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UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs Volkov Odds, Picks & Betting Preview

Cole Shelton

by Cole Shelton in Mixed Martial Arts

Jun 15, 2020 · 1:57 PM PDT

Blaydes vs Volkov side-by-side image
Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov headline the UFC's next Fight Night event on June 20th in Las Vegas.
  • Curtis Blaydes looks to extend his winning streak to four against Alexander Volkov
  • Josh Emmett battles Shane Burgos in the co-main event
  • See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full UFC on ESPN 11 card below

The UFC will continue to host events at its Apex gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, before the introduction of Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for the month of July.

In the main event of UFC on ESPN 11 (a.k.a. #UFCVegas3) on June 20th, Curtis Blaydes battles Alexander Volkov in a scrap between two top-10 heavyweights where the winner could earn a number-one contender fight.

The co-main event pairs surging featherweight contenders Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos.

The event airs live on ESPN starting at 8:00 pm EST. The table below shows odds for the entire card at two different sportsbooks (shop around), followed by best bets for the event.

UFC on ESPN 11 Odds

Fighter Book 1 Odds Book 2 Odds
Curtis Blaydes -365 -380
Alexander Volkov +275 +315
Fighter Odds Odds
Josh Emmett +110 +111
Shane Burgos -140 -131
Fighter Odds Odds
Raquel Pennington -145 -137
Marion Reneau +115 +117
Fighter Odds Odds
Lyman Good +120 +121
Belal Muhammad -150 -141
Fighter Odds Odds
Roosevelt Roberts -230 -230
Jim Miller +180 +195

All odds as of June 15.

Will Blaydes Continue His Hot Streak?

Curtis Blaydes (13-2) is on a three-fight winning streak. Last time out, Blaydes scored a second-round TKO win over Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC Raleigh. Before that, he earned a TKO win over Shamil Abdurakhimov and a decision win over Justin Willis.

Blaydes is currently ranked third in the heavyweight division and his only two losses have come at the hands of Francis Ngannou, which puts him in a weird spot in the heavyweight division.

Alexander Volkov (31-7) is a former Bellator heavyweight title challenger and has since become a mainstay in the top-10 of the UFC’s heavyweight division. The Russian returned to the win column last time out with a decision victory over Greg Hardy. Before that, he lost by knockout to Derrick Lewis at UFC 229. In his career, he has notable wins over Fabricio Werdum, Roy Nelson, Blagoy Ivanov, and Stefan Struve.

Blaydes vs. Volkov is a very important fight for the heavyweight division. With Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3 booked for August, the winner of this could enter a number-one contender bout.

But, for Blaydes, his two losses to Ngannou may necessitate a few more wins to earn a title shot.

This is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup as Volkov will want to keep it standing while Blaydes will want to use his wrestling. The 6’7 Russian has a reach over most heavyweights, but he will only have a one-inch reach advantage over “Razor” which won’t be enough to keep Blaydes at a distance.

Blaydes will use his improved striking to close the gap on Volkov and then let his wrestling take over. Once on the ground, Razor will use his vicious ground and pound to dominate the Russian. The American will continue to do that as the rounds progress to score a third-round TKO win once he tires the Russian out.

Yet, at these odds, I wouldn’t recommend a large bet on Blaydes. The heavyweight division is too unpredictable, especially when the underdog is a proficient power puncher.

Pick: Curtis Blaydes (-365)

Blaydes vs Volkov


29 Age 31
6’4″ Height 6’7″
80″ Reach 81″
5 UFC finishes 2

Will Burgos Avoid Emmett’s Power?

Josh Emmett (15-2) is on a two-fight winning streak with knockout wins over Mirsad Bektic and Michael Johnson. Before that, the Team Alpha Male product suffered a vicious knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens. In his career, Emmett has notable wins over Ricardo Lamas, Scott Holtzman, Jon Tuck, and Christos Giagos.

Shane Burgos (13-1) is on a three-fight winning streak and is coming off a TKO win over Makwan Amirkhani. During his streak, he also has a decision win over Cub Swanson and a submission victory over Kurth Holobaugh. His only loss came by TKO to Calvin Kattar at UFC 220.

This fight really comes down to whether Emmett will land his knockout punch.

There is no question Shane Burgos the better mixed martial artist. He has the better ground game and is a more technical striker. Yet, all Emmett has to do is land once and the fight is over, as evidenced by the Johnson fight, Emmett was losing the entire scrap but landed one big shot in the third round to end it.

Early on, I think Burgos will be able to stick and move and piece up Emmett but he won’t be able to take down the larger and stronger Emmett. Ultimately, if this fight stays standing, Emmett should be able to land that knockout punch that puts Burgos down, just like Kattar did. Burgos just isn’t fast enough to avoid the shot the entire fight.

Pick: Josh Emmett (+110)

Other UFC on ESPN 11 Picks

  • Raquel Pennington (-137): Pennington is simply a better mixed martial artist and will have the striking and ground advantage and earn a decision win.
  • Lyman Good (+121): This should be a standup fight and Good is the more powerful striker; he will score a TKO win over Muhammed.
  • Roosevelt Roberts (-230): In this classic prospect vs. veteran matchup, Roberts will do enough to score a decision win in a passing of the guard fight.
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