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Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov UFC 228 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 9/8/18

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez

UFC: Saturday, September 8, 2018 (American Airlines Center)

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

TV: PPV

Yair Rodriguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov fight Saturday during UFC 228 at the American Airlines Center.

Yair Rodriguez enters this fight with a 11-2 record and has won 45 percent of his fights by decision. Rodriguez has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a May (2017) loss to Frankie Edgar. Rodriguez is averaging 3.86 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Rodriguez is averaging 1.3 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Rodriguez is coming off his first career loss under the UFC banner, as he was knocked out for the second time in his career. Rodriguez now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time and is fighting for the first time in about a year and a half. It’s going to be interesting to see if there’s any rust with the young Mexican. Rodriguez is nearly 26 years old, quite an athlete and likes to pressure his opponents with a variety of strikes. Rodriguez can be a bit wild at times and does have holes in his defense, but he’s produced knockouts in two of his last three victories and is always a threat with his spinning attacks. Rodriguez also has an improved ground game and is slowly becoming more of a balanced fighter. This will be Rodriguez’s third career fight in Texas.

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Yair Rodriguez vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov UFC 228 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 9/8/18

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Zabit Magomedsharipov enters this fight with a 15-1 record and has won 40 percent of his fights by knockout. Magomedsharipov has won each of his last 11 fights and is coming off a April win over Kyle Bochniak. Magomedsharipov is averaging 4.53 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Magomedsharipov is averaging 6.56 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 58.6 percent. Magomedsharipov is now 3-0 under the UFC banner and has earned either fight of the night or performance of the night honors in all three bouts. Magomedsharipov is coming off a decision victory in which he landed 114 strikes and produced five takedowns. Magomedsharipov hasn’t lost since his 2013 bout against Igor Egorov, which was when he was very green to the sport. Magomedsharipov is a master takedown artist with a high wrestling ability and above average stamina. Magomedsharipov has produced 17 takedowns on the UFC level, has produced submissions in three of his last six fights and has proven to be quite an accurate striker with some pop behind his hands. At 27 years old, Magomedsharipov is a fighter who could soon be pushing for a shot at a title if he keeps this up. This will be Magomedsharipov’s second career fight in the United States.

I have my doubts that Rodriguez is going to be able to survive all the takedown attempts from Magomedsharipov and hold his own when it comes to wrestling. While his ground game has improved over the years, Rodriguez isn’t comfortable enough to fight nearly every round on the canvas, something he could very well have to do against the Russian. Magomedsharipov forces his opponents to fight his style, and it’s why he’s put together such an impressive winning streak.

I’m siding with Magomedsharipov to win this bout.

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