UFC 264 Early Prelims: Omari Akhmedov vs Brad Tavares- Prediction and Analysis

Published 07/04/2021, 6:38 AM EDT


UFC middleweights Omari Akhmedov and Brad Tavares will meet in the middle at UFC 264 on the early prelims section of the card. Both men are divisional veterans who are ranked within the top 15 at 185 lbs. Chiefly, a win on a massive pay-per-view card will be just another step forward in order to actualize their goal of becoming a UFC champion.

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Israel Adesanya has maintained a stranglehold over the division and he’s one of the most active champs on the roster. ‘The Last Stylebender’ has dispatched several contenders who have stepped up to the plate in his short UFC stint. Hence, there’s always a need for new contenders to rise to the top in order to keep the division moving.

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UFC 264: Omari Akhmedov vs Brad Tavares

‘Wolverine’ is coming off an arm-triangle submission win over Tom Breese in his last fight back in January. He fumbled against former champion Chris Weidman one fight prior, however, he’s 4-1 in his last 5. Akhmedov has a lot of potential to push Tavares to his limits in order to retain his number 13 ranking.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 08: Chris Weidman battles Omari Akhmedov in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Omari Akhmedov is a pressure fighter, and he’s able to wear down his opponents by cornering them against the cage. He has a high hit rate when it comes to body-locked wrestling and he’s adept at mat returns. However, he’ll have to be wary of flying knees and spinning attacks that Tavares could throw upon entry.

Brad Tavares (ranked 15) could bump up closer to the top 10 if he can stop the relentless pressure of Akhmedov. Tavares picked up a unanimous decision win over Antonio Carlos Jr in January to get back to winning ways. He’s 3-2 in his last five and has faced several former champions in his 24-fight professional career.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: (L-R) Brad Tavares punches Antonio Carlos Junior of Brazil in a middleweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Tavares, who resorts to range-based attacks against opponents looking to rush in, could be successful against Akhmedov. However, he has a tendency to back up constantly which has cost him several times in the past. Not to mention, he’ll want to stay off the cage at all times and maintain a healthy distance from ‘Wolverine’.

Prediction: Omari Akhmedov to claim a second-round submission

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Darryl Pinto

1797 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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