Randy Brown

Randy “Rudeboy” Brown, 33, has continued to hit a ceiling in the welterweight division. One fight withstanding, each time that Brown faces a top 15 opponent, he loses, but each time he faces an unranked fighter, he wins. This has brought his UFC record to 11-5 and has left Brown still unranked.

Muslim “King of Kung Fu” Salikhov, 39, has been a mainstay just outside of the rankings for much of his career. His UFC record is 6-3 which includes a recent 1-2 skid. 

Betting Odds

Brown is familiar with being a 2:1 favorite and, once again, finds himself with a 71% implied win percentage. 

Fight Breakdown

After years of calling Brown a prospect to watch out for and continually being disappointed when he folds under the opportunity, we finally have the most valuable tool in handicapping: clarity. When Brown faces a ranked-level fighter with the ability to pressure him backward and force an in-the-pocket striking match, Brown often struggles and loses.

In fact, four of his five UFC losses have satisfied this criteria: Maddalena, Luque, Price, and Muhammad. In all four of those losses, Brown’s opponents were able to pressure him and successfully crash distance, negating Brown’s length and speed at range. Then, in the pocket and on his backfoot, Brown struggles to keep pace offensively and is concerningly hittable without the benefit of his reach.

But, in fights against unranked level fighters who give him his preferred range, pace, and style, Brown tends to win and look good doing it. He is a long, athletic, and snappy striker who lands straight shots with solid power and little setup or tell. Then, once he hurts an opponent, Brown is able to crash distance on his terms, ramp up the volume, and pressure for the finish. Because of his sneaky submission game, even if he crashes into the clinch, Brown is still capable of finding a submission finish. 

Salikhov is a fighter with a unique style and set of abilities. In the standup, he tends to have success against fellow creative strikers who leave openings for Salikhov to land his versatile arsenal of attacks, namely spin kicks. However, Salikhov’s tendency to throw spinning attacks can sometimes put him in vulnerable situations.

Fighters longer and more agile than him can avoid the spinning attack and counter with a straight shot from a safe range. But, if he connects with one of his spinning attacks, he has the power and leverage to shut the lights out, even at 39 years old.

More recently, Salikhov has started to rely on his clinch fighting and offensive wrestling to win rounds and fights. This is a smart move given that, even in his prime, Salikhov’s striking was risky; and, now that he’s older and slower, his striking is less effective. His grappling, though, has seemed to improve with age. He times his entries well, holds position consistently against the cage, and can use crafty trips from the clinch to get it to the mat. 


Brown has often let me down when I thought it was time for him to level up. Yet, he’s still being priced as the fighter with the same level of ceiling that he simply just doesn’t have. So, I’m not excited by his price tag but do expect him to win.

This fight stylistically works well for Brown and poorly for Salikhov. Brown should get the range kickboxing match he wants while his footwork and improved clinch defense should negate Salikhov’s grappling. Outside of Salikhov landing a highlight reel knockout or ramping up his wrestling to another level- unlikely at 39- I expect Brown to win this fight comfortably.

The question, now, is how to bet it. I think a late-round finish or a decision is most likely for Brown. Given Brown likely needs a finish to make a splash big enough to get into the rankings and make a final push up, I’ll take him to win inside the distance.

Best Bet: Brown to win inside the distance (+210 at MyBookie)

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