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Sheymon Moraes vs. Sodiq Yusuff - 3/30/19 UFC on ESPN 2 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Sheymon Moraes vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Date & Time Saturday March 30, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)
Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Line
The Line: Yusuff -152 / Moraes+138 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
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James Elsby-USA TODAY Sports

Sheymon Moraes and Sodiq Yusuff fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 2 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Sheymon Moraes enters this fight with a 11-2 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by decision. Moraes has won four of his last five fights and is coming off a November win over Julio Arce. Moraes is averaging 2.76 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Moraes is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Moraes is now 2-0 under the UFC banner after winning a split decision despite his opponent landing 22 more strikes than him. Moraes Four of Moraes’ last five wins have come by decision, and his only two losses have come by submission. Moraes is a striker at heart coming from a kickboxing and Muay Thai background, and he does a wonderful job of fighting from a distance that allows him to limit in his stand up. And while he was taken down twice in his last fight, Moraes is solid at defending the shoot and his distance usually allows him to see it coming early. Moraes also has a solid ground and pound if a fight does go to the canvas. This will be Moraes’ first career fight in Pennsylvania.

Sodiq Yusuff enters this fight with a 8-1 record and has won 63 percent of his fights by knockout. Yusuff has won his last three fights and is coming off a December win over Suman Mokhtarian. Yusuff is averaging 10.30 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Yusuff is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Yusuff was impressive in his UFC debut that he won by knockout, some would say was an early stoppage, but he was in control of the fight from start to finish. Yusuff is a technically sound, accurate striker with one-punch knockout potential. Yusuff clearly has a background in boxing with just how clean his striking attempts are, the fact he always keeps his hands up and is constantly looking for an opening to attack. Yusuff mixes in his leg kicks well and has shown his toughness, as he took a clean knee to the chest from Mike Davis and didn’t even flinch. Yusuff is an impressive stand up striker, and at just 25 years old, he has a chance to really shake up the featherweight division. This will be Yusuff’s first career fight in Pennsylvania.

This is going to be a test for Yusuff given the level of experience his opponent has in kickboxing, Muay Thai and Judo. Moraes may not finish his fights the way you’d like, but he’s accurate, intelligent and has never not a fight on his feet. With that said, Yusuff has extreme striking power and I don’t see him losing when getting his style of fight. Yusuff is going to come forward, force the issue and it takes just one shot to flip this fight upside down. Moraes doesn’t have the pop that’s going to scare Yusuff, so you can expect the American to be the aggressor and eventually look for that opening that really changes the fight.

Look for Yusuff to introduce himself as a fighter who is on the rise and a name you should be keeping a close eye on.

Sodiq Yusuff -152

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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