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Picks for UFC Fight Night 149: Shevchenko Solidifes a Top 10 Spot

Yubileyny Sports Palace
Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg will be home to UFC Fight Night 149. Photo by Heibert (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • UFC Fight Night: Oleynik vs Overeem goes down Saturday, April 20th at 10:00 a.m. ET
  • Antonina Shevchenko is poised to pick up a statement win over a seasoned veteran
  • Predictions for the card can be found below

Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia plays host to UFC Fight Night: Oleynik vs Overeem. The Saturday card features a headline attraction with two top ten heavyweights waging war.

UFC on ESPN+ 7 has some fun fights all around though. I did a deeper dive into UFC Fight Night: Oleynik vs Overeem and here’s what I found.

Tybura Grinds Out Abdurakhimov

This is another heavyweight bout on the card that has implications for the future hierarchy of the class. Tybura vs Abdurakhimov pits pugilists that are ranked at  #10 and #13 respectively, per UFC’s ranking system.

Abdurakhimov vs Tybura Odds

Fighter Odds at Bovada Odds at BetOnline
Shamil Abdurakhimov +145 +145
Marcin Tybura -175 -165

*Odds taken on 04/14/19

Tybura defeated former UFC Champion Andrei Arlovski, had a two fight losing skid (Fabricio Werdum and Derrick Lewis), then notched a unanimous decision win over stalwart top 10 UFC Heavyweight Stefan Struve.

Abdurakhimov overcame his own stoppage L to Lewis by racking up wins over Chase Sherman and Arlovski ahead of UFC Fight Night: Oleynik vs Overeem.

There’s a tremendous amount of parity in the UFC Heavyweight ranks, so betting on Abdurakhimov has some value.

I’m picking Tybura in this fight, however. I think Tybura will find a way to get the fight to the mat, secure steady top control, and make it a difficult night for Abdurakhimov.

Pick: Tybura (-165)

Shevchenko Prevails Over the Happy Warrior

This is a classic bit of combat sports matchmaking. The unbeaten, hot shot prospect (Shevchenko) fighting the battle tested veteran who competed on every notable stage in MMA (Modafferi).

Modafferi’s resume reads like a veritable who’s who of the sport.

Modafferi’s resume reads like a veritable who’s who of the sport having competed against Shayna Baszler, Marloes Coenen, Sarah Kaufman, Tara LaRosa, and Barb Honchak, just to name a few. Also Modafferi has fought for Invicta FC, Strikeforce, UFC, HOOKnSHOOT, King of the Cage, Smackgirl, and Shooto.

Modafferi vs Shevchenko Odds

Fighter Odds at Bovada Odds at BetOnline
Roxanne Modafferi +270 +250
Antonina Shevchenko -360 -300

The 7-0 contender Antonina is the sister of present divisional Champion Valentina Schevchenko. So you know she’s getting in the best training possible ahead of battling the Happy Warrior at UFC Fight Night: Oleynik vs Overeem.

Despite the experience disparity, I’m going with Shevchenko in this bout. I think Antonina uses her superior Muay Thai abilities to outpace and piece up Modafferi en-route to a decision win.

Pick: Shevchenko (-300)

Jotko Gets Back on Track

Jotko is in a tough spot where he could get served his walking papers with a loss here. Conversely, Amedovski is the unbeaten prospect making his promotional debut. There’s a lot of pressure on Jotko, but I think he’ll use that to galvanize his efforts.

Jotko vs Amedovski Odds

Fighter Odds at Bovada
Krzysztof Jotko -200
Alen Amedovski +160

Double A has a 100% finishing rate (all TKOs) with six of his total eight stoppages coming in the first round. Jotko is certainly not getting an easy out on the heels of a three-fight losing streak to David Branch, Uriah Hall, and Brad Tavares.

Still though, Jotko is the same guy that defeated former UFC Middleweight title contender Thales Leites and knocked out Tamdan McCroy in less than a minute.

There’s a modicum of value in betting on Amedovski, but I don’t think he’s faced someone on the level of Jotko yet. I’m going with Krzysztof for my pick in this prize fight.

Pick: Jotko (-200)

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A part-time writer and full-time broadcaster, Dylan has hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, and covered some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage.