Tyson Nam vs. Azat Maksum prediction | UFC on ESPN 49 1

Hawaii’s Tyson Nam is back again this weekend at UFC on ESPN 49. He last bounced between wins and losses in his last four, losing to Matt Schnell and Bruno Gustavo de Silva but defeating Jerome Rivera and Ode Osbourne.

His next fight will be against promotional newcomer Azar Maksum, a burgeoning prospect out of Kazakhstan with a record of 16-0.

He is considered the #1 flyweight in Asia Central, as well as Kazakhstan.

Betting Odds

Tyson Nam will come in the significant underdog at +315 to the debuting Maksum.

  • Tyson Nam: +315 (BetUS)
  • Azat Maksum: -415 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Tyson Nam is an experienced fighter in the UFC. He is a physical specimen with shoulders and an imposing presence in the octagon. He is tall for the division and amplifies this with a tall stance. He usually plods forwards and stalks his opponents with a tight guard and constant jab, looking to force his opponent to lash out as they are pressured backward. At this point, he will slip and counter with good fundamental boxing. However, because Nam is so prominently an aggressive counterpuncher, he does fail to mount and set up his own lead offense if his opponents fail to bite on his pressure.

Nam will tend to lose rounds, moving forwards against opponents who are savvy enough to stay on their bike and land noncommital shots going backward, negating his opportunities to really counter. When he does land, because of his upright stance, he is almost always grounded and balanced, which means his punches are heavy.

Azat Maksum is definitely the better grappler, with superior wrestling and good submission offense and defense. He has very fast hands in terms of striking but typically does not entertain any drawn-out period of exchanges if he can help it. Instead, he will sit back and get his opponent’s timing, move as a pendulum boxer does and then meet them with a. flurry to bring the guard high and expose themselves for his double leg. He almost always enters his takedowns attacking a double leg, and will change up how he finishes- he may turn the corner, switch to a single or body lock or drive to the cage and work from the clinch. Regardless, because his striking is meant to open up the takedown more than anything, he will stay in range and position to eat a shot in order to land a shot and gain respect.

It will be important for Maksum to stay on his bike and move between these exchanges, feint the level change before striking and avoid engaging inside the pocket for too long. Expect Maksum to automatically hit the hips if he is clipped by Nam, as his wrestling skills seem to come second nature. Maksum is a master at stacking his opponents on the cage to negate their guard and potential submissions. He will ride the back if he can get it and not really give up position by chasing hooks when he is unsure, instead steadily transitioning his position to maintain a lock on the waist.

In general, he has very good cage awareness, and as his opponents try to roll out of his back control he will maneuver them towards and between himself and the fence to maintain control. A series of tight positional pressure and ground and pound open up submission opportunities for him, especially on the back.


Tyson Nam is a dangerous opponent for anyone with the experience and knockout power that he brings. What gives me hesitation in terms of him winning is unless he can put Maksum out cold before he hits the ground, I do think that the reactionary wrestling of Maksum can kick in, and he can grapple into a position to recover if he is hurt.

Tyson Nam has only been submitted in his career once, when he was already on the brink of being knocked out, so while I am most inclined to predict a Maksum victory at -415, one would have to wager quite a bit to make much. Instead, the best value would be the fight to go over 2.5 rounds at +115.

You can even split your bet into equal straights, including the Maksum victory, which would end out at about -144, which is also a solid value if you want to cover your bases.

Best Bets: Fight to go over 2.5 rounds (+115) and Azat Maksum to win (-415)

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