UFC 294 Tips and Predictions

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UFC 294 Tips and Predictions

Dateline Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi!!!

Last-minute replacements often damage a fight card, but the combat sports leader has managed to pull off superior fights in what looks to be the card of the year on paper this weekend.

This has been one of the most anticipated cards of 2023 and we’re excited for this one to go down, so let’s dive right in!!

Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski II

After the display of arguably the fight of the year at UFC 284, the rematch between these champions was an eventuality.

This rematch holds a lot at stake for these combatants such as their legacy, championship position, and pound-for-pound status.

Islam Makhachev is currently riding the longest active win streak in the promotion coming off 12 straight wins over top competitors like Alexander Volkanovski, Charles Oliveira, Dan Hooker, etc.

Islam has taken the torch from hall of famer, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and has established a new era in the UFC's most glamorous division.

The Lightweight champion holds elite wrestling credentials but has also sharpened his game by adding effective kicks and striking defense which makes him a force to be reckoned with.

Although Islam is a good striker in his own right, we strongly believe that his 62% takedown accuracy is his key in this matchup.

Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski dared to be great by moving up in divisions to challenge one of the toughest champions in the UFC.

The Featherweight champion gained stock in his close loss to Islam as a lot of fans argued his case and praised him for rising to the test.

Alex has cemented his legacy as one of the best Featherweights after defeating former champions like Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, and Yair Rodriguez.

He is one of the best strikers in the UFC while also having elite cardio and effective grappling skills to lean on.

He averages landing 6.25 significant strikes per minute which is nearly triple the average output of Islam.

Alex proved to have the better cardio in their initial meeting, and we think his volume is the key in this matchup.

Pick: Winner: Alexander Volkanovski @3.05

Kamaru Usman vs Khamzat Chimaev

This is one of the best co-main events of the year as it could easily headline a PPV.

We’ve got the former Pound for Pound king, Kamaru Usman taking on a challenge that most men fear, in undefeated prospect Khamzat Chimaev.

According to Dana White, the winner will get a title shot at 185 pounds which has further enhanced the stakes of this matchup.

Kamaru Usman is regarded by many as the best Welterweight of all time due to his dominant 15-fight win-streak at 170 pounds which saw him defeat and finish elite competitors like Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and Gilbert Burns.

Usman is one of the best wrestlers and anti-wrestlers in the game with decent boxing skills to hang with anyone on the feet.

A big win over Khamzat will push Usman back into the title picture where he has thrived for most of his career.

Khamzat Chimaev is easily one of the most exciting prospects in the promotion.

Chimaev is an explosive wrestler with a dangerous finishing skillset on the feet and ground.

He has defeated top names like Gilbert Burns and Kevin Holland in his short stint.

Fight fans have been eager to see Chimaev in a championship setting and a win over Usman will guarantee that scenario.

Given the elite wrestling credentials on both sides, we think this will play out on the feet for most of the fight.

Chimaev is dangerous but has proven to slow down if he cannot get a round 1 finish which could make this fight interesting.

We think Usman has great takedown defense and the fight IQ to hang with the prospect.

This is a coin-flip for us but we do see this fight extending into the final minutes so we will take the over 2.5 rounds on this one at plus odds.

Pick: Winner: Over 2.5 Rounds @2.45