|Preview and Predictions for UFC on ESPN+21: Zabit vs. Kattar by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner |
The UFC travels ‘back to the USSR’ this Saturday for UFC on ESPN+ 21: Zabit vs. Kattar LIVE from the CSKA Arena in Moscow, Russia 🇷🇺. Like most international fight cards, the UFC Moscow card will air in its entirety on the ESPN+ Network. The action begins with:
ESPN+ Prelims 11AM/ETESPN+ Main Card 2PM/ET
UFC Russia Main Card Predictions
Shamil Gamzatov (-210) vs. Klidson Abreu (+175)
Shamil Gamzatov (13-0-0) looks to stay perfect when he collides with Klidson “Urso Branco” Abreu (15-3-0) in a Light Heavyweight contest. Back to back Decision wins over former Ultimate Fighter Champion Eddie Gordon and Rex Harris was not enough to catapult Shamil Gamzatov into the PFL Playoffs and the chance to compete for $1 Million Dollars, but it was enough to gain the attention of the UFC brass and an opportunity to compete in the UFC. Klidson Abreu earned his first UFC win against San Alvey via Decision at UFC San Antonio in July to recover nicely from a Decision loss to Magomed Ankalaev in his debut. Both of these guys are durable and capable on the feet, but if this fight hits the ground, I certainly give the advantage to Klidson Abreu who has ten submission wins on his record.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Abreu via Second Round Submission
D’Bo’s Pick: Gamzatov via Decision
Anthony Rocco Martin (+135) vs. Ramazan Emeev (-155)
Anthony Rocco Martin (16-5-0) looks to get back on track when he faces Dagestani Ramazan “Gorets” Emeev (18-3-0) in a bout at Welterweight. Former M-1 Global Middleweight Champion Ramazan Emeev started his UFC career with a Decision win over Sam Alvey in October 2017, but has since gone 2-0 since making the move down to Welterweight with Decision wins against Alberto Mina and Stefan Sekulic. Emeev has now won seven in a row and could be the next talked about prospect coming out of Dagestani if his win streak continues. Tony Martin had his four fight win streak in a match where he was predominantly controlled by Demian Maia on the ground. Martin is a good grappler but struggled against the world class skills of Maia, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Martin has had a successful transition moving up to Welterweight with a 4-1 since 2018, after competing at 155 pounds. Emeev is a larger Welterweight, and I think Martin may have a similar experience with Emeev that he had with Maia on the mat. Martin can hold his own in the striking department, but might end up in bad shape if Emeev dictates the pace of this fight.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Emeev via Decision
D’Bo’s Pick: Martin via Third Round Submission
Ed Herman (+160) vs. Khadis Ibragimov (-195)
The unbreakable Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (25-14-0) is back once again as he takes Khadis Ibragimov (20-6-0) in a Light Heavyweight matchup. Ed Herman was able to get off the schneid at Light Heavyweight by defeating Patrick Cummins via First Round TKO, and ending a three fight losing streak since moving up from Middleweight. Khadis Ibragimov will need to be a little more cagey and composed than in his promotional debut in August at UFC Shenzhen, where Khadis lost to Da Un Jong after a wild two minutes by First Round Submission. Ibragimov is fifteen years younger than Herman, but if Ibragimov gets sloppy again, Short Fuse will put him in his place. However, with Ed’s difficulties at Light Heavyweight, if Ibragimov can keep it together he should be able to grind out a victory against an overmatched Ed Herman.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Ibragimov via Decision
D’Bo’s Pick: Ibragimov via First Round TKO
Zelim Imadaev (-210) vs. Danny Roberts (+175)
Zelim Imadaev (8-1-0) meets “Hot Chocolate” Danny Roberts (16-5–0) in what should be a fast paced and entertaining Welterweight contest. Zelim Imadaev suffered his first professional loss in his promotional debut at UFC 236 in April, dropping a Majority Decision to Max “Pain” Griffin in a back and forth contest. The heavy handed Imadaev had won his first eight pro fights by KO/TKO. After back to back wins over Oliver Enkamp and David Zawada, Hot Chocolate has been in the wrong end of stoppage loses to Claudio Da Silva (Submission) and Michel Pereira (TKO). Danny Roberts, while capable and always an entertainer, seems to be too hittable and eats too many shots to survive fifteen minutes with Imadaev, who most likely will send Roberts out with his third straight stoppage loss.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Imadaev via First Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Roberts via Decision
#7 Alexander Volkov (-270) vs. Greg Hardy (+230)
In a strange course of recent events, Alexander “Drago” Volkov (30-7-0) lost his chance to headline UFC Moscow against former Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos, and now faces the much maligned Greg Hardy (5-1-0,1NC) in the Co-Main Event. Alexander Volkov was disappointed to hear the news of Junior Dos Santos removal from the card, but is still excited to compete in his home country of Russia. Volkov was en route to his fifth straight victory in the UFC, before getting rocked and finished by “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis in the final seconds of their match at UFC 229 last October. Volkov was arguably on the doorstep towards getting a Heavyweight title shot before suffering the heartbreaking and brutal loss to Lewis, so I am interested to see how Drago rebounds in his matchup against Hardy. Just last month at UFC Boston, Greg Hardy had a Unanimous Decision win against Ben Sosoli overturned for using an inhaler, yes, using an inhaler on the stool in between the Second and Third Round. Hardy was disqualified in his UFC debut against Allen Crowder and the former NFL defensive end, and Hardy appears to be his own toughest opponent, as two potential wins have turned into a DQ loss and a No Contest. Frankly I am a bit surprised that the UFC is rewarding Greg Hardy with a quick turnaround following his, and his corner’s, inept decision making last month in Boston. Hardy has a big opportunity to right a lot of wrongs against a top ranked opponent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow Hardy pulls off the shocker in this spot against Volkov.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Hardy via First Round TKO
D’Bo’s Pick: Volkov via Second Round TKO
#5 Zabit Magomedsharipov (-300) vs. #11 Calvin Kattar (+250)
Initially scheduled to face-off in the UFC Boston Co-Main event last month, elite Featherweights Zabit “Zabeast” Magomedsharipov (17-1-0) and Calvin “The Boston Finisher” Kattar (20-3-0) get the opportunity to headline UFC Moscow (UFC Moscow’s original Heavyweight headliner,Junior Dos Santos vs. Alexander Volkov, was scrapped a few weeks ago as JDS was forced to withdraw due to injury. Alexander Volkov, now faces Greg Hardy in the Co-Main event.) Zabit Magomedsharipov has been groomed slowly despite riding a thirteen fight winning streak. The Dagestani native Magomedsharipov received Performance Bonuses in his first three Octagon appearances, and improved to 5-0 in the UFC following a Unanimous Decision win over his first ranked Featherweight opponent, Jeremy Stephens, at UFC 235 in March. Next up on the plate for Zabit is a dangerous striker in. Calvin Kattar, who is coming off of back to back TKO finishes of Chris Fishgold and Ricardo Lamas. Kattar is 4-1 in the UFC, and also has a TKO stoppage win over Shane Burgos, who is a dangerous boxer and striker in his own right. Kattar’s lone loss in the UFC came against the long and rangy Renato Carneiro at UFC 223 by Decision in March 2018. Moicano and Zabit are both extremely tall and lengthy for the Featherweight division, so it will be interesting to see if Kattar has been able to make the necessary adjustments to combat his reach disadvantages. Kattar possesses a lot of power and pop in his hands for the 145 pound division and is certainly capable of pulling off an upset in Russia. Zabit is a mature and technical fighter, wise beyond his years, and I think he will find a way to get the dangerous Kattar to the mat and take control of the fight. Excited for this one.
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction: Zabit via Second Round Submission
D’Bo’s Pick: Zabit via Decision
Next week, the UFC returns to São Paulo, Brazil for UFC on ESPN+ 22: Blachowicz vs. Jacare. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights! 🏻ReplyForward