UFC 234 is set to take place less than two weeks from now at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. With the card quickly coming up, there have unfortunately been some injuries and a couple of fights have been affected. Here’s an update on the latest fights for UFC 234 in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Sam Alvey vs. Jimmy Crute, UFC 234
Due to an injury to Ryan Spann, Sam Alvey has stepped up on short notice and will take on rising prospect Jimmy Crute in a light heavyweight battle. News of the new matchup was first revealed by news.com.au.
Alvey (33-11, 1 NC) is 10-6 overall in the UFC while splitting his time between middleweight and light heavyweight. Since moving up to 205lbs, Alvey has gone 2-1 with wins over Gian Villante and Marcin Prachnio and a surprising TKO loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his last fight. Alvey has settled into the role of gatekeeper, and despite the loss to Nogueira he remains a stern test for any up-and-coming in the light heavyweight division, making Crute the ideal opponent. Note that Alvey was originally set to fight Gadzhimurad Antigulov at UFC Fight Night 145 before being pulled for this matchup.
Crute (9-0) looked great in his UFC debut as he submitted Paul Craig. He’s only 22-years old and has tons of confidence as an undefeated prospect. He’s the Aussie native and has all the pressure on him, but he hasn’t shown any signs of not being able to live up to the hype. From all accounts, Crute looks like he has some of the qualities of a future light heavyweight title contender.
As for the odds, Crute was a +110 underdog against Ryan Spann, but I would have bet him at those odds as I saw value there. Against Alvey, I don’t see any reason why Crute wouldn’t be a big favorite. I’d peg him around -300 in this fight, and I see him beating Alvey and continuing his march towards the top-15 rankings.
Callan Potter vs. Jalin Turner, UFC 234
Due to an injury to Alex Gorgees, Callan Potter will make his UFC debut on short notice when he takes on Jalin Turner at UFC 234. Nolan King broke the news.
Potter (16-7) is a local Aussie fighter and was riding an eight-fight win streak before being submitted by Marcin Held in ACB in his last fight. He actually has quite a bit of experience, having fought Jake Matthews earlier in his career. However, he has no notable wins. Note that all of Potter’s fights have ended inside the distance — win or lose.
Turner (7-4) was knocked out by Vicente Luque in his UFC debut. That was always going to be a difficult matchup for Turner, and I’m still not sure why the UFC set him up as a sacrificial lamb there. All seven of Turner’s career wins have come by stoppage, though he’s been knocked out three times himself which is of course concerning.
Turner is the bigger name and had a full camp so I do expect him to be favored, but I think Potter has a pretty good chance here. However, this could be a fight where the props might be the best bet, and the prop I will be looking for is the fight ending inside the distance, as I fully expect someone to get knocked out.