Merab Dvalishvili vs. John Dodson - 8/15/20 UFC 252 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
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John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)
The Line: Merab Dvalishvili -180 / John Dodson +155 -- Over/Under: Click Here for the Latest Odds
John Dodson and Merab Dvalishvili fight Saturday during UFC 252 at the UFC APEX.
John Dodson enters this fight with a 20-11 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by knockout. Dodson has split his last 10 fights and is coming off a February win over Nathaniel Wood. Dodson is averaging 3.30 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Dodson is averaging 0.76 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 28 percent. Dodson is coming off a third round knockout at UFC Fight Night 167, a fight that was very competitive up to that point. Dodson will now fight for the second time this year, and he looks for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014-15. Dodson is a very small fighter at just 5’3”, but he has a lot of power in his miniature frame and is one of the quickest fighters in the sport. Dodson has seen eight of his last 10 fights end in decision, but he’s certainly capable of rocking some guys with one clean shot, and his lack of size makes him a really tough matchup for most opponents. Dodson defends takedowns well and is extremely effective on counters where he’s done a lot of his best work. Rush in on Dodson at your own risk, as his hands are always ready and he’s arguably the fastest fighter regardless of division. A crafty southpaw and a black belt in Gaidojutsu, Dodson has never been finished in his career despite 11 losses. This will be Dodson’s fifth career fight in Las Vegas.
Merab Dvalishvili enters this fight with a 11-4 record and is winning 73 percent of his fights by decision. Dvalishvili has won each of his last four fights and is coming off a June win over Gustavo Lopez. Dvalishvili is averaging 4.01 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 39 percent. Dvalishvili is averaging 8.67 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Dvalishvili is coming off a decision win at UFC on ESPN 10 where he landed 110 total strikes and produced 13 takedowns. Dvalishvili is now 4-2 under the UFC banner and has seen each of his last four fights end in decisions. Dvalishvili has a background in wrestling and Khridoli, and he’s a black belt in Judo. Dvalishvili shows decent boxing skills in his standup and he’s a really athletic fighter who mixes in leg kicks and can be a bit unpredictable on his feet while throwing a strong overhand. However, Dvalishvili is most known for his takedown ability and his overall ground game, and he becomes a point fighter on the canvas where he just wears on his opponent. Dvalishvili has just one career submission victory, but he’s produced a combined 25 takedowns in his last two fights, so that alone should tell you what he’s trying to do inside the octagon. This will be Dvalishvili’s second career fight in Las Vegas.
Dodson is a fighter I like to back in the underdog role, as he’s lighting quick, has some pop in his hands and is hard to keep on the canvas even if he gets taken down. Dvalishvili also has some holes in his standup that can be countered by the speedy Dodson. However, Dvalishvili is one of those guys who gets the fight where he wants it and just continues to wear on his opponent. Dvalishvili should be able to control this fight, get points for takedowns and eventually tire out Dodson due to carrying so much weight and having to fight to get back on his feet. This doesn’t feel like a good matchup for the American.
I’ll back Dvalishvili to win this fight.