Sean Strickland vs. Abus Magomedov Preview

The UFC is back this weekend from the APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The headlining bout will be between top-10 middleweight Sean Strickland and a widely unknown foe in Abus Magomedov. 

Strickland has voiced that he decided to take this fight because he was told by the UFC he would be sidelined for another 6 months if he wanted to wait for a top 5 fight. Magomedov is only making his second appearance in the UFC octagon and is the +130 betting underdog going into fight night this weekend. 

Let’s take a look at both fighters and how this fight might play out on Saturday night.

Sean Strickland–Win/Win? Or Lose/Lose?

The 32-year-old Strickland is 26-5 in his professional MMA career and is currently the #7 middleweight in the world. He is taking a massive risk fighting an unknown fighter with a lot of skill. Yes, the UFC brass will have respect for him taking this fight, but will it benefit him in terms of earning a title shot? What does a win here do for his case of earning a fight with Adesanya? 


He is the -180 betting favorite in this bout and has 18 more appearances in that famed UFC octagon. The experience and skill need to shine over 25 minutes or else he might be in trouble against someone as skilled as Magomedov.


Abus Magomedov–Massive Opportunity

Magomedov has a win/win situation here on Saturday night. He is facing a top-10 fighter while not having a ranking next to his own name. A win means Magomedov takes Strickland’s ranking and thrusts himself into a top-10 fight later this year. 


This is arguably the most favorable ranked matchup for Magomedov as well–knowing that Strickland fights with a lot of ego and can be easily swayed into a dumb fight plan on his end. Magomedov is the +145 underdog this weekend. 


Strickland vs. Magomedov Pick and Prediction

After breaking down both fighters and their skillset, it’s going to be tough to justify taking Sean Strickland here. His style isn’t very good against someone with the length and kicking ability that Magomedov possesses.


Magomedov is going to be able to use his front kicks to the body and head to keep Strickland in a defensive state for the majority of the fight. Strickland won’t admit this, but he might be having issues mentally getting into a fight nowadays, outside of the training camp.


Strickland has looked flat in his last few fights and his choice to not use his high-level grappling is just plain stupid at this point. Assuming he will be the same fighter as usual, with some improvements in positioning after training with Alex Pereira for a brief moment this training camp, Magomedov has the tools to win.


Taking Magomedov at underdog odds seems like a steal this weekend and should be the best bet for this headlining bout. 


Magomedov ML +145 is the pick to make. 

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