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Since joining the UFC in 2015, Magomed Mustafaev has been fed to the wolves. In five UFC fights, Mustafaev has already fought the likes of Kevin Lee, Rafael Fiziev and Brad Riddell. Now, after a twenty month layoff, Mustafaev fights another wolf in Damir Ismagulov. The Kazakh is a well rounded fighter, who mainly profiles as a striker. A patient and calculated one at that, as Ismagulov does an excellent job at avoiding strikes and picking apart opponents at a range. The one knock about Ismagulov is that he lacks power, having stopped only one opponent in his last seven fights. The same can’t be said about Mustafaev however, as the Russian has won all fourteen of his fights via finish. With ten of the finishes coming via knockout, Mustafaev is not one to stand across from in the octagon.
As for a prediction, I’m going with Mustafaev. While he checks in as a moderate underdog, and rightfully so, Mustafaev is the most dangerous fighter Ismagulov will have faced thus far in the UFC. Mustafaev not only is a knockout artist, but he is physically strong and has some wrestling chops. In fact, in Mustafaev’s last fight, he landed eight takedowns. I could be off on this fight and it’s tough to go against someone with one loss in twenty four fights, but give me Mustafaev to win via decision.