MMA FREE PICKS
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Bellator 283: Lima vs. Jackson
Bellator 283 takes place this Friday at the Emerald Queen Casino and Hotel in Tacoma, Washington. The 12-fight card is headlined by a clash at welterweight between Bellator veteran Douglas Lima and Jason Jackson. The card features 9 fighters with undefeated records, the standout being Usman Nurmagomedov who will challenge Christopher Gonzalez at lightweight.
Usman Nurmagomedov (14-0) is the younger cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov and younger brother of UFC bantamweight Umar Nurmagomedov. While the family name entails dominant grappling and wrestling, Usman has shown less predictability and relies on his striking equivalently. At just 24 years of age, he has made all his opponents look tiers below and has shown an improved version of himself each time out. He enters the fight with back-to-back first-round finishes of Luis Muro and Patrik Pietila.
Looking to make spoils and take the 0 is Christopher Gonzalez (7-1). The Chicago, Illinois native and former Greco-Roman wrestler trains and fights out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. He looks to build on his momentum from a quick 36-second knockout of Saad Awad back in January when he landed a beautiful high left head kick and finished off his opponent with some vicious strikes.
This will be a step up in competition for Usman Nurmagomedov and having someone in Christopher Gonzalez who has never been submitted and has a good wrestling pedigree makes me lean towards the fight heading into the later rounds. Gonzalez was taken down quite easily by Vladmir Tokov so It wouldn’t be difficult for Nurmagomedov to get the fight to the mat. It will be a tough night for Gonzalez as he will face a lot of pressure and control. Nurmagomedov has said leading up to the fight that he looks forward to gaining experience most and is not prioritizing getting more fans and or hype in search of a highlight reel performance. Usually when a fighter says something along those lines they are expecting to be in the cage for the full duration.
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