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Our guy Ben Rajavuori is back with his Neil Magny vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Prediction and pick. Who should you back in this matchup at UFC Vegas 57?

Neil Magny vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Prediction: Should You Back Rakhmonov at UFC Vegas 57?

The co-main event tomorrow night features a bout between highly-touted prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov and UFC-veteran Neil Magny. Magny is coming off a controversial split decision win over Max Griffin and finds himself as a sizable underdog against the up-and-comer at +330. Shavkat Rakhmonov is 3-0 in the UFC, and this will be his biggest test to date. The Kazakhstan product is a -420 to get the win over Magny, and this fight is a big opportunity for the 27-year-old to make his impact in the welterweight division. So what is the best bet on this anticipated bout?

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Neil Magny vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Prediction

Shavkat Rakhmonov has it all. He also has a killer instinct, finishing all 15 of his professional MMA fights. He is very well-rounded and can take the fight anywhere and excel. Eight of his wins have come by knockout, and seven have come by submission. He has yet to see a third round in the UFC, and he could be the brightest up-and-comer in the welterweight division. I am very high on Rakhmonov, and he has no holes in his game. This will be the biggest test Rakhmonov has faced, though. It seems Magny has fallen into the gatekeeper role in the welterweight division, facing most of the up-and-comers recently. Magny's 27th fight in the UFC, and he has fought the best of the best in his nine years in the promotion. This fight probably won't be as easy for Rakhmonov as his three previous UFC fights, but I still think this is an excellent spot to back him.

Magny has been in many wars over the years, and while he's not super "old" yet, years of opponents trying to knock your head off will start to wear on anyone. One sign of this was in his previous fight, where Max Griffin was able to knock Magny down and nearly finish him. Magny, of course, was able to come back from that and won the fight, albeit controversially, but he still wasn't knocked out. That was Max Griffin; this is Shavkat Rakhmonov.

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Magny also tends to start slow and pick it up as the fight continues. It seems to happen in almost every fight now, including his most recent outing against Griffin, when he was knocked down but came back and won by a split decision. This defining characteristic for Magny could and should be his downfall against an early starter and finisher in Rakhmonov. Magny almost always loses the first and settles into fights, a luxury that Shavkat will not give to Magny. Shavkat's constant pressure yet patience and composure is a perfect mix, and it has found him success in all fifteen of his professional fights.

Rakhmonov has it all, in my eyes. He throws powerful kicks from different angles, he throws powerful combinations, paces himself to preserve stamina, and all of this is on top of top-level grappling and Russian wrestling. Magny has also shown he can be finished. Magny was finished by Santiago Ponzinibbio, Rafael Dos Anjos, Lorenz Larkin, Demian Maia, and Sergio Moraes since entering the UFC. Magny isn't finished often, but Rakhmonov is the type of fighter that can do it. So while this is a significant step-up in competition for Shavkat, I believe this is a good matchup for him. I expect Shavkat to pressure early and find either a submission or a quick knockout for his 16th finish in a row.

Neil Magny vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Pick

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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