UFC on Fox 19 Breakdown: Drew Dober vs Islam Makhachev

Islam_Makhachev_vsPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the lightweight bout kicking off the preliminary card on Fox as American Drew Dober takes on talented Russian Islam Makhachev in Tampa, Florida.   Drew Dober (Record: 16-7, +165 Underdog, Fighter Grade: D+) The Nebraska born and raised Dober took up muay thai at just the age of 14 and quickly moved up the ladder collecting amateur accolades. In addition to muay thai, Dober holds a purple belt in BJJ. He’s fought in several North American MMA organizations including Bellator and Titan. More than anything, Dober is known as a tough fighter that is hard to finish. He’s had a couple of solid wins most notably getting a finish over one time WEC Champion Jamie Varner. Dober is an active fighter on the feet landing over three significant strikes per minute, but absorbs over four strikes per minute. He tends to be pretty hittable on the feet, but he does have a good chin and is able to absorb a good amount of damage. He’s rather for short for the weight class at just 5’8” so his success is dependent fighting at close range, working the fight into a clench, and getting his opponent into a dog fight. Dober has been taken down multiple times in his last three bouts that have gone over one round. His success in the octagon is predicated on staying vertical.   Islam Makhachev (Record: 12-1, -190 Favorite, Fighter Grade: C+) The Makhachkala, Dagestan born fighter is a highly decorated Sambo practitioner including four national championships in the discipline. Makhachev trains under the great Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and splits his team with American Top Team in California. He’s a key training partner of lightweight title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. The accomplished Dagestan fighter is certainly young on years, but he clearly has the fundamentals to be successful in MMA. Training with the Nurmagomedov’s is evident in his game. His ability to score takedowns is impressive and he can do so in a variety of ways. On the ground, Makhachev is a suffocating grappler and is a threat with submissions. His ability to control opponents on the ground allows him to clearly win rounds on the judge’s scorecards and wear out his opponents. His striking game is certainly improving and he has shown to have above average pop in his hands. He showed that he can strike with a fighter like Adriano Martins, albeit being knocked out in that fight. Coming off the first loss of his career, Makhachev looks to get back on the winning track.   Match-up This solid preliminary fight for UFC on Fox 19 has American Drew Dober pitted against Dagestan’s Islam Makhachev. Both guys are tough, physical fighters which makes for an interesting clash. Ultimately, this fight boils down to Makhachev’s ability to wrestle. Makhachev is the type of fighter who has the ability to dominate opponents with his grappling talent. In some cases it doesn’t matter how good a striker his opponent is as his grappling is good enough to nullify any sort of striking attack. In this match-up, the striking is in fact very competitive. Makhachev has underrated power in his hands and has pretty good technique. Dober is at his best pushing forward and working in close range and grinding out fights. Unfortunately, that strategy will see him planted on his back and having to work from his guard. It’s going to be a long night for Dober as Makhachev works in takedowns and dominates this fight on the ground. Dober is difficult to finish, but Makhachev is a fighter I expect to control his opponent for three rounds. At under -200, this is a great parlay piece.

Written by Jay Primetown

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