UFC 294: Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves prediction, odds 1

Ikram Aliskerov, a 30-year-old middleweight, began his UFC tenure with a 1st round knockout back in May. That brought his MMA record to 14-1 with ten wins inside the distance and his only loss to Khamzat Chimaev prior to the UFC.

Warlley Alves, 32, has been in the UFC since 2014. In that time, he has amassed an 8-6 record with six finish wins and three finish losses. Most recently, Alves has lost back-to-back fights.

Betting Odds

Aliskerov is the largest favorite on the card and has grown the most throughout the week.

  • Ikram Aliskerov: -625 (BetUS)
  • Warlley Alves: +455 (BetUS)

Special Offer: Sign up to BetUS today and get an exclusive sign-up offer worth up to $2,500

Fight Prediction

Aliskerov, prior to the UFC, wasn’t the most well-known prospect and him joining the UFC later in his career indicated that he might not be able to return on the limited hype he had. However, those who watched his pre-UFC fights or saw his debut know that isn’t the case.

Aliskerov is a well-schooled, dangerous, and athletic kickboxer with the power to stop a fight in an instant and the fluidity to effortlessly land his strikes. He excels as a forward-moving counter-striker. His strategy, typically, is to move forward with push kicks, an intelligent jab, and stance-switching movement to either push a willing opponent backward or force a more aggressive opponent into an ill-advised and rushed combination.

In the former’s case, if Aliskerov gets an opponent behind the black line or against the cage, his raw power and well-placed combinations shine as he tees off on his trapped prey. He also has a wrestling and grappling x-factor that helps him hold the clinch and secure takedowns if his barrage of strikes doesn’t stop the fight. In the latter’s case, if an opponent rushes back at him, Aliskerov has impeccably timed counters which he throws with little indication but immense power.

This is his preferred style and path to victory. Thus far, Aliskerov’s strategy and skill have resulted in winning fights with relative ease and effectiveness. The question becomes how he’ll fare if an opponent has the skill to knock Aliskerov off his rhythm and fight in an uncomfortable way.

Alves is exciting, powerful, and unpredictable in the cage. In some fights, like in his last win, he blitzes forward unloading windmill combinations the moment the ref says, “fight!” In these fights, Alves relies on the surprise of his style coupled with his often edge in power and durability. Often being the bigger and stronger fighter, Alves can initiate and engage in a brawl with relative success.

However, against more technical fighters or fighters who can withstand the blitzkrieg of his attack, Alves can be dropped with a clean counter or gas himself out. In other fights, Alves jumps to the other side of the spectrum and fights with a passivity boarding on lethargy. In these fights, Alves’ passivity gives opponents ample opportunities to read and time his strikes.

In fights where he doesn’t try to blitz, Alves typically loses because he doesn’t have the technical ability to match his opponent. His most reliable path to victory is to blitz early with strikes while trying to turn off the lights quickly, then, if the fight enters round 2, try and wrestle. While he isn’t the most fundamental wrestler, Alves can drag opponents down with his natural strength and take a much-needed break on top after a wild first round.


Aliskerov, being this large of a favorite, demonstrates the confidence both Vegas and handicappers have in his abilities. While I fully expect him to win, I cannot advocate for putting a -625 favorite into parlays when his opponent – Alves – will likely come out fighting with reckless aggression.

Anything can happen in 4oz gloves. So, to bet this fight, I need to find a number south of -200 and play it straight. Ideally, that would be a bet on Aliskerov to win inside the distance, but that number is juiced to a -265. So, I’m looking at round props.

I fully expect Alves to fight similarly to how he fought in his last win against Lazzez. In that fight, Alves immediately blitzed forward and fought as if the fight was only 5 minutes long. He attacked with little regard for defense and relied on surprise and raw power to overwhelm. Considering the skill gap he has in this fight, Alves’ best chance at a win is to blitz forward again.

Because of that, Aliskerov should have ample opportunities early to finish the fight. And, if Alves shocks the betting world and clips Aliskerov, a round prop covers that outcome as well. I expect Alves to blitz forward immediately, Aliskerov to catch him with a counter, and finish the fight soon after.

Best Bet: Under 1.5 rounds (-160 at BetUS)

Special Offer: Sign up to BetUS today and get an exclusive sign-up offer worth up to $2,500

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *