An unexpected middleweight fight headlines the UFC Apex as Sean Strickland defends his standing among the middleweight elite against Abus Magomedov. Get the latest analysis and predictions for UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Magomedov.
|Sean Strickland defends his standing among the middleweight elite against Abus Magomedov in an unexpected main event.
|Strickland accommodated the UFC’s request to fight an opponent not recognized by the UFC’s official middleweight rankings.
|Magomedov made a thunderous introduction to the UFC with a 19-second front-kick knockout.
|The fight card also features other promising matchups and prospects.
An unexpected middleweight fight headlines the UFC Apex. Sean Strickland defends his standing among the middleweight elite against a fighter few anticipated to see in the marquee, Abus Magomedov.
UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Magomedov
Strickland vs. Magomedov headlines UFC Fight Night from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday. Strickland (26-5) has emerged as one of the most unhinged personalities in the UFC between his in-cage trash talk and questionable quotes circulating online. A middleweight contender ready to fight at anytime, Strickland (No. 7) accommodated the UFC’s request to fight an opponent not recognized by the UFC’s official middleweight rankings.
Strickland is many things, but he is not dismissive of the challenge his unheralded opponent presents. Magomedov (25-4-1) finds himself thrust into an unlikely main event in just his second UFC fight. The 13-year mixed martial arts veteran debuted with UFC last year in Paris. He made a thunderous introduction with a 19-second front-kick knockout of Dustin Stoltzfus.
Despite Magomedov’s wealth of experience, odds are he hasn’t faced someone with Strickland’s unique appetite for trash talk. Magomedov cautions Strickland against being too animated on Fight Night.
What Saturday’s card lacks in name power it tries to make up for in prospect development. Damir Ismagulov and Grant Dawson are two tremendous candidates bubbling in the bottom third of the UFC’s official top 15. Undefeated 14-0 fighter Michael Morales takes on tough-nosed veteran Max Griffin, and Ismael Bonfim looks to build on his 2023 KO of the Year candidate against Terrance McKinney.
UFC Fight Night Card
Here is the rest of the fight card for Saturday night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook:
- Sean Strickland -150, Abus Magomedov +125, Middleweight
- Damir Ismagulov -110, Grant Dawson -110, Lightweight
- Michael Morales -250, Max Griffin +205, Welterweight
- Melissa Gato -230, Ariane Lipski +190, Women’s flyweight
- Ismael Bonfin -330, Benoit Saint-Denis +260, Lightweight
- Nursultan Ruziboev -220, Brunno Ferreira +180, Middleweight
- Date: July 1
- Start time: 7 p.m. ET (main card)
- Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas, Nevada
- TV channel: ESPN+
There is absolutely a portion of the fanbase underestimating Magomedov based on his upset loss to Louis Taylor in the PFL 2018 season. The highlight reel punch, which sent Magomedov flying across the cage, overshadowed Magomedov’s 3-0-1 run with the promotion that preceded it.
Magomedov and Strickland have comparable experience with each man exceeding 30 professional MMA fights, but Strickland has faced an overall higher level of competition. KO, submission, and decision wins are in the catalogs of both fighters. I’d give the striking and wrestling edge to Magomedov with comparable cardio between the two parties.
The heavy impact of Magomedov’s strikes could sway the judges, but Strickland makes fights messy with his awkward, jab-heavy, in-your-face style. Magomedov has the right skillset to win on paper, but something tells me Strickland will get it done in an ugly five-round contest. Strickland via UD.
In conclusion, the UFC Apex is set to host an unlikely middleweight fight between Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov. While Strickland is known for his trash talk and questionable quotes, Magomedov is a veteran with a thunderous introduction to the UFC. The fight card also features other promising matchups and prospects. It will be interesting to see how the main event unfolds and whether Strickland can overcome Magomedov’s striking skills.