Two fighters who have combined to win 52 fights meet on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 127 in England, as Fabricio Werdum takes on Alexander Volkov. This matchup is the main event on a fight card that will be shown entirely on UFC Fight Pass. Werdum is a former UFC heavyweight champion who is 23-7-1, while Volkov is 29-6. There are four fights on the main card and eight on the preliminary card. Let’s look at the event with a focus on Werdum vs. Vokov and Manuwa vs. Blachowicz.
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Fabricio Werdum -194 vs. Alexander Volkov
Werdum has won 11 of his 15 UFC bouts, while Volkov is unbeaten in the UFC at 3-0. Werdum is 40 years old and the second-oldest fighter in the UFC heavyweight division behind Mark Hunt who is 43. Werdum has gone 9-2 in his last 11 UFC bouts. In his last five fights, Werdum has wins against Travis Browne, Walt Harris and Marcin Tybura, and losses to Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem.
Volkov is a former Bellator heavyweight champion who is unbeaten in his three UFC bouts. His three wins were against Timothy Johnson, Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve. Volkov has been an excellent finisher in this career, with 22 of his 29 wins combing by stoppage.
This bout is really a striker vs. grappler matchup, as Volkov is the striker, while Werdum is the grappler. Werdum said that he has trained with Volkov in the past. “I’ve had good training with him. I’ve helped him, and he’s helped me, but I never comment about the training. You never say bad things about your friends, and this is the same thing.” Werdum said to the media, “I know it’s a tough fight, but it’s a very important fight for me, for the next step. My focus is on Volkov, but my big goal is (to get) the belt again.”
The question in this fight is whether or not Volkov can stay out of trouble on the mat. Werdum is the far superior wrestler and if he gets Volkov on the mat this one could be over quickly. Volkov is the much better striker, but whether he can find an opening and get in a big shot is debatable. I just can’t see Volkov consistently defending takedowns in this fight and that means Werdum will eventually get the win.
Jimi Manuwa -215 vs. Jan Blachowicz
This fight is a rematch of a bout that occurred in April of 2015 that Manuwa won by unanimous decision. Manuwa is 17-3 in his career, including 6-3 in the UFC. He has been a finishing machine, with 16 of those 17 wins by stoppage and 11 in the first round. Five of his six UFC wins have come by finish. All three of Manuwa’s losses have come by knockout. The only fight in Manuwa’s career that went to a decision was the one against Blachowicz.
Blachowicz is 21-7 in his career, including 4-4 in the UFC. He has won his last two fights, submitting Devin Clark and winning a unanimous decision against Jared Cannonier. Blachowicz is almost the opposite of Manuwa, as most of his fights go to a decision. Only two of his last 12 fights have resulted in a finish.
I will take Manuwa to get the win and I will also take the rounds to go under.
UFC Fight Night 127 takes place on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at The O2Arenain London, England with a heavyweight match between Fabricio Werdum and Alexander Volkov as the event headliner. There are four fights on the main card on UFC Fight Pass and eight preliminary bouts, also on UFC Fight Pass.
Main Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Heavyweight – Fabricio Werdum -194 vs. Alexander Volkov
Light Heavyweight – Jimi Manuwa -215 vs. Jan Blachowicz
Bantamweight – Tom Duquesnoy -300 vs. Terrion Ware
Welterweight – Leon Edwards -215 vs. Peter Sobotta
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Middleweight – John Phillips vs. Charles Byrd
Welterweight – Danny Roberts vs. Oliver Enkamp
Welterweight – Jack Marshman vs. Brad Scott
Featherweight – Danny Henry vs. Hakeem Dawodu
Light Heavyweight – Paul Craig vs. Magomed Ankalaev
Heavyweight – Mark Godbeer vs. Dmitrity Sosnovskiy
Lightweight – Nad Narimani vs. Nasrat Haqparast
Lightweight – Kajan Johnson vs. Stevie Ray
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