UFC 213: Betting Preview And Form Guide
From a strictly Nevadan perspective, Las Vegas is unrivalled in its ability to whip up a frenzy on fight night. Paradise, an adjacent city, has generally been overlooked when it comes to hosting UFC history in the making. That was the case until July last year, when its hosting of Fight Week proved to be a roaring success. Once again, the finest fighters on the planet today will descend upon its bright lights and unforgiving Octagon, with two major battles on the card:
The latest odds for Nunes v Shevchenko.
Amanda Nunes v Valentina Shevchenko
The headline fight of the evening sees Shevchenko slavering at the bit for sweet revenge against her upcoming opponent. The two met back in March 2016, with Nunes dominating the first two rounds. A late rally from Shevchenko proved to be in vain. Inevitable though the unanimous decision in favor of Nunes was, the result provided a good backdrop for a rematch.
Shevchenko will approach the upcoming rematch knowing that replicating her third round form will make for a much closer contest, possibly even providing her with some clues for victory. Indeed, both fighters have prepared well for their second meeting. Shevchenko recovered quickly from her defeat to Nunes, beating the esteemed Holly Holm via UD in July 2016. A submission (armbar) win over Julianna Pena, back in January, soon followed and was adjudged ‘performance of the night’
The weigh-in prior to said bout.
For her part, Nunes approaches this fight on the back of five consecutive wins, with only her aforementioned win over Shevchenko ending in a decision. The other four wins in that sequence were settled in the first round – two via submission and two via TKO. Nunes’ last fight demonstrated just how dangerous she can be when on top of her game, destroying Ronda Rousey inside just 48 seconds.
Even the best bookmakers are finding this fight is too close to call, but Shevchenko will have a different strategy in mind, and a quick start from the Kyrgyzstani could easily catch Nunes unawares.
Fabricio Werdum v Alistair Overeem
The last five years have been good to Werdum, and the high proportion of wins via decision in that time hint at good conditioning techniques at his training camp. By riding out the early phases and tiring the all-action Overeem, 11/10 outsider Werdum could easily upset the odds on the night. This will be the third fight in one of sporting combat’s famous trilogies. The winner of this bout will take a 2-1 ‘series’ lead over the loser.
In fighting terms, the two have an exceptionally long history, with Overeem having lost the first encounter at PRIDE 2006. Overeem had to wait five long years for revenge, winning a Strikeforce quarter-final in June 2011. In his most recent bout, he showed the world that his kickboxing ability remains near-unmatched in UFC, after disposing of 2001 K1 kickboxing champion Mark Hunt back in March at UFC 209. Overeem’s vulnerability to punches was, however, in full evidence in the preceding fight. He lost in the first round to Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 in September 2016.
Spanning back to September 2006, Overeem’s last seven defeats have come by way of punches, and it will be important for him to bear this in mind before meeting Werdum on July 8.