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We have a pivotal fight in the Featherweight division, as Damon Jackson takes on Pat Sabatini. Storming into this fight on a four-fight win streak, Jackson is on the cusp on cracking the division’s top fifteen. An impressive feat, considering this is Jackson’s second stint in the UFC. Meanwhile, Sabatini has rattled off six-straight wins – with four of them coming inside the octagon. Closing in on being ranked, with a victory, Sabatini at the very least, should find himself against a ranked foe next.
One the best fights on the card, I’m expecting an exciting grappling affair. A prolific grappler, with excellent submissions, Jackson isn’t someone you’d want to be on the mat with. Nicknamed the Leech, once Jackson gets ahold of you, he is hard to shake off. Fifteen submission wins would validate that. Showing vast improvements on the feet, Jackson is turning himself into the best version of himself at 34 years old. As for Sabatini, he too has excellent grappling and submission abilities. Landing eleven takedowns in the past two fights, Sabatini has been finding ease in getting the fight to mat. While his striking needs work, at the very least, he’s shown precision to the tune of a 54% significant strike accuracy. While it’s hard to gauge who holds the grappling edge, and with neither being particularly armed with stout takedown defense, I’m expecting both men to have their moments. However, should this fight be contested on the feet at any point, Jackson has evolved himself into the better striker. While Jackson doesn’t feature immense output, he has out-landed Sabatini by 52 significant strikes in their last three fights combined. So with that said, in an exciting and close affair, give me Jackson to win via decision.