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Danielle Taylor vs. Zhang Weili UFC 227 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/4/18

Zhang Weili vs. Danielle Taylor

UFC: Saturday, August 4, 2018 (Staples Center)

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

TV: UFC Fight Pass

Danielle Taylor and Zhang Weili fight Saturday during UFC 227 at the Staples Center.

Danielle Taylor enters this fight with a 9-3 record and is winning 56 percent of her fights by decision. Taylor has won seven of her last 10 fights and is coming off a January loss to JJ Aldrich. Taylor is averaging 2.87 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 29.8 percent. Taylor is averaging 0.25 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 25 percent. Taylor is coming off a decision loss in which she ate 67 strikes and was taken down once. Taylor now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in her career. Taylor has improved her wrestling and being in the clinch since first joining the UFC, but she’s been at her best striking up to this point and lands 95 percent of her strikes standing up. Taylor is still a little wet behind the ears in terms of experience at 28 years old, and she’s limited due to working a full time job with the Los Angeles Police Department. However, Taylor has shown flashes in such a limited sample size and could turn some heads if she can land some powerful strikes. This will be Taylor’s sixth career fight in California, her birth state. 

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Danielle Taylor vs. Zhang Weili UFC 227 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/4/18

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Zhang Weili enters this fight with a 16-1 record and is winning 56 percent of her fights by knockout. Weili has won each of her last 16 fights and is coming off a October win over Bianca Sattelmayer. Weili hasn’t lost a fight since her MMA pro debut in 2013 against Meng Bo, and she makes her UFC debut with this bout. Weili is a very aggressive fighter who comes from a kickboxing background and is highly effective in the clinch. Weili uses her legs very well, has an effective ground and pound and is a good enough wrestler that’s helped her land six submission victories. Weili has finished 15 of her 16 career victories and six of her last nine wins have ended in the first round. Weili may be a later bloomer as she’s turning 29 years old in a couple of weeks, but she has the potential to move up the rankings rather quickly with her aggressive and balanced skill set. This will be Weili’s first career fight in the United States.

Taylor has potential to be better than her record indicates, but she’s a small fighter who hasn’t figured out how to be the aggressor who looks for her shots. Weili is four inches taller and isn’t shy about letting her feet or hands go. Taylor is going to have her hands full here and is sure to eat plenty of kicks and elbows that could end this fight rather quickly if she’s not careful.

I’m a fan of Taylor and her story, but this is a tough matchup. Weili wins her UFC debut.

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