UFC Fight Night 65 Fight Breakdown: Alptekin Ozkilic vs. Ben Nguyen

Ben-Nguyen One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 65 is a three-round flyweight bout between Alptekin Ozkilic and Ben Nguyen. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Ozkilic is a -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) while Nguyen is a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Ozkilic at -270 and Nguyen at +190, and action so far has come in on the dog Nguyen. This is a competitive fight but I favor the dog Nguyen at the current odds. Here’s why. Ozkilic (9-3) is 1-2 in the UFC with a decision win over Darren Uyenoyama and a decision loss to Louis Smolka and a TKO loss to John Lineker. The 29-year-old Turkish-American comes from a wrestling background and is overall one of the stronger wrestlers at 125lbs. He can get most of his opponents on their back and on the ground he can throw ground and pound and outpoint you with positional control. He is not a great striker both offensively or defensively, but his striking is coming along as he gains more experience in the sport. He also showed in his loss to Lineker that he has a really good chin despite being finished in the last 10 seconds. He is coming off of two-straight losses, but don’t let his record deceive you as he’s fought nothing but stiff competition in the UFC. He is a solid flyweight and he welcomes Nguyen to the UFC in what is a must-win fight for him if he plans on sticking around the UFC. Nguyen (13-5) is making his UFC debut on the heels of a seven-fight win streak fighting on the Australian regional circuit. The 26-year-old Australian is a powerful striker who has eight T/KO wins to his credit, indicating his massive power for the flyweight division. However, while he can knock his opponents out, he can be knocked out himself, having been finished four times by strikes. Training at Tiger Muay Thai alongside Roger Huerta, Nguyen is constantly evolving and working on his game, and he is coming into his UFC debut riding a huge wave of momentum. His game plan against Ozkilic is clear: Keep the fight standing, and try to knock his opponent out. If he does that, he can win. But if he gets taken down by his wrestler opponent, he’ll probably lose. It’s a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, and it should be a fun one when it goes down. I think this is a competitive fight that will likely take place on the feet, and I believe Nguyen can land on Ozkilic and either knock him out or win a decision. Ozkilic is tough, but he gets tagged a ton in his fights and Nguyen is a relentless striker. As long as he can keep off of his back for the majority of 15 minutes, he can win this fight because on the feet he’s going to be more effective. I’m worried about his cardio giving out if he can’t get an early stoppage, but Ozkilic has bad cardio too so that should be a wash. I’m not super confident in Nguyen given his lack of UFC experience, but I think at the plus-money odds he’s worth a small stab in this spot, and there might even be some value on the prop on Nguyen by T/KO.

Written by Adam Martin.

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