UFC Fight Night 127: Werdum Worth Wager vs. Volkov?

Andreas Hale

Friday, March 16, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 16, 2018 1:51 PM UTC

The UFC heads to the O2 Arena in London for UFC Fight Night 127 headlined by former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum facing the surging Alexander Volkov and a co-main that finds light heavyweights Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz in a rematch from their 2015 affair.


UFC Fight Night 127Free Pick: Fabricio WerdumBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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After opening up as a -220 favorite, Fabricio Werdum has seen money go against him as his line has dipped to -175 against Alexander Volkov for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 127 heavyweight bout at O2 Arena in London. Werdum is the rightful favorite but is still a dangerous bet against the hard-hitting Volkov. However, even at -175Werdum is certainly worth taking a hard look at. His much improved striking opens up his vaunted ground game against an opponent who recently scored a TKO victory over Stefan Struve. But Volkov’s knockout looks funny in the light when you consider that Struve just lost to Andrei Arlovski in his last fight. Volkov has won five in a row, but the most significant name in there is either Struve or Roy Nelson, who is no longer in the UFC. Werdum’s resume, on the other hand, is littered with top names.

He may be on the outside looking in for a title shot, but Werdum is aware that he needs to impress in order to get a chance to regain what he lost to Stipe Miocic two years ago. With Volkov’s inexperience facing high level grapplers, what was originally a heavy lean is now an official pick. Werdum does a lot of things well despite his advanced age of 40. There will always be concern when it comes to the heavy hands of heavyweights. But as long as Werdum plays it smart and doesn’t run out there with his chin up like he did against Miocic, he’s worth the wager.

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The co-featured bout finds Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz revisiting their 2015 showdown, which Manuwa won. It still stands as the only time Manuwa has gone the distance. Since then, Manuwa has gone 3-2 with a pair of devastating knockouts against Anthony Johnson and Volkan Oezdemir. Meanwhile, Blachowicz has also struggled with a 3-3 record. But the Polish fighter has won two in a row heading into this fight. No matter how many ways you slice it, the knockout is very much in play here. The current line finds the fight going under 2.5 rounds at +100 and Manuwa sits as a -185 favorite.

As much as I like Manuwa to finish the job here, there is some concern about his chin. That being said, Blachowicz hasn’t scored a knockout in 3.5 years. Nevertheless, I don’t see this going 15 minutes and somebody will likely get stopped. Manuwa is aware that he needs to put on a show in order to get the UFC to consider him for a light heavyweight title shot, so he’s absolutely going to do whatever it takes to make a statement against Blachowicz. There should be more risks taken, which will leave him open to being finished. Don’t bank on this one going the distance, but the line is too steep to put on Manuwa. Stick with the under.

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