UFC Vegas 49 Main Card Predictions: Makhachev vs. Green

We have another red hot Fight Night card in store this weekend, after a wild night of fights last week!

After Beneil Dariush was injured and removed from the scheduled main event and title eliminator opposite Islam Makhachev, Bobby “King” Green steps in on ten days’ notice, after picking up a win just two weeks at UFC 271. Elsewhere on the card, other Lightweight prospects square off as Arman Tsarukyan takes on Joel Alvarez.

Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green (LW)

Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises set for July 17 UFC event - MMA Fighting

Islam Makhachev (21-1, 8101 UFC), cousin to former champion and Lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov, embodies a similar style and was cited as the next real threat to the LW throne. They are cousins and have been training partners since children. Islam has a similar wrestling style, but a slightly less aggressive top control more focused upon submissions than ground and pound. Instead, he has more power in his hands and a scary talent for wrapping up the neck. Still, the wrestling is his bread and butter but he is a fiend on the ground, regardless. Makhachev was last seen in October, submitting Dan Hooker in the third round to secure his ninth straight win. Islam is most threatening with his violent top control and he favors position over submission, but still brings in a nasty threat of multiple chokes. As if that wasn’t enough, he has, on average, absorbed less than one significant strike per minute in the Octagon through his nine bouts in the promotion.

Bobby Green (29-12-1, 10-7-1 UFC) has made a career resurgence as of late, keeping high activity and a wild fight style through the COVID-19 epidemic, most recently winning a decision over Nasrat Haqparast. Green is a Strikeforce veteran who has been going up against the best competition for nearly the entirety of the career. “King” has 17 finishes on his record with nine by submission, though he has not earned a stoppage victory since 2013. Green is a well-rounded fighter who has been historically difficult to take down to the mat, as he is primarily offensive on the mat when in top position. He is mainly a striker though, with clean boxing which has been on display in his recent bouts, although he overexposes when stringing together his combinations. 

This will almost certainly be advertised as a striker vs. grappler matchup, but it is truly so much more than that. Green is a Strikeforce and UFC veteran who has seen every style, bring the same game and savage attitude to every one of his fights. Islam is a freight train in the Lightweight division right now, on a collision course with the UFC title after his “brother” Khabib retired. While Green is no slouch in terms of takedown defense, the relentless entries and chain wrestling of the Dagestani are enough to breach his slick hip defense. While Green clearly has the advantage striking, I expect Islam to quickly take the fight to the mat and finish the fight shortly thereafter.

My Pick: Islam Makhachev via Submission

Misha Cirkunov vs. Wellington Turman (MW)

My Pick: Misha Cirkunov via Submission

Priscila Cachoeira vs. Ji Yeon Kim (FLW)

My Pick: Ji Yeon Kim via Decision

Arman Tsarukyan vs. Joel Alvarez (LW)

My Pick: Arman Tsarukyan via Knockout

Armen Petrosyan vs. Gregory Rodrigues (MW)

My Pick: Armen Petrosyan via Knockout

We have a great fight card on the line with eleven bouts at time of writing. THe main card gets going at 4 PM EST, so do not miss the early actipn!

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