Arnold Allen vs. Movsar Evloev prediction | UFC 297 1

A battle between two talented featherweights is scheduled for UFC 297 as Arnold Allen faces off with Movsar Evloev on the main card.

29-year-old phenom Mosvar Evloev is 7-0 in the UFC and currently ranked #9 in the division. He has won all seven fights via decision.

Also 29 years old, Arnold “Almighty” Allen is the #4 ranked featherweight in the UFC. Allen lost his first UFC fight to Max Holloway last April. That brought his UFC record to 10-1 with four finishes and the rest of his wins going the distance.

Betting Odds

Evloev has steadily grown wider as the favorite.

Fight Breakdown

Evloev is a phenomenally skilled wrestler with impeccable timing, incredible strength, and an impenetrable gas tank that allows him to shoot and reshoot as many times as he needs to get the fight to the mat.

Evloev is an athletic and deceptively fast striker on the feet, capable of landing traditional combinations as well as entertainingly varied strikes. His striking is aided by the threat of his wrestling; but, make no mistake, he is truly a talented striker.

He has a perfect (7-0) UFC record and has rarely struggled in the cage. More often than not, Evloev can execute his wrestle-heavy game plan with consistency and ease.

However, in fights where he has struggled, Evloev tends to struggle against fighters who push him on his back foot. Given his footwork, striking, and explosive wrestling, this is easier said than done. But, when an opponent can push Evloev back, he’s proved he’s human and hittable, at least briefly.

Allen, like Evloev, is fantastically fundamental, wonderfully well-rounded, and supremely skilled. Alliteration aside, Allen is the whole package in the cage. He is a stout defensive wrestler- a skill that will be put to the ultimate test on Saturday- with high output combination striking and solid power.

He can win fights wherever the matchup takes place. At range, Allen is capable of kickboxing with speed and dynamism. In the pocket, Allen can land combination boxing while being able to eat heavy shots, if necessary, in return. Against the cage, Allen is strong in the clinch, can keep the fight standing, and even reverse position to implement his own grappling offense.

His only loss came in a five-round affair against Max Holloway where, once again, Max’s unique blend of pressure and cardio propelled him to victory. What we can glean from that fight is that Allen undoubtedly deserves to be among the top fighters in the division. But, also, that Allen can succumb and struggle to keep up with extreme pressure.


Both of these fighters are supremely skilled and capable of realizing their championship aspirations, so trying to find an edge when both fighters are as sharp as Evloev and Allen can be challenging.

Because both fighters have a complete mixed martial arts skillset at the highest level, we’ll have to look deeper than the typical stylistic matchup.

I have some questions about Evloev’s decision making in the cage. On the surface, a perfect 7-0 record seems flawless; but, upon closer inspection, Evloev has lost a round in 5 of his 7 losses.

Whether it be hubris, poor decision-making, or a gap in consistency, the fact remains that in 5 of his 7 fights, Evloev leaves openings for his opponents to win important minutes. In a fight that I’m expecting to be razor thin, any opening, no matter how small, is significant.

Further, Allen has logged more minutes against a higher level of competition. Experience is not something I typically consider too much while handicapping because it isn’t quantifiable or even identifiable at times.

But, again, in a fight that I expect to be neck and neck, any edge is a factor. Allen has the edge in experience. I expect Evloev to find success with his wrestling because he’s just that good. I expect Allen to find success with his striking because he’s just that good.

Either man could win this fight, it comes down to who can be better for more minutes of the fight. Given that Evloev tends to drop a round in each fight and Allen has the edge in experience, I lean his direction to win this bout.

I think the most clever bet is to take Allen on the spread (+3.5). So, if this fight goes the distance- which most think it will- and Evloev does not sweep the scorecards- something he rarely does- Allen can lose the fight and you still win your bet. But, most books don’t offer spread bets. So, my best bet that all books offer is to take Allen at dog money to win outright.

Best Bet: Allen to win (+170) – bet now at MyBookie

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