UFC

[23-13] +14.07
3* [4-2] +5.12

GRADED:

1/16/21
3*Dusko Todorovic -140 L Closing Line: -175
1*Max Holloway -180 W Closing Line: -160
1*Max Holloway -155 W

1/20/21
1*Mike Davis -180 W Closing Line: -165
1*Tom Breese -122 L Closing Line: -155
1*Tyson Nam -130 L Closing Line: -125
1*Michael Chiesa by Submission +250 L Closing Line: +250

1/23/21
3*Makhmud Muradov +103 W Closing Line: -220
2*Amir Albazi +120 W Closing Line: -120
1*Amir Albazi +105 W
2*Julianna Pena +110 W Closing Line: +100
1*Amanda Ribas -253 L Closing Line: -345
0.5*Amanda Ribas by Submission +275 L Closing Line: +165
1*Under 2.5 Michael Chandler/Dan Hooker -110 W Closing Line: -110
1*Under 2.5 McGregor/Poirier -116 W Closing Line: -190
Hit Chandler +350 KO for 0.25* but only posted it in BB thread. Wont count it

2/6/21
3*Diego Ferreira -110 L Closing Line: +100
2*Alexander Volkov -160 W Closing Line: -170
0.5*Alexander Volkov by KO/TKO/DQ +140 W Closing Line: +100
2*Under 1.5 Rds Devonte Smith/Justin Jaynes -155 L Closing Line: -190
1.25*Frankie Edgar +350 L Closing Line: +280
0.25*Frankie Edgar by decision +500 L Closing Line: +400
1*Alexandre Pantoja -125 W Closing Line: -110
1*Danilo Marques +205 W Closing Line: +195
1*Seung Woo Choi +205 W Closing Line: +200


2/13/21
1*Gabe Green +103 W Closing Line: -140
2*Gabe Green -110 W
1*Under 2.5 Rds Gabe Green/Phil Rowe -135 L Closing Line: -140
2*Chris Gutierrez -150 W Closing Line: -135
1*Chris Gutierrez -125 W
1*Maycee Barber +159 L Closing Line: -115
1*Kelvin Gastelum -219 W Closing Line: -200
1*Anthony Hernandez +300 W Closing Line: +370

2/19/21 LFA Bout
1*Nate Davis -145 L Closing Line: -155

2/20/21
1*John Castaneda +120 W Closing Line: -130
1*Julian Erosa +120 W Closing Line: +130
1*Yana Kunitskaya +250 W Closing Line: +235

PENDING:

2/27/21
1*Nikita Krylov +250
1*Nikita Krylov +260
1*Thiago Moises +165
1*Maxim Grishin +150

3/6/21
3*Amanda Lemos -104
2*Thiago Santos +232
2*Kyler Phillips +169
2*Over 3.5 Rds Petr Yan/Aljamain Sterling -105
1*Parlay (Jan Blachowicz +225 & Islam Makhachev -310) +330
1*Casey Kenney -108

3/13/21
3*Matheus Nicolau +170
3*Misha Cirkunov -125
2*Steve Garcia +210
1*Ricardo Ramos +185
1*Leon Edwards -260

3/20/21
2*Derek Brunson +145
2*Gustavo Lopez +185
1*Gregor Gillespie -155

3/27/21
2*Stipe Miocic +140

4/9/21 Bellator
2*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov -120
1*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +110

4/10/21
1*Kyle Daukaus +140
1*Hunter Azure +125

Quote Reply
 
[23-13] +14.07
3* [4-2] +5.12

PENDING:

2/27/21
1*Nikita Krylov +250
1*Nikita Krylov +260
1*Thiago Moises +165
1*Maxim Grishin +150

3/6/21
3*Amanda Lemos -104
2*Thiago Santos +232
2*Kyler Phillips +169
2*Over 3.5 Rds Petr Yan/Aljamain Sterling -105
1*Parlay (Jan Blachowicz +225 & Islam Makhachev -310) +330
1*Casey Kenney -108

3/13/21
3*Matheus Nicolau +170
3*Misha Cirkunov -125
2*Steve Garcia +210
1*Ricardo Ramos +185
1*Leon Edwards -260

3/20/21
2*Derek Brunson +145
2*Gustavo Lopez +185
1*Gregor Gillespie -155

3/27/21
2*Stipe Miocic +140

4/9/21 Bellator
2*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov -120
1*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +110

4/10/21
2*Darren Till +125
1*Kyle Daukaus +140
1*Hunter Azure +125
 
Ciryl Gane -265 (81" Reach) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (78" reach)
Current line: Gane -280

"Fights at heavyweight but moves like a middleweight". An oft used phrase for fighters that rarely lives up to the hype. In most cases it just means the guy fights at HW but isn't obese. Ciryl Gane is one of few who fits the billing. Undefeated as a professional Muay Thai fighter in France, Gane transitioned to MMA in 2018. His kicks are ferocious, punches are crisp, footwork is outstanding, cardio is of little concern (has not gone 5 rounds yet though), and distance control is outstanding. And unlike most traditionally trained striker to MMA transplants, Gane seems to have plus grappling ability. Ending two of his UFC fights via takedown and submission. The speed at which he was able to force the opponent to tap after sinking in the choke was very impressive. Through 4 UFC fights he has a 5.61 to 1.95 sig strikes landed vs absorbed ratio, which is phenomenal for the HW class. Rarely do you see fighters at this weight class defend so well because of the lack of speed and reliance on pure power. This has come against quality competition as well. Dismantling all competition put in front of him which includes former champ Junior Dos Santos and rising talent Tanner Boser. Gane has yet to be tested vs someone with strong grappling credentials but that should be of little concern vs Rozenstruik who is also an ex pro striker. Rozenstruik is a decorated kickboxer, having amassed 76 wins vs 8 losses in his pro kickboxing career. Despite the accolades, I am having a hard time seeing where Rozenstruik will be superior when the cage doors lock. Rozenstruik is not the technical striker Gane is, he prefers to operate as a counterstriker and land bombs as hos p[[pnent comes in range. Rozenstruik is 5-1 in the UFC with all 5 wins coming via TKO/KO. I don't think he holds the power advantage in this matchup and think it's more of a wash. In addition, Gane has the luxury of having the greatest power puncher in MMA history (Francis Ngannou) as his training partner. So he knows a thing or two about staying out of trouble.

Length and skill are going to be the ex-factors in this one. Gane holds a 3" advantage but fights even longer than that. Utilizing outstanding footwork to dart in and out of range, and smacking opponents with jabs, leg kicks, and gruesome body kicks. He also has the ability to not only counter but lead the dance as well. I think thats where Rozenstruik will struggle. With the power Gane bringsm he won't be able to zombie his way through the lack of reach to land big shots. And I get the feeling he is going to get caught waiting for the big counter shot most of the fight while getting lit up from the perimeter. We actually saw Rozenstruik fall victim to this style vs Overeem but was able to land a KO blow with 5 seconds left before losing by a sure unanimous decision. I also would not be surprised to see Gane mix in takedowns and test Rozenstruiks BJJ.

The one advantage Rozenstruik has here is that this fight is slated for 5 rounds and he has proven he can go 5 rounds without gassing. Gane has shown no inkling that will be an issue (gone 15 minutes twice without slowing at all) but you truly won't know until he proves it. My guess is with how hard these guys hit we probably won't see the final bell anyway. May be adding Gane inside the distance closer to fight time. I have 3* confidence in Gane but am unwilling to lay so much wood with the heavyweights. Ciryl Gane stops him in 3.
 
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Ciryl Gane -265 (81" Reach) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (78" reach)
Current line: Gane -280

"Fights at heavyweight but moves like a middleweight". An oft used phrase for fighters that rarely lives up to the hype. In most cases it just means the guy fights at HW but isn't obese. Ciryl Gane is one of few who fits the billing. Undefeated as a professional Muay Thai fighter in France, Gane transitioned to MMA in 2018. His kicks are ferocious, punches are crisp, footwork is outstanding, cardio is of little concern (has not gone 5 rounds yet though), and distance control is outstanding. And unlike most traditionally trained striker to MMA transplants, Gane seems to have plus grappling ability. Ending two of his UFC fights via takedown and submission. The speed at which he was able to force the opponent to tap was very impressive. Through 4 UFC fights he has a 5.61 to 1.95 sig strikes landed vs absorbed ratio, which is phenomenal for the HW class. Rarely do you see fighters at this weight class defend so well because of the lack of speed and reliance on pure power. This has come against quality competition as well. Dismantling all competition put in front of him which includes former champ Junior Dos Santos and rising talent Tanner Boser. Gane has yet to be tested vs someone with strong grappling credentials but that should be of little concern vs Rozenstruik who is also an ex pro striker. Rozenstruik is a decorated kickboxer, having amassed 76 wins vs 8 losses in his pro kickboxing career. Despite the accolades, I am having a hard time seeing where Rozenstruik will be superior when the cage doors lock. Rozenstruik is not the technical striker Gane is, he prefers to operate as a counterstriker and land bombs. Rozenstruik is 5-1 in the UFC with all 5 wins coming via TKO/KO. I don't think he holds the power advantage in this matchup and think its more of a wash. In addition, Gane has the luxury of having the greatest power puncher in MMA history (Francis Ngannou) as his training partner. So he knows a thing or two about staying out of trouble.

Length and skill are going to be the ex-factors in this one. Gane holds a 3" advantage but fights even longer than that. Utilizing outstanding footwork to dart in and out of range, and smacking opponents with jabs, leg kicks, and gruesome body kicks. He also has the ability to not only counter but lead the dance as well. I think thats where Rozenstruik will struggle. With the power Gane brings he won't be able to zombie his way through the lack of reach to land big shots and I get the feeling he is going to get caught waiting for the big counter shot most of the fight while getting lit up from the perimeter. We actually saw Rozenstruik fall victim to this style vs Overeem but was able to land a KO blow with 5 seconds left before losing by a sure unanimous decision.

The one advantage Rozenstruik has here is that this fight is slated for 5 rounds and he has proven he can go 5 rounds without gassing. Gane has shown no inkling that will be an issue (gone 15 minutes twice without slowing at all) but you truly won't know until he proves it. My guess is with how hard these guys hit we probably won't see the final bell. May be adding Gane inside the distance closer to fight time. I have 3* confidence in Gane but am unwilling to lay so much wood. Ciryl Gane stops him in 3.
Thanks again for the write ups. Keep coming with the winners.
 
Maxim Grishin +150 (78" Reach) vs Dustin Jacoby (76" reach)
Current line: Grishin +150

Dustin Jacoby is an ex pro kickboxer making his 2nd stint in the UFC. He recently made a return to MMA after focusing solely on his kickboxing career from 2015-2019. A very good athlete with a multitude of fluid strikes, he is a dangerous 1st round fighter. In his return to MMA he seems to have really made it a point to utilize the calf kick heavily. He disabled Justin Ledets lead leg in his last fight and finished him with strikes. Jacoby's cardio is a potential liability. He nearly loss his contender series fight last year to Ty Flores after dominating the 1st 2 rounds. Gassing in the 3rd and barely surviving until the final bell. Takedown defense has also been an issue for him in the past. It seemed much improved vs Flores but we really haven't seen his defense tested vs a legit grappler since 2015 (John Salter). Salter gave him no room to breathe all fight and strangled Jacoby in the 2nd,

All Maxim Grishin has done is win. Since 2012, Grishin has gone 19-2 fighting in Russian promotions. His first loss during that streak was against Magomed Ankalaev in 2016. Ankalaev is currently one of the most touted prospects in the 205 weight class. Grishin hung around til round 4 but looked outmatched all fight and it's hard to blame him. Ankalaev is a monster. His most recent loss was his UFC debut in 2020,where he took a fight at heavyweight vs Marcin Tybura. Grishin is a natural 205'er and was outweighed 223lbs to 252lbs on fight day. Tybura is no joke either, currently on a 4 fight win streak in the heavyweight division. Grishin held his own the entire fight but was just too small to mount any substantial offense. Tybura leaned on and controlled him all fight against the fence. Landing a few takedowns and a series of ground and pound before the final bell. I was impressed with Grishin's defense in the striking and grappling during that fight. And generally speaking that's what you get from Grishin. He's a conservative MMA vet that doesn't seem to put himself in compromising situations. There is nothing flashy about his game. He is just very fundamentally sound and not much of a risk taker. At times you wish he would get more aggressive simply for volume's sake but it's hard to argue with his approach given all of his success. That is how I see this fight going. Grishin is going to weather Jacoby's 1st round barrage of strikes and just start to wear on him as the fight progresses. Popping in timely strikes then mixing in the grappling exchanges to widdle away at Jacoby's gas tank. Slowly but steadily winning by unanimous decision.
 
[23-13] +14.07
3* [4-2] +5.12

PENDING:

2/27/21
1*Ciryl Gane -265
0.5* Ciryl Gane Wins Inside The Distance -105

1*Nikita Krylov +250
1*Nikita Krylov +260
1*Thiago Moises +165
1*Maxim Grishin +150


3/6/21
3*Amanda Lemos -104
2*Thiago Santos +232
2*Kyler Phillips +169
2*Over 3.5 Rds Petr Yan/Aljamain Sterling -105
1*Parlay (Jan Blachowicz +225 & Islam Makhachev -310) +330
1*Casey Kenney -108

3/13/21
3*Matheus Nicolau +170
3*Misha Cirkunov -125
2*Steve Garcia +210
1*Ricardo Ramos +185
1*Leon Edwards -260

3/20/21
2*Derek Brunson +145
2*Gustavo Lopez +185
1*Gregor Gillespie -155

3/27/21
2*Stipe Miocic +140

4/9/21 Bellator
2*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov -120
1*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +110

4/10/21
2*Darren Till +125
1*Kyle Daukaus +140
1*Hunter Azure +125
 
[23-13] +14.07
3* [4-2] +5.12

PENDING:

2/27/21
1*Ciryl Gane -265
0.5* Ciryl Gane Wins Inside The Distance -105
1*Nikita Krylov +250
1*Nikita Krylov +260
1*Thiago Moises +165
1*Maxim Grishin +150

3/6/21
3*Amanda Lemos -104
2*Thiago Santos +232
2*Kyler Phillips +169
2*Over 3.5 Rds Petr Yan/Aljamain Sterling -105
2*Over 1.5 Rds Amanda Nunes/Megan Anderson -115
1*Parlay (Jan Blachowicz +225 & Islam Makhachev -310) +330
1*Casey Kenney -108
1*Mario Bautista -205

3/13/21
3*Matheus Nicolau +170
3*Misha Cirkunov -125
2*Steve Garcia +210
1*Ricardo Ramos +185
1*Leon Edwards -260

3/20/21
2*Derek Brunson +145
2*Gustavo Lopez +185
1*Gregor Gillespie -155

3/27/21
2*Stipe Miocic +140
1*Gillian Robertson +150

4/9/21 Bellator
2*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov -120
1*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +110

4/10/21
2*Darren Till +125
1*Kyle Daukaus +140
1*Hunter Azure +125
 
Thiago Moises +165 (70.5" Reach) vs Alexander Hernandez (72" reach)
Current line: Moises +175

Alexander Hernandez seems to have all the tools but can't take the next step in his progression as an MMA fighter. He is very athletic, with solid striking, and grappling. But when faced against better competition it seems like he doesn't know how to adapt. He takes a high energy, high pace, pressure game to you the moment the bell rings. But that seems to be the only mode he knows. If you can counter his pressure attacks he doesn't seem to have a Plan B. Or if you just happen to survive his first round of pressure, his cardio becomes an issue. He has switched camps recently so maybe things have changed, but we haven't really seen him tested since then. I'll believe it when I see it. Thiago Moises is a guy who I think matches up well to this style. He can end the fight with heavy shots in the pocket, world class jiu jitsu to negate the wrestling and he has a granite chin. Moises' durability is impressive. The guy just doesn't get finished and will just hang around. Unlike alot of the other guys I have labeled "pests", he has real fight ending ability on the mat and the feet. I think Thiago's ability to take a punch and slow the fight down on the mat if he gets taken down will force Hernandez into deeper waters. Sap the cardio a little, defense wanes. Moises by 2nd round submission.
 
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Tell us about the Dominic Cruz, Kenney fight. Thanks in advance!
Casey Kenney -108 (70" Reach) vs Dominick Cruz (68" reach)
Current line: Kenney -125

It pains me to bet against Dominick Cruz. Was such a huge fan of his fighting style and ability to maximize his potential. Always takes an intelligent approach to his bouts and stays fundamentally sound. But as an aging fighter, Cruz's fundamentals don't necessarily translate to a fundamental "old man game" for basketball. Cruz's fundamental abilities rely heavily on speed and quickness. The attribute every man loses as the years pass. And I understand Cruz is only 35, but it's a rough 35. The guy has had more serious surgeries than just about any athlete in any sport that I can think of. Cruz overcame his lack of power by not getting hit with his ridiculous 73% strike defense. But in his last fight vs Henry Cejudo in 2020, after a 4 year injury riddled layoff, his strike defense was 37%. Is Cejudo a monster? For sure but it's not like his striking is that of someone like Adesanya. Cruz looked slower and more hittable. Also Cruz has been fighting championship caliber competition for over a decade and we have never seen him get hit that regularly during a fight. Cejudo also exposed his inability to defend the calf kick. That does not bode well for him at all moving forward if that becomes the norm.

Kenney is a guy I am really high on and I think he is ready for this challenge. Former two weight LFA champion, Kenney is good everywhere. His background is wrestling and his striking seems to improve every match. And after being the considerably weaker man in back to back fights vs Merab and Bermudez, he has transformed his body and added some legitimate power to his game. My concern with Kenney is he takes more damage than he should but wears the shots well. With Dom's lack of finishing ability I am not as concerned as I normally would be. Kenney's cardio is good but not Dominick Cruz good. Fortunately for Kenney this is only a 3 round bout. Cruz's game takes a significant downgrade without championship rounds to gas his opponent (The last time Cruz had a fight lined for 3 rounds was in 2009). I think Kenney is going to land the more significant shots, use his wrestling to keep the fight standing, and win by decision.
 
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Pedro Munhoz +133 (64.5" Reach) vs Jimmie Rivera (68.5" reach)
Current line: Munhoz +125

Rematch of narrow split decision in 2015. Rivera stung Munhoz in the 1st but Munhoz nearly finished Rivera twice in the 2nd. Both guys are very good fighters with very different styles. Munhoz has a godlike chin and pressures opponents with big bombs. Since 2015, Munhoz has improved his striking significantly. While he still plods forward, he is more technical and mixes in kicks with more regularity. Jimmie has been very polished for a while now. Not a whole lot of flaws in his game, his problem is lack of power and he is a bit chinny. While he finds a way to recover, I've seen him rocked on the feet numerous times. I expect Munhoz to start quicker in the rematch and test the chin of Jimmie early and often. Banging calf kicks and eating Jimmies counters in hopes to slow Jimmies movement. Ultimately, this fight to me is a pk'em and expect a close affair like the last time they fought. Munhoz by 2nd rd TKO.
 
[23-13] +14.07
3* [4-2] +5.12

PENDING:

2/27/21
1*Ciryl Gane -265
0.5* Ciryl Gane Wins Inside The Distance -105
1*Nikita Krylov +250
1*Nikita Krylov +260
1*Thiago Moises +165
1*Maxim Grishin +150
1*Pedro Munhoz +133

3/6/21
3*Amanda Lemos -104
2*Thiago Santos +232
2*Kyler Phillips +169
2*Over 3.5 Rds Petr Yan/Aljamain Sterling -105
2*Over 1.5 Rds Amanda Nunes/Megan Anderson -115
1*Parlay (Jan Blachowicz +225 & Islam Makhachev -310) +330
1*Casey Kenney -108
1*Mario Bautista -205

3/13/21
3*Matheus Nicolau +170
3*Misha Cirkunov -125
1*Ricardo Ramos +185
1*Leon Edwards -260

3/20/21
2*Derek Brunson +145
2*Gustavo Lopez +185
1*Gregor Gillespie -155

3/27/21
2*Stipe Miocic +140
1*Gillian Robertson +150

4/9/21 Bellator
2*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov -120
1*Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +110

4/10/21
2*Darren Till +125
1*Kyle Daukaus +140
1*Hunter Azure +125
 
[23-13] +14.07
3* [4-2] +5.12

2/27/21
1*Ciryl Gane -265
0.5* Ciryl Gane Wins Inside The Distance -105
1*Nikita Krylov +250
1*Nikita Krylov +260
1*Thiago Moises +165
1*Maxim Grishin +150
1*Pedro Munhoz +133

Leans:
Kevin Croom +165
Sabina Mazo -190

Notes:
-Grishin missed weight by 5 pounds. Not too thrilled about that. I like that he is very battle tested and assume he has dealt with bad cuts plenty times before.
-In pre fight interviews Rozenstruik noted his plan is always to knock his opponent out. When asked about his strategy Gane said he would always prefer a finish but noted, "I like to manage fights, I like to hit and not get hit". Exactly what I wanted to hear out of both fighters.
-Surprised to see alot of money coming in on Alexander Hernandez. Line has moved 30-40 cents. Moises now +195 in some shops

Ciryl Gane -265 (81" Reach) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (78" reach)
Current line: Gane -250

"Fights at heavyweight but moves like a middleweight". An oft used phrase for fighters that rarely lives up to the hype. In most cases it just means the guy fights at HW but isn't obese. Ciryl Gane is one of few who fits the billing. Undefeated as a professional Muay Thai fighter in France, Gane transitioned to MMA in 2018. His kicks are ferocious, punches are crisp, footwork is outstanding, cardio is of little concern (has not gone 5 rounds yet though), and distance control is outstanding. And unlike most traditionally trained striker to MMA transplants, Gane seems to have plus grappling ability. Ending two of his UFC fights via takedown and submission. The speed at which he was able to force the opponent to tap after sinking in the choke was very impressive. Through 4 UFC fights he has a 5.61 to 1.95 sig strikes landed vs absorbed ratio, which is phenomenal for the HW class. Rarely do you see fighters at this weight class defend so well because of the lack of speed and reliance on pure power. This has come against quality competition as well. Dismantling all competition put in front of him which includes former champ Junior Dos Santos and rising talent Tanner Boser. Gane has yet to be tested vs someone with strong grappling credentials but that should be of little concern vs Rozenstruik who is also an ex pro striker. Rozenstruik is a decorated kickboxer, having amassed 76 wins vs 8 losses in his pro kickboxing career. Despite the accolades, I am having a hard time seeing where Rozenstruik will be superior when the cage doors lock. Rozenstruik is not the technical striker Gane is, he prefers to operate as a counterstriker and land bombs as his opponent comes in range. Rozenstruik is 5-1 in the UFC with all 5 wins coming via TKO/KO. I don't think he holds the power advantage in this matchup and think it's more of a wash. In addition, Gane has the luxury of having the greatest power puncher in MMA history (Francis Ngannou) as his training partner. So he knows a thing or two about staying out of trouble.

Length and skill are going to be the ex-factors in this one. Gane holds a 3" advantage but fights even longer than that. Utilizing outstanding footwork to dart in and out of range, and smacking opponents with jabs, leg kicks, and gruesome body kicks. He also has the ability to not only counter but lead the dance as well. I think thats where Rozenstruik will struggle. With the power Gane bringsm he won't be able to zombie his way through the lack of reach to land big shots. And I get the feeling he is going to get caught waiting for the big counter shot most of the fight while getting lit up from the perimeter. We actually saw Rozenstruik fall victim to this style vs Overeem but was able to land a KO blow with 5 seconds left before losing by a sure unanimous decision. I also would not be surprised to see Gane mix in takedowns and test Rozenstruiks BJJ.

The one advantage Rozenstruik has here is that this fight is slated for 5 rounds and he has proven he can go 5 rounds without gassing. Gane has shown no inkling that will be an issue (gone 15 minutes twice without slowing at all) but you truly won't know until he proves it. My guess is with how hard these guys hit we probably won't see the final bell anyway. May be adding Gane inside the distance closer to fight time. I have 3* confidence in Gane but am unwilling to lay so much wood with the heavyweights. Ciryl Gane stops him in 3.
 
Nikita Krylov +250 (77.5" Reach) vs Magomed Ankalaev (75" reach)
Current line: Krylov +260

Magomed Ankalaev is a killer and another Dagestan native who is quickly rising up the ranks. He should be 14-0 if he did not get caught in a triangle with 10 seconds to go vs Paul Craig. A fight he was absolutely dominating for 14:50. We really have not seen him in trouble throughout his UFC career. That could be due to the competition as he has not ever really been tested. He has yet to fight anyone that even has top 10 potential. To give you an idea, in my opinion, the most well rounded, technical fighter he has fought in the UFC is Klidson Abreu. And I'd imagine most fans would struggle to recall who Klidson is when asked. Nonetheless, the competition put in front of him is out of his control and he has dominated everyone willing to sign the dotted line. A true counterstriker, he will feel you out with jabs and feints but is really trying to get his foe to commit to distance with a strike and retaliate with a bomb. He slips in and out of range beautifully, reading and reacting every second of the fight. Much like McGregor, he is so confident in his range control he often evades strikes by inches in order to stay in range for his counter attack. That maybe one of his flaws as well because I have seen him get clipped when he miscalculates where he is safe and where he is not. He has forced all of his opponents to fight his slow sniping pace because his defense and power are so good. He has gained the respect of his opponents very quickly in all of his fights. He has won his last 5, finishing 4 and KO'ing his last 3. Hand speed is second to none and the accuracy of his strikes are impressive. Most of his damage is done with his hands but his kicks whip opponents with incredible speed and accuracy as well. And while he prefers to stand, he has shown outstanding top control with vicious ground and pound when the fight hits the mat. I often wonder why he doesn't use these other weapons with more regularity. I assume it's to conserve energy. So far his cardio and durability have yet to be questioned in any of his fights. His upcoming bout against Nikita Krylov will be an interesting test. This is a massive step up in competition for Ankalaev. I think for both fighters this will be by far the best striker they have faced in the UFC.

While it seems like Ankalaev is the up and comer because Krylov is a longtime UFC vet with 34 pro fights to his name, they are both 28 years of age. We have watched Krylov grow up and improve dramatically over his UFC career. Krylov made his UFC debut as a chubby, undersized, 20 year old in the heavyweight division. He went 1-1 at heavyweight, knocking out a very good Walt Harris and losing to Soa Paleilei before dropping to his true weight of 205. Krylov being a blackbelt in Kyokushin Karate prefers to stand. Using his length and quick feet to pressure his opponents with sweeping front kicks and powerful punches. Early in his career he would blitz his opponents often finishing them in the 1st or early 2nd round. As he has matured, his aggressive approach seems much more measured. After gassing himself out a few times, I think he has learned the importance of conserving energy because as the competition has stiffened getting his opponent out quickly isn't always an option. Most every fighter he has fought has tried to take the fight to the mat to neutralize his standup. Since 2014 (Age 21), Krylov has gone 11-3 in the UFC. All 3 of those losses have come to elite grapplers in Misha Cirkunov, Glover Teixeira, and current UFC champ Jan Blachowicz. Krylov's ground game has grown immensely since entering the UFC. Takedown defense is much improved and his ability to be offensive on the mat and escape/reverse position have improved as well. When backing Krylov, Id still prefer him to keep the fight standing but I don't think grappling is a weakness for him anymore. My main concern with the grappling is it seems to fatigue him much more rapidly than standing exchanges. Cardio is probably the one area I think Ankalaev has a true advantage over Krylov. Ankalaev has been able to maintain his slow and steady pace and has stayed fresh for all 15 minutes. Krylov has slowed with high paced grappling. But if Krylov is able to dictate pace, maybe we see Ankalaev's cardio get tested? Ankalaev might be the first opponent Krylov has fought that is not be interested in taking the fight to the ground, so it will be interesting to see how fresh Nikita is if this fight goes to the 3rd. Lastly, Krylov's chin is outstanding. He really has never been finished on the feet in his entire career. He has one TKO to his record 8 years ago vs 265lb Soa Paleilei, but really Krylov just gassed himself, rolled over, and gave up. He was not severely rocked by a strike.

Krylov's kicks, length, and power are going to give Ankalaev a little more to think about than any of his recent opponents. I think it's possible we see both fighters try to take this fight to the mat at some point during the fight. I believe Ankalaev should be the favorite as he seems to be the more polished of the two. But Krylov is a very dangerous and high level striker in his own right. All in all, the line just seems too wide to me. I think Krylov has been written off after losing 2 of his last 4 bouts. (Losing to Glover by a razor thin decision and being submitted by the champ Blachowicz). To make matters worse his win over Johnny Walker came 1 fight too late because the Walker hype train was de-railed 1 fight prior and when he loss vs Jan in 2018 we didn't really know how good Blachowicz was. Parlay that with Ankalaev looking invincible and surging on a win streak, you get alot of recency bias. I am not really sure how Krylov wins because I could see him starting slow and feeling out the dangerous Ankalaev or trying to catch him off guard with his normal pressure game. Win or lose I think in either scenario whoever is laying -320+ is going to sweat. If I had to guess, I think the more experienced and battle tested Nikita Krylov takes it by 1st round TKO.
 
Thiago Moises +165 (70.5" Reach) vs Alexander Hernandez (72" reach)
Current line: Moises +195

Alexander Hernandez seems to have all the tools but can't take the next step in his progression as an MMA fighter. He is very athletic, with solid striking, and grappling. But when faced against better competition it seems like he doesn't know how to adapt. He takes a high energy, high pace, pressure game to you the moment the bell rings. But that seems to be the only mode he knows. If you can counter his pressure attacks he doesn't seem to have a Plan B. Or if you just happen to survive his first round of pressure, his cardio becomes an issue. He has switched camps recently so maybe things have changed, but we haven't really seen him tested since then. I'll believe it when I see it. Thiago Moises is a guy who I think matches up well to this style. He can end the fight with heavy shots in the pocket, world class jiu jitsu to negate the wrestling and he has a granite chin. Moises' durability is impressive. The guy just doesn't get finished and will just hang around. Unlike alot of the other guys I have labeled "pests", he has real fight ending ability on the mat and the feet. I think Thiago's ability to take a punch and slow the fight down on the mat if he gets taken down will force Hernandez into deeper waters. Sap the cardio a little, defense wanes. Moises by 2nd round submission.

Maxim Grishin +150 (78" Reach) vs Dustin Jacoby (76" reach)
Current line: Grishin +150

Dustin Jacoby is an ex pro kickboxer making his 2nd stint in the UFC. He recently made a return to MMA after focusing solely on his kickboxing career from 2015-2019. A very good athlete with a multitude of fluid strikes, he is a dangerous 1st round fighter. In his return to MMA he seems to have really made it a point to utilize the calf kick heavily. He disabled Justin Ledets lead leg in his last fight and finished him with strikes. Jacoby's cardio is a potential liability. He nearly loss his contender series fight last year to Ty Flores after dominating the 1st 2 rounds. Gassing in the 3rd and barely surviving until the final bell. Takedown defense has also been an issue for him in the past. It seemed much improved vs Flores but we really haven't seen his defense tested vs a legit grappler since 2015 (John Salter). Salter gave him no room to breathe all fight and strangled Jacoby in the 2nd,

All Maxim Grishin has done is win. Since 2012, Grishin has gone 19-2 fighting in Russian promotions. His first loss during that streak was against Magomed Ankalaev in 2016. Ankalaev is currently one of the most touted prospects in the 205 weight class. Grishin hung around til round 4 but looked outmatched all fight and it's hard to blame him. Ankalaev is a monster. His most recent loss was his UFC debut in 2020,where he took a fight at heavyweight vs Marcin Tybura. Grishin is a natural 205'er and was outweighed 223lbs to 252lbs on fight day. Tybura is no joke either, currently on a 4 fight win streak in the heavyweight division. Grishin held his own the entire fight but was just too small to mount any substantial offense. Tybura leaned on and controlled him all fight against the fence. Landing a few takedowns and a series of ground and pound before the final bell. I was impressed with Grishin's defense in the striking and grappling during that fight. And generally speaking that's what you get from Grishin. He's a conservative MMA vet that doesn't seem to put himself in compromising situations. There is nothing flashy about his game. He is just very fundamentally sound and not much of a risk taker. At times you wish he would get more aggressive simply for volume's sake but it's hard to argue with his approach given all of his success. That is how I see this fight going. Grishin is going to weather Jacoby's 1st round barrage of strikes and just start to wear on him as the fight progresses. Popping in timely strikes then mixing in the grappling exchanges to widdle away at Jacoby's gas tank. Slowly but steadily winning by unanimous decision.

Pedro Munhoz +133 (64.5" Reach) vs Jimmie Rivera (68.5" reach)
Current line: Munhoz +125

Rematch of narrow split decision in 2015. Rivera stung Munhoz in the 1st but Munhoz nearly finished Rivera twice in the 2nd. Both guys are very good fighters with very different styles. Munhoz has a godlike chin and pressures opponents with big bombs. Since 2015, Munhoz has improved his striking significantly. While he still plods forward, he is more technical and mixes in kicks with more regularity. Jimmie has been very polished for a while now. Not a whole lot of flaws in his game, his problem is lack of power and he is a bit chinny. While he finds a way to recover, I've seen him rocked on the feet numerous times. I expect Munhoz to start quicker in the rematch and test the chin of Jimmie early and often. Banging calf kicks and eating Jimmies counters in hopes to slow Jimmies movement. Ultimately, this fight to me is a pk'em and expect a close affair like the last time they fought. Munhoz by 2nd rd TKO.
 
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