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I’ve flipped flopped on this fight because both men have contrasting styles. Jonathan Martinez is a striker who features power and an array of leg attacks. In fact, Martinez is morphing into Alistair Overeem, as he’s beginning to build a reputation for his knee strikes. In five UFC victories, Martinez has finished two opponents due to knee strikes. He’s going to need those knee strikes, as Zviad Lazishvili is going to look for takedowns early and often. An excellent wrestler with submission chops, Lazashvili has proven to be a handful thus far in mixed martial arts.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Martinez. While his takedown defense checks in at 63%, he’s been much better at fending off takedowns in his past three fights. In fact, Martinez has shrugged off nine of the ten attempts in that span. Another reason why I side with Martinez is not only for the reason that Lazishvili is coming into this on short notice, but the fact that it wasn’t until his eleventh fight that he fought someone other than a debuting fighter. In other words, he crushed a lot of cans before facing actual competition. So with all that said, I predict that Martinez wins this fight via late TKO.