UFC 263 Prelims: Movsar Evloev vs Hakeem Dawodu: Prediction and Analysis

Published 06/10/2021, 12:39 PM EDT


Ahead of UFC 263 this weekend, we take a look at the featherweight match up between Movsar Evloev and Hakeem Dawodu in the featherweight division. Both fighters are currently on a winning run. But it will be important to get a triumph for either man to keep making progress in a top-heavy featherweight division.

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Evloev will make his fifth appearance inside the Octagon this weekend. The former M-1 Global fighter has defeated the likes of Enrique Barzola, Nik Lentz, and more during his stint in the promotion. The 27-year-old Russian holds a perfect professional record of 14-o in his professional career so far.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: (L-R) Movsar Evloev of Russia punches Nik Lentz in a 150-pound catchweight 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)

‘Mean’, on the other hand, is currently on a 5-fight winning streak. Since his submission loss in his promotional debut, the former WSOF fighter has put together an impressive streak in the 145 lbs division of the UFC. His most recent win has been over Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC 263. The 29-year-old Canadian earned the 3rd split decision win of his UFC career in that fight.

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Evloev has seven finishes under his belt, with three T/KO and four submission wins rack up those numbers for him. Dawodu has seven finishes under his name, with all of them coming by T/KO.

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Movsar Evloev vs Hakeem Dawodu: Analysis

Evloev, despite his perfect professional record, hasn’t looked too impressive in his UFC career so far. He has decent striking. However, he doesn’t possess the necessary knockout power in his hand to trouble his opponents.

The same can be said about Dawodu as well. But he has really good defensive grappling skills, as seen in his last fight against Tukhugov. Evloev, on the other hand, is offensively not so sound in the grappling department.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (R-L) Movsar Evloev of Russia punches Mike Grundy of England in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Dawodu has the better reach. He might exploit that over Evloev and trouble him throughout the contest. ‘Mean’ should eventually be able to earn another split decision by handing his opponent the first loss of his career.

Final Prediction: Hakeem ‘Mean’ Dawodu by split decision.

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Apratim Banerjee

871 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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