Two lightweight’s will do battle at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, October 24th when Joel Alvarez faces Alexander Yakovlev. It’s an interesting bout as it features two fighters with opposite styles, a true ground game specialist in Alvarez and a stand up guy in Yakovlev.
For Alvarez, this is his second time on Fight Island as back in July he finished Joe Duffy, ruthlessly ending him with a guillotine. With a 17-2 record, the Spanish specialist can make a leap into the higher spots in the rankings with another win here. A ground game master, the faster he can take it to the mat the better. Even on his back he has proved lethal, which only helps here.
A career journeyman, Yakovlev is back after a unanimous decision loss and now looks to get back in the win column. While more multi-faceted, his skills are limited on the ground and while keeping it the fight upright is preferred, a ground match up is not out of the cards. That will hurt his chances.
Here are the betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook for Joel Alvarez vs. Alexander Yakovlev at UFC 254 on October 24th.
Joel Alvarez: -175, (64% of action, 76% of bets)
Alexander Yakovlev: +138, (36% of action, 24% of bets)
Joel Alvarez: $9,200
Alexander Yakovlev: $7,000
Alvarez is another $9000 fighter which makes him a tougher choice, especially not in the highest part in the card. There is value here and if you avoid another high-cost fighter it could make make sense, but staying away seems better.
Yakovlev would be worth a flyer or high-upside pick. Except that price is higher than other upset candidates and not really worth the squeeze at his underdog salary.
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