UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs Volkov Betting Preview, Odds, and Predictions

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UFC Espn+ Blaydes vs Volkov

On Saturday, June 20th, the UFC will be in action with UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs Volkov, also known as UFC Vegas 3, live on ESPN from the company’s Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The main event of the night is a Top 7 heavyweight battle as Curtis Blaydes takes on Alexander Volkov in a highly anticipated matchup. The co-featured bout will be a Top 10 featherweight fight between Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos.

Also in action on the main card is a Top 10 women’s bantamweight bout between Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau. In total, there are 12 fights scheduled for UFC on ESPN 11 with a start time of 5 PM ET and airing live on ESPN and ESPN+.

UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of UFC on ESPN 11 fights. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine the current betting lines courtesy of 5Dimes, identify possible betting value or upsets, and KO our predictions for this UFC card.

UFC on ESPN 11 Prelims

The preliminary card features seven fights and is set to begin at 5 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN+.

Austin Hubbard vs Max Rohskopf

  • Austin Hubbard (+160)
  • Max Rohskopf (-185)
  • Over (+115)/Under (-135) 2.5 rounds

This bout was originally scheduled for Austin Hubbard to take on Joe Solecki. However, Solecki had to withdraw from the event. Max Rohskopf is stepping in on less than a week’s notice.

For Hubbard, this will be his 4th fight inside the octagon. He currently has a 1-2 record with the UFC and last fought in March where he lost via unanimous decision to Mark O. Madsen. Hubbard is a former LFA champ, but has had difficulties adjusting to the level of talent in the UFC.

Six of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. Three of his four pro losses have come via submission.

Max Rohskopf is making his UFC debut this weekend and has a lot of promise moving forward with the UFC. At 5-0, Rohskopf has defeated all of his opponents via submission. He’s an accomplished collegiate wrestler and has improved his grappling game with BJJ.

In addition to the grappling, Rohskopf also has power in his right hand and is adept at taking his opponent’s back.

Hubbard will try to keep the fight upright, but I don’t see him being able to prevent the takedown attempts from Rohskopf. I have no doubt that Rohskopf will grind out the win in this contest. The only question is whether or not he does it inside the distance or has to go to the scorecards.

Since he’s never been to the 3rd round of a pro fight, I’m taking the Under 2.5 rounds (-135) for this contest. I also don’t see it going to decision (-160).

With that said, I am taking Rohskopf to win his UFC debut inside the distance most likely via submission. Hubbard does have one lone stoppage defeat on his record and it was via submission.

Austin Hubbard vs Max Rohskopf –Rohskopf (-185)

Under 2.5 rounds (-135)

Fight doesn’t go to decision (-160)

Rohskopf wins inside the distance (+135)

Roxanne Modafferi vs Lauren Murphy

  • Roxanne Modafferi (-120)
  • Lauren Murphy (+100)
  • Over (-290)/Under (+245) 2.5 rounds

In a rather surprising booking decision for this lineup, we have a Top 7 women’s flyweight fight that’s probably going to be the second bout of the prelims.

The #6 ranked Roxanne Modafferi last fought in January and upset Maycee Barber. Modafferi has a 3-3 record in the UFC and has some solid wins on her resume. 15 of her 24 pro wins have come via decision.

The #7 ranked Lauren Murphy has won two straight fights with her last contest coming in February. However, some believe she should’ve lost that fight to Andrea Lee instead of winning via split decision. Murphy is now 4-4 inside the octagon. Eight of her 12 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

Let’s get the easy wagers out of the way first. This fight is almost certainly going the distance (-275) and Over 2.5 rounds (-290).

Combined, these two women have gone the distance in 35 of their 56 total fights. Modafferi has gone the distance in four straight fights while Murphy has gone the distance in four of her last five bouts.

I think the winner of this fight will be whomever gets the best position along the cage or on top. Both are skilled in these areas. I’m having a hard time choosing a winner between these two.

With that said, I’m going to take the upset and pick Murphy to win via split decision in a close fight that could go either way. She offers more of a return on investment than Modafferi.

Roxanne Modafferi vs Lauren Murphy –Murphy (+100)

Over 2.5 rounds (-290)

Fight goes the distance (-275)

Murphy wins via decision (+115)

Frank Camacho vs Matt Frevola

  • Frank Camacho (+105)
  • Matt Frevola (-125)
  • Over (+100)/Under (-120) 2.5 rounds

Frank Camacho is looking to improve his 2-4 octagon record by getting back into the win column on Saturday. He’s dropped three of his last four fights and hasn’t competed since last October.

Camacho is known for providing action in the cage. He’s an adept striker with 17 of his 22 pro wins coming via TKO/KO.

Matt Frevola is 2-1-1 in the octagon, but enters this contest on a two fight win streak. He’s also not competed since last October. Four of his eight pro wins have come via stoppage with three via submission.

I see this fight ending inside the distance (-160) and going Under 2.5 rounds (-120). The big reason why is due to these two men having only gone the distance in 10 of 40 combined fights. For Camacho he’s only seen the scorecards in five of his 30 pro bouts.

I believe Frevola is going to win this fight inside the distance due to his advantage in the grappling department. He has the ability to hang with Camacho in a striking contest, but Frevola can turn the tide at any moment with a takedown.

Six of Camacho’s eight pro losses have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. His last two losses were via stoppage as well. Frevola will most likely win via submission.

Frank Camacho vs Matt Frevola –Frevola (-125)

Under 2.5 rounds (-120)

Fight doesn’t go the distance (-160)

Frevola wins inside the distance (+180)

Gillian Robertson vs Cortney Casey

  • Gillian Robertson (-120)
  • Cortney Casey (+100)
  • Over (-150)/Under (+130) 2.5 rounds

In the second of four women’s fights on the card, the #15 ranked Cortney Casey takes on unranked Gillian Robertson in a flyweight contest. Casey is stepping in on short notice to replace Taila Santos.

Despite being unranked, Gillian Robertson comes in as the slight betting favorite at MMA betting sites. She’s 4-2 for her career inside the octagon and has gone 2-1 in her last three fights. However, she did suffer defeat to Maycee Barber in her last bout which came eight months ago.

Six of Robertson’s seven pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission.

Cortney Casey has been with the UFC for five years. However, she has a 5-6 octagon record, but did win her last fight a month ago via 1st round submission over Mara Romero Borella. Seven of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission.

This fight is going to be tough for Casey because she’s an inferior grappler to Robertson who is one of the strongest wrestlers in the division. Casey is the bigger fighter of the two and needs to keep on her feet to have a shot at winning.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen because Casey has a poor takedown defense. Eventually, Robertson will get Casey down to the mat and either force a submission or ground and pound her way to victory.

I’m taking this fight to end inside the distance (-115) and for it to go Under 2.5 rounds (+130) as Robertson’s ground game could finish this contest off by the middle of the fight.

Gillian Robertson vs Cortney Casey –Robertson (-120)

Under 2.5 rounds (+130)

Fight doesn’t go to decision (-115)

Robertson wins inside the distance (+220)

Marc-Andre Barriault vs Oskar Piechota

  • Marc-Andre Barriault (+105)
  • Oskar Piechota (-125)
  • Over (+110)/Under (-130) 2.5 rounds

Here’s a battle between two fighters desperate for victory. Each man enters this contest having lost three straight fights and in danger of losing their spot in the UFC.

Marc-Andre Barriault was the middleweight pride of Canada before heading to the UFC where he’s 0-3 inside the octagon. All three losses have come via decision. Additionally, Barriault showed an inability in all three fights to successfully defend the takedown and to show any offense from his back.

Oskar Piechota is 2-3 inside the octagon, but his three fight losing streak has come via three straight stoppages. He will have a three inch reach advantage over Barriault. 10 of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage.

This fight has a chance to be really entertaining for as long as it lasts as both men are adept strikers. Piechota will have a three inch reach advantage.

I like the Under 2.5 rounds (-130) in this one as Barriault should be able to keep this fight going into at least the 2nd round before he’s taken down and forced to tap out. However, this fight won’t be going the distance (-180).

With that said, Oskar Piechota will more than likely take down Barriault at will and eventually finish him off via submission. Piechota’s ground game is too good for Barriault to survive the full three rounds.

Marc-Andre Barriault vs Oskar Piechota –Piechota (-125)

Under 2.5 rounds (-130)

Fight doesn’t go to decision (-180)

Oskar Piechota wins inside the distance (+160)

Brianna VanBuren vs Tecia Torres

  • Brianna VanBuren (-190)
  • Tecia Torres (+165)
  • Over (-380)/Under (+315) 2.5 rounds

Tecia Torres has hit a rough patch as of late having lost four straight fights. Her last win was December 2017. However, she does have wins over Waterson and Angela Hill. And, she’s 6-5 inside the octagon.

Let’s also not overlook the fact that her recent losing streak came to some of the top fighters in Weili Zhang, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Jessica Andrade. Nine of her 10 pro wins have come via decision.

Brianna Van Buren is on a six fight win streak which includes a victory in her UFC debut 11 months ago. Nicknamed “The Bull,” Van Buren has a strong striking game with a good blend of takedowns. That combination has given Torres troubles in the past.

Five of Van Buren’s nine pro wins have come via stoppage with three by way of submission.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. This fight will go Over 2.5 rounds (-380) and I see it going the distance (-360). 14 of Torres’ 15 pro fights have gone the distance while Six of Van Buren’s pro fights have gone to a decision.

At that point, I’m giving the victory to Van Buren in this contest. I believe her takedowns and mat control will be the difference in this fight. Torres is durable and will survive, but Van Buren will rack up the points on her way to a unanimous decision.

Brianna VanBuren vs Tecia Torres –VanBuren (-190)

Over 2.5 rounds (-380)

Fight goes to decision (-360)

Van Buren wins via decision (-145)

Clay Guida vs Bobby Green

  • Clay Guida (+195)
  • Bobby Green (-235)
  • Over (-175)/Under (+155) 2.5 rounds

This will be the main event of the prelims and it could end up providing fight fans with a lot of fireworks.

The veteran Clay Guida comes into this contest alternating between wins and losses over the last several years. His last fight was 10 months ago and he lost to Jim Miller via 1st round submission. Fortunately, he won’t have to worry about grappling as Green is also a striker.

Guida has been with the UFC for nearly 14 years and has compiled an octagon record of 15-13. He returned to the lightweight division three years ago and is 3-2 since then. 20 of his 35 pro wins have come via stoppage with 13 by way of submission.

Green has been with the UFC for a little over seven years and has a record of 5-5-1 inside the octagon. He’s dropped his last two fights via decision and has just one win in his last seven contests dating back six years. 17 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission.

Despite all of the submission wins between the two men, this fight should just be a standing battle where two men try to knockout each other.

I believe this bout will go the distance (-155) and Over 2.5 rounds (-175). Once in the hands of the judges, it could end up coming down to a split decision. Guida tends to have a higher output of strikes and pushes the pace which could favor him in the eyes of the judges.

However, Green should be able to edge out Guida in this contest because he is the better boxer between the two and has a three inch height advantage with a one inch reach advantage.

I expect this to be a fun fight and I’m giving the edge to Green. However, he’s definitely on upset alert.

Clay Guida vs Bobby Green –Green (-235)

Over 2.5 rounds (-175)

Fight goes the distance (-155)

Green wins via decision (+165)

UFC on ESPN 11 Main Card

The main card of the event features five fights and is set to begin at 8 PM ET on ESPN+ and ESPN.

Jim Miller vs Roosevelt Roberts

  • Jim Miller (+185)
  • Roosevelt Roberts (-225)
  • Over (-120)/Under (+100) 2.5 rounds

Longtime UFC veteran Jim Miller returns to the octagon with the most wins in the history of the promotion’s lightweight division. However, this will be a catchweight fight at 160 pounds.

Miller is coming off a loss in his last fight which took place four months ago. Yet, Miller is as confident as ever despite inching closer toward 50 professional fights. In his 47th career contest, he’s taking on Roosevelt Roberts who Miller made the following comments about:

“He’s tough, coming off a good win and he’s got a head of steam behind him. He’s a dangerous dude and I’m ready for that.”

21 of Miller’s 31 pro wins have come via stoppage with 17 by way of submission. Not only is he dangerous on his feet, he’s even better on the mat.

Roosevelt Roberts has won two straight fights to improve his UFC record to 4-1. He’s built some momentum and feels that a win over Miller will be huge for his UFC career:

“I just think it’s a step forward because of how long he’s been in the UFC. He’s a good dude, man. Jim Miller’s been around since before I even thought about being a UFC fighter. I got nothing but respect for the dude. Going in there, looking at him across the cage [and] knowing I’m going to have to step it up, I feel like he’s going to bring out the best in me; and I feel like this is the right opportunity for me to showcase what I’ve got.”

Eight of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission. Two of his four UFC wins have also come via submission.

It’s important to note that Roberts is coming into this contest having last fought three weeks ago. That’s a quick turnaround for such a tough opponent like Jim Miller.

This fight is shaping up to be a grappling battle as both men feel very comfortable on the mat. With that said, I can see this fight going the distance (+120) unless someone makes a big mistake. Go with the Over 2.5 rounds as well (-120).

Additionally, I don’t believe Roberts has the firepower to TKO/KO miller like Dan Hooker and Donald Cerrone have done in the past. However, Miller still has enough pop in his punches to do some damage.

I am a bit surprised at Roberts being this much of a favorite considering he hasn’t really proved anything yet in the UFC. Miller at +185 is a very appealing underdog and an upset worthy of a flier. I’m going with Miller to win this fight via decision. The safe play is on Roberts.

Jim Miller vs Roosevelt Roberts –Miller (+185)

Over 2.5 rounds (+100)

Fight goes the distance (+120)

Miller wins via decision (+500)

Lyman Good vs Belal Muhammad

  • Lyman Good (+100)
  • Belal Muhammad (-120)
  • Over (-185)/Under (+160) 2.5 rounds

This bout was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 249, but Lyman Good tested positive for Covid-19 and the matchup was rescheduled, eventually landing at this UFC event.

Good is healthy and ready to fight. He’s coming off a win in his last bout via 3rd round TKO over Chance Rencountre last November. Good is 3-2 in his five UFC fights. The former Bellator welterweight champ is looking to put a few wins together and jump into the Top 15.

Speaking of the Top 15, Muhammad wants to crack into those rankings and beat more fighters with a number in front of their names. Belal commented on his fight this weekend and why he was in agreement to take on an unranked opponent:

“I just want to go out there and make a statement and then hopefully get a good run going… You always want to fight a ranked guy (and) get your name up there, but I felt like Lyman got a good run going, people are excited about his last couple of fights and then no ranked guy wants to fight.”

Muhammad is on a two fight win streak and has an overall record of 7-3 inside the octagon. He last competed 9 months ago and defeated Takashi Sato via 3rd round submission. Prior to that, he beat Curtis Millender via unanimous decision.

Combined, these two men have gone the distance in 24 of 45 total fights. Muhammad is 11-2 when going the distance and has gone the full amount of time in six of his last seven fights. Good is 7-4 when going the distance, but has only gone the distance in one of his UFC fights.

I believe this contest will end up going Over 2.5 rounds (-185) and the full three rounds (-155). Muhammad isn’t known for finishing off his opponents as 11 of his 16 pro wins have come via decision. Seven of his 10 UFC fights have gone the distance as well. I’m taking Muhammad to win this fight via decision (+140).

Lyman Good vs Belal Muhammad –Muhammad (-120)

Over 2.5 rounds (-185)

Fight goes the distance (-155)

Muhammad wins via decision (+140)

Raquel Pennington vs Marion Reneau

  • Raquel Pennington (-160)
  • Marion Reneau (+140)
  • Over (-290)/Under (+245) 2.5 rounds

The 4th and final women’s fight on the card is a Top 10 bantamweight battle between #6 Raquel Pennington and the #10 Marion Reneau.

Reneau is the underdog in this matchup and on a two fight losing streak. She’s also the oldest female fighter in the UFC at 42 years old. It’s been 15 months since her last fight and over two years since her last win.

Eight of Reneau’s nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. She’s never been stopped in her career as all five losses have come via decision.

Pennington last fought in January and lost via unanimous decision to Holly Holm. She’s had a tough time against the elite fighters having also lost against Germaine de Randamie and Amanda Nunes, giving her three losses in her last four fights.

However, Pennington has defeated tough fighters like Miesha Taite, Bethe Correia and Jessica Andrade. Six of her 10 pro wins have come via decision. Six of her eight pro losses have come via decision as well.

Pennington has the edge in striking and cardio for this fight. 12 of her 18 pro fights have gone the distance and I expect this one as well (-270). Go with the Over 2.5 rounds (-290) for this bout as Reneau has never been finished.

I believe Pennington will push a pace for all three rounds, which allows her to rack up the points with the judges late in the fight and come away with a unanimous decision win (+115).

Raquel Pennington vs Marion Reneau –Pennington (-160)

Over 2.5 rounds (-290)

Fight goes the distance (-270)

Pennington wins via decision (+115)

Josh Emmett vs Shane Burgos

  • Josh Emmett (+110)
  • Shane Burgos (-130)
  • Over (+130)/Under (-150) 2.5 rounds

The co-main event of the night is a Top 10 featherweight bout between #8 Josh Emmett and #10 Shane Burgos.

Burgos is the slight favorite for this contest as he’s won three straight bouts and is 6-1 in the UFC. This is Burgos’ biggest fight to date and he’s very excited for it:

“This is a huge fight. Everybody knows who Josh Emmet is. He’s a staple in the division at this point. He’s only been in the division for a little bit, but he’s made his name known. He’s had some big fights and some big wins and I want to leapfrog myself over him.”

Burgos, age 29, last stepped inside the octagon in November 2019 and won via 3rd round TKO over Makwan Amirkhani. Ten of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with five wins apiece via TKO/KO and submission.

Josh Emmett has won four of his last five fights and is on a two fight win streak. However, he hasn’t competed in 11 months after two fights were scrapped due to different issues. The Team Alpha Male competitor has eight of his 15 pro wins come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.

This fight is going to be very entertaining as we have two dangerous strikers. Emmett brings legitimate knockout power while Burgos is the slicker boxer with solid striking skills. Additionally, each man has only been stopped once in their careers.

The Over/Under is set at 2.5 rounds and this has all the makings of a three round war. Emmet will have to navigate Burgos’ 5.5 inch reach advantage in order to have any success. Furthermore, Burgos has a five inch height advantage as well.

The smart money is on Burgos to win the fight. Although I will be rooting for Emmett to win, I recommend playing this one safe. The boxing and reach advantages are going to be tough for Emmett to overcome.

With that said, I believe Emmett will survive all three rounds (+160) despite what oddsmakers are thinking. Go with Over 2.5 rounds (+130). I’m taking Burgos to win via split decision (+317) in the fight of the night.

Josh Emmett vs Shane Burgos –Burgos (-130)

Over 2.5 rounds (+130)

Fight goes the distance (+160)

Burgos wins via decision (+317)

Curtis Blaydes vs Alexander Volkov

  • Curtis Blaydes (-390)
  • Alexander Volkov (+320)
  • Over (+115)/Under (-145) 2.5 rounds

The main event of the night is a Top 7 heavyweight battle as #3 ranked Curtis Blaydes takes on #7 ranked Alexander Volkov.

Alexander Volkov has gone 5-1 inside the octagon and is coming off a win over Greg Hardy last November via unanimous decision. He will have a three inch height advantage over Blaydes in this fight. 20 of his 31 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Volkov believes his superior striking will win him this bout:

“However, despite my limited training, long-distant flight and jet lag, I’m prepared for our upcoming fight and he will have to face certain challenges, as well. I allocate lots of time to wrestling. Even though it’s not my strongest skill, I am used to opponents like him. Obviously, he’ll count on his wrestling. That’s his only recourse. Otherwise, I will defeat him with my striking.”

If it weren’t for Francis Ngannou, Blaydes would be unbeaten in the UFC. Instead, he’s 8-2 having lost both fights to Ngannou. Nevertheless, Blaydes has won three straight fights including defeating Junior dos Santos in January via 2nd round TKO. 10 of his 13 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

For Blaydes, he believes this is a grappler versus striker matchup and is looking forward to pressuring Volkov, taking him down and finishing him off:

“I know he doesn’t want to be in that grappling type of zone, and that’s where I’m going to put him. I’m going to pressure him. I’m going to put his back heel against the cage and just make him react to my pumps and high-lows and just go from there… I doubt it goes the full five; I honestly doubt it. There’s gonna be a finish in there somewhere. It just depends on how long it takes me to break him.”

I don’t see Volkov winning this fight. Blaydes has shown a high level of grappling and takedowns against other notable strikers like Overeem and Junior dos Santos. His kryptonite is Ngannou with that scary knockout power. A fear that he won’t have against Volkov.

Eventually, Blaydes will get Volkov to the mat and finish him off either with ground and pound or a submission. Despite his commitment to training in grappling, I just don’t see Volkov being able to fend off the takedowns and scrambling to get back up.

I’m going with the Over 2.5 rounds in this fight (+115) as I see Volkov lasting until at least the 3rd round. It’s been seven years since he’s lost in the 1st or 2nd rounds.  I don’t see this fight going the distance (-400) as Blaydes is too good of a grappler for Volkov to survive all five rounds.

There’s not much value in this contest other than the Over 2.5 rounds as Blaydes is a heavy favorite to win the fight and do so within the allotted five rounds.

Curtis Blaydes vs Alexander Volkov-Blaydes (-390)

Over 2.5 rounds (+115)

Fight doesn’t go the distance (-400)

Blaydes wins inside the distance (-240)

UFC on ESPN 11 Final Thoughts

This is a solid main event fight between two legitimate heavyweight contenders as it finishes off an underrated main card. In total there are three main card fights with Top 10 ranked athletes battling to move up within their respective divisions.

The prelims lack overall depth, but there are a few fights like Modafferi vs Murphy that will be exciting to watch as that’s a battle of Top 7 women’s flyweights.

In regards to the betting action, there’s plenty to like on this card. From Over/Unders to moneylines and various prop bets for each fight, UFC on ESPN 11 has numerous options to win some money on. Check back later this week for my last minute value plays with this event as well.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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