Plays

4*Roman Kopylov -130 (posted earlier)
0.5*Roman Kopylov -105
3*Ramazan Emeev -130 (posted earlier)
3*Calvin Kattar +255
2*Klidson Abreu +160
1*Greg Hardy +235
1*Roosevelt Roberts -145

Zabit/Kattar
Zabit is the UFC's new hype train. Given consistent praise by the likes of Joe Rogan and UFC brass, Zabit has become the next best thing by many fight fans. He is praised most for his variety of strikes with the hands and feet, all done with fluidity, little wasted motion, and great footwork. His real strength in my opinion is his ability to get opponents to the mat, averaging a ridiculous 6.23 takedowns per match. Where he's managed to get his only 3 finishes via submission. However, against better competition (albeit average UFC comp) he has struggled to control his opponent on the mat and often times they are able to get back to their feet relatively quickly. And despite outstriking his foes in every match, none have ended in KO/TKO. With opponents often times walking through and absorbing his strikes.
When looking at his competition you have to wonder about his SOS. Win #1 Mike Santiago (0-3 UFC), Win #2 Sheymon Moraes (2-3 UFC), Win #3 Kyle Bochniak (2-5 UFC), Win #4 Brandon Davis (2-5 UFC), Win #5 Jeremy Stephens (15-16 UFC). All in all totalling 21-33 combined opponent record within the UFC.
In both fights that went the distance (Bochniak, Stephens) Zabit's footwork and striking defense were not nearly the same in the final round. In both fights his output was limited in the 3rd, absorbed more strikes than any other round and was caught retreating and checking the clock. Especially in the Stephens fight I was left wondering how the fight would end in a 5 rd match. There is no doubt Zabit is a technician, but for a guy holding a premium price he lacks plus power, w/average cardio, and poor SOS.

Enter Calvin Kattar. Almost primarily a boxer, he controls distance well, excellent counter striker, with accuracy and power to boot. He offers almost no kicking in his arsenal but his hands are incredibly effective. Left jab does not appear to be incredibly fast but he hides it well and stings foes at a high clip. Almost like guys swinging through a John Lackey fastball down the pipe. I often wonder how it works but it works. Kattar's cross on the other hand is very swift and carries serious power. Stopping 3/4 of wins via KO/TKO, hurting Fili bad in his decision win, and nearly dropping Moicano in the 1st during his only loss. Because Kattar being primarily a boxer, he employs a a heavy front foot stance similar to that of Nate Diaz. This leaves an opening for leg kicks and was exploited in the Moicano loss. Up until Moicano noticed the advantage there, Kattar was controlling the fight. Kattar and his camp have since made adjustments. Kattar employing checks, sliding out of the way, and countering off leg kicks in his last 2 bouts.
Kattars SOS... Win #1 Andre Fili (8-5 UFC), Win #2 Shane Burgos (6-1 UFC), Loss #3 Renato Moicano (5-3 UFC), Win #4 Chris Fishgold (1-2 UFC), Win #5 Ricardo Lamas (14-8 UFC)
34-18 combined opponent record vs 21-33 for Zabit. Not to mention Chris Fishgold was 18-1 outside of the UFC.
Kattar has only been taken down once in his UFC career where he was on the mat for a mere 8 seconds. Granted his grappling hasn't been tested by high level grapplers aside from Chris Fishgold.
I expect Kattar to have the advantage on the feet given he has faced and showed well against strikers superior to that of Zabit (Burgos,Renato). Where Zabit can potentially exploit Kattar is on the mat, assuming he can control him there or if he can batter his lead leg. I do feel Zabits takedown % is very inflated given his poor SOS. I personally would gladly invite those deficiencies/questions in Kattars game given far superior striking power, solid cardio for Kattar vs questionable cardio for Zabit, and a +255 price tag.
Do I think Zabit should be favored? Yes but not by much. I feel this line is heavily inflated and Kattar is very much a live dog. My biggest concern is this fight being close and going the distance. If it does, I don't expect Russian judges to give it to an American.
 
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