Odds: Omari Akhmedov (+135) vs. Tom Breese (-160)
Prediction: Breese via decision (+250)
Fans will finally see a spectacle between Tom Breese and Omari Akhmedov after the bout was postponed by four days, initially scheduled to take place at UFC Fight Island 7 on Saturday.
Nonetheless, this fixture promises fireworks between two extremely talented middleweights, closing out the preliminary matchups with a bang (or, most likely ‘bangs’ plural).
Breese (12-2) holds the -160 edge over +135 Akhmedov (20-5) according to William Hill, though fans of the former may be wise to get in early as the market has dropped in his favor approaching the fight. Both combatants are well-rounded fighters in their own right, each boasting almost equal wins via knockout or submission, though Akhmedov holds the clear advantage in experience with almost twice the number of bouts under his belt.
That being said, “Wolverine” lost to Chris Weidman via unanimous decision in his most recent outing last August, his seventh successive result going to the judges’ scorecards.
Breese, on the other hand, had his confidence lifted by a TKO win over KB Bhullar in October, one of his best UFC performances to date. The Englishman fought only four times between 2016 and February 2020, but that win over Bhullar was a frightening reminder to the rest of the middleweight division:
"I know I have the skills and athleticism to beat any middleweight. I plan on destroying every opponent I meet in the Octagon and then paying my respects after the bout.” – Tom Breese is ready for #UFCFightIsland7 ⤵️⤵️⤵️:#InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabihttps://t.co/m29iaE5fhU— UFC News (@UFCNews) January 11, 2021
Dagestan native Akhmedov will be much harder to put away, but 6’3” Breese has the range and tools to heap successive losses on the Wolverine for the second time in his UFC career. Akhmedov has become a specialist in ensuring he reaches the fight’s natural end, but at a price of +250, Breese is the best bet to take the decision.