Ramiz Brahimaj picked up his first UFC win last time out with a first-round submission. That brings his UFC record to 1-1 and his professional record to 9-3. All nine of the 29-year old’s wins have come by submission. On the other side, veteran UFC fighter, Court McGee is 20-10 as a pro, 9-9 in the UFC, and has never been submitted.
McGee vs. Brahimaj betting odds
The odds have been narrowing since opening and now both men are at a pick’em.
McGee vs. Brahimaj breakdown
Brahimaj does one thing very well inside the octagon – choking his opponent until they tap or go to sleep. All nine of his wins have come by submission and eight of those have been by a choke. With decent wrestling and a striking game that is in the early stages of development, Brahimaj can struggle to implement his specialized skill. He often swings big, looking to hurt his opponent and make the takedown easier, cause his opponent to back away from the pressure and clinch against the cage, or use his momentum after a missed swing to continue into a takedown attempt. His swing big, miss big style has produced mixed success. Brahimaj has a negative strike differential and only lands 36% of his attempts. However, once in close, Brahimaj is strong, technical, and dangerous; he often gets the submission quickly. If his opponent can remain disciplined, stick and move, and evade the big telegraphed shots, Brahimaj can struggle to get the fight where he needs.
McGee has been there, seen that, and done it. He has been in the UFC since 2010; and, despite a .500 record, has faced a variety of high-end fighters. Even at the age of 37, McGee still carries good power in his hands and kicks. While his chin has been tested, it has remained reliable. McGee’s combination of heavy hands and a granite chin has produced some action-packed fights. While his lateral movement has slowed with age, McGee is still fundamentally sound and uses his footwork well to cut angles. His typical path to victory is to be a well-rounded and grizzled veteran who won’t go away for 15 minutes. If his opponent has a hole, McGee will likely find it and exploit it. But, when his foe can go 15 hard minutes with a complete game, McGee has lost. Overall, he is a solid litmus test for up-and-coming fighters.
McGee vs. Brahimaj prediction
This fight seems fairly straightforward and is likely why the UFC set it up. Can Brahimaj win a fight without an early submission? All nine of Brahimaj’s submission wins have come inside of eight minutes, all of his losses have been in fights that have gone to the third round, and McGee has never been submitted. Brahimaj’s durability, reliability, and versatility questions could be answered Saturday. I think he passes the UFC’s test, either by showing development on the feet with a decision win or continuing his submission success with a finish.
Prediction: Brahimaj to win
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.