Embed from Getty Images
In the Main Event of the evening, we have ourselves a pivotal fight in the Lightweight division, as Islam Makhachev takes on Bobby “King” Green. Originally, Makhachev was slated to take on Beneil Dariush in what was essentially a number one contender’s fight. Unfortunately, Dariush was forced out of the fight with an ankle injury. In stepped Green, a veteran of the game and whom had just fought on February 12th at UFC 271. While the fight itself isn’t the same, Green brings forth an attitude and skillset that certainly can disrupt the Lightweight division.
Ever since being knocked out by Adriano Martins in 2015, Makhachev has gone on a tear. Winning nine straight fights, five of which have come inside the distance. Perhaps his most recent victory over Dan Hooker was his most impressive to date. A fight that lasted only 145 seconds, as Makhachev seamlessly got the fight to the mat and submitted Hooker. With excellent wrestling, landing takedown’s at a 66% clip, Makhachev is a walking nightmare for anyone in the division. Green will look to put a halt to that notion, as the 42-fight veteran has seen everything there is about this game. On a bit of a tear, Green has won two straight and five of his last seven. Realistically though, Green could be on a longer streak had several close fights gone his way.
As for a prediction, I have Makhachev winning. While Green is an excellent fighter and has a skillset that can give opponents fits in a five round fight, he’s in a tough spot in this fight. Makhachev is a wrestling phenom, who thus far, hasn’t had difficulties getting the fight to ground. Even though Green has a wrestling background, he’s been taken several times by lesser wrestlers in Lando Vannata, Clay Guida and Thiago Moises. Not one of them though managed to hold Green down for long though, so credit to him there. However, Makhachev is leaps and bounds above any of those guys. The one thing that you give an edge to Green is his striking. It’s far and away better than Makhachev’s. If Green can somehow drag the fight into deeper waters, it’s possible he potentially rally late. However, he’s only won ten of his twenty-nine victories by knockout. Not saying he lacks power, but he’s a high output technical boxer, who feasts off turning opponents into punching bags. Regardless, I don’t think much striking takes place. I foresee Makhachev getting the fight to the ground and once again, winning via submission.