UFC Fight Night 69 Fight Breakdown: Makwan Amirkhani vs. Masio Fullen

Makwan-Amirkhani One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 69 is a three-round featherweight bout between Makwan Amirkhani and Masio Fullen. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Amirkhani is a -240 favorite (bet $240 to win $100) while Fullen is a +180 underdog (bet $100 to win $180). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Amirkhani at -265 and Fullen at +185, and Amirkhani remains a sizeable favorite with the fight just a few days out. I like Amirkhani to get another win in the UFC here and agree with him being the favorite. Here’s why. Amirkhani (11-2) earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his highlight-reel KO win over Andy Ogle at UFC on FOX 15, defeating the Englishman in just eight seconds. The 28-year-old Fin was not seen as a knockout threat coming into the fight, but showed against Ogle he does have the capability of finishing fights on the feet. As a young fighter he is constantly improving and his striking will likely improve in future bouts. For now, though, he is primarily a solid grappler capable of ending fights by submission. He has pretty solid top control, he does well in scrambles, and he has an impressive bag of submissions on the ground. There are still many questions surrounding Amirkhani, but with his good looks and personality, to go along with his skill, it’s clear this is someone the UFC wants to build up in their European market, and by giving him a TUF Latin America opponent in Fullen, it really feels like this is a set-up fight for Amirkhani, one he should win with ease. Fullen (10-4) was a cast member on TUF LA and while he didn’t win the show, he did get signed to the UFC anyways and in his first Octagon appearance earned a split decision win over Alex Torres. The 27-year-old Mexican is a pretty well-rounded fighter but he doesn’t really excel at anything. He has ok striking, ok wrestling, and ok submissions, and while he may be able to beat low-level fighters like Torres, it probably won’t be enough for him to defeat more talented opponents. I think it’s very telling the UFC did not place Fullen on the UFC 188 Mexico card, instead flying him over to Germany to take on a European prospect in Amirkhani. It just seems like one of those situations where the UFC wants to push one fighter and is sacrificing another fighter to do that. That’s not to say you should count Fullen completely out of the fight; with Amirkhani still so unproven, it wouldn’t be shocking if he lost. But all things considered, this looks like a tough style matchup for Fullen, and unless he can land a KO blow or maybe take Amirkhani’s back in a scramble, it’s hard to see him winning this fight, hence the line. Amirkahni showed off some flash in his last fight but I think he will turn to his wrestling in this fight to get the win. Fullen is a below-average grappler, while I do think Amirkhani is quite talented on the mat. I think he will be able to land takedowns when he wants to, and I think there’s a very good chance he gets a submission win. I like to fade TUF Latin America fighters whenever I can, and feel like this is the right situation to do so. I like Amirkhani here, and think there is value on him at the current line, so I would definitely consider him this weekend when you make your bets.

Written by Adam Martin.

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