The UFC is back down under after four long years, and we’ve got ourselves a stacked card filled with homegrown talent.
Alexander "The Great" Volkanovski will be in the spotlight as he dares to be great, to become the first Anzac athlete to call himself "Champ Champ".
We're excited to break down these fights and pick some smart bets for you this week, so let's dive right in!
Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski
It's near impossible to put the magnitude of this fight into words, this is a once-in-a-lifetime fight where the two best fighters of their era verse each other in their prime.
Islam Makhachev was touted by many as the best lightweight following the retirement of his legendary teammate, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The prodigy rose to the big stage by amassing a 10-fight win streak which was topped off by a grand title fight victory over the former king of the lightweights, Charles Oliveira.
Islam replicates the daunting Dagestani pressure wrestling style of Khabib but also excels by displaying a solid defensive striking game.
The current Lightweight king has beaten elite competition in Charles Oliveira, Arman Tsarukyan, Dan Hooker, and Drew Dober.
His next mission has got him to Western Australia where he chases the accolade of being named the No.1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world but for that he will have to go through the terminator that is Alexander "The Great" Volkanovski.
Alexander Volkanovski has been the flagbearer of Australian MMA in recent years by asserting himself as a dominant World Champion.
The Aussie is riding a serious 22-fight MMA streak including 12 UFC wins and 5 Title fight victories.
Volkanovski has dominated the elites at 145 pounds including Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Brian Ortega, and The Korean Zombie.
He has already earned the respect of fight fans by stepping up to this great challenge of toppling the unbeaten force that is Islam Makhachev.
This is a great fight and an amazing clash of styles matchup as Islam will look to use his size advantage and impose a chain wrestling-heavy game plan.
Whereas Volkanovski will utilize his impeccable footwork, speed, and feints to draw desperate takedown attempts while making his opponent pay with counterattacks.
Our first best bet comes on a fun Light Heavyweight prelim scrap between Tyson Pedro and Modestas Bukauskas.
Pedro has looked great since his return and has earned 2 quick-round 1 knockout wins. We think he's a serious talent who will rise through the ranks.
On the other hand, he faces a last-minute replacement in Bukauskas who lost his last 3 UFC fights out of which 2 were via finish.
Considering Pedro has a 100% career finish rate, we think at 2/1 the odds for him to win via finish are a steal.
Our next bet comes on our co-main event being fought for Interim Featherweight gold between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett.
This is a great fight and a very close one to call but we like the underdog money on this one.
Josh Emmett is one of the best underdogs to back considering he was an underdog in 4 of his last 5 victories.
Emmett has serious power and it's proven as he holds the most knockdowns in the division's history.
The underdog also holds the Wrestling X factor in his game which can help him bank some rounds factoring that this is a championship fight, so we’ll take the dog money on this fight.
Our final bet this week comes on our main event being fought for the Lightweight belt and the no.1 Pound for Pound spot.
We think the line is completely off on this one and no one should be favored that heavily in a fight between 2 highly skilled fighters.
So, we will take a different route in this fight and pick this one to go the distance.
We think both fighters have great fight IQ, cardio, defense, and durability to tough it out across 25 minutes.
Selection: Tyson Pedro by KO or Submission (Winning Method, Double Chance) @2.0
Selection: Josh Emmett (Win market) @2.49
Selection: Yes, Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski (Will the fight go the distance) @2.23