UFC Apex Betting Pick: Derrick Lewis vs Alexei Oleinik

This is a really fun main event!

I told myself I was going to stay away from picking it because I wanted to enjoy the fight and main events are generally devoid of betting value due to all the attention they receive from sharps and the public.

This one, though…

I really think I have a good read on it.

This doesn’t mean either fighter is a slam dunk, at all, though!

I think the betting line is off.

Derrick Lewis is the favorite here and I understand that but I don’t think it should be by very much.

I know he knocks fools out and Alexei has been knocked out a couple of times recently by big hitters like Derrick.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this fight among others. Remember to bet directly from this article and let’s dive into this pick!

Derrick Lewis (-195) vs Alexei Oleinik (+165)

This is striker vs grappler if we have ever seen it!

Derrick Lewis, if you may have guessed, has zero career submission victories. He does, however, have 10 of 14 of his wins in the UFC by KO/TKO. 6 out of Alexei’s 8 UFC wins have come by submission.

When you have a KO artist vs a submission artist, the first question you have to ask yourself is who is the better wrestler?

If the KO guy is a better wrestler, then they will probably win and vice versa. Most of you guys know this already.

Derrick Lewis has really only been taken down and controlled by one guy and that was one of the greatest fighters of all-time in Daniel Cormier. He has been taken down, though, by several of his opponents.

Derrick’s biggest advantage in the grappling realm is his ability to stand back up after he is taken down. Even though Lewis has won his last two fights, he was taken down 3 times in each contest.

Derrick gets away with hitting his butt or even back and making his way back to his feet because the heavyweight division doesn’t have many high-level submission artists.

With the exception of maybe Frank Mir, Oleinik is the #1 submission artist in the history of the heavyweight division in all of MMA.

If he gets you down, you probably aren’t getting back up without a tap or a nap.

With that being said, the Russian’s subs are better than his takedowns. That’s normally how it goes for guys who like to finish on the ground.

Alexei has the cardio advantage here and he loves loves loves to push the pace. He could very well push his 43-year-old chin into a right hand from The Black Beast, yes, but at (+165), I like the Russian.

I cap this fight nearly even but (-120) for Lewis due to the 8-year age gap so this is more or less a pick’em fight.

Please Note:
I think the possibility of Lewis giving up a takedown is at least 50%. That’s about where he is statistically in that category and while the Russian doesn’t have the best takedown percentage, he is absolutely relentless in his efforts.

Lewis is notorious for having bad cardio or a “bad back” as he likes to put it and the pace of the Russian is tremendous for the heavyweight division.

While I do favor Derrick the farther the fight goes because he just needs one punch, I don’t think the fight will make it there.

I can see the Russian getting a sub in the first or second round.

My Pick
Alexei Oleinik
+165

Bonus Pick!

Chris Weidman (-140) vs Omari Akhmedov (+120)

Oh Chris Weidman… How sweet it is to see you struggle.

Not only did you dethrone my hero but after a traumatic leg break from Silva in the rematch, you immediately ran around the Octagon with your hands high with pride.

I get it. I can check kicks pretty well myself and my sparring partners know they could be devastating without shin guards. So, it wasn’t an accident. Chris won fair and square but go back and watch any Thai fight or even Tyrone Spong in GLORY and you will see zero celebrations from the victor.

I don’t want to insult my countrymen and say it was kind of the American thing to do but it sorta was. We can be an arrogant bunch and it goes back to a point I make quite often about MMA fighters particularly those with a wrestling base.

They are all about winning and winning at all costs even if it means avoiding the fight within the fight and focusing solely on position and not finishing the fight.

In Thailand.

  • You first must show heart. That is the first line of respect.
  • Secondly, you show your skill.
  • Then, you get the win.

I’m not saying either philosophy is right or wrong. It’s just different.

  • As a martial artist, I favor the Thai way.
  • As a fan, I lean that direction as well.
  • As a bettor, though, no way!

Give me the lay and pray guys all day. Round winners, wall n stall, etc. The fighters I used to hate for playing to the judges are the ones I cherish as a handicapper and bettor.

Chris Weidman isn’t the best example of a wrestler who plays to the judges but he has the perfect opportunity to be that guy on Saturday night.

Chris, even though his chin may be gone and he has never been the same fighter post-USADA, is still one of the best wrestlers in the UFC. His single leg takedown is legendary.

Akhmedov has a good base and will have a speed advantage as he recently came up from 170 pounds to fight at 185.

I don’t think his takedown defense is that good, though. If Chris gets in deep on any welterweight’s leg, I think they are going down.

Omari can pop, though, and Chris’s chin is kaput. That is the risk here. I don’t at all think the underdog will win a decision.

Chris needs a win here more than ever and I believe he will do what it takes to make that happen.

Omari’s cardio is also an issue but so is Chris’s chin after cutting a lot of weight. So, this fight isn’t a blowout for Weidman. Omari isn’t a 235 pound killer like Dom Reyes either, though.

We only need to cap Chris around 66% to win to make a play here, though, and I believe we can do that.

I think the Long Islander wins 2 out of 3 against Omari. He’s bigger and a better wrestler who has fought the much better competition in his UFC career.

My Pick
Chris Weidman
-140

In Conclusion

Both the main and co-main events are interesting fights!

The main event between two of the best KO and Sub artists in the UFC’s heavyweight division could go either way. So, why are we picking that fight and betting money? Well, the odds don’t reflect our cap of the fight.

  • If there is value there and we trust our call, then we make the play.
  • If Derrick was the underdog, I might take him.

As for the Weidman fight, I really dislike the guy.

Nobody loves Anderson Silva more than myself and has hurt me just a little bit every single time I have heard his name since 2013.

I feel like he is in a good spot to get a win here, though.

It’s not a great spot. The UFC could have given him someone not as dangerous but a short, counter fighter who used to compete at 170 is a decent matchup.

This allows us to get a good betting line at least.

Get those wagers in now, guys, and enjoy the scraps from Vegas on Saturday!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.