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BCDC Analyst Grant Emrick Previews Fight Night

UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan vs. Gamrot

June 25, 2022

Emrick’s UFC Fighter Pick Record (129-65) – 66% Correct


Prelim Predictions:

WSTRAW: Vanessa Demopoulos (7-4) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (11-6)

  • Pick: Vanessa Demopoulos

BW: Brian Kelleher (24-13) vs. Mario Bautista (9-2)

  • Pick: Mario Bautista

FLY: JP Buys (9-4) vs. Cody Durden (12-4-1)

  • Pick: Cody Durden

BW: Raulian Paiva (21-4) vs. Sergey Morozov (17-5)

  • Pick: Raulian Paiva

FW: Sha Yilan (37-10) vs. TJ Brown (16-8)

  • Pick: TJ Brown

LHW: Carlos Ulberg (6-1) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (6-2)

  • Pick: Tafon Nchukwi

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

Main Card Predictions:

MW: Chris Curtis (28-8) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (8-1)

  • Pick: Chris Curtis (-135)
  • Quick Reasoning: The only person to hold Brendan Allen and Phil Hawes without a takedown with at least 2 attempts, Curtis has the power of a LHW with the ability to shut the lights off of any opponent. Other than Vieira’s one fight against Saparbeg Safarov, which didn’t leave the first round, he’s been outstruck by all opponents such as Dustin Stoltzfus, Anthony Hernandez, and Oskar Piechota. Curtis can hit hard and defend takedowns, which doesn’t look good for a takedown expert and someone who gets hit more than they can deliver in Vieira. I also think this is Vieira’s toughest matchup and a slightly easier matchup for Curtis compared to his last bout with Brendan Allen. Show me Curtis 1st round TKO.

BW: Nathan Maness (14-1) vs. Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0)

  • Pick: Umar Nurmagomedov (-900)
  • Quick Reasoning: Even though he barely squeeked by Tony Gravely, Maness is still a solid prospect. Unfortunately for him, the UFC decided to match him with someone who many expect to be fighting for a title in the next few years. Essentially, Nurmagomedov is destined to be the BW Khabib with better striking and a more decorated record prior to joining the promotion. His defense is stellar too, outlanding opponents 3.61 to 0.67 against per minute. Factor in 7.56 takedowns per 15 minutes and it’s game over for Maness, who also gets hit 4.72 times for every 2.87 strikes landed. This may get competitive, meaning it’ll reach the second round, but I wouldn’t bank on it. The best play is probably Nurmagomedov via submission, but to each his own. 

LW: Thiago Moises (15-6) vs. Christos Giagos (19-9)

  • Pick: Thiago Moises (-240)
  • Quick Reasoning: Giagos has only one UFC win against a fighter who is still employed in the promotion. Meanwhile, Moises has victories over Bobby Green, Michael Johnson, and Alexander Hernandez, with losses coming from some of the best the division has to offer (Makhachev, Dariush, Ismagulov, Alvarez). This should be a tune up fight for Moises, who is looking to make a statement by returning to his winning ways after a two loss skid. I’ll take Moises by decision here.

HW: Josh Parisian (14-5) vs. Alan Baudot (8-3, 1 NC)

  • Pick: Josh Parisian (-105)
  • Quick Reasoning: Who the hell put this on the main card? This is almost as bad as the time Baudot’s TKO loss to Rodrigo Nascimento was nearly overturned to a victory for his opponent testing positive for the devil’s lettuce. It’s not as bad as Ladd vs. Dumont, but you get the point. Whoever loses is getting cut, and whoever wins and then subsequently loses their next fight is also getting cut. I have to admit, I’ve been very back and forth on this fight, almost going all in on a degenerate gamble with Josh Parisian. However, that was just my heart and a lust for chaos talking. Baudot should probably win this, but this is a genuine 50/50. Screw it, Baudot hasn’t won since a DQ in 2019, or earned a victory since a 2018 TKO. Just give me Josh Parisian and let’s not talk about this any further.

WW: #10 Neil Magny (26-9) vs. #15 Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0)

  • Pick: Shavkat Rakhmonov (-410)
  • Quick Reasoning: I almost witnessed Magny get get knocked out by Griffin while in Columbus. Personally, I had Magny going into the fight, but when it ended I thought Griffin did enough to win. No offense to Griffin, but Rakhmonov is levels above him and I think Magny’s callouts of the top prospects are going to backfire catastrophically. I don’t think the decision prince, heir to Belal Muhammad’s throne, will be able to withstand Rakhmonov for more than two rounds. I really like Magny’s size and ability to use range, especially against a slightly smaller fighter in Shavkat, but it won’t be enough. Ending all 15 fights via finish (8 TKO, 7 Submissions), Rakhmonov has only seen the third round once. Many believe his ceiling in the division is similar to, or greater than, the likes of Khamzat Chimaev. While Chimaev currently wins the battle of resumes, Shavkat finishing Magny would spark the debate of who can dethrone Kamaru Usman. I don’t see this fight entering the third, but I do believe Magny will unload everything he has to make a statement in the welterweight division. I think Magny’s effort will keep him in the fight until early in round two, ending with a Rakhmonov TKO. 

LW: BCDC #6 Arman Tsarukyan (18-2) vs. #12 Mateusz Gamrot (20-1, 1 NC)

  • Pick: Arman Tsarukyan (-300)
  • Quick Reasoning: I barely chose Tsarukyan over Joel Alvarez. Most of that came from the ungodly size Alvarez presented that dwarfed Arman. But now, I’m riding the Tsarukyan express to the top five! Let it be known, I’m also riding Gamrot’s journey into the top ten as well. These are both fantastic prospects and one of the most exciting fight night main events of the year, as we are viewing potential championship-level competitors with a sense of new blood in the division. Nonetheless, today I’m choosing Tsarukyan because of a few simple reasons. The size differential is limited compared to his fight with Alvarez, as Gamrot has a slightly shorter reach and is three inches shorter than Joel Alvarez. Tsarukyan was the only opponent to give Islam Makhachev an actual test, becoming the first fighter to takedown Islam and is still the only person to accomplish that feat in a three round fight. This fight with Makhachev was also during Tsarukyan’s UFC debut, so he’s had plenty of time to learn and develop in the three years since. This has led to dominant performance after dominant performance in his next five fights, setting himself up for his matchup with Mateusz Gamrot. On the Gamrot side, he also faced an unranked killer in Guram Kutateladze during his UFC debut. Gamrot even took Guram down five times and outlanded him by 15 strikes, losing a tight split-decision and earning a fight of the night bonus. While the competition in his three fights since Guram have been below Tsarukyan’s level, you cannot discount the former KSW in Gamrot. Each fighter has 12 finishes, both with 7 knockouts and 5 submissions. This is going to be a great fight, but Tsarukyan’s abilities just seem a little more technically sound and his ability to limit strikes from his opponents places him just slightly below of where I see Makhachev at this point in time. I see this being a great fight, perhaps a chess match of sorts, but I also see Tsarukyan finishing Gamrot in the first three rounds. The odds might be a little too strong on Tsarukyan, but he’s got the goods to deliver a win Saturday night. Regardless of the outcome, don’t miss this fight!

Emrick’s Combat Sports Betting (-0.475u):

  • Parlays:
    • Heavy Favorites: Nurmagomedov, Rakhmonov ML’s
      • 2.5u to win 0.941u
    • PFL Parlay: Cappelozza, Pettis ML’s
      • 2u to win 1.463u
    • Rising Stars: Rakhmonov, Tsarukyan ML’s
      • 1.3u to win 0.905u
  • Straight Bets:
    • Bellator: Magomed Magomedov ML
      • 1.5u to win 0.882u
    • Underdog of the Week: Durden ML
      • 0.5u to win 0.5u
    • Man of Action: Curtis ML
      • 0.586u to win 0.434u
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