UFC Austin Picks and Predictions: Hot Prospect of the Week Damir Ismagulov

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UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Octagon Girls pose for a photograph during a UFC fight at the O2 Arena. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Join us as we preview a hot UFC prospect from this week’s UFC Fight Night: Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett MMA event.

Read on for our complete UFC Austin betting guide – taking the first look at our hottest prospect of the week, Damir Ismagulov, and his opponent, Guram Kutateladze. Including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC betting picks.

UFC Fight Night Hot Prospect: Damir Ismagulov (23-1-0)

This week’s fight night event in Austin, Texas, is providing a wealth of up-and-coming talent for fight fans to sink their teeth into, but Damir Ismagulov caught my attention more than most.

The Russian standout dominated the M-1 Global lightweight division to become their 155lb champion – one of the most notable promotions outside of the UFC – and has now transferred his impressive 17-fight win streak onto the grandest stage of them all.

Ismagulov History

Ismagulov was raised in Orenburg, Russia, as the 31-year-old began his MMA studies at a young age, like many of his Russian peers.

He’s a Master of Sports in hand-to-hand combat, and there’s no doubting his talents will one day reach the top 10 of the UFC lightweight division.

After an undefeated amateur MMA spout, he collected his second Master of Sports certificate in mixed martial arts before entering a professional level of the sport inside the M-1 Global promotion.

Ismagulov Technical Approach

Since arriving on the UFC roster in 2018, Ismagulov has left no questions unanswered as he’s dominated all four of his opponents to a unanimous decision.

While some may criticize his lack of a killer instinct, the technical approach to fighting he embodies gifts him such success in the octagon.

Damir Ismagulov vs. Guram Kutaleladze

UFC Lightweight Bout

Saturday, June 18, 2022 – 07:35 PM EDT at Moody Center

Damir Ismagulov Fight Analysis

Damir is a volume striker who excels in the point fighting area of the fight game. Combinations are standard, as you'll rarely witness the Russian throw single strikes, and his boxing fundamentals are so sharp that he's a difficult opponent to overcome.

He'll often utilize his jab to establish the range between himself and the opposition, which leads to his combinations; he makes his striking challenging to read because he alternatives his shot selection so well.

In addition to his striking prowess, his defensive grappling is elite. When level changing, he can be found left open, and we should note that his defensive grappling is more potent than his offensive grappling. With that said, he establishes top positions and a notable amount of control in situations like top mount.

Ismagulov vs. Kutateladze Betting Pick

Guram Kutateladze (12-2-0) is a fellow 155lb prospect working his way through the rankings. Notably, he's a trainer partner of Khamzat Chimaev, and his approach to the boxing game is very similar, with many uppercuts and power strikes.

He utilizes his kicks low and up top, and although his grappling isn't bad, he's comfortable standing and striking for the most part.

Ismagulov Beating the Odds

Sportsbooks opened Ismagulov as the betting favorite, but the current price of -148 suggests the oddsmakers aren't overly confident in giving either fighter too much respect.

We're watching the future of the lightweight division, Kutateladze will want to kick, but I expect Ismagulov to remove the kicking range and overwhelm him with a higher boxing output.

UFC Pick: Ismagulov to win (-148) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Ismagulov to win (-148)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.

UFC FN Austin Main Card

Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett [UFC Featherweight Main event bout]

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon [UFC Lightweight Co-main event bout]

Tim Means vs. Kevin Holland [UFC Welterweight bout]

Joaquin Buckley vs. Albert Duraev [UFC Middleweight bout]

Damir Ismagulov vs. Guram Kutateladze [UFC Lightweight bout]

Julian Marquez vs. Gregory Rodrigues [UFC Middleweight bout]