UFC Vegas 71 Co-Main Event: Volkov vs. Romanov Best Bets, Odds, and Analysis

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Marcin Tybura of Poland fights Alexandr Romanov of Moldova in a heavyweight bout during UFC 278 on August 20, 2022. Alex Goodlett/Getty Images/AFP

Our Top Betting Pick for UFC Vegas 71 Co-Main Event  

UFC Pick: Volkov vs. Romanov – Over 1½ Rounds (-160) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

  • Suggested Bet: 1.60u to win 1 unit 

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Top-15 ranked heavyweights will co-headline this Saturday’s event.

As the up-and-coming Alexander Romanov attempts to breach the top 10 rankings by overcoming the experienced Alexander Volkov at this weekend’s UFC Vegas 71 card in Las Vegas. 

Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC Vegas 71 co-main championship bout between Volkov and Romanov, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC best bets, analysis, and predictions. 

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UFC Vegas 71 Co-Main Event Information 

  • When: Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST 
  • Where: The Theater at Virgin Hotels
  • Main Event: Petr Yan vs. Merab Dvalishvili [UFC Bantamweight Bout] 
  • Co-Main Event: Alexander Volkov vs. Alexander Romanov [Heavyweight Bout] 
  • Co-Main Moneyline Probability: Romanov – 61.8% (-162) Volkov – 41.3% (+142) 
  • Co-Main Totals Probability: Over 1½ – 61.5% (-160) Under 1½ – 43.5% (+130) 

UFC Vegas 71 Best Bet 

Over 1½ Rounds Reasoning 

  • Confidence Rating: 3/5  

Romanov in round one or bust -  it’s almost a foregone conclusion. Marcin Tybura managed to fend off the grappling, and I expect Volkov’s long frame and 70% takedown defense to achieve the same.

We’ll then see the experience of Volkov staying at range, probing the jab behind his long reach, and keeping clear of takedown territory.

All of this will lead the fight into the second round, which gives us some excellent betting value on the over 1½ rounds for (-160).   

UFC Vegas 71 Co-Main Event: Fighter Profiles 

Alexander “Drago” Volkov      

Ranked as the No. 6 heavyweight in the world, Russia’s Alexander Volkov has become somewhat of a gatekeeper due to his inability to find championship success. Still, he also has enough to defeat prospects and fellow top-ranked opponents.  

Wins over Fabricio Werdum, Walt Harris, Alistair Overeem, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik are some of Volkov’s most notable wins to date. He owns one of the longest frames in this weight class and does a great job of moving on the outside, letting his fists go, and defending the takedowns of experienced grapplers.  

Finishing Rozenstruik in the first round last time out was evidence that Volkov shouldn’t be overlooked, despite his tendency to sail through fights with minimal output on occasions. And why I wouldn’t expect to see gold wrapped around his waist? He can undoubtedly derail the hype of prospects who haven’t competed at this level consistently.   

Volkov Combat Sports Accomplishments   

  • Bellator Heavyweight World Champion (One time)  
  • Bellator Season Seven & Ten Heavyweight Tournament Winner  
  • M-1 Global Heavyweight Championship (One time)  
  • UFC Fight of the Night (One time)  
  • UFC Performance of the Night (Two times)  

Best Available Odds: Alexander Volkov ML (+142) at BetOnline 

Alexander “King Kong” Romanov  

The Olympic Freestyle Wrestling background of Moldova’s Alexander Romanov put the heavyweight division on notice when he entered the UFC in 2020 and, for the next two years, obtained a 5-fight win streak with four of those fights ending inside the distance.  

Many critics tipped Romanov as a top 5 challenger and future title contender; however, the hype came crashing down when he was outpointed by Marcin Tybura last year.  

The red flags have been raised. Although Romanov has displayed an elite level of grappling and an ability to submit his opponents within five minutes - outside of the first round, he isn’t as dangerous with a level of cardio that fades quickly.  

He’ll face Volkov returning from a losing fight and is still the betting favorite, and in a rare occurrence, he’ll face an even higher-ranked opponent than his previous bout coming off a loss. This shows the UFC has faith, and so do the bookmakers. Was the Tybura loss unfortunate? Or should we continue to fade Romanov into the higher ranks?  

Romanov Combat Sports Accomplishments   

  • UFC Performance of the Night (One time)  
  • EFC Heavyweight Champion (One time)  

Best Available Odds: Alexander Romanov (-162) at BetOnline   

UFC Vegas 71 Co-Main Event Skillset Analysis   

Romanov has a serviceable striking, and he’s displayed an ability to let his hands go with success. However, his bread and butter is wrestling; we can expect this to be the game plan versus Volkov.  

Volkov will look to achieve the opposite and keep this fight standing; he moves well on the outside, and with such a significant reach advantage, it’s difficult for anyone to fight beyond the probing jabs and hooks of the Russian.  

Romanov wins almost all of his first-round appearances, so it would seem that Volkov needs to survive the first five minutes. However, despite owning a 71% takedown defense, Tom Aspinall was able to lock up the early takedown and submission, so the Moldovan should have confidence in achieving a similar route to victory.  

All things considered, Volkov owns the experience and past takedown defense that can make Romanov think twice about continuous shooting. The favorite must also be conscious of his gas tank, which could slow him down. I think this fight will see a second round, but picking a winning is anybody’s guess.  

Over 1½ Rounds (-160): The UFC Vegas 71 Best Bet Formula  

The available UFC odds at Bookmakers Review favor Romanov, but being ranked in the No.15 position and coming off his first loss to face a winning fighter who’s ranked No.5 and owns a ton of elite-level experience doesn’t make much sense.  

Due to Romanov’s one-round or bust style, the over 1.5 offers a great price.

If Volkov can defend the first takedown, Romanov will need to reconsider draining his cardio as he has done in the past. The Russian can keep this standing and drain the clock with his striking work from the outside that doesn’t involve many fight-ending situations.   

UFC Pick: Volkov vs. Romanov - Over 1½ Rounds (-160) at BetOnline 

UFC Vegas 71 Main Card & Odds 

UFC Vegas 71 Preliminary Card & Odds 

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.