Top Picks for UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs. Moises

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Top Picks for UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs. Moises
Thiago Moises of Brazil. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

We may not have a PPV event this weekend, but we do have a bundle of exciting matchups in UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs. Moises. Read below for my breakdown in the main event Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises, and also check out all of our UFC video content linked below. 

Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises

UFC Lightweight Bout – Main Event

Saturday, July 17, 2021 – 11:35 PM EDT at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev is a Rusian mixed martial artist currently ranked #9 in the UFC lightweight division. Makhachev also competes in Sambo where he is a Combat Sambo World Champion

Makhachev made his M-1 Global debut in February 2011 against Tengiz Khuchua and won via KO in the first round. 

In 2014, Makhachev signed with the UFC a four-fight contract deal. He then made his debut against Leo Kuntz in 2015 and won via submission in the second round. Makhachev is now 8-1 within the UFC with his only professional loss in 2015 against Adriano Martins via T/KO in the first round. 

Makhachev currently fights with American Kickboxing Academy and trains under Khabib Nurmagomedov and other top trainers. 

Of all his accomplishments, the Russian has achieved: Combat Sambo Russian National Champion (four times), Combat Sambo World Champion, 2016 FIAS World Combat Sambo Championships Gold Medalist, UFC Fight of the Night (one time) vs. Arman Tsarukyan, and the least significant strikes absorbed per minute in UFC history. 

Thiago Moises

Thiago Moises is a Brazilian mixed martial artist currently ranked #14 in the UFC lightweight division and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Moises made his professional debut in 2012 and became a Resurrection Fighting Alliance Lightweight Champion before he signed with the UFC.

In November 2018, Moises made his UFC debut against Beneil Dariush and lost via unanimous decision. He is now 4-2 within the promotion with losses against Beneil Dariush in 2018 and Damir Ismagulov in 2019. 


This is going to be a marvelous main event because both Makhachev and Moises match up very well despite their odds. The current UFC Odds for this matchup are: Islam Makhachev -700 and Thiago Moises +450 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review).

Makhachev’s last and only loss was in 2015 against Adriano Martins by T/KO in the first round. Since then, he has definitely proven his chin, and no one has been able to defeat his elite submission skills. He does not have a high output in strikes, but his patience assists his great striking defense. Whenever he gets the chance to bring the fight to the ground, it’s hard for his foes to get away. 

Moises has 4 total losses to his record, all by decision. Just like Makhachev, Moises primarily aims for a submission, but not as frequent as Makhachev. On average, he aims for 1.06 takedowns per 15 minutes. He is incredibly aggressive when on the ground; in his last submission win against Michael Johnson in May 2020, he won by an achilles lock in the 2nd round. 

Both of these fighters have great conditioning and are tough to finish. So, my real question is, who is the stronger grappler of the two?

Makhachev has been training under Khabib Nurmagomedov, so you could imagine the knowledge Makhachev has absorbed being the protege of one of the greatest mixed martial artists and undefeated UFC lightweight champion. 

Moises has never been submitted in his entire professional career. I can see this being a fight all over the ground in a back-and-forth scramble eventually leading to the scorecards. Since Makhachev is incredibly juiced with odds at -700, seek value in the MMA Props and take Islam Makhachev by Points. 

UFC Pick: Islam Makhachev by Points -115 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review)

Islam Makhachev by Points-115
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