Luis Henrique vs. Dmitry Smolyakov UFC on Fox 20 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/23/16
Smolyakov vs. Henrique
UFC: Saturday, July 23, 2016 (United Center)
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Luis Henrique and Dmitry Smolyakov fight Saturday at the United Center on UFC on Fox 20.
Luis Henrique enters this fight with a 8-2 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by knockout. Henrique has won six of his last seven fights and is coming off a December loss to Francis Ngannou. Henrique is averaging 0.63 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Henrique is averaging 0.9 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 16.6 percent. Henrique hopes to redeem himself after getting knocked out in his UFC debut, and both of his losses have ended that way. Henrique hasn’t exactly shown to be great at anything, as his striking attack still needs work and he hasn’t proven he can be effective with his takedown consistently. Henrique must do a better job of cleaning up his striking game, as he can be sloppy at times.
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Dmitry Smolyakov enters this fight with a 8-0 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be Smolyakov’s third fight since 2015, and he’s coming off a December win over Sergey Grebenec. Smolyakov is making his UFC debut in his 30s and enters as an exciting fighter who has won all of his fights by submission or knockout. Smolyakov has quick and powerful hands, and he knows how to jump on his opponent when the time comes to end a fight. Smolyakov is also an effective and powerful takedown artist who really dominates from the top position and has four victories by submission. The one area Smolyakov can improve is his grappling, as he often gets caught out of position and could struggle against better competition on this level.
Henrique is a fighter who is still trying to find an identity and exactly where he shines most. He’s also been knocked out twice, which isn’t good given Smolyakov’s power and aggressiveness in terms of his striking. I rarely pick guys making their UFC debut, but Smolyakov should be able to win this fight.
Look for Smolyakov to remain undefeated.