MMA FREE PICKS
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UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Emmett
The UFC heads to the Moody Center in Austin, Texas for UFC Fight Night for a featherweight headliner between #4 ranked Calvin Kattar and #7 Josh Emmett. The card also features UFC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone taking on Joe Lauzon in a fight that Dana White stated will likely be the last one for the loser.
The second fight to open up the action on the main card is a potential fight of the night contender as lightweights Damir Ismagulov and Guram Kutateladze are set to battle in a division that has many surging talents climbing up the ladder.
Damir Ismagulov (23-1) is heading into the tilt with a 15-fight winning streak dating back to November of 2015 and will now search for his fifth straight under the UFC banner. Ismagulov saw his last fight scratched when he was unable to make weight at UFC 267 in October of 2021. Before that, he rallied off unanimous decision victories against Rafel Alves, Thiago Moises, and Joel Alvarez. The Russian has a tendency to frustrate his opponents with his ability to move in and out quickly while seemingly not enduring much damage in his exchanges.
Guram Kutateladze (12-2) will grace the octagon for the second time in his career. He defeated Mateusz Gamrot via split decision, a fight which he took on short notice. The Georgian native flashed the power in his hands as he knocked down Gamrot in the second round but wasn’t able to capitalize on the finish. One big takeaway from his debut was that he was prone to be taken down, as Gamrot went 5/16 on his takedown attempts. However, the “Georgian Viking” did show an immense ability to get the fight back up to the feet.
Ring rust may play a factor in this one, as Kutateladze hasn’t fought since October of 2020. While I don’t think he will completely be stale out the gate, I believe you cannot start off slow against Ismagulov, especially in a 3-rounder where he will start piling up the points from the get-go. Kutateladze is the more powerful striker but Ismagulov will land more volume and take less damage with his excellent defense (65%).
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