The latest installment of UFC’s MMA season is set for Saturday, at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas. It had been set for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in Canada, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was moved to a facility that the UFC has set up to minimize the dangers of spreading the disease through the events while maintaining the promotion for fans. The main event is a heavyweight tilt between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov, who was once the Bellator Heavyweight Champion. The co-main event features Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos in a featherweight match. We have the full fight card and sports betting odds and thoughts on several of the key fights. Let’s see how the UFC Odds will be for the Blaydes vs Volkov.
UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs Volkov Odds & Pick June 20
Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+)
- Curtis Blaydes vs Alexander Volkov (Heavyweight)
- Josh Emmett vs Shane Burgos (Featherweight)
- Raquel Pennington vs Marion Reneau (Women’s Bantamweight)
- Belal Muhammad vs Lyman Good (Welterweight)
- Jim Miller vs Roosevelt Roberts (Catchweight – 160 lbs)
Preliminary Card (ESPN/ESPN+)
- Clay Guida vs Bobby Green (Lightweight)
- Tecia Torres vs Brianna Van Buren (Women’s Strawweight)
- Marc-Andre Barriault vs Oskar Piechota (Middleweight)
- Cortney Casey vs Gillian Robertson (Women’s Flyweight)
- Roxanne Madafferi vs Lauren Murphy (Women’s Flyweight)
- Austin Hubbard vs Max Rohskopf (Lightweight)
Curtis Blaydes (13-2, -380) vs Alexander Volkov (31-7, +315) gives us the dominant UFC heavyweight in Blaydes and an intriguing opponent in Volkov, who has tons of wins but has yet to prove himself in this promotion. Blaydes came into UFC with a considerable amount of hype and has taken down such titans in the promotion as Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. Francis Ngannou has taken Blaydes down twice, but he has followed those setbacks up with wins over Justin Willis and Shamil Abdurakhimov. In January, he took on Junior dos Santos and had to deal with dos Santos shutting down his wrestling game. In response, Blaydes shocked the UFC world by staying on his feet and outstriking the former heavyweight champion. He is waiting for a chance at a title fight, and the next step in that progress is a fight against Volkov.
After he came over from Bellator, Volkov started his UFC tenure with some big wins, taking down four opponents in a row, including Fabricio Werdum, gaining status as a title contender. Unfortunately, Derrick Lewis got in the way and delivered a knockout in their first meeting. Volkov had kept Lewis at distance until Lewis decided to bring pressure, rushing in to deliver a big bomb. Volkov’s only fight in 2019 came against former NFL player Greg Hardy, a fight that Volkov won but without much in the way of highlights. Volkov’s vulnerability when it comes to finishing could spell trouble for him against Blaydes. Volkov also has problems with takedown defense, and Blaydes will take advantage quickly if the fight goes to the ground.
- Blaydes vs Volkov Final Prediction: Blaydes wins via stoppage
Shane Burgos (13-1, -135) vs Josh Emmett (15-2, +115)
When Emmett entered UFC, he was a lightweight fighter, but then in 2017 he decided to cut weight and fight as a featherweight. He dropped ten pounds but gained significant power. At 155 pounds, he had not brought big bombs in the striking game, but he demolished Felipe Arantes and knocked out Ricardo Lamas in a matter of moments. He did take an ugly beating from Jeremy Stephens that included some major facial injuries, but he came back to finish Michael Johnson and Mirsad Bektic. If he can deliver against Burgos, his star would start rising once again.
Burgos has made himself a name in UFC over the last 3 ½ years. He brings constant pressure throughout his fights, trying to avoid as many punches as he can while delivering as much punishment as possible. His only loss has come against Calvin Kattar, and his win over Cub Swanson brought him respect in the promotion. His path to victory involves swiftly bringing pressure and forcing his opponent to break. His striking pace is fast and furious, well beyond what most can match. Emmett is not a fast striker. However, he can come back and win fights where he is struggling at the beginning. I see Emmett sizing up Burgos, finding an opening, and delivering a big bomb.
- UFC on ESPN 11 Final Prediction: Emmett wins via knockout