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UFC 294 Betting Preview: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov

October 21, 2023

UFC 294 in the United Arab Emirates promises an abundance of exciting matchups. One of the standout bouts on the main card is a bantamweight clash between Said Nurmagomedov and Muin Gafurov, offering explosive action right from the start.

  • Location: Etihad Arena, Yas Island/Yas West United Arab Emirates

  • Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023

  • Main Card: 2:00 PM ET (ESPN+)

  • Prelims: 10:00 AM ET (ESPN+)

Said Nurmagomedov Betting Preview

Nurmagomedov is returning to the octagon after a unanimous decision defeat to Jonathan Martinez back at UFC Fight Night 221 in March of this year. This snapped his previous four fight winning streak dating back to 2020.

His resume showcases a well-rounded record, comprising 17 victories, including four via knockout, five by submission, and eight through decision. Notably, eight of his wins culminated in first-round finishes, while all three of his losses occurred via decision.

In terms of striking, he boasts a 48 percent accuracy rate, though his takedown accuracy stands at a less impressive 17 percent. His performance in significant strikes is noteworthy, as he lands 3.54 while absorbing 2.15, resulting in a favorable ratio that could play to his advantage.

Defensively, he excels in warding off significant strikes, deflecting them with a commendable 57 percent success rate. Additionally, his takedown defense is strong, standing at 65 percent. When it comes to grappling, he averages 1.03 takedowns and 1.23 submissions per 15 minutes of action on the ground.

Muin Gafurov Betting Preview

Gafurov has gone 2-2 over his last four battles, with a recent loss stemming from his last performance. This was a unanimous decision defeat to John Castaneda at UFC on ESPN 46 in June earlier this year. 

His record of 18 victories is quite remarkable, comprising 10 knockouts, seven submissions, and one decision. Notably, 14 out of his 18 wins culminated in the first round. At least his losses have not been ugly early finishes, as all five were decided by decision.

Regarding "Tajik," his striking accuracy is a modest 41 percent, but his takedown success rate is relatively low at 28 percent. His significant strike ratio is slightly positive, with 3.07 landed strikes for every 2.90 absorbed. It is essential for him to adopt a more aggressive approach in this upcoming bout.

Defensively, he stands strong with a 48 percent success rate against significant strikes and an impressive 63 percent against takedowns. Additionally, he exhibits some ground skills, averaging 2.50 takedowns per 15 minutes of action.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

MyBookie's odds for this fight indicate that Said Nurmagomedov is a moderately favored contender to win. You might want to think about including Nurmagomedov in a parlay bet with other matchups scheduled for the evening to potentially enhance his payout in the event of a victory.

  • Muin Gafurov: +177

  • Said Nurmagomedov: -233

Gafurov has been solid in his battles, but has not been able to find consistency. Look for Nurmagomedov to potentially win by decision.

Spooky Express Pick: Take Said Nurmagomedov to Win at -233