The UFC heads to Singapore this weekend for Fight Night 162, with an intriguing card for fight fans. The hyped up Askren coming off a brutal KO to Masvidal faces the jiu jitsu artist Damian Maia as he tries to work his way toward another title fight.
As someone who loves the grappling realm of fighting as much, if not more than the stand up, I have been eagerly awaiting for weeks for this fight. There are two big questions that you have to ask before trying to pick this main event. The first one is, can Askren’s wrestling prowess keep himself safe from Maia’s jiu jitsu game and dominate on the ground? Both fighters try and get every fight to the ground but have contrasting styles when it gets there. The second question is, will the fight stay standing for any extended period of time as both are aware of each other’s expertise on the ground, and if it does stay standing, who wins the stand up? I don’t think Maia can take Askren down in this fight as Askren’s wrestling is levels above. While both these guys are very one-dimensional strikers,
I think Maia outpoints Askren on the feet comfortably. So taking into account the striking advantage for Maia it begs the question, can he also outwork and potentially submit Askren on the ground? Personally, I think that answer is yes. Askren has never fought someone more accomplished than Maia on the ground. Even the way Askren shoots can put him straight in Maia’s guard and that isn’t where he wants to be on the ground. Maia will be drilling the single leg takedown defence as Askren ultimately needs to be in side control or on Maia’s back. Considering that I see Askren landing either in Maia’s guard or he becomes susceptible to the guillotine into a potential anaconda choke if he does go for the single leg on up against the fence, Maia can win via decision or even submit Askren. The line massively disrespects Maia’s game here and at the price I will be on Maia as I think he should realistically be the favourite.
Markos is a level above Yoder and the striking disparity here is massive. Yoder will have to play her wrestle heavy style and Markos’ takedown defence will be enough to hold off Yoder and strike her way to a wide decision victory or a potential stoppage. Yoder’s only clear advantage is her top game and she won’t be getting there enough if at all to win this.
Three fights where I see there as a clear disparity so putting them all together for some value.
Muslim Salikhov vs. Laureano Staropoli
While I must admit Starapoli has plenty of power and therefore is dangerous, Salikhov is a seasoned kickboxer and just keeps him at range and picks him apart. He completely and utterly dismantled Nordine Taleb who is a more dangerous striker than Starapoli so I can’t see this going another way than a Salikhov victory and a comfortable one at that.
Rafael Fiziev vs. Alex White
Fiziev is the stronger striker in this matchup and White’s takedown heavy attack has failed him against decent opposition in the past and it will be the same here. Fiziev probably gets the knockout finish here but we will play safe and go Fiziev to win.
Enrique Barzola vs. Movsar Evloev
Evolev is better than Barzola in both stand up and his ground game. Evloev has more power and a better submission game than Barzola and gets the win regardless of where this fight goes simple as that.
Salikhov win - $1.54 at Sportsbet
Fiziev win - $1.43 at Sportsbet
Evloev win - 1.48 at Sportsbet
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