UFC Fight Night 69 Fight Breakdown: Dennis Siver vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri

Dennis Siver The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 69 is a three-round featherweight bout between Dennis Siver and Tatsuya Kawajiri. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Siver is a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Kawajiri is a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Siver at -135 and Kawajiri at -105, and slight action has come in on the hometown favorite Siver so far. I like Siver to pick up the win in this fight and therefore agree with the odds favoring him. Here’s why. Siver (22-10-1) is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC featherweight division. The 36-year-old German is 11-7, 1 NC overall in the UFC including a 3-2, 1 NC mark at 145lbs with wins over Nam Phan, Diego Nunes and Charles Rosa in his new weight class. Siver is one of the most well-rounded featherweights out there. He comes from a striking background and is very good on the feet, particularly with his kicks, but he also has very underrated wrestling and an underrated ground game. He’s known as a striker, but if you look at this record you can see he has only five wins by knockout yet nine by tapout. He’s underrated on the mat, and at this point of his career with his chin so questionable taking his opponents to the floor gives him the best chance to win. He’s coming off of a brutal knockout loss to Conor McGregor, but that’s McGregor — most men would have been knocked out by him. Siver won’t be winning the title anytime soon (or ever, for that matter), but he’s a solid gatekeeper at 145lbs and should beat guys like Kawajiri, hence his position as the favorite heading into this fight. Kawajiri (33-8-2) is 1-1 in the UFC with a submission win over Sean Soriano and a decision loss to Clay Guida. The 38-year-old native of Japan is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC featherweight division and is somewhat of a legend in the lighter weight classes. He has fought the best fighters in the world at 145lbs and 155lbs and holds notable wins over Yves Edwards, JZ Cavalcante, and Josh Thomson. He is a very well-rounded fighter — he has 12 wins by knockout, 10 by tapout and another 10 by submission (plus one by DQ) — but he is primarily known for his grappling and submission skills. Four of his last six wins have come by tapout, including an upset win in his debut against the hotshot prospect Soriano. But while he did look great against Soriano, he looked terrible in his next fight against Guida, losing a clear-cut decision. He is coming off of a devastating eye injury that nearly ended his career and he hasn’t fought in a year. He’s still a talented veteran and you can never count him out, but going up against a guy like Siver who is so well-rounded, it’s a tough matchup for Kawajiri at this point of his career and that’s why you see the line the way it is. I haven’t been impressed with Kawajiri in a long time and think he’s just about done. It’s a shame he didn’t come to the UFC earlier in his career, but it is what it is. I don’t think Siver has much left in the tank either, but I do believe he will win this fight in his home country of Germany. I believe Siver is the better striker in this fight, and I think his grappling is very comparable as well. I just can’t see Kawajiri winning outside of winning a scramble and getting Siver’s neck on the mat, but I just don’t see that happening. I think the most likely scenario involves Siver keeping the fight on the feet and outstriking Kawajiri en route to a decision win. I do like Siver here, and the line is pretty fair. I’m on the fence for a bet at the moment because I hate betting on fighters coming off of knockout losses, but if he sizes up well at weigh-ins I’m most likely going to be making a play on him because I can’t ignore the stylistic advantages he has in this bout.

Written by Adam Martin.

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