UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan vs Gamrot Undercard: The UFC is giving us another amazing fight night featuring action-packed match ups: the night’s co-main event between one of the most successful UFC welterweights of all-time and one of the sport’s brightest prospects. Let’s take a look at the undercard.
-400 Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0: 8 KOs, 7 SUBs) vs. +300 Neil Magny (26-8: 7 KOs, 3 SUBs)
All credit here to longtime UFC veteran Neil Magny. He is not shy of wanting to test the best the UFC has to offer by not only being the first to raise his hand to face Khamzat Chimaev (fight never reached contract) and now another undefeated killer in Shavkat Rakhmonov. Magny is also trying to set the all-time UFC welterweight wins record on Saturday night, currently tied with UFC legend Georges St. Pierre with 19. The fact that this fight is actually happening is truly incredible. We know what to expect from Magny’s side of things: the former military man has clean kickboxing, an elite clinch game and above all, has an undying will to persevere. Magny will be facing one of the faces of tomorrow in Rakhmonov. The young gun has shown impressive kickboxing technique combined with an aggressive submission game in his first three UFC bouts. Amazingly, Rakhmonov hasn’t seen the final horn in any of his pro fights, with a 100% finish rate. That begs the question: what happens if Magny handles everything Rakhmonov throws at him? Can the young fighter adapt? Magny hasn’t been finished in about 3 ½ years, but I got Rakhmonov winning his first decision.
Selection: Rakhmonov wins via Decision
-115 Alan Baudot (8-3: 7 KOs) vs. -105 Josh Parisian (14-5: 10 KOs, 2 SUBs)
Both of these heavyweights are swimming in the same pool of trying to establish themselves in a division that can quickly turnover with just three consecutive wins. I expect Baudot to be more fleet of foot and not get caught in a corner against Parisian, who is more lumbering in his movement, making him susceptible to getting frequently tagged. However, Parisian is competitive by nature and won’t go down without a fight. If things get frantic, I could see Parisian getting the better of wild exchanges, but I envision Baudot staying composed and methodical in his game plan and picking apart Parisian from the outside with his crisper boxing and feint-heavy style.
Selection: Baudot wins via Decision
-250 Thiago Moises (15-6: 7 KOs, 4 SUBs) vs. +200 Christos Giagos (19-9: 3 KOs, 6 SUBs)
Moises and Giagos have faced so many of the top lightweights the UFC has to offer, but they can’t seem to crack through to that next level. I expect this fight to be scrappy between two guys who are trying to stay relevant in a deep division. Moises is a smooth operator on the feet, with his fundamental Muay Thai kickboxing. The Brazilian native has no wasted motion in his striking. For Giagos, he is a hard-nosed fighter that wants to grind his opponents in hopes of synching up a submission. Though Giagos will pursue countless takedowns to bring the fight into his comfort zone, Moises trains at the best gym in the world and will be more than prepared to show a sufficient takedown defense.
Selection: Moises wins via 3rd-Round TKO
-850 Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0-1: 1 KO, 7 SUBs) vs. +575 Nate Maness (14-1: 5 KOs, 3 SUBs)
A match up featuring a chaotic killer and tactical assassin, Nate Maness takes on Umar Nurmagomedov, one of MMA’s most notable prospects. While Maness is on a three-fight win streak since joining the UFC in 2020, he hasn’t faced a fighter of Nurmogomedov’s caliber in his career. Nurmagomedov is a direct student and relative of the former UFC great, Khabib. Nurmagomedov, like his cousin, has shown to be on a tear early in his career through that signature Dagestani swarming wrestling along with a highly-effective submission game, making him a serious threat in the UFC’s featherweight division. It will be a test for the young Dagestani fighter, but nothing like the tests he sees on a daily basis in the training room.
Selection: Nurmagomedov wins via 2nd-Round Submission
-150 Chris Curtis (17-4: 16 KOs, 1 SUB) vs. +125 Rodolfo Vieira (8-1: 1 KO, 7 SUBs)
Fast-rising fan-favorite Chris “Action Man” Curtis is climbing the welterweight rankings with authority as he’s notched two knockouts in his first two fights since joining the organization back in November. His adversary this time around is Rodolfo Vieira, a world Jiu-Jitsu champion who is built like a Greek statue. Curtis has only submitted once in his career (May 2011), and is likely to keep that streak alive as he trains alongside top talent in the world including near-title challenger Sean Strickland. Vieira hasn’t seen cage time since July 2021 and seems to be taking extra time to develop a well-rounded game after his momentum was wildly halted when he lost to huge underdog Anthony Hernandez early last year by submission of all outcomes. Both men will be wary of the other's most dangerous weapons, but I got Curtis doing more damage on the feet to get his hand raised and putting the welterweight division on the lookout.
Selection: Curtis wins via 3rd-Round TKO