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Kajan Johnson vs. Islam Makhachev UFC on Fox 30 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/28/18

Islam Makhachev vs. Kajan Johnson

UFC: Saturday, July 28, 2018 (Scotiabank Saddledome)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX

Kajan Johnson and Islam Makhachev fight Saturday during UFC on Fox 30 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Kajan Johnson enters this fight with a 22-12-1 record and has won 36 percent of his fights by knockout. Johnson has six of his last seven fights and is coming off a March win over Stevie Ray. Johnson is averaging 2.43 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 45.4 percent. Johnson is averaging 1.99 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37.5 percent. Johnson is coming off a tight split decision victory in which he landed 37 strikes and survived three takedowns. Johnson is now enjoying the best stretch of his career, as he’s 4-1 under the UFC banner and quickly proving he’s a name to watch in the lightweight division, as this will be his third fight since last September. Johnson is an athletic fighter who has good length, quickness and is usually the aggressor in the octagon. Johnson has some pop in his strikes, and he’s improved his wrestling in his last several fights and is far more comfortable on the canvas at this stage. Johnson has fought much of his career in Canada, his birthplace. 

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Kajan Johnson vs. Islam Makhachev UFC on Fox 30 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/28/18

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Islam Makhachev enters this fight with a 15-1 record and has won 40 percent of his fights by submission. Makhachev has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a January win over Gleison Tibau. Makhachev is averaging 2.33 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 63.5 percent. Makhachev is averaging 4.46 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 85.7 percent. Makhachev is coming off his third career knockout victory in which he landed just three strikes and got the quickest win of his career. Makhachev isn’t known for his striking power at all, as he’s somebody with a deep background in wrestling, grappling and Sambo, however, fighters from Russia are usually tough nosed with heavy hands. Makhachev usually wants a fight on the canvas, as he has 12 takedowns in five UFC fights and has produced submissions in three of his last six victories. Makhachev is a well conditioned fighter who has won all six of his carer decisions and has defended 100 percent of his takedowns. Makhachev is somebody at 26 years old who could climb the rankings quickly if he can continue on this track. This will be Makhachev’s first career fight in Canada. 

Makhachev has been the more impressive fighter up to this point, but I’m leaning Johnson in this bout. The Canadian has more balance to his attack and his five inch reach advantage and three inch leg advantage are key. In a fight that’s likely going to be a grappling and wrestling contest, Johnson’s length, athleticism and quickness gives him the edge. This fight is also on Johnson’s home soil, so you know a packed house doesn’t hurt.

I give Johnson the edge here based on his length.

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