UFC predictions, picks and best bets for UFC Fight Night 184

May 16, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fights Walt Harris (blue gloves) during UFC on ESPN at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
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Matthew Lowrimore

UFC · 1 year ago

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Matthew has been with Pickswise for a while now, covering a wide variety of sports. His main passions are college football and UFC, and those are the sports he has covered the most. Matthew uses a variety of methods to handicap games, including stats, trends, injuries, and situational factors. His goal is to consistently give out winners and will put in the research to try and achieve this.

We are back in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex for UFC Fight Night 184. The Main Event will feature a Heavyweight fight between two of the top contenders.

We’ll share our UFC Fight Night 184 best bets here but head over to our main UFC Fight Night 184 predictions homepage if you want picks for every fight on the main and preliminary card. Please gamble responsibly when following our MMA picks and predictions.

UFC Fight Night 184 Best Bets

Main Card

Alistair Overeem Money Line (+164)

Alexander Volkov comes into this fight 6-2 in the UFC and is coming off a TKO win against Walt Harris from back in October of 2020. Volkov is a very good striker, averaging 4.76 significant strikes per minute and landing them with an accuracy of 58 percent. He also only absorbs 2.53 strikes and has a striking defense of 56 percent. Now Volkov is not as good on the ground, averaging 0.69 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He lands his takedowns 69 percent of the time and defends them 70 percent of the time.

Alistair Overeem may be 40 years old, but several of his recent fights would suggest he still has talent. He is coming off back to back TKO wins with the most recent coming against Augusto Sakai back in September of 2020. Overeem is averaging 3.71 significant strikes per minute and landing them 64 percent of the time. He is absorbing an average of 2.33 strikes and has a striking defense of 58 percent. Overeem is also keen to fighting on the ground, where he averages 1.44 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He has a takedown accuracy of 56 percent and a takedown defense of 73 percent.

As risky as this may be, I like the veteran Overeem in this fight. While the lights can go out for him in one punch, I do not believe Volkov has the type of stopping power that Overeem has seen through the course of his career. Overeem is also more balanced in the sense that he has 17 wins by submission and 25 wins by knockout. I believe we will see a brawl here, but the takedown ability from Overeem is going to be the difference.

Cory Sandhagen Win by Decision (+110)

Cory Sanhagen is 6-1 in the UFC after his most recent win against Marlon Moraes. This fight was back in October of 2020 and was a fight Sandhagen won by TKO. Sandhagen is proving to be prolific striker, averaging 6.88 significant strikes per minute. He lands his strikes at an accuracy of 48 percent, while absorbing an average of 3.89 strikes per minute. As for grappling, Sandhagen averages 1.07 takedowns per every 15 minutes, landing them 50 percent of the time. His issue is defending takedowns, doing so 30 percent of the time.

Frankie Edgar snapped a two-fight losing streak when he beat Pedro Munhoz by split decision back in August of 2020. Edgar is averaging 3.70 significant strikes per minute. The issue here is that his striking accuracy is only 39 percent. He also absorbs an average of 2.70 strikes per minute and has a striking defense of 66 percent. Edgar will look to take this fight to the ground more often than not, averaging 2.28 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Again, Edgar struggles with accuracy, landing his takedowns just 31 percent of the time.

The money line price on Sandhagen (roughly -450) is far too high to bet and feel comfortable about, regardless of how much better he looks. At the same time, backing Edgar in the latter stages of his career has not proved to be the right play. Edgar has seen the majority of his fights go the distance (19 of 32 of his career fights), and he has only been knocked out twice in his entire career. I believe this is going to be a much closer fight than most people may think and will back Sandhagen to get the job done on the judges’ scorecards.

Cody Stamann Win by Decision (-135)

Cody Stamann is 5-2-1 in the UFC after a recent loss to Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision. Stamann is averaging 4.14 significant strikes per minute, landing them 48 percent of the time. He is absorbing 3.18 strikes per minute and has a striking defense of 63 percent. Stamann is just as good when fighting on the ground, averaging 3.03 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He has a decent takedown accuracy of 46 percent, while defending takedowns 80 percent of the time.

Askar Askar comes into this fight with an MMA record of 11-1. He will be making his UFC debut here, coming off a win in his most recent fight in October of 2020. Askar has a total of six wins by finish, five coming by KO/TKO and the other coming by submission. However, note that his last win by finish was back in 2019.

There is no way I would bet the Stamann money line, which sits at about -520. At the same time, backing an unknown fighter making his UFC debut is too risky as well. All five of Stamann’s wins in the UFC have come by decision and that is where I will be looking as well.

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