UFC Vegas 14: Saparbek Safarov vs. Julian Marquez Picks, Odds, and Predictions

UFC Vegas 14: Saparbek Safarov vs. Julian Marquez Picks, Odds, and Predictions Photo by Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov

Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)

The Line: Saparbek Safarov +240 / Julian Marquez -280 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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Julian Marquez and Saparbek Safarov fight Saturday in UFC Vegas 13 at the UFC APEX.

Julian Marquez enters this fight with a 7-2 record and has won 86 percent of his fights by knockout. Marquez has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a July (2018) loss to Alessio Di Chirico. Marquez is averaging 3.80 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Marquez is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Marquez hasn’t fought since the The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale more than two years ago where he suffered a split decision loss. Marquez has been dealing with a shoulder injury since that fight, an issue that doctors said his career may be finished. With a 2-1 record under the UFC banner, Marquez makes his return to the octagon at 30 years old. Marquez comes from a wrestling background and has a submission victory over Darren Stewart, but he’s a striker at heart who pressures with power combinations and has a proven chin. Marquez is huge for the middleweight division and what he lacks in speed, he makes up with in power and a come forward style that’s hard for most to keep up with. Marquez has the ability to carve out a name for himself, but it’s going to be interesting to see what his past injury and the time away did to his skillset. 

Saparbek Safarov enters this fight with a 9-3 record and has won 67 percent of his fights by knockout. Safarov has split his last six fights and is coming off a March loss to Rodolfo Vieira. Safarov is averaging 4.03 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Safarov is averaging 2.52 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Safarov lost his middleweight debut at UFC 248 in a first round submission, and he’s been submitted twice in his last three fights overall. Safarov is now 1-3 under the UFC banner and hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time in his career. Safarov was previously a light heavyweight and has six career knockouts, so the power is there and he won five of his first six career fights with finishes by punches. Safarov comes from a sambo and wrestling background and he has two career submission victories.  Safarov is solid in the clinch and has had takedown success through four previous UFC fights. This will be Safarov’s second career fight in Las Vegas.

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This is a lot of respect Marquez is getting when you consider he’s been out of the octagon for more than two years and had a shoulder injury where many questioned if he’d ever fight again. Despite some recent hiccups, Safarov is not a pushover. With all that said, I still side with Marquez to get the nod, as he’s the sharper striker of the two and his come forward style is going to make Safarov uncomfortable. Assuming everything is good with Marquez and he can still put his body into those shots, he should have his way in his return fight.

Give me Marquez by knockout to shave down the hefty ML price.

See Who The Experts Picked To Win This One

Randy’s Pick Julian Marquez By TKO / KO

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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