UFC Fight Night 46 Fight Breakdown: Ilir Latifi (-235) vs. Chris Dempsey (+215)

Ilir Latifi One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 46 is a three-round light heavyweight bout between Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi and Chris Dempsey. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Latifi as a -235 favorite (bet $235 to win $100) while Dempsey is a +215 underdog (bet $100 to win $215). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Latifi at -245 and Dempsey at +185, meaning there has been some action on the dog Dempsey as the lines have tightened. I believe the action should be coming in on Latifi, as I’m picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Latifi (8-3, 1 NC) made his UFC debut on a few day’s notice last year against Gegard Mousasi, losing a clear decision to “The Dreamcatcher.” But the Swede showed good toughness and heart in that fight and was brought back for a second UFC bout, defeating veteran Cyrille Diabate by first-round ninja choke. Just 30 years of age, Latifi is in the prime of his career and he trains alongside top 205er Alexander Gustafsson at Allstars Training Center. He is a powerful wrestling who is naturally strong and he has very solid submission ability on the ground. He also has some knockout power, although his striking overall isn’t very good. He is still a pretty decent 205lber and should beat the bottom-end guys in the division, which is why he’s the favorite in this fight over Dempsey. Dempsey (10-1) is making his UFC debut on short notice and up a weight class, as he normally fights at 185er. The 26-year-old American has won eight-straight fights on the regional circuit to earn his spot in the UFC, but unfortunately for him the circumstances aren’t great as he has to fight up a weight class. He does have experience wrestling in college at higher weight classes, but MMA is a different sport. Although Dempsey is a good wrestler, Latifi should be the bigger fighter and in what is expected to be a wrestling match, it makes sense to give the bigger guy in Latifi the edge and that’s why Dempsey is a underdog. Dempsey is a solid prospect but he’s fighting up a weight class here and on short notice against one of the strongest fighters in the division in Latifi. Latifi should be able to land the takedowns in this fight and considering the edge he should have in strength, a submission victory seems like the most likely possibility here for the Swede, although a decision or TKO win cannot be ruled out. Either way, Latifi should win this fight in dominant fashion and at -235 he could definitely be put into a parlay with another fighter as he really should win this fight against Dempsey.

Written by Adam Martin.

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