UFC Fight Night 163 Predictions
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar
Both of these fighters have been in impressive form of late, but Magomedsharipov in particular has marked himself out as a potential star with his multi-faceted skill-set.
Magomedsharipov is uncommonly lanky for the 145lb weight class at 6ft 2” tall and he uses that to his advantage with very good technical striking from range, particularly with his kicks, and he moves extremely well for his size too.
Kattar is a very capable striker in his own right, with his boxing being his strongest weapon, while he has also shown good takedown defense so far.
What really makes Magomedsharipov such a difficult fighter to face though is that he’s just as adept on the mat, with strong wrestling and a versatile submission game.
I think Magomedsharipov can be very competitive with Kattar on the feet, but it’s mixing that in with takedowns mat mat work that will really help him make his mark here. If he had five rounds to play with he could perhaps secure a submission victory, but since it’s only a three rounder I’ll go for a unanimous decision victory.
Prediction: Zabit Magomedsharipov to win by decision – Bet Now
Alexander Volkov vs. Greg Hardy
Many people have been calling for Greg Hardy to be getting some kind of a step-up in competition after having been spoon-fed hand-picked opponents so far in his UFC run, and they’ve been given what they asked for in a big way here as the former NFL player steps in on just a few weeks notice against the No.7 ranked Volkov.
Hardy is not known for making smart decisions and accepting this fight does seem very risky as Volkov is in a completely different class from anyone he’s faced to date, has far more experience and is very dangerous on the feet.
Admittedly, if he does have to face him, perhaps now is the time as Volkov hasn’t fought in over a year since a last minute KO loss against Derrick Lewis in a fight he had been winning comfortably up until that point.
With his heavy hands, Hardy might be hoping to replicate that upset, but aside from having a punchers chance, he hasn’t shown much in the way of technique, cage-craft, finesse or cardio to make an impact.
Volkov will have a slight height and reach advantage and he’s adept at using it to the fullest, while still keeping a high volume of accurate and powerful punches and kicks.
Crucially, Volkov can also keep fighting at a good pace, which is something Hardy struggles with and I think that will allow the Russian to pick him apart and earn a third round TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Alexander Volkov to win by TKO in Rd3 – Bet Now
Zelim Imadaev vs. Danny Roberts
At first glance this is a curious fight, with both fighters having been beaten in recent times, yet still getting a relatively prominent role on the card.
On closer inspection though, it may suggest that the UFC still believe Imadaev has potential as a crowd-pleaser in his native Russia, having won all eight of his fights before joining the UFC by way of strikes, and then put on a battling performance against Max Griffin in his debut, before losing by majority decision.
He’s not necessarily been thrown a soft-ball here though as though he’s coming off two losses, Roberts is a finishing threat himself on the feet and also may well have a route to victory by outgrappling the Russian striker on the mat.
However, given Imadaev’s heavy hands and finishing instincts, the fact that Roberts has a questionable chin and already suffered a few big KO losses in his UFC career, including eating a flying knee last time out, doesn’t bode well for him and so I’m picking Imadaev tp secure a second round TKO win in a fun fight here.
Prediction: Zelim Imadaev to win by TKO in Rd2 – Bet Now
Khadis Ibragimov vs. Ed Herman
A true veteran of the UFC who has been around since TUF Season 3, it’s somewhat impressive that he’s managed to stick around as long as he has as Herman is certainly far from being the best or the most athletic fighter on the show.
Nevertheless, the 39-year-old ‘Short-Fuse’ has had a knack for doing just enough to keep his head above water, as is perfectly illustrated by the fact he lost three fights in a row over the past couple of years or so, but then earned a TKO win over Patrick Cummins last time out.
In Ibragimov he faces a short-notice opponent who is 15 years his junior. The Russian lost his UFC debut, but he’s an aggressive fighter who can scrap it out on the feet or work for submission on the mat and I think his early offense may well pay dividends here against a slow-footed Herman, leading to a first round TKO.
Prediction: Khadis Ibragimov to win by TKO in Rd1 – Bet Now
Ramazan Emeev vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
Neither fighter here bring much volume to the striking equation here, with Emeev in particular generally using his punches to set up clinch and takedown opportunities.
However, there’s more spark and variety to Martin’s striking game, so if he can keep this one upright then he could well edge out a win here in the stand-up battle.
Emeev is strong and stifling in the wrestling department though, so that’s a worry for Martin, though to be fair to him, he’s actually a good grappler in his own right, and only really Demian Maia has been able to pose him real problems there in recent times.
It’s a tough one to call. Emeev’s grinding approach could swing the fight in his favor, but I think Martin being able to over resistance to the takedowns and make the bigger impression in the striking exchanges could help him edge out a close decision.
Prediction: Anthony Rocco Martin to win by decision – Bet Now
Shamil Gamzatov vs. Klidson Abreu
Gamazatov makes his UFC debut on Saturday with a perfect 13-0 record to date, albeit not exactly against particularly notable opposition, and he’s proven to be a relatively solid wrestler, but the fact that he’s been out of action for well over a year isn’t exactly ideal heading into this fight.
Abreu is 1-1 in the UFC so far and also likes the fight on the mat to work his submission game, while he’s also willing to pressure and exchange on the feet too.
I feel Gamazatov’s record flatters to deceive somewhat, but his wrestling edge will be just enough to help him scrape past Abreu on the scorecards.
Prediction: Shamil Gamazatov to win by decision – Bet Now
UFC Fight Night 163 Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
Rustam Khabilov vs. Sergey Khandozhko
Roman Kopylov vs. Karl Roberson
Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. David Zawada
Alexander Yakolev vs. Roosevelt Roberts
Pannie Kianzad vs. Jessica-Rose Clark
Grigorii Popov vs. Davey Grant