On October 27 at the Avenir Centre in New Brunswick, former UFC Light Heavyweight title challenger Volkan Oezdemir will return to the octagon for the first time since that UFC 220 battle with Daniel Cormier, where he suffered a vicious TKO loss.
Oezdemir remains a hugely exciting fighter, but to establish another run at the now-vacant title, he will need to get past the veteran US slugger Anthony Smith (30-13-0) at UFC Fight Night 138.
Volkan Vs Smith betting odds have the Swiss Oezdemir as the -175 favourite at bet365*, with Betway Sports more cautious at -188. Smith is the +150 underdog at bet365*, but clearly, there isn’t a huge difference in the betting Volkan Vs Smith lines, only Oezdemir’s proven class making the betting lines look in his favour.
Our main Volkan Vs Smith betting prediction is that Volkan Oezdemir is the likely winner. He’s taken plenty of time to recover from his loss to Cormier and will be gunning hard to keep his name firmly in the conversation, especially now that ‘DC’ has moved to Heavyweight and Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson will fight for the vacant title; which moves Oezdemir one step closer to another title shot by default. At the age of 29 and with a 14-2-0 record, he is only now approaching his prime.
Anthony Smith is having his ninth UFC fight and has big wins over Hector Lombard, Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua to his name of late, so this will be no pushover. His wrestling is on point and the 6ft 4in Texan will not be phased by the occasion of being the main event. If anything, more pressure is on the favourite Oezdemir, but he is our odds favourites pick to beat a well-weathered opponent who could be vulnerable to his power.