When the world’s No. 1 MMA company first announced its planned trip to Russia in September, it was met with a great deal of excitement especially from Russian MMA fans and fighters. From there, speculations began running wild as to which top Russian UFC fighters would step into the Octagon on Sept. 15. Initially, little details were made available about the potential fight card. But, since the UFC’s May 15 announcement, a few potential fights have emerged and, if they become official, the card could rival some of the bigger UFC PPVs.
UFC Fight Night: Moscow Main Event
Originally, the UFC announced that the main event for this card would be Fabricio Werdum versus Aleksei Oleinik. Unfortunately, soon after this announcement, Werdum was popped for a failed drug test with the USADA and was removed from the event. The UFC then replaced him with Mark Hunt, who is well known for putting on some exciting heavyweight bouts. The UFC veteran has fought just about every notable heavyweight in the company over the last five years.
With the company moving firmly in the direction of Hunt vs. Oleinik as the main event, news has slowly trickled out that they could potentially change its course and have an even bigger fight lined up for the promotion’s first visit to Moscow.
One of Russia’s most popular fighters is the top-ranked heavyweight Alexander Volkov. Initially, it was thought that Volkov wouldn’t be available for this event largely due to his desire to battle for the UFC heavyweight belt in his next fight. His representatives, and many MMA pundits, feel that Volkov is the next man in line for a title shot between the winner of Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic at UFC 226. But, they might have to slow down their aspirations as it appears the UFC is hoping to set up an explosive heavyweight bout between Volkov and Curtis Blaydes for the main event in Moscow.
Basically, this bout would determine the clear-cut No. 1 challenger for the UFC heavyweight belt. Volkov last fought at UFC Fight Night 127 against Werdum in the main event and won via knockout in the fourth round. Blaydes just fought at UFC 225 and TKO’d Alistair Overeem. The Chicago native also defeated Mark Hunt at UFC 221 in February.
Volkov is ranked as the No. 3 heavyweight in the UFC, but Blaydes is quickly shooting up the ranks and this fight could be one of the best heavyweight showdowns that the UFC has to offer. As a fight fan, it’s exciting to see these new faces as top contenders. However, it would be even more exciting if they fought each other to determine who the No. 1 contender for the heavyweight crown is.
Latest UFC Fight Night: Moscow Betting Advice
What does the UFC night being in Russia mean for bettors? Simply put, right now it’s all about preparation. Since the event is still more than two months away, there are no lines, odds, props or even futures. But, this is where the preparation comes in. First, make sure that you pay attention to any fighter that’s rumored or linked to this event. Keep an eye on their training and look over their recent fight history. Next, keep an eye out for early betting odds and props. This could be a great way to find some value as the oddsmakers might have missed the mark on a fight, fighter or prop bet. Lastly, make sure you mark down when the fight event is. This will help you to shore up your betting strategy prior to placing bets. It will also help you to prepare for the actual fight night as some betting sites have live MMA betting where you can still take advantage of prop bets during the event.