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Banking on the Heavy Hands in the Prelims
Eric Roberts 2017-01-11 in MMA Tips
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Viktor Pesta
Aleksei Oleinik steps in on short notice to face Viktor Pesta in a battle of two heavyweights. Oleinik boasts an impressive mixed martial arts career, dating back to 1997 and racking up a total of 50 wins and ten losses. He was recently on an eleven fight win streak before Daniel Omielanczuk defeated him via majority decision. Nine of these eleven wins came via the way of submission, proving that he is worthy of the nickname “The Boa Constrictor”. Oleinik is 2-1 in the UFC with both victories within in the first four minutes.
Viktor Pesta was a hot prospect when he entered the UFC in 2014 against Rustan Magomedov, previously winning all nine of his professional MMA fights. Since entering the UFC, Pesta has managed a 1-3 record, and his last two fights have ended via the way of being knocked out. Pesta is thirteen years younger and holds a natural athletic advantage over the experienced Oleinik. Pesta already relies on his wrestling and grappling game more so than most fighters, so he’ll be looking to throw Oleinik around the cage this weekend.
Against any decent striker, I’d be backing Pesta to lose via knockout as he habitually walks forward with his chin high and exposed to heavy strikes. Oleinik prefers to play the ground game, though, and this means that Pesta’s wrestling advantage will end up in a stalemate on the mat as both fighters look for advantages on the ground. Pesta won’t want to stay too inactive down there as The Boa Constrictor can make him pay any given moment. I’m leaning towards a Pesta win here, as I think that there is a huge gap in athleticism here that Viktor can leverage off and carry him through.
Viktor Pesta to Win
Tony Martin vs. Alex White
Tony Martin replaces Erik Koch in Phoenix, yet another fighter stepping in on late notice. Martin has a difficult task in front of him, with the fight intelligent Alex White. Martin is a relatively big lightweight and uses his power and strength to push through opponents and tire them immediately. Interestingly, Martin is usually the one who tires first and has had issues of running out of gas in his previous fights.
Alex White looked impressive in his last fight, completely controlling Artem Lobov by neutralising his striking and instead taking him to the mat and managing the fight down there. The win bumped him out of a two-fight losing streak and was his first win since his impressive UFC debut against Estevan Payan in April 2014.
Tony Martin has come a long way since his early days in the UFC in which he was still able to do some significant damage to Baniel Dariush in the early stages of the fight before tiring quickly. Alex White’s stand-up is strange, he hangs his chin high and is seemingly vulnerable, however, opponents sometimes have trouble finding their range and tagging him. Lobov, a talented striker, especially had issues standing up with White. Tony Martin should have the advantage both standing up and on the ground in this one and I don’t buy into the idea of Alex White being able to tire him, considering he fights at a slow pace and doesn’t have a particularly big frame.
Getting a take on Drakkar Klose means you have to go back and watch his fights in previous promotions. After looking through Klose’s record, I was expecting a wild slugger with no sense of fight smarts, however, I was wrong. Klose is patient and picks his shots nicely, either by landing clean leg kicks or vicious strikes to the head. He seems to have a good understanding of when to engage an opponent as well.
Devin Powell may be a decent grappler with excellent submission skills, but his stand-up is questionable, to say the least. Against the heavy-handed Drakkar Klose, Powell will have to avoid taking significant damage on the feet and somehow get this to the ground. That’s where I see the problem arising because Klose should be able to defend the takedown attempts and could even have the grappling advantage of his own due to his wrestling.
Drakkar Klose by KO/TKO
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Viktor Pesta Viktor Pesta to Win Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 5/42.25+1251.251.25-0.80 – Ladbrokes
Tony Martin vs. Alex White Tony Martin by KO/TKO Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 5/16.00+5005.005.00-0.20 – Bet365
Devin Powell vs. Drakkar Klose Drakkar Klose by KO/TKO Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 7/42.75+1751.751.75-0.57 – BetVictor
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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