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Islam Makhachev steps on the scale during the UFC Fight Night Vegas 31 official weigh-in on July 16, 2021 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire)
February 21st, 2022
Islam Makhachev is surging up the lightweight rankings, but can veteran Bobby Green stop his rise? That question will be answered on Saturday, Feb. 26 when the two fighters collide at UFC Fight Night.
Let's dig into their bout, beginning with the latest betting odds.
With Beneil Dariush suffering an ankle injury just 10 days from their scheduled bout, Makhachev will now face Bobby Green in an effort to save the show. The surging Makhachev is evolving into one of the UFC’s best grapplers and, sadly, boasts some of the most obnoxious fans in all MMA.
That’s not to say investing in Makhachev’s potential isn’t warranted; he is already at a point where he could be favored against everyone outside of champion Charles Oliveira. He’ll have a chance to truly display his versatility against a short-notice opponent.
Green has gone on a bit of a run lately, with impressive performances in his last two fights, first blasting out Al Iaquinta, and most recently dominating Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271. He is a dangerous substitute in this situation, especially since he’s an accurate striker who defends well against takedowns and has only been submitted once in 42 career bouts.
Because Makhachev is feather-fisted, he can test his mettle in the pocket unlike his previous opponents. At the same time, Green may not have as much gas in his tank after a short rest, but he’s ready and willing to score a huge upset.
There is no overhype on Makhachev. He’s a methodical worker who is inching towards being a big deal in the UFC, and he’s already well past what Green can offer in the octagon. Green is good enough to test him like he did in defeat against Rafael Fiziev, but he isn’t smart enough to avoid fighting at Makhachev’s pace, and will find himself on the mat time and again. We haven’t seen Makhachev in a blender yet, but Green’s best chance is to make the fight ugly and smother him with strikes.
Makhachev’s superior fundamentals and ground game will make up for his lack of power as he pecks away from Green on the outside and keeps him on the canvas for a routine decision win.
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