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The preliminary card headliner comes in the Middleweight division, as Maki ‘Coconut Bombz’ Pitolo takes on Dusko ‘Thunder’ Todorovic. In terms of action, this should be an awesome fight and potential ‘Fight of the Night’. In terms of career, the loser of this fight could very well find themselves getting cut. Pitolo has lost three consecutive fights, as well as four of his last five. While his style is fan friendly, at some point, he needs to focus on winning to stay with the promotion. Meanwhile, Todorovic has dropped two consecutive fights. After a successful UFC debut against Dequan Townsend in October of 2020, Todorovic hasn’t quite been able to replicate such success.
When Dusko Todorovic signed with the UFC, there was a lot of hype surrounding him. The Serbian was a perfect 9-0, and had even had a TKO victory over Michel Pereira on his resume. While Todorovic saw victory in his UFC debut, the next two fights would result in losses. Todorovic is a striker, who relies on his high output, pressure and cardio. Often showing excellent head movement, Todorovic looks to slip opponents’ strikes and land overhands. The one problem I’ve noticed from Todorovic is that despite his head movement, he gets hit way too often. Opponents are landing 5.18 significant strikes per minute and 52% of their strikes. Against someone like Maki Pitolo, that could be troublesome. The Hawaiian, despite his struggles, is a solid boxer. With power and fluid striking, Pitolo does an excellent job at attacking the head, body and legs. Pitolo has also shown to be pretty successful in taking foes down to the mat. With a 52% takedown accuracy and five takedowns landed alone in his most recent fights against Julian Marquez, Pitolo isn’t just a striker.
As for a prediction, I have Pitolo winning. Unless Todorovic can hurt Pitolo, I don’t see a scenario where he doesn’t get tagged often and eventually dropped. Todorovic has shown a complete lack of striking defense for me to not be concerned about his chin. Throw in the fact that Pitolo does an excellent job working the body, and I don’t see Todorovic’s cardio as a viable avenue to outlasting the Hawaiian. In the end, I predict that Pitolo will win via knockout.