The Basharat brothers have quickly made names for themselves as some of the most promising bantamweights in the UFC to enter the promotion in the last couple of years.
The younger of the two, Farid Basharat, made his UFC debut against Da’Mon Blackshear at UFC 285 in March of 2023 and made it 2-0 in the octagon by defeating Kleydson Rodrigues in September. The fighter from Afghanistan sticks out in the way he has continually built his game between fights and fans are excited to see where goes.
His next opponent, Taylor Lapilus of France, is looking to make his second run in the UFC. In 2015, the Frenchman dispatched Rocky Lee, Ulka Sasaki and Leandro Issa, losing just once to Erik Perez.
However the 3-1 record wouldn’t quite be enough, as he left the promotion in 2017, going 7-0 outside of the UFC and earning himself a second shot. He has since beaten Callan Loughran at UFC Fight Night Paris and wants to continue that momentum opposite Basharat.
Basharat vs. Lapilus Odds
The newcomer Basharat will walk into the cage as the -285 favorite.
- Farid Basharat: -285
- Taylor Lapilus: +225
Basharat vs. Lapilus Breakdown
Both of these fighters are supremely calculated and cerebral in their approach. Expect a slow first round, or at least a slow opening few minutes as both gather their reads and make calculations about the other.
Basharat is as systematic as they come, he starts his work with his taekwondo style kicks from the outside, snapping and poking at his opponents without committing so far in to be countered. He utilizes his boxing in a similar way, working from his jab. Basharat is on the taller end of the 135lb weightclass at 5″8 and with a 71 inch reach.
This often sees him able to jab, and fade away landing the jab as he goes backwards as well. He depends mostly on straight boxing, jabbing and landing crossed to the body when he has his opponents raise their guard. Between elusive footwork and snapping boxing he is difficult to pin down or counter.
In terms of grappling, Basharat has patient jiu jitsu but wrestles with urgency. His takedowns come with 0 telegraph just as his opponents settle into the striking exchanges.
He gets deep in double leg entries as well as single leg entries, and will look to systematically break the base of his opponents moving from turning the corner on the single, to high elevation and sweeping the leg.
He has excellent knee passing, and will not waste time attempting ground and pound unless he has already passed and secured a strong position. The only major risk he has shown to make, is when defending a deep takedown or already taken down, he will look to roll his opponent over himself with an undertook, or turn his back to shoot for the cage. In both cases he could offer the back, and in the former the arm.
Lapilus stands southpaw in a very sideways stance. Between solid head movement and using his lead hand to paw his opponents jab, he manages distance and makes himself a difficult target.
He will do this as he looks to form an opening for his left cross, which comes like a sniper down the pipe and sets up the rest of his strikes. He also has a stiff jab as well. Basharat’s best bet is to attack the legs of Lapilus, he stands wide, making it difficult to check and tends to lean in on himself slip punches.
Even if Basharat cannot finish the fight via low kicks, it’s important to break Lapilus down to take some of the effectiveness out of his high level takedown defence.
Lapilus is especially difficult to takedown on the fence. he is great at hand fighting, maintaining a wide base and working his way off of the corner.
Where he has been caught, specifically in his most recent fight was being taken down by double legs and trapped in a leg lace, on more than one occasion.
Basharat vs. Lapilus Prediction
I do believe that Basharat has the variety in his skills to earn himself a victory. While they are both sharp boxers and have good grappling elements, Lapilus does not have the secondary styles he can go to if he compromised, in the same way that Basharat could move between kicking, boxing and wrestling.
If Basharat does find himself needing the takedown, he has to get to both legs to do so, preferably at least a step away from the fence. he has to get some kind of grip on the legs or hips to avoid Lapilus popping back up, but the patient and systematic nature of Basharat leads me to believe this will be something looked at in camp.
Pick: Farid Basharat to win