Written by Chris Monti•
UFC 163 Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds
This night is shaping up to be one of the most entertaining UFC Fight Night’s we have seen for quite some time. The line-up is packed full of top Ultimate Fighters, and we were spoilt for choice when deciding which fights to preview for you.
We have the Main Event, Co-Main, and our pick lined up for your enjoyment. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the bouts this weekend in Russia.
UFC 163 Main Event: Zabit Magomedsharipov (-225) vs. Calvin Kattar (-162)
Magomedsharipov comes into this clash having suffered only one defeat in his entire UFC career. The 6’ 1’’ 28-year-old comes into this one as the favorite with an overall UFC record of 17-1-0. The Russian has a very slight reach advantage at 73”, but questions remain about how much of a difference that will make in this fight. He is undoubtedly the better wrestler, so if it comes down to a mat battle, he has everything in his favor.
ZaBeast strike per minute rate is lower than his adversary at 4.53. Kattar is putting in around 5.06, but Magomedsharipov is stronger on the defense. If he can keep Kattar out, there is a good chance it will be over before it starts. He has a reputation for his explosive nature, and there is a good chance this will be the deciding factor in this fight.
Kattar is slightly older, but not far enough to be worthy of much consideration at the age of 31. The American measures in shorter at 5’ 11’’ so his options could be limited. We know he can’t expect to out-wrestle Magomedsharipov. At this stage in his career, he boasts 20 wins and three defeats, which is comparable to the man he needs to take down this Saturday. Only time will tell if he can cause the upset he so wishes to happen at the weekend in Russia.
UFC 163 Co-Main: Alexander Volkov (-275) vs. Greg Hardy (+200)
Volkov will step into the Octagon to face an opponent who was drafted in at the last minute for this one. The original bout would have seen him fight Junior Dos Santos, but an injury forced Hardy to step in and take him on. Volkov is a monster of a man standing at 6’ 6” with a massive reach of 72”.
His record in the UFC speaks for itself, and he is the resounding favorite for this fight. To date in the UFC, Volkov has recorded thirty wins and seven defeats, which is impressive for the heavyweight division. Volkov lost last time out against Derrick Lewis and will be looking to take advantage of Hardy’s lack of preparation time.
Hardy is well known for his history in the NFL and is taking every opportunity to progress in the UFC by jumping at the chance to fight Volkov. It’s a big move when you take into account the difference in experience, and the Russian crowd will not be on his side. It’s hard to see him adding his sixth win to a decent, if not young UFC career record of 5-1-0. His last fight ended in a draw after being overturned to a non-contest.
Our Best Betting Pick: Zelim Imadaev (-200) vs. Danny Roberts(+160)
Imadaev will relish the opportunity to fight in front of fans from his native Russia. The 24-year-old has eight MMA victories to his name but comes in this one needed a reaction. Last time he stepped into the Octagon, he took a massive hit with a decision defeat inflicted by Max Griffin. He will not want a repeat of that in this one if he wants his UFC career to warrant note.
Danny Roberts also comes into this one on the back of a second disappointing loss when the Englishman was knocked out by Michel Perriera in the first round at Fight Night 152. It only took six strikes to end his evening early on that occasion. That was his fifth UFC defeat. He needs a performance if he is to get anything out of this fight. Imadaev is looking like the most likely man to turn the tide in his career.
A Night Not To Be Missed
The bout list this weekend for Fight Night 163 is available on box office, for ESPN customers and any one with a fight pass. You do not want to be the one who missed out on this one come Monday. Be sure to keep an eye on the news as the event is approaching. Remember, those odds will fluctuate, so keep an eye on the markets. Join us again next week for more and stay tuned for the results after the event.