UFC 259: Islam Makhachev vs Drew Dober- Prediction and Analysis

Published 03/05/2021, 7:54 AM EST
CALGARY, AB – JULY 28: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his submission victory over Kajan Johnson of Canada in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Scotiabank Saddledome on July 28, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC lightweight stand-outs Islam Makhachev and Drew Dober will do battle on the main card for UFC 259. Both men are on the threshold for a top spot in the 155-pound division and they’re playing for all the marbles. Chiefly, the lightweight division is chalked full of killers looking to make a title run, and the aforementioned fighters want in.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is likely to vacate the undisputed title which means there’s sure to be a power struggle at the top. Fighters like Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier have already made their claim to be next in line. However, there are plenty of other fighters with huge names who could be the stepping stone for either Makhachev or Dober

UFC lightweights: Islam Makhachev vs Drew Dober

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The Russian star out of Eagles MMA and AKA is a force to be reckoned with on the feet and certainly on the canvas. He’s looked at by many as Khabib Nurmagomedov’s successor and he’s showcased great promise thus far. Makhachev has struggled from injuries that have cost him big opportunities however it’s time to cash in with Dober.

BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev kicks Gleison Tibau in the first round of their Lightweight fight during UFC 220 at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

He’s put forth some lethal striking as seen in his demolition of Gleison Tibau and has more than adequate grappling. In fact, Daniel Cormier has gone so far as to say that Makhachev’s grappling is better than Khabib’s in some position. That’s a scary prospect for Dober who will need to stay a mile away from the cage.

Drew Dober is no slouch though and he’s on a three-fight win streak with three straight KO/TKO’s to his name. He competed back in May 2020 and hasn’t been able to find the right match-up to make a return to action. A spectacular finish over Islam who is touted as the next champion will put Drew Dober on the map.

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He’s able to explode out of the pocket and enter into range as very few other lightweight fighters can. However, he’ll have to be wary of the blast double takedowns and high crotch dips that await him on a hasty entry. The key to success for Drew Dober lies in his ability to possibly soften up the power side and then blitz for a finish

Prediction: Islam Makhachev to claim a second-round submission win.

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Darryl Pinto

1478 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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