Name: Khalid Taha
Opponent: Raoni Barcelos
Odds: +270 (bet $100 to win $270)
In his last fight Raoni Barcelos was able to neutralize the striking of the very impressive Said Nurmagomedov and win a clear cut decision. He mixed in some takedowns, but ultimately it was his ability to stay away from the big strikes of Nurmagomedov and land some of his own that was the bulk of the work.
Given this fact, there is no surprise that he would be a sizable favorite stepping in with a striker – especially one that is largely seen as less dangerous that Nurmagomedov. However, what I like here about Taha is the type of striker he is and how different that is to Nurmagomedov. Whereas his Russian counterpart likes big movements and spinning kicks, Taha prefers to keep things tight with hooks on the inside and shots to the body. This style is more dangerous against Barcelos for two reasons. Firstly, it counters the wide, winging strikes of Barcelos much more efficiently and is going to punish him at a higher rate for throwing them (even if the impact may be less). In addition, the more efficient movement is going to open less takedowns for Barcelos, who doesn’t do a great job creating them from nothing. For these two reasons, I think Taha can keep his feet more often than Nurmagomedov and tag Barcelos far more regularly – enough so to get the W.
2020 Record: 13–20
Earnings (based on $100 bet/event): -$23
Return on Investment: <1%
2018-19 Record: 31-47 (+1.5%)
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