Jamall Emmers vs. Nate Landwehr prediction | UFC on ESPN 54 1

Jamall “Pretty Boy” Emmers, 34, returns to the octagon following a complete dismantling of his opponent with a 49-second KO last time out. Emmers has alternated wins and losses since his debut, bringing his UFC record to 3-3.

Nate “The Train” Landwehr, 35, lost via decision in his last outing. That decision loss was his 3rd UFC loss in his career, bringing his record to 4-3.

Betting Odds

Emmers opened just south of a -200 and has grown north of that number throughout the week.

Fight Prediction

Emmers is a fighter who, despite opportunities, has yet to realize his full potential. He is an athletically gifted fighter with smooth and clean kickboxing from range, adequate offensive wrestling, and reliable takedown defense. Emmers is at his best when he is throwing volume from range, weaponizing his large frame for the featherweight division. He has a quick jab, snappy combinations, and an improving kicking game.

However, Emmers has amassed a 3-3 record for one primary reason: fight IQ. It seems that Emmers is incapable of fighting a consistently intelligent fight, often forgoing the easiest path to victory to instead engage in a fight that suits his opponent.

The best example of this is when Emmers fought Sabbatini, a superior grappler and submission artist. Emmers dropped Sabatini early, poorly decided to go to the ground, and got caught in a knee bar that did enough damage to keep him out of the cage for 1.5 years. If Emmers fights his fight and avoids giving his opponent their preferred style, he can win and win impressively. That has proven to be a big “if” though.

Landwehr, who has one of the best post-fight quotes of all time: “If I don’t lose, I’ll probably win,” is a fighter’s fighter. Landwehr wants to get into a slugfest and create a bloody brawl for the fans. He encourages toe-to-toe striking, is willing to take one to give one, and walks his opponents down like the Terminator, often mixing in takedowns near the end of rounds.

As exciting as Landwehr is, he is more challenging to fight because he doesn’t stop coming. He is going to push pace and pressure for all 15 minutes. If his opponent isn’t ready for a dogfight, capable of returning equal fire, or able to pull counter and use Landwehr’s predictable aggression against him, Landwehr has found success. However, “The Train” has lost to fighters who can implement a strategic counter to his all-out aggression in the cage.


I think the odds in this fight are a product of extreme recency bias. Emmers, who has always been athletically gifted on the feet, looked phenomenal in his last fight, but it came against a fighter who is just barely UFC caliber at best. Meanwhile, Landwehr struggled in his last fight; but it was against rankings mainstay Dan Ige.

Both of these fighters are volatile. Emmers is a crispy striker from range with a stout takedown defense but struggles in the pocket and has poor fight IQ. Meanwhile, Landwehr weaponizes pressure, excels in the pocket, and is a solid wrestler; however, as seen in his last fight, he is hittable and can get overwhelmed on the feet when his pressure is countered. Both men can put the other in bad spots; that’s why I thought this fight should be lined near a pick’em.

However, Emmers is north of a 2:1 favorite. I think this fight will be 15 fun and close minutes, with Landwehr finding success in tight, Emmers at range, and plenty of clinch fighting. I expect scorecards to end up all over the place. In a fight like that, I’ll gladly take the +180 underdog. Even at pick’em odds, I’d likely take Landwehr to implement his game plan more consistently.

Best Bet: Landwehr to win (+180 BetUS)

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