UFC 259: Islam Makhachev vs Drew Dober Bet by AJ’s Bets

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Event: UFC 259 (March 6th)

Bet: 4 units @ -310 Islam Makhachev to win versus Drew Dober

The implied odds I made for this fight are -567/85% Islam Makhachev to win.

Quick thoughts:

So I lined Ricky Simon as the same implied win probability when I bet him at -300 for Wednesday’s event. Still, the additional unit here despite the -10 difference in line is that I trust Islam a bit more concerning the matchup. Both Islam and Simon face opponents who require a standing TKO/KO as a PTV, but I trust Islam more of the two to avoid the threat but more on that under ‘Striking’. Also, I find this matchup intriguing because both Dober and Makhachev are getting a step up in competition relative to their previous outings. I’ve bet Dober in his past three fights (i.e., against Hernandez, Haqparast, and Polo Reyes) and bet the FDGTD prop when he fought Dariush, but that said I really like Islam in this spot to get the job done comfortably.


Dober is the better pure striker here (i.e., Muay Thai background, fights at a high pace, superior punching power, countering proficiency, good technique, and a good low kick). That said, Islam can compete in the striking due to the style he brings and the fact that he has a proficient technique. Islam absorbs .76 significant strikes per minute, and the most significant strikes he absorbed in a UFC fight is 13! 13! This is because Islam has good distance management, avoids throwing combinations to avoid counters, and utilizes kicks & straight punches at a distance. His ability to avoid damage and point fight on the outside makes him competitive as a striker against all opponents. Islam’s been knocked out once professionally (i.e., in 2015 by Adriano Martins), and Dober certainly has power. Still, the limited number of striking exchanges based on Islam’s style makes the TKO/KO from Dober seem unlikely. The clinch exchanges should favor Islam. He’s stronger in terms of positional control and has shown the ability to “dirty box” and knee (i.e., dropped Ramos with it in round 3). Basically, the striking can be very competitive, but the difference-maker in the fight is the grappling disparity.


Islam has a significant advantage here. Though Dober is a capable wrestler, he’s been taken down (i.e., 3 times by Hernandez, 2 times by Dariush, and 3 times by Camacho), gotten his guard passed and controlled (i.e., controlled for the vast majority of round 2 against Dariush & mounted twice) many times in the past. Makhachev is one of the best grapplers in the UFC (i.e., Men’s Combat Sambo World Champion 2016). Makhachev has a wide variety of ways to get the fight to the ground (i.e., footsweep ability into the mount, single-leg takedown, double leg takedown, judo trip takedown, and has the ability to chain wrestle). Not only that, but Makhachev closes the distance and sets up his takedowns well. Once in the top position, Makhachev’s control is excellent. He utilizes what Paul Felder refers to as the “Daghestani Handcuff,” wrist control, shoulder pressure, and proficient guard passing ability. He also is the superior scrambler as well. Makhachev is a submission threat in the top position, and we have seen Dober submitted multiple times in the UFC (i.e., Efrain Escudero, Beneil Dariush, and Oliver Aubin-Mercier). Makhachev has been able to take down and control strong wrestlers in the past (i.e., Wade and Tsarukyan), and I believe he will do the same here.

All in all, I trust Islam’s striking to stay out of danger on the feet, make the standup exchanges competitive, win the clinch exchanges, and get the fight to the ground where he holds a huge advantage to either win via finish or earn significant-top control time to win all three rounds.


I am betting Islam Makhachev here because I believe the striking exchanges can be close, he is the better clinch fighter, and he is the far superior grappler.

Written by AJS BETS

Pro MMA Bettor. Your Go-To Source For All Things #MMA. Handicapper for MMAOddsBreaker

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