UFC Fight Night 66 Fight Breakdown: Levan Makashvili vs. Mark Eddiva

levan-makashvili One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 66 is a three-round featherweight bout between Levan Makashvili and Mark Eddiva. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Makashvili is a -400 favorite (bet #400 to win $100) while Eddiva is a +325 underdog (bet $100 to win $325). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Makashvili at -350 and Eddiva at +250, and the public is all over the favorite Makashvili so far. Overall I agree with the line movement on Makashvili as I expect him to win this fight. Here’s why. Makashvili (6-1) is one of the top featherweight prospects to enter the UFC this year. This will be his UFC debut after his original bout at UFC Fight Night 60 against Nik Lentz was scrapped due to Lentz having the flu. The 26-year-old Georgian is still relatively new to the sport, having only seven pro fights so far, but he’s looked really good in his fights and his future is bright. In his last outing in CFFC he won a decision over Bellator veteran Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra, the biggest win of his career. Considering he only made his pro debut in 2013, that says a lot about his rate of improvement. He’s mostly a grinder type who tries to outwork you in the clinch to go along some nice technical boxing and power on the feet. He does have spurts of inactivity in his fights, and is prone to eating leg kicks, but overall he’s been pretty dominant in his career with his style. He is filling in on short notice for Alex White in this fight as he travels from the U.S. to Philippines on 10 days’ notice to fight the Filipino Eddiva. Eddiva (6-1) is the hometown fighter in this matchup, and the UFC has him opening up the card in the Philippnes, which is something to keep in mind as they obviously think quite highly of him. An unheralded gem, Eddiva has looked really solid in the UFC so far despite being an underdog both times. In his debut against Jumabieke Tuerxun, he absolutely dominated that fight as a big dog, and then in his sophomore UFC appearance, he gave Kevin Souza fits until he was stopped. He’s just a very tough, scrappy, and tenacious fighter who wants to win fights. He is also a finisher, having stopped opponents in six of his seven wins, mostly by finishing them on the ground with submissions or ground and pound. He is actually a really solid prospect and I would have taken him over White in that matchup, but this fight against Makashvili is a different story. There’s no doubt Eddiva can win, but to do so he’ll have to outwork and outgrind his opponent for three rounds, which seems like a difficult task on paper. However if there’s anyone up for the task it’s Eddiva, and fighting in front of his friends and family in the Philippines he makes for an intriguing live dog. This should be a pretty competitive scrap, but ultimately I have to go with Makashvili here, even with the short notice. I think Makashvili will grind Eddiva up against the cage and put him down on the mat and ultimately win a decision here, but I expect Eddiva to give him a better fight than most expect, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he came away with the upset win, perhaps via controversial split decision. Eddiva is the hometown guy here and he’s also had a full camp, so for me there are just too many question marks to feel confident about Makashvili here. At the end of the day I think Makashvili is the better prospect and the better grinder so I have to pick him to get the win, but considering his lack of UFC experience and the short notice, it’s not a confident pick and there are better spots on the card to put your hard-earned cash on.

Written by Adam Martin.

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