Pat Sabatini, holding a professional record of 16-3, is looking to continue his climb up the featherweight division with a win over the 12-4 up-and-comer, TJ Laramie.
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Each fighter is touted as having strong wrestling with find-ending abilities on the mat. The similarity in fight style coupled with each looking to have a transcendent performance against the other is a recipe for a fight where each desires to avoid the judges’ scorecards!
Pat Sabatini, the more battle-tested and successful UFC fighter of late, is a sizable -350 favorite over TJ Laramie.
- Sabatini: -490
- Laramie: +360
Sabatini, training out of Philadelphia, elects to fight quite similarly to his training partner, Sean Brady – an undefeated ranked welterweight. Specifically, Sabatini uses impressive wrestling to get his opponent to the mat, and once there, integrates his dangerous submission game to end the fight. This style has been successfully repeated fight after fight, as he is 3-0 in the UFC, all of which being impressive victories over his opponent.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his game, beyond the elite grappling, is the fact that he has shown significant improvement as a fighter as he gets more and more experience. This consistent improvement is not surprising given Sabatini has natural athleticism, impressive size for a featherweight, and most importantly, understands how to successfully fight the easiest path to victory – a pragmatic approach to fighting. These attributes have enabled Sabatini to win quite comfortably throughout his UFC career, but if he wants to find success at the top echelon of the division, he will need to showcase more comfort on the feet than he has in the past, as albeit he is quite elite on the ground, he has not shown elite attributes on the feet which are needed to beat the top featherweights.
Laramie, a young prospect, has shown inconsistencies in the octagon. In his first UFC fight, Laramie rushed in against a dangerous submission artist, and trusting his wrestling too much, left his neck exposed on a sloppy takedown which enabled his opponent to secure a Guillotine quite quickly. This fight illustrates the immaturity of his game, but, in the fight leading up to his UFC debut, Laramie showcased a well-rounded game that had moments of highly-impressive skills. Notably, Laramie showed a mixture of strong wrestling with fast hands on the feet, and perhaps most importantly, an ability to recover and turn the tables of the fight after suffering a damaging blow. Even though he has the skills to develop into a solid fighter, he is quite undersized for the featherweight division. This, coupled with him having inconsistencies throughout his fight game, rationalizes him being a sizable dog against the larger and more consistent Sabatini.
Bluntly stated, I fully anticipate Sabatini dominating the fight from start to finish. From a strict skill lens, Sabatini is the better wrestler and far better submission artist than Laramie. On the feet, neither fighter is elite nor significantly dangerous. Expanding beyond skill alone, Sabatini has shown consistency and the ability to beat UFC-caliber fighters. Moreover, he will look like the much larger fighter, as Laramie should most likely be a bantamweight and Sabatini could fight at lightweight if need be. So, size disparity coupled with Sabatini being the far better technical grappler than Laramie should result in him successfully dominating Laramie from start to finish, as Sabatini has shown a willingness to grapple from start to finish in previous fights.
Bet: Sabatini RD2/3 stoppage