UFC Best Bets: Strickland vs. Magomedov Odds, Prediction & More UFC Picks

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UFC Best Bets: Strickland vs. Magomedov Odds, Prediction & More UFC Picks
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A stacked card at the UFC Apex sees Sean Strickland fight for the fourth time in the past year with stars like Kevin Lee also making a return to the world-leading MMA organization.

Here’s our UFC picks for the weekend.


Sean Strickland (-164) vs. Abus Magomedov (+128) 

Strickland will aim to take one giant leap towards the Top 5 when he meets unranked Abus Magomedov. This is quite a leap for Magomdev, as it’s unusual to headline a card on your second UFC fight. He does, however, possess the qualities to cause trouble for Strickland. 

Magomedov has won 25 of 29 fights, winning 14 of those via KO/TKO and six through submission. Combine this with his background in wrestling and it no doubt puts together an arsenal that can win rounds and even knock Strickland out.

Strickland returned to the win column by beating Nassourdine Imavov in a comfortable unanimous decision win back in January, but he only narrowly beat Jack Hermansson before that and has also lost to Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier in the past year.

As per the usual, the American will get in the face of his opponent, but that likely plays into the hands of the more powerful, more technically-skilled and better wrestler, Magomedov.

Damir Ismagulov (-120) vs. Grant Dawson (-106) 

Two fighters on the rise in the lightweight rankings are set to clash here as Grant Dawson aims for his 20th win in 22 fights against Damir Ismagulov's 24-2 record.

This is a tough fight to call. Ismagulov was previously on a 19-fight win streak until he lost to Arman Tsarukyan last December to put him at a 5-1 record in the UFC. As well as this, the Russian is fighting in his final MMA bout, as he plans to retire at the end of his UFC contract due to health problems.

Dawson is so far unbeaten in his UFC career and won 10 of his last 11 fights while also drawing with Ricky Glenn. In his career, the American has managed to register 13 submissions in 19 wins and is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the lightweight rankings.

Against the wrestling skill of Ismagulov, Dawson will have to be much wiser with his striking. We give Dawson the edge in this one, but with not much separating the two. Since it is Ismagulov’s last-ever fight, we think it goes the distance.

Max Griffin (+215) vs Michael Morales (-290) 

The unbeaten Michael Morales is justifiably the big favorite to defeat Max Griffin further down the card.

Morales has won his two UFC fights so far after knocking out Trevin Giles and Adam Fugitt, and this now means he has won 11 of his 14 fights via KO/TKO. After winning his third professional fight on points, the Ecuadorian has finished his opponent in his last five 11 fights.

As for Griffin, he enters his 15th UFC fight, hoping to win for just the eighth time in the organization. Now up against a knockout artist like Morales, Griffin is no doubt going to struggle, having lost nine times in 28 fights already. 

What's more, Griffin has found himself losing the battles on the feat to fighters like Neil Magny and Alex Oliveira in the past few years, and he also struggled to find a rhythm against Tim Means back in October.

Morales likely steamrolls through Griffin in this one and the 23-year-old rising star should get a memorable knockout against the 37-year-old.

Ariane Lipski (+180) vs Melissa Gatto (-235) 

Melissa Gatto heads into this fight against Ariane Lipski having lost for the first time in her career when she was easily beaten by Tracy Cortez last year.

Prior to this, however, the 27-year-old was on an 11-fight win streak that saw her register four submission wins, two victories on points and two more finishes via KO/TKO. 

As a member of the famous Chute Boxe team, Gatto has one of the best backgrounds in striking you can get. The ruthless nature of that gym always brings out the most chaotic strikers, which has been seen in her wins over Sijara Eubanks and Victoria Leonardo in the past two years.

In addition to this, Lipski has lost four of her eight fights via KO/TKO, and there's no doubting Gatto's coaching staff is fully aware of her weak chin and inferiority in the striking department.

Lipski was, however, the muay thai champion of Brazil before her transition into MMA, but she has struggled to combine this with other martial arts in the octagon, and Gatto should get the job done quite easily here.

Ismael Bonfim (-330) vs. Benoît Saint-Denis (+240)

What a fight this is to keep us going on this card, as two 27-year-old potential future contenders clash.

We don’t see this fight going the distance. There is simply too much on the line for both fighters, and Ismael Bonfim comes into this bout having finished 13 of his 19 wins before the final bell.

Benoît Saint-Denis has also won all 10 of his fights inside the distance, with eight of those coming via submission and the other two through knockouts.

Brunno Ferreira (-230) vs. Nursultan Ruziboev (+176)

Brunno Ferreira has won all 10 of his fights before the final bell, securing seven KO/TKO wins and three victories via submission. The Brazilian is the clear favorite to beat Nursultan Ruziboev, with the latter winning 20 of his 34 fights via submission.

We expect Ferreira to take the fight straight to the submission specialist, and the power of him will be too much for Ruziboev to handle in what is his UFC debut.

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