unknown to even the hardcore MMA fans in North America and the United Kingdom, Tsarukyan has a tough task in front of him but does enter this fight as a 13-1 fighter who is undefeated in his last 12 fights.
The public perception ahead of this fight is such that no one is giving Arman Tsarukyan a chance. However, the young fighter is a promising talent with a decent striking game and a wrestling game that is good enough to compete at this level.
Tsarukyan’s been training at Tiger Muay Thai in the lead-up to this fight and shouldn’t be counted out. But Islam Makhachev is a deserving betting favorite here and is probably the better value play considering that his odds have improved since the opening lines.
Look for Makhachev to work his way inside and earn that top control that has won him so many fights before.
Bet on Islam Makhachev to win: -305 at BetOnline
Sergei Pavlovich vs. Marcelo Golm
Saturday, April 20 – 2:30 pm (ET) / 6:30pm (GMT)
Sergei Pavlovich entered the UFC in November last year as an undefeated fighter who had racked up 12 wins while competing mostly for Fight Nights Global. Touted as a prospect to watch in the UFC’s heavyweight division on arrival, Pavlovich stepped into a fight with former champion Alistair Overeem first. Pavlovich was handled by Overeem with ease and suffered his first-ever defeat. He has a chance to bounce back in front of his fans in Russia this weekend when he faces Marcelo Golm.
Golm is a Brazilian 26-year-old who has won only one of his three bouts in the UFC so far. Like Pavlovich, Golm was undefeated before the UFC and had managed five consecutive wins. He defeated Christian Colombo in his UFC debut in October 2017 before then losing to Timothy Johnson and Arjan Bhullar in 2018. A defeat here in Saint Petersburg might spell the end of Golm’s UFC career.
This is a tough fight for Golm, who will be facing a Russian in Russia, and a good one at that. The odds fairly represent the challenge that’s ahead of him.
Pavlovich has good enough stand-up that he should be able to control this fight on the feet. Both fighters aren’t known to come out swinging early and this is one that could last the distance. Add in the relatively powerful factor that the ringside judges are often influenced by the local crowd and we’ve got a great value bet here at UFC Saint Petersburg.
Bet on Sergei Pavlovich to win: -265 at Bovada
Ivan Shtyrkov vs. Devin Clark
Saturday, April 20 – 2:00 pm (ET) / 6:00pm (GMT)
Ivan Shtyrkov is a highly regarded fighter hailing from Russia. Unbeaten in his 17-fight career (that includes one no-contest), Shtrykov steps into the UFC with plenty of momentum. He joins after recent victories against the likes of Thiago Silva and Fabio Maldonado, and has recorded wins over Phil De Fries, Satoshi Ishii and many more in his career so far. Most recently competing for RCC, Shtyrkov formerly competed for German Titov Boxing Promotions.
Devin Clark has been competing for the UFC for much longer than many of the UFC Fight Night 149 main card fighters, but is yet to make a major impact. Sitting at three wins and three defeats through his six fights with the promotion, Clark has scored wins over low-level talent in the UFC while falling short against Jan Blachowicz, Aleksander Rakic and Alex Nicholson.
Another tough fight for the international fighter, as Devin Clark faces Ivan Shtyrkov in Russia. However, the odds here do look generous for Clark, who has shown an ability to outwrestle opponents in the past.
Ivan Shtyrkov should be stronger and the all-around better fighter from the beginning of the fight, but if Clark can manage to hang in there past the first round his chances of winning drastically improve. Clark has better endurance and will be the superior fighter as the fight progresses.
At these odds, we’re counting on Clark overwhelming Shtyrkov with pace, pressure and consistent wrestling effort in rounds two and three to get over the line.
Devin Clark to win: +150 at Mybookie
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Antonina Shevchenko
Saturday, April 20 – 1:30 pm (ET) / 5:30pm (GMT)
Roxanne Modaferri is one of the few true veteran female mixed martial artists. With 37 fights to her name in a career that began in 2003, Modaferri has reached many highs of the sport, peaking with a title fight against Nicco Montano to decide the inaugural winner of the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship. Modaferri lost a decision but then managed to bounce back with a win against Barb Honchak mid-last year. In November, Modaferri lost to Sijara Eubanks for the second time.
Antonina Shevchenko is best known as the sister of current UFC women’s flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Unbeaten after seven fights, Antonina earned her UFC spot after defeating Jaimee Nievera at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in June last year. She then proceeded to earn her first win with the promotion by defeating Ji Yeon Kim at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.
This line does seem wide at first when considering Roxanne Modafferi’s experience as a mixed martial artist and that she will have a clear pathway to victory in this fight. Antonina Shevchenko excels on the feet and will have a distinct advantage for as long as this one remains standing.
Modafferi is considerably unathletic and will likely struggle to land her strikes against Shevchenko. The solution for Modafferi is to get this fight to the mat, where she can leverage her experience and skills in jiu-jitsu.
This won’t be the most exciting play of the event, but it’s a good one. Pick Roxanne Modafferi to win and hope that she can catch Antoninia Shevchenko in a scramble or by a well-timed takedown to earn a submission win. There’s just not enough reason to back Shevchenko at these odds.
Bet on Roxanne Modafferi to win: +270 at Bovada
Best Bets for UFC Fight Night 149
We’ve picked the best bets for the UFC Fight Night 149 event in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Get them in early before the odds move!
Make sure to also review our best bets for Alistair Overeem vs. Aleksei Oleinik.
- Arman Tsarukyan
- Islam Makhachev
- UFC Fight Night 149