In the preliminary card of UFC 254, Alex Oliveira will take on Shavkat Rakhomonov in a welterweight bout live from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi this Saturday and available on pay-preview via ESPN+.
Oliveira weighed in at 173 lbs., two over the limit of 171 for welterweight in a non-title fight. He’ll be fined 20% of his purse, which will go to Rakhomonov, and he’ll be ineligible for any performance bonuses for the card.
Oliveira opens as the slight favorite, but is giving up a few inches in height. 22-8-1 in his MMA career with two no contests, Oliveira is 11-6 with one no contest in the UFC. While he does average more significant strikes (2.89) than his opponents (2.16), his real strength comes in grappling, where he averages 2.47 takedowns per 15 minutes.
The Brazilian is entering the bout on a two-fight win streak, recovering a three-fight losing string from late 2018 all the way until early 2020. He has just under an 11-minute average fight time.
His opponent is set to make his UFC debut. Rakhmonov is yet to let a fight go the distance, and is a perfect 12-0 career with seven knockouts and five submissions. The 25-year-old is originally from Kazakhstan, and is clearly a very aggressive fighter.
The big question is if he can hang at the UFC level. As with most black octagon debuts, it’s a risk-reward option for betters.
Here are the betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook for Alex Oliveira vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 254 on October 24th.
Money line odds
Alex Oliveira: -139 before weigh-in miss, now -106
Shavkat Rakhmonov: +115 before weigh-in miss, now -121
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