Name: Damon Jackson
Opponent: Ilia Topuria
Odds: +225 (bet $100 to win $225)
Ilia Topuria comes into this fight as the latest Georgian to have some hype behind him. He does for good reason – he stopped Youssef Zalal from picking up his fourth UFC victory in 2020. However, what we saw in that fight was largely just one refined aspect of his game. While his striking looked adequate, he relied heavily on the five takedowns he scored in nine attempts to control Zalal, who hasn’t had the best takedown defense, even in his wins.
Topuria will now have to take those skills to Damon Jackson, who is coming off of a submission over Mirsad Bektic. Jackson might be a more polished striker at this point, which leaves Topuria with one real path to victory. Topuria will have to be the one shooting the takedowns and avoiding the chokes of Jackson, which is a steep ask – and one worth getting in on at over 2-to-1.
2018-19 Record: 31-47 (+1.5%)
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