UFC on ESPN 37: Damir Ismagulov vs. Guram Kutateladze Picks and Predictions

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Damir Ismagulov and Guram Kutateladze face off on Saturday in a main card showdown in a lightweight battle at UFC on ESPN 37 at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas.  

Damir Ismagulov comes into this fight with a 23-1 record overall and since coming into the UFC he has won four fights in a row. Each of the four fights in the UFC has been victories by unanimous decision. His last fight came against Rafael Alves in May of 2021 and he dominated the fight. Ismagulov outstruck Alves 56-30 and also had two takedowns on the way to the unanimous decision victory. Ismagulov is averaging 3.75 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 1.90 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 1.75 takedowns every 15 minutes but is only successful on 36 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 100 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. Ismagulov is currently riding a 15-fight win streak. 

On the other side of this fight is Guram Kutateladze who currently sits with a 12-2 record overall and he is 1-0 in his only fight inside the UFC. Kutateladze’s last fight came back in 2020 and it was a split decision victory over Mateusz Gamrot. He was taken down five times in that fight and outstruck 52-37, but still won the split decision. He is averaging 2.47 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.47 significant strikes per minute. Even though he was taken down five times in the last fight, he was still able to stop 68 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. 

Both of these fighters have had a bit of a layoff heading into this one, so there really isn’t an advantage one way or the other with that. Both of these fighters are elite strikers and have found a ton of success when they have been fighting. On paper, this really is a true toss-up, and I don’t believe Ismagulov should be this big of a favorite. Kutateladze has elite leg kicks and that is going to be a difference-maker here. Kutateladze is going to do enough here to pull the upset. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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