The UFC returns to America this weekend for Derrick Lewis vs Aleksei Oleinik in Las Vegas. Here are the best bets from Satrday’s card.
The UFC is back for another week of top tier fights, this time giving the fans Fight Night: Lewis vs Oleinik. The company is making its return to the states, fighting in Las Vegas for the first time since June 27th. With proven names all over the card we are sure to be in for a great night of fights headlined by one of the most interesting personalities in the UFC in Derrick Lewis.
UFC Record: 4-2
Location: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada
Date and Time: Saturday, August 8 at 9:00 PM ET
TV Channel: Prelims on ESPN starting at 6:00 PM ET; Main Card on ESPN+ starting at 9:00 PM ET
Darren Stewart vs Maki Pitolo
This is one of the fights that not enough people are talking about heading into Saturday. Both Darren Stewart and Maki Pitolo have similar styles, they want to stand on their feet and swing as hard as they can at their opponent. Darren Stewart comes into this fight with an 11-5-1 record, going 3-2 in his last five fights with all going to a decision besides his one TKO win in 2018 against Charles Byrd. Stewart doesn’t need to stand on his feet to win, he can take his opponent to the mat and wear them down that’s why so many of his fights go the distance. On the other side of the octagon is Maki Pitolo who comes into this fight with a 13-5 record. Pitolo has a tough chin on him and doesn’t mind taking a beating if it means he can keep his opponent on his feet and fight close range. Way more of a technical striker than Stewart who just swings for the fences, Maki Pitolo has the chance to control the pace and energy of this fight against someone who has shown that he can gas out quickly. Even as the underdog I believe Maki Pitolo has great value in this fight.
Pick: Maki Pitolo moneyline +148
Omari Akhmedov vs Chris Weidman
Widely respected as one of the best middleweight fighters ever, Chris Weidman steps back into the octagon at a crossroad in his career. His best days are quite possibly behind him, he’s only fought twice in the last two years and is 1-5 in his last six fights. He’s not getting any younger and unless he puts together a solid performance against Omari Akhmedov this might be the last we see of him. Akhmedov is not someone you want to underestimate, he is coming in with a 20-4 record and went 3-0 in just last year. His shots aren’t overwhelming but over time using his quick hands he wears his opponents down leading to a surprising seven knockout wins in his career. Weidman doesn’t have the strongest jaw so Akhmedov to win by KO/TKO does have some serious value at +440. While I do like that my pick is still going to be that this fight lasts into the third round at -215. It might not win you a lot of money but it is a comfortable pick to have in a parlay because it feels safe. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Weidman try and win this fight by decision so look for this one to linger.
Pick: Akhmedov vs Weidman to start round 3 -215
Derrick Lewis vs Aleksei Oleinik
In the main event of UFC Fight Night we have one of the most exciting fighters in the business in Derrick Lewis going up against a veteran of the game in Aleksei Oleinik. Lewis is known for the massive punches he throws and the exciting post fight interviews he gives and while he is a pretty heavy favorite his opponent should not be taken lightly. Oleinik has an incredible 59-13-1 career record with an insane 46 wins by submission, he is also 2-0 in 2020. Oleinik isn’t known for his stand up game so in order to get the win he’s going to need to quickly take Lewis to the ground and try to get him in a submission hold, Lewis doesn’t have elite ground defense so Oleinik will have to pick his spot early and attack. Derrick Lewis has almost the exact opposite style of Oleinik, he wants to finish fights quick with his fists. He’s known for his huge knockouts having 18 of them in his career and he’s looking to add another one to his record. If Derrick Lewis fights how he wants to fight this match will end quickly, there have been questions surrounding Lewis about his endurance and if he can really last a full five rounds so his best bet would be to finish this fight as soon as possible. If he can snuff out a takedown attempt or two by Oleinik then he will be in a great position to get another knockout win.
Pick: Derrick Lewis to win by KO/TKO -140