Sabatini is 30 years old and 14-3 overall following a decision victory in his UFC debut 4 months ago. Fighting out of Renzo Gracie Philly, Sabatini has honed his wrestling skills even further and his record supports his success. 9 of his 14 wins have come via submission. On the other side, Emmers is 32 and 18-5 overall. Primarily a striker by trade, 7 of Emmers’ wins have been knockouts while 8 have been decision victories. Of his 5 losses, 3 have come by finish.
Sabatini vs. Emmers betting odds
Emmers is currently a slight favorite over Sabatini. Betting $16 on Emmers would net you a $10 profit; while betting $10 on Sabatini would turn a $13 profit.
- Sabatini: +125
- Emmers: -155
Sabatini vs. Emmers breakdown
I can hear the introductions now- we have a classic striker vs grappler matchup. That, however, is an oversimplification. Both Sabatini and Emmers are well-rounded mixed martial artists. Sabatini is absolutely a dedicated, relentless, and successful wrestler. Once he secures the takedown, whether armbar, rear-naked choke, or heel hook, Sabatini can submit his opponents in a moment’s notice. As I said earlier, he isn’t just a wrestler though, Sabatini throws heat too. His volume is lower since he prefers to wrestle; but, when he lets his hands go, he lands cleanly. Sabatini is able to launch overhand rights because he knows he has the edge in the grappling. Also, the momentum of an overhand right often leads him into a prime position for a single or double leg takedown. His debut demonstrated this strategy: Sabatini out-struck his opponent in the first, then, as his opponents’ guard raised in the second, Sabatini shot and landed a takedown that lasted nearly the entire round. His debut, though, also highlighted a possible weakness- he slowed down in the 3rd round; and, according to two judges, lost that round.
Emmers is an A+ athlete who, in only 2 UFC fights, has shown quick and powerful hands. In fact, he took Giga Chikadze to a split decision in 2020. Emmers’ defense is solid but not great; he’ll often rely on his athleticism to get him out of trouble rather than head movement or footwork. Offensively though, Emmers is adept at working the body and head with lighting combos that can stun or stall his opponent all together. Often overlooked is Emmers’ wrestling, he has never been taken down in the UFC and landed two of his own. His biggest obstacle is that Emmers’ likes to get a read on his foe; this can cause his to start slowly and lose vital minutes of the first round. Overall though, Emmers, offensively, is dangerous and his defensive grappling will likely cause Sabatini fits.
Sabatini vs. Emmers prediction
While Emmers has the edge in striking and has never been taken down, I’m going with Sabatini here. Sabatini should be able to hang with Emmers on the feet enough to look for a takedown. Emmers’ takedown defense is solid but relies more on natural strength than technique; and, against someone of Sabatini’s level, will likely fail him during the fight. I see Sabatini striking early, and shooting late.
Prediction: Sabatini to win
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.