02 November 2019 08:45
UFC 244 kicks off Saturday with the prelims at 8:00 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. Derrick Lewis faces Blagoy Ivanov in a heavyweight bout. This fight expects to start around 10:30 pm ET. We break down the Lewis-Ivanov odds and predictions for sports betting action Saturday evening. Derrick Lewis vs.
Blagoy Ivanov picks and predictions Lewis (-106) challenges Ivanov (-125) in a tilt Vegas bookmakers feel Lewis at least has a puncher's chance, although these are two fighters headed in opposite directions. Lewis is ranked No. 5 by the UFC media and enters this bout with a 21-7-0 overall record (12-5 UFC). That includes two straight losses to Junior Dos Santos and Daniel Cormier. After the Dos Santos fight in March, Lewis needed knee surgery. This is one of his longest layoffs.
Ivanov enters this fight with an 18-2-0 record (2-1 UFC). The fighter has won two straight bouts. Ivanov won by decision over both Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa. He is ranked No. 8 by UFC media (No. 10 by CBS). Ivanov only has three UFC fights under his belt. However, his career balance is impressive. He has six wins each by decision, submission and knockout. That shows he is a threat to win in several ways. Lewis vs. Ivanov prediction Lewis (-106) in three rounds by knockout. Ivanov may have a better balance, but what Lewis has is that punching ability. Also, Lewis is in improved shape after surgery and the rest needed afterward. Ivanov is going to put up quite a fight but look for Lewis to pull walk away with a victory. New to sports betting? A $10 wager on Lewis returns $9.43 in profit with a victory. If you want to have some action on this match, place a bet at BetMGM now. For more sports betting picks and tips, visit SportsbookWire.com. Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage. In late February 2012, with his record standing at 7-0, plus the no contest result he incurred in a bout against current UFC light heavyweight Ilir Latifi when the ring the two were fighting in broke, Ivanov was stabbed in a nightclub in his hometown of Sofia. Two weeks after the incident, his condition deteriorated, requiring a second surgical procedure and Ivanov was put into a medically-induced coma. He spent a total of 68 days in a coma, but when he finally spoke publicly following the incident, Ivanov made it clear that he wanted to return to competition. But desire and ability are two different things, and his family, friends and the medical professionals who cared for him were most concerned about ensuring he could live a normal life, let alone compete. Had he not made it back, Ivanov would have been one of the greatest "What If" guys in MMA history — an obvious talent in a division starving for fresh names whose brilliant future was derailed by a catastrophic event outside of the cage. It would have been understandable and unfortunate, which is why the fact that he not only returned to competition less than two years after the incident, but has since risen to the cusp of contention in the UFC is a massive achievement and a testament to the hard work and unbreakable will of the man who'll team with Lewis in the second of Saturday's two crucial heavyweight contests. "This was always my goal — to fight for the title — so it means a lot because I know what I've done throughout my career and it has been a rollercoaster," Ivanov said of reaching this point of his career. "It means a lot for me to be in this position and represent my country. Derrick Lewis is feeling in top form ahead of his UFC 244 bout this Saturday. The heavyweight beast is preparing to battle Blagoy Ivanov, but already has his sights on his next opponent. The 36-year hasn't hidden his desire to throw down the new MMA prospect, Greg Hardy. The former NFL standout transitioned to professional MMA last year and has already fought 7 times. The 31-year old has had his fair share of controversy including domestic abuse allegations and cocaine possession. Hardy also came under fire for using an inhaler in the middle of his last fight, a three-round contest with Ben Sosoli. "The Black Beast" disapproved of the fighter's controversies and gave his two cents on them ahead of his fight with Ivanov. "I think he looked good, but as soon as the fight [with Ben Sosoli] ended, I started thinking about his (ex-girlfriend), I was like, I wonder if he had hit her like that," Lewis said (via MMA Junkie) "I don't know, man. I really don't like guys like that because I grew up with a troubled past, and I saw my stepdad fight my mom just about every single day. I don't even remember one day they didn't go without arguing or fighting." Lewis wants to take his frustrations out on Hardy in the Octagon, but due to the difference in rankings, it was unlikely that a matchup could happen. However, it was recently announced that Greg Hardy would face No. 7 ranked heavyweight, Alexander Volkov on Saturday 9th November. If the former NFL player can beat his opponent in the co-main event of UFC Moscow, a fight against Derrick Lewis could be on the cards in future. "I'm guessing he doesn't have that much oxygen in his head," Lewis told TMZ. "If he can get through Volkov, which I don't think he would, then for sure I would like to fight him next." During the UFC 244 press conference, he took another jab at Hardy. "What's his name? Greg? Greg 'I Beat My Wife Because I Can't Breathe' Hardy," Lewis said. "I would like to fight him. That would be great to fight him next." Do you think Derrick Lewis will throw down the former star? This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/1/2019.