Tai Tuivasa vs Alexander Volkov
Tai Tuivasa +200 over Alexander Volkov

Posted at 10:15 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle +200 BET365 +187 Sportsinteraction +185 888Sport +185

UFC 293

Qudos Bank Arena

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Tai Tuivasa +200 over Alexander Volkov

8:00 PM EST. This bet isn't about the fact that Tai Tuivasa was born in the same location as UFC 293, Sydney Australia, nor is it about our fascination with Tuivasa's "shoey" ability. Although it is actually quite admirable - (YouTube "Tuivasa Shoey" and you'll see what we mean).

This is about oddsmakers just being plain wrong. In no universe should Tuivasa be giving out this sort of change for a result that's, at worst, a coin flip. We view this as two very formidable fighters, albeit with different styles, in what should be a "pick-em" in betting, aka-- each competitor has the same probability of winning. Instead, we're getting plus-value with a man who's fought some of the best in the heavyweight division. Oh, and he quite literally has dynamic in his hands.

His opponent, Alexander Volkov, is a Moscow born striking technician that's fought 46 pro-bouts and won 24 by KO or TKO. If he sounds intimidating, he is. Volkov is gangly and tactical. He finds ways to reach his opponent with his 80" reach, and he's a smooth operator at avoiding blows and defending takedowns. When you're 46 fights into your career, you tend to form a dynamic arsenal. Many might think he's in better recent form than Tuivasa, who lost his last two bouts.

Even if that were true, Volkov has been fighting professionally since 2009, i.e. there's been considerable wear on his 6'7" inch frame. He also hasn't faced the level of opponent that Tuivasa has, certainly not in recent years. Volkov is coming off two impressive first round TKO wins against Alexander Romanov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Both dangerous, explosive fighters, but neither had the technical acumen or chin of Volkov. They don't have the ability of Volkov's opponent, either.

Tuivasa has become a fan favorite - he can LIGHT UP his opponent with one punch and chug a beer with the best of 'em. Fame aside, Tuivasa has seen the baddest of the bad heavyweights and fared well. Or, at least as well as his opponent. His two recent losses are at the hands of the current #1 and #2 contenders for Jon Jones' title. Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich are bulls, and frankly Tuivasa probably isn't on their level. He doesn't need to be for our bet. Before his recent losses, "Bam Bam" Tuivasa was riding a 5-fight (4 KOs, 1 TKO) winning streak. The first four all had something in common: Tuivasa battled one tall fighter after another, from a 7" striker to a 6'5" former NFL player, and he swiftly knocked them all out. His most recent victory was against arguably the greatest knockout-artist in UFC history-- Derrick Lewis. He earned his catapult into a title-contender, but two recent setbacks have humbled the Aussie. We hope he's learned from it.

If the underdog cares about his UFC career - which, to be fair, has been questioned - than he should reach new levels of motivation for this fight. Tuivasa has everything to lose. If he falls to Volkov, his career starts to descend to undercards and C+ opponents. Volkov is a skilled technician but he's also the archetype Tuivasa thrives against. If Bam Bam can close the distance, he can end this fight in a blink, just like he has many times before.


Our Pick

Tai Tuivasa +200 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.00)