A pair of middleweight heavy hitters will square off in the main event at the UFC Fight Night on Saturday, July 1, when #7-ranked Sean Strickland and rising star Abus Magomedov collide at the UFC's Apex in Las Vegas.
Strickland (26-5-0) will be fighting at UFC Vegas 76 for the fourth time in 12 months, and snapped a two-bout losing skid with an impressive win over Nassourdine Imavov in a short-notice matchup. The veteran fighter has also defeated middleweight contenders Jack Hermansson and Uriah Hall.
Magomedov (25-4-1) disposed of Dustin Stoltzfus in his UFC debut in an eye-popping 20 seconds. The Russian-born fighter is a powerful striker who is also a dangerous grappler. He is looking to deliver a statement with a victory over Strickland and move into the top 10 in the division.
A victory by Strickland would put him back in the title picture, while a win by Magomedov would solidify his status as a top 10 middleweight contender.
WynnBet New York sportsbook has Strickland (-175) as the favorite to win the fight against Magomedov (+145). The American opened as a strong favorite and is also closing as a solid option to hand the Russian his first UFC defeat.
Strickland hopes a fight with current and two-time UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya is imminent if he can dispose of Magomedov. Tarzan has nine first-round stoppages but has gone the distance in his last two fights inside the Octagon.
"If this fight goes my way, it 100 percent should be in the cards," Strickland told My MMA News.
Speaking about his most recent fight, Strickland commented “Jared Cannonier, you knocked some brain cells out of me. Solid guy. Thought I won on the scorecards, but it is what it is."
"I truly believe I should be the one fighting Izzy, but I lost fair and square," added the American. "I'll pay my tenants. I'll get some Ws, but that one needs to happen."
The 32-year-old boasts a 41% striking accuracy with an impressive 5.76 significant strikes landed per minute. He also averages 1.04 takedowns per 15 minutes while sporting a takedown accuracy of 64% and defends attempted takedowns with an 85% success rate.
Strickland is an aggressive striker who relies on non-stop pressure to overwhelm his opponents. He has won 44% of his bouts by decision, 40% by knockout, and 16% via submission.
Magomedov has tallied 14 knockout finishes and turned heads in his UFC defeat with a lopsided victory over Stoltzfus. He garnered a knockout with a vicious front kick and a flurry of ground and pound punches to register the fourth-fastest finish by a fighter making his UFC debut.
The 32-year-old is riding a three-fight winning streak and has won 15 fights in the opening round. However, middleweight contender Caio Borralho (14-1-0) does not believe Magomedov should be headlining a UFC event in just his second fight with the company.
"I don't know why the UFC is pushing this guy so hard, you know," said Borralho. "Cause he got murdered (in the PFL) by an old guy. Now he's (in the UFC), he faced a guy that was 1-4 in his last five fights, and he got a finish. But I don't see too much in this guy, the UFC's pushing him up the rankings with just one fight in the UFC. Not just me, but a lot of the other prospects deserve it much more than this guy."
Magomedov, who suffered a loss to 43-year-old Louis Taylor in 2018 while fighting in the PFL, has won 56% of his fights by knockout. He has captured 24% of his wins by submission and 20% via decision.
Both fighters possess knockout power, but Strickland has more all-around talent than the much-hyped Magomedov. This fight could be an entertaining slugfest, but Strickland will outclass the Russian and move into the top five of the middleweight division.
When it comes to betting on UFC, most of New York’s leading sportsbooks offer a full range of options. The most popular bet type for wagering on this UFC fight is the moneyline. This bet is on the odds for who will win the fight outright, so if Strickland wins the contest, a $100 wager at odds of -175 will net a total payout of $157.14.
But, if Magomedov pulls off the upset, a $100 bet at odds of +145 would earn a profit of $145.
Over/Under is another popular UFC bet type. This wager is for the number of rounds the fight will last. When betting the total rounds odds, you're putting your money on how long the fight will last.
For example, by taking the Under 2.5 rounds, you're betting that the fight will end before the midway point of the third round. Thus, if the battle ends in Round 1 or 2 or before the clock ticks below 2:30 in the third round you’ll win the bet.
We’d expect the favorite Strickland to finish as the winner, however he might struggle to end the fight before the full five rounds, despite the smaller arena being slightly more facilitating of KOs. Early predictions would suggest a win by decision after the final bell, so an over 2.5 round bet would be our pick.
The main event at UFC Vegas 76 showcases middleweight hopefuls Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov. The five-round showdown will occur on Saturday, July 1, at the UFC's Apex in Las Vegas.
Mixed Martial Arts fans in New York can watch the fight live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ pay-per-view in English and Spanish.
#7-ranked Sean Strickland is a -175 betting favorite, while unranked Abus Magomedov is the +145 underdog, per WynnBet. However, anything can happen in a matchup of heavy hitters, and a $100 wager on Magomedov will reap a total payout of $245.
#12-ranked Damir Ismagulov (24-2-0) will square off against #15-ranked Grant Dawson (19-1-1) in a pivotal 155-pound clash, while Max Griffin (19-9-0) and Michael Morales (14-0-0) will butt heads in a welterweight matchup. Ariane Lipski (15-8-0) will battle Melissa Gatto (8-1-2) in a women's flyweight contest, and Ismael Bonfim (19-3-0) will collide with Benoît Saint-Denis (10-1-0) in a lightweight affair. A pair of middleweights, Abdul Razak Alhassan (12-5-0) and Brunno Ferreira (10-0-0) will both be looking to move up in the division.
Bets can be placed while the fight is happening with live UFC odds that are constantly updated based on the real action inside the Octagon. The most popular types of live bettings offered include moneyline wagers on the predicted winner, the method of victory, and the duration of the fight. If you favor Strickland to defeat the inexperienced Magomedov, place a wager on the favorite, and you might win some extra cash.
WynnBet New York is a popular sportsbook where mixed martial arts fans can place bets on this intriguing middleweight matchup.