UFC Fight Island 7: WE ARE BACK!!! W/ @DieHardMMAPod

by Pub Sports Radio

UFC Fight Island 7: WE ARE BACK!!!

By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

This may have been the longest three weeks of my life!! We were so spoiled by the UFC with that incredible run of fight cards that I have made watching and betting MMA a regular part of my routine. I am sure I was not the only one left feeling empty on Saturdays when we should have been watching people punch each other but instead had to find a substitute. Thankfully the drought is over, and Uncle Dana has us back in gear! Better yet, we are headed back to Fight Island!

UFC Fight Island 7 kicks off the card with a real opener in Jacob Kilburn vs. Austin Lingo. These men are both kill or be killed and look to control the center of the cage. You may not know or recognize their names, but grab the popcorn and make sure your butt is in your favorite seat on time because this fight is going to be one you won’t want to miss. I fully expect these men to trade in the center of the UFC’s octagon until one of them hits the deck, and I expect it to set the bar for the rest of the night. Bet the under!

The undercard of UFC Fight Island 7 is full of fun fights, and one I am particularly interested in is David Zawada vs. Ramazan Emeev. This is a strange case of underrated vs. overrated. It is a foregone conclusion that Emeev will win this fight, but I am not so sure. Ramazan is a classic Russian grappler, and people see him and expect Khabib. The fact is that Emeev is not nearly that good, and on the feet, he is low volume and still evolving. David Zawada, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild man. Zawada has dangerous and explosive striking with high volume and a very opportunistic submission attack. Zawada has nasty front chokes and a Darce on him that is scary good. Emeev will have to be on point with everything he does, or he could end up tapping quickly. While this fight is on the feet, I expect Zawada to have the advantage with speed and volume, and Emeev will be forced to go to the mat opening that door for the tap.

The prelims of UFC Fight Island 7 close out with the physical specimen Phil Hawes taking on Nassourdine Imavov. Phil Haws is known from Dana White’s Contender Series, and you know the guy as soon as he walks into the room. The good Lord gives us all gifts, but some more than others, and Hawes is an absolute UNIT. There are few who can match the speed and athleticism of Hawes, and he puts that advantage to work early in every fight. The issue I have with Hawes is that if he doesn’t get the early finish, he has a tendency to curl up and look for a way out. Imavov is just the kind of fighter who is built to weather the storm and then turn the tables on Hawes after he slows down. This fight will be a fun ride as long as it lasts, and I expect either Hawes early or Imavov late! The only thing I know is that this fight is leaving somebody on a stretcher.

The UFC’s most recent breakout star in Joaquin Buckley is making his return to the cage on Saturday, and he is getting another battle tested opponent in Alessio Di Chirico. Alessio is something of a busted prospect at this point in his career, but he is still extremely skilled and dangerous. Buckley would be doing himself a disservice by looking past his opponent here. Alessio is very well-rounded, but he fights to his opponents’ level, which has led to a disappointing run in the UFC. There is no doubt that the UFC is looking to allow Buckley some time to grow as a fighter and present winnable opportunities. This is a fight that should be entertaining and allow Buckley to show off his well rounded striking. The UFC and the fans will all be rooting for another big KO.

The co-main event will feature the violent legends Carlos Condit and Matt Brown in a UFC veterans battle. This is another fight that I am expecting to be high paced and violent. Matt Brown is looking to get back on track in his post-retirement run after dropping his last fight by devastating knockout. Carlos Condit just snapped a five-fight losing streak and is going to try to build some momentum as he fights out the last fight on his UFC contract. Carlos is by far the more technical striker of the two, but the raw power edge goes to Matt The Immortal Brown. Both men have serious holes in their games that, at this late stage of their careers, we can just assume are here to stay. I think this is another situation where we can bet the under and like our spot. Matt Brown has had some serious durability issues his entire career, and now that he is 40 years old and coming off a knockout loss, we can only expect that to get worse. Condit, while durable, can’t defend a takedown to save his life. Both men can absolutely get finished, and both are more than capable of getting a finish. Buckle up and enjoy this one as long as it lasts!

The first main event of 2021 is one hell of a fight. Max Holloway is facing Calvin Kattar in a potential changing of the guard match. Max has been on top of the division for years. Either holding the belt or challenging for it, Max Holloway has been facing only the elite of 145. Calvin Kattar has been the dark horse at 145, who most bettors have been cashing in on time and time again. Kattar is finally getting his opportunity to step into the ranks of the true contenders by facing a former champion and a huge name in the sport. Max has been extremely competitive but is still 1-3 in his last 4. Even though there is a very real argument that he won the rematch against Volkanovski, the record says otherwise, and he really needs a win. Calvin Kattar poses a huge threat to Max ever having another shot at UFC gold, and he is no easy task to defeat. The stakes are high, and the world will be watching as these two do battle. My head and my heart say Max Holloway is going to win this fight, but I just can’t shake that tingling on the back of my neck. I have been backing Calvin for years now, and something inside me screams it might just be his time.

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