Walt Harris will be gunning for a third straight opening-round victory when he takes on veteran heavyweight Alistair Overeem on Saturday in the main event at UFC on ESPN 9 as a -165 betting favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Harris recorded one of the fastest victories in UFC history in his last outing, finishing Aleksei Oleinik on punches just 12 seconds into their UFC on ESPN 4 clash to remain undefeated in four outings going into Saturday night’s matchup in Jacksonville.
With his victory over Oleinik as a -155 wager Harris climbed to No. 9 on the UFC heavyweight rankings. But while the 36-year-old American has seen nine of his 13 career wins come inside five minutes, three of his seven career defeats have also come in the first round. That has left Harris with a distinct lack of championship round experience, with just four of his 21 career contests lasting a full three rounds.
Overeem aims to rebound from a KO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his last appearance when he enters the octagon on Saturday as a +135 underdog at betting sites. “The Demolition Man” was just four seconds away from seeing his main event matchup with Rozenstruik at UFC on ESPN 7 go to the judges when he was finished by a KO on punches while sporting +120 odds.
With the loss, Overeem saw a string of back-to-back first-round TKO wins snapped, and he has now fallen to defeat in three of his last five outings. Despite having over 20 years experience as a professional fighter with 64 fights on his resume, Overeem also enjoys little experience in championship round action. His loss to Rozenstruik marked the first time he had seen a fight go beyond three rounds. In addition, the veteran Dutchman has also earned the win in just three of eight career contests that have gone the distance.
Elsewhere on Saturday’s UFC odds board, Cláudia Gadelha takes on Angela Hill as heavy -205 chalk in a battle of women’s strawweights. Gadelha has been idle since recording a three-round unanimous decision win over Randa Markos at UFC 239 to pay out on -200 odds, and has posted wins in just five of nine outings while finishing just one opponent during that stretch. Hill sports +165 odds after extending her current win streak to three fights with a unanimous decision victory over Loma Lookboonmee at UFC Fight Night 168.
As well, featherweight Edson Barboza tangles with Dan Ige as a -135 favourite, while Krzysztof Jotko takes on Eryk Anders as -165 chalk in a clash of middleweights.