UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises- Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises: Prediction and Analysis

Published 07/16/2021, 1:49 AM EDT


UFC lightweights Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises will go head to head in the main event for UFC Vegas 31. Both men are on win streaks in the division and the winner will move into the upper echelon of the division. The lightweight division is as crowded as ever and making waves in the division is no mean feat.

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With a new champion at the helm, divisional contenders are looking for ways to slide into title contention. However, the lightweight division has some mainstay figures like Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje who are likely to rule the roost. Makhachev vs Moises is a classic ‘Future Contender’s Match-up’ and the entire MMA world is on notice.

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UFC Fight Night: Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises

Makhachev is ranked number 9 in the division and he’s looking at some blockbuster fights if he gets past Moises. He’s on a 7-fight win streak and is coming off an arm-triangle submission win over Drew Dober. Islam Makhachev thoroughly dominated Dober and the contest was a clear mismatch the moment the bell rang.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Islam Makhachev works for a submission against Drew Dober in their lightweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Makhachev is a mauler in every sense of the word and emulates Khabib Nurmagomedov’s smothering techniques. Not to mention, he has crisp hand speed with varying striking angles that can give his opponent trouble. As long as his conditioning remains throughout five rounds, Makhachev will be favored to win.

Thiago Moises: Breaking into the top 10?

Thiago Moises is on a three-fight win streak and he secured a unanimous decision win over Alexander Hernandez in his last outing. He is currently ranked number 14 and could break right into the top 10 with a clear-cut win over Makhachev. Moises seems to have found his footing after being somewhat inconsistent early on.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 27: (L-R) Thiago Moises of Brazil punches Alexander Hernandez in a lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Moises is undoubtedly a more well-rounded threat to Makhachev than Dober was and he’ll bring the fight to the Russian. Thiago Moises can hold his own on the ground and is very adept at securing leg locks and heel hooks in close range. Not to mention, he fights at range early on and is a threat to steal a lead early on in the fight.

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Prediction: Islam Makhachev to claim a third-round TKO

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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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