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UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises Main Event Picks

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UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises Main Event Picks
Islam Makhachev. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images/AFP

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a jam-packed schedule and this Saturday we are getting what should be a very entertaining fight between Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises. Here’s a complete preview, including updated UFC odds and our betting pick.

Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises

Lightweight Main Event Bout

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

In the main event of the evening, Islam Makhachev battles Thiago Moises. UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. A limited number of fans will be in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With plenty of betting lines and markets currently available, let’s attempt to find some value for our UFC picks on Saturday’s main event.

Islam Makhachev. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images/AFP

Islam Makhachev

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

Widely regarded as the second coming of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev could be contending for a title soon. Training out of Eagles MMA / American Kickboxing Academy, Makhachev dominated the opposition during his time at M1-Global and now he’s the number nine ranked UFC lightweight.

Makhachev is 8-1 in the UFC and he's won his last seven fights. He submitted Drew Dober with an arm triangle choke in the third round at UFC 259 on March 6th and he also has wins against Chris Wade, Nik Lentz, Gleison Tibau, Kajan Johnson, Arman Tsarukyan and Davi Ramos as part of his current streak.

  • Born: September 27th, 1991
  • Age: 29
  • Country: Russia
  • Height: 5’10″
  • Weight: 155 lbs
  • Reach: 70″
  • Stance: Southpaw
  • Association: Eagles MMA / American Kickboxing Academy
  • Class: Lightweight
  • Record: 19-1

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
3 wins by KO/TKO2.00 Landed68% Accuracy
8 wins by Submission0.77 Absorbed93% Defended
8 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • 2016 FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship Gold Medallist
  • Combat Sambo World Champion
  • Long-time friend and training partner of Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Has all the tools to be a champion

Octagon Weaknesses

  • His overexertion cost him once before

Thiago Moises. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

Thiago Moises

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

Thiago Moises reached the UFC roster following an impressive Dana White Contender Series knockout win in the first round against Gleidson Moraes Cutis on August 11th, 2018 and he then lost by unanimous decision against Beneil Dariush and Damir Ismagulov, two of the division’s most talented fighters. He’s been flawless outside of those losses and he has plenty of knockout power.

Moises has won four of his last five fights, including his last three. He beat Alexander Hernandez by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 20 on February 27th and he also has wins against Kurt Holobaugh, Michael Johnson and Bobby Green in the UFC. He deserves credit for accepting a fight against one of the promotion’s most intriguing prospects. Top 10 fighters have ducked Makhachev at all costs and you have to love Moises’ confidence.

  • Born: March 23rd, 1995
  • Age: 26
  • Country: Brazil
  • Height: 5’9″
  • Weight: 155 lbs
  • Reach: 70″
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Association: American Top Team
  • Class: Lightweight
  • Record: 15-4

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
3 wins by KO/TKO2.85 Landed33% Accuracy
6 wins by Submission3.88 Absorbed63% Defended
6 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Light on his feet
  • Has excellent footwork and movement
  • Controls range very well

Octagon Weaknesses

  • Tends to get stuck on his back

Prediction

Moises’ best chance to win this fight is through an early round one submission, as his BJJ background could catch Makhachev off guard but keep in mind that his success rate submitting opponents in the UFC is low and the betting odds reflect this. Makhachev, on the other hand, is still developing his skill set. Makhachev’s wrestling can be the X-factor and as mentioned before, his striking offense and defense grow fight to fight. Don’t take Moises lightly but to me, Makhachev can be too much to handle for him. How to bet this fight? The best approach is to check the props, Makhachev's price is between -600 and -700 at press time, which has no value for our UFC picks.

UFC Pick: Islam Makhachev by Points -120 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Islam Makhachev by Points-120
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.