UFC Vegas 64 Hot Prospect of the Week: Tagir Ulanbekov Will Assert His Dominance

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We return with another hot prospect from the UFC roster that will arrive in the octagon for Vegas 64: Rodriguez vs. Lemos and give us a winning ticket to cash at the sportsbook.

Russian bantamweight Tagir Ulanbekov disappointed Team Khabib last time, but you don’t lose consecutive fights when you’re training with a Nurmagomedov.

Read on for our complete UFC Vegas 64 betting guide, taking a first look at the hottest prospect of the week, Tagir Ulanbekov, and his opponent, Nate Maness. Our preview also includes the latest UFC odds and our free expert UFC betting picks of the week.

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Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Nate Maness

UFC Vegas 64 Flyweight Bout

Saturday, November 29, 2022 – 03:00 PM EDT at UFC Apex

Tagir Ulanbekov

  • Pro MMA Record: (13-2-0) (7 submissions, 6 decisions)

Stemming from the well-respected fight teams of the American Kickboxing Academy and Eagles MMA is the talented and overlooked Russian flyweight brute Tagir Ulanbekov. This Dagestan native hasn’t been highlighted as one of the top-tier competitors to arrive from this region of Russia simply because he’s surrounded by an elite set of fighters under the tutelage of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

It's challenging to make yourself noticed with the ever-growing collection of Russian talent at Eagles MMA and AKA. Still, before his full-time training in America, Ulanbekov had already earnt respect in the world of combat sambo. He’s a World champion, European champion, and European cup winner in sambo, and like most Russian MMA athletes, he prides himself on his grappling skill.

Ulanbekov is a former Fight Nights Global flyweight champion, but this cannot be compared to the gold strap that is currently in possession of Deiveson Figueiredo. He’s multiple fights away from consideration in the title picture, but a victory over Nate Maness could see the Russian enter the top 15 rankings.

Ulanbekov vs. Maness: Fight Analysis

In his previous bout and only loss in the UFC, Ulanbekov looked hesitant and unlike himself. After introducing himself to the flyweight roster with wins over Allan Nascimento and Bruno Silva, most critics were positive we had a future champion on our hands. However, an underwhelming performance against UFC veteran Tim Elliot has since dropped his stock down a peg or two.

That said, we shouldn’t count him out. I can still hear the screams of Khabib in Ulanbekov’s corner during the Elliot brawl. Although he dropped a unanimous decision, it’s hard to envision this scenario playing out in consecutive bouts.

Behind his petite 5’7” stature, Ulanbekov owns the wrestling credentials that can cause a lot of top-10 flyweights a problem, including his UFC Vegas 64 opponent. From body locks, clinch work, inside and outside trips, you rarely do not see him utilize the sambo background he stems from.

While his striking offense leaves a lot to be desired, he’s unquestionably evolved in this area since his regional stint and doesn’t mind throwing a high kick or two. His jabs are clean, and he enjoys holding his opponents against the cage and punishing them with strikes.

Ulanbekov vs. Maness: Betting Picks and Odds

Nate Maness (12-9-0) is a boxer through and through; at 5’10”, he’s dropping down from the bantamweight division and will be one of the biggest flyweight fighters for doing so. He owns minimal grappling skills and has notably been outclassed in this area of the fight game on multiple occasions.

The UFC Vegas 64 betting odds at top-rated sportsbooks favor the product of the late great Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, and we’re in complete agreement with the -180 odds on Ulanbekov.

Maness will own a size and traditional boxing advantage, but he will be totally outclassed in the grappling realm. The American will be faced with a decent counter striker that only fails to hold his own when moving backward; for Maness to deliver this game plan, he’ll have to apply pressure.

And we know that consistently moving forward against a sambo-orientated fighter will result in a grappling war. In a grappling battle, Ulanbekov will excel and land enough damage in these exchanges to convince the judges’ or even find a back-take and land a rear naked choke.

UFC Pick: Ulanbekov to Win (-180) [1.80u returns 1u] at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Ulanbekov to Win (-180)
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UFC Vegas 64 Main Card and Odds

UFC Vegas 64 Preliminary Card and Odds

*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.