Misha Cirkunov vs. Ion Cutelaba UFC Fight Night 89 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/18/16
Cutelaba vs. Cirkunov
UFC: Saturday, June 18, 2016 (TD Place Arena)
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Misha Cirkunov and Ion Cutelaba fight Saturday night during UFC Fight Night 89 at the TD Place Arena.
Misha Cirkunov enters this fight with a 11-2 record and has won 45 percent of his fights by submission. Cirkunov has won his last six fights and is coming off a February win over Alex Nicholson. Cirkunov is averaging 4.99 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 60.8 percent. Cirkunov is averaging 8.02 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 60 percent. Cirkunov is now 2-0 in UFC and is quickly rising up the rankings at just 29 years old. Cirkunov is a fluid striker with great power and speed, and he’s won three of his last six fights by knockout. Cirkunov has improved his ground game over the years but both of his losses have come by submission. This will be Cirkunov’s 12th fight in Canada, his home country.
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Ion Cutelaba enters this fight with a 11-1 record and has won 82 percent of his fights by knockout. Cutelaba has won his last seven fights and is coming off a September win over Malik Merad. This will be Cutelaba’s UFC debut and his third fight since 2015. Cutelaba has spent much of his career in the WWFC and has padded his record against subpar fighters. Cutelaba is 22 years old and is a striker at heart who relies on hand speed and aggressiveness. Cutelaba has won six of his last seven fights by knockout and isn’t going to be shorted when it comes to trying to land haymakers. Cutelaba can still improve his ground game, as his wrestling is still raw and his takedown defense is very minimal. However, Cutelaba has the athleticism to adjust positioning when on the canvas.
Cirkunov clearly has the edge in experience and ground game, but Cutelaba has the clear edge in striking and athleticism. This fight could truly go either way, and I’m leaning upset.
Cutelaba’s striking attack will be the deciding factor here and could lead to an early stoppage if Cirkunov isn’t careful.