A battle of two fighters looking to re-enter the win column after disappointing defeats in their last respective bouts is set for this Saturday night.
Micheal Gillmore, first introduced to UFC fans as a fill-in fighter on this past TUF season, is currently sitting at a lackluster professional record of 6-4. Meanwhile, Ramiz Brahimaj, having fought just several weeks ago, is currently 9-4 (1-2 in the UFC). Given the struggle each man has had of late, the loser of this fight is likely out of the UFC. This “fight for one’s career” narrative parlayed with each man having a combined 75% finish rate nets a conclusion that this should be a highly entertaining fight given it is likely the judges will not be needed!
Brahimaj is a sizable -400 favorite over Gillmore, which is an implied win rate of 80%.
- Brahimaj: -400
- Gillmore: +300
Gillmore is a tough-nosed, gritty-style fighter. This style is indicative of agreeing to enter the TUF 29 season mid-way through the competition, on short notice, against a fighter who has been training on the show for several weeks under an elite coaching staff. Although Gillmore faltered in this bout, along with his UFC debut, he did show some promise in what his best attribute is as a fighter – punching power. His fight-ending potential power on the feet is far more indicative of his natural strength parlayed with a style of throwing bar-style hooks while rushing into the pocket. The issue, for Gillmore, is that this style may have worked in the early stages of the UFC, but the modern, highly-skilled makeup of the UFC roster is quite capable of combating the spray-and-pray, hay-maker approach Gillmore possesses.
As stated prior, the combined finish rate of both men in this bout for the fights in which they won is 75%; but for Brahimaj alone, his finish win rate is an impressive 100%, all of which via submission. Often, for elite submission artists in the UFC, the majority, if not all, submission wins are achieved with one type, i.e. guillotine. For Brahimaj, he too has a clear specialty – rear-naked chokes – but also has won via arm triangle and kimura. The variety of submissions accompanied by having a go-to specialty makes him an exciting fighter and one that can earn himself as being a legitimate prospect if his striking and takedown ability improves. To improve his striking, he will need to shy away from swinging with big, looping punches to having a greater output, thus combating his career negative strike differential. This style of having mild success on the feet will greatly aid in his takedown ability, as although he does possess solid wrestling – 60% TD rate –, he has found difficulty in winning exchanges against the cage when facing a grapple-confident fighter as evidenced in his last loss to Court McGee.
Gillmore’s takedown defense is largely predicated on his natural strength. As the fight ensues, the effectiveness of reliance on strength over technique will dissipate, as such, Brahimaj will likely find success in securing a takedown. Once on the ground, Brahimaj has a sizable advantage, so much so I would be extremely surprised if the fight is not finished after the first fully-secured takedown. For this reason, in conjunction with believing the only way in which Gillmore can win is via a fluky hook, Brahimaj should look dominant in the bout. Once more, given that the fight is likely to hit the mat, and the belief is Brahimaj will finish it once there, playing him by submission at +130 is a very confident play.
Bet: Brahimaj by Sub