Fabricio Werdum comes into this fight on short rest after losing by split decision to Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 249. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion is a huge underdog versus Alexander Gustafsson Saturday night.
The main card of the Fight Island finale will feature a heavyweight tilt between former division champion Fabricio Werdum and three-time light heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson. The MMA odds list Gustafsson as the heavy favourite at -360 and Werdum as the underdog at +260.
Fabricio Werdum UFC Fight Island Odds
Fabricio Werdum comes into this fight on short rest after losing by split decision to Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 249 in May. The loss to Oleinik was Werdum’s first fight following a two-year drug suspension.
After becoming the heavyweight champion in 2014 and defending his title once, the 42-year-old Werdum has gone 3-3 since losing the heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic by a first round knockout at UFC 198 in 2016. With a record of 23-8-1, Werdum is an experienced fighter who is well rounded and technically skilled. He is just as comfortable on his feet as he is on the mat and can pose a danger to any fight strategy.
Werdum takes the edge on significant strikes landed per minute (Werdum 4.64, Gustafsson 4.02), significant strikes (Werdum 56 per cent, Gustafsson 40 per cent) and defense (Werdum 55 per cent, Gustafsson 51 per cent).
Alexander Gustafsson UFC Fight Island Odds
Currently ranked as the No. 7 heavyweight contender, this is actually Gustafsson’s first heavyweight fight and his MMA comeback, after he retired following a submission loss to Anthony Smith in the light heavyweight division, last June.
The 33-year-old Gustafsson has challenged for the light heavyweight championship three times, losing the title fight to Jon Jones twice and Daniel Cormier once. If Gustafsson can handle the stronger heavyweight fighters, he could be poised to take the division by storm, with a speed and quickness most heavyweights will not be accustomed to.
Gustafsson has a boxing background, but like Werdum, he is just as comfortable standing as he is on the ground. A big plus for the younger fighter is a two-inch reach advantage over Werdum. Gustafsson also has a better takedown average per 15 minutes (Gustafsson 1.56, Werdum 1.18), higher takedown accuracy (Gustafsson 39 per cent, Werdum 27 per cent) and a much better takedown average (Gustafsson 85 per cent, Werdum 31 per cent).
Werdum vs. Gustafsson UFC Fight Night Prediction:
Gustafsson is the heavy favourite for a reason. He is younger, quicker and does not leave himself open to knockout opportunities like Werdum does. Werdum has not been a threat for five years; expect a Gustafsson win by unanimous decision.