Lightweights Damir Ismagulov and Grant Dawson throw down in the co-main event Saturday, warming up the Vegas crowd for a UFC Fight Night main event between Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov.
The prelims at the Apex start at 4 p.m. ET, while the main card kicks off at 7 p.m.
Ismagulov (-125) is a slight favorite vs Dawson.
UFC Fight Night: Ismagulov vs Dawson Betting Odds
Odds as of June 28
How To Watch UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov
Don't worry fight fans, this is our last Fight Night before an excellent pay-per-view at UFC 290.
UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov Full Card & Betting Odds
Here's Saturday's lineup in Vegas.
Odds as of June 28
Damir Ismagulov vs Grant Dawson Tale Of The Tape
|Fighter||Damir Ismagulov||Grant Dawson|
|Record||24-2 (5-1 UFC)||19-1-1 (7-0-1 UFC)|
|Avg. Fight Time||15:00||11:51|
|Sig. Strikes Per Minute||3.78||3.12|
|Sig. Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.51||2.41|
|Takedowns Per 15 Minutes||1.17||3.80|
Ismagulov vs Dawson Preview: Who Will Win?
There are some lightweight rankings at stake here. Let's see what we've got.
How Dawson Wins
When the wrestling fails, try and try again. At a 75% clip, Ismagulov has good but not impenetrable takedown defense. Dawson averages 3.80 takedowns per 15 minutes (that's a lot) and is undefeated in the UFC, largely because he's been able to take down all eight opponents.
He can't quit that strategy, even against a longer opponent in Ismagulov. A submission is Dawson's only hope.
How Ismagulov Wins
While the Kazakh isn't the most offensive fighter on the roster (all six of his UFC fights have gone the distance), he does a lot of things well. Ismagulov has a very strong chin; he's tough to hit and, as I said earlier, his takedown defense holds up.
"Qazar" got obliterated in his last fight (against wrestler Arman Tsarukyan) because he yielded seven takedowns. That won't cut it. Ismagulov better have drilled his grappling in this training camp. If he didn't, he'll get torched again.
Watch for Ismagulov to defend Dawson's advances with knees and uppercuts. As the rangier fighter, that's always a good strategy.
Damir Ismagulov vs Grant Dawson Pick
I went into this breakdown favoring Ismagulov, but I've changed my mind. Dawson is an impeccable wrestler, and we saw Ismagulov get bullied for 15 minutes in his last fight vs Tsarukyan. The blueprint is there. Now let's hope Dawson shows up ready to attack.