The UFC returns this weekend to Russia at CSKA Arena, headlined by the talented Zabit Magomedsharipov against the dangerous and gutsy Calvin Kattar in a Fight Night 163 card that may not be star-studded but has enough fights that should provide its fair share of entertainment.
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar
This fight wasn’t supposed to be the main event but after Junior dos Santos was forced to pull out of his bout, it has been promoted to the headline the card. Zabit hasn’t really looked in any sort of trouble on route to his 5-0 record since joining the UFC. Kattar on the other hand comes into this fight on the back of two first round knockouts but this is a big step up in class for him. Zabit is favourite and rightly so but I don’t want to rule out the chance Kattar stops him as he is very capable and dangerous for anyone so will leave this fight alone from a betting sense as the market looks accurate and just enjoy what should be an entertaining fight.
TIP: No Bet
Zelim Imadaev vs. Danny Roberts
Danny Roberts has lost both fights in 2019 to Michel Pereira and Claudio Silva by stoppage and the previously hot prospect has dropped right off and will continue to slide here against Imadaev who hits like a truck. I really do have a lot of questions on whether Imadaev can make it in the UFC but what he has is enough power in his hands to get past Roberts who lacks any form of striking defence and will likely not be fully recovered from his last knockout which was less than six months ago.
Alexander Yakovlev vs. Roosevelt Roberts
This one I originally didn’t like due to the complete disparity of Yakolev’s performances from one fight to the next. When he is on his game, he can grind out most people in this division en route to a victory but in others look like an absolute shell of himself getting dominated by very average opposition. Roberts steps in for Pichel on three weeks’ notice and I think he can start strong here, even possibly sinking in his mean guillotine choke. Otherwise he dominates the first round and takes at least another to earn himself either that aforementioned submission win or gets the victory on the judges’ scorecards
Grigorii Popov vs. Davey Grant
I am going to preface this tip by saying it’s a risky play. I like to look for value in these cards and Davey Grant here is a risk that could backfire big time but definite value. Davey Grant has had a horror run of injuries meaning he has only fought three times since 2013 and of those he has lost his last two. So why do I like Davey Grant here? Simply Popov is laughably bad at wrestling and has been controlled on the ground by fighters who have below par wrestling. Grant has only ever been finished via submission and Popov just doesn’t have that capability in his game. Grant also has a purple belt in jiu jitsu which means he has enough ability on the ground to actually submit Popov here. Two plays in this and hoping it doesn’t backfire on me and Grant has come back in reasonable shape.
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