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UFC 284 begins today in Perth, Australia, and features some of the top UFC fighters in the world. Josh Culibao and Melsik Baghdasaryan will meet in the ring to face off at 9:15 p.m. ET. Let's break it down.
ANALYSIS

Josh Culibao vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan UFC 284 Prediction: Will This Fight Make it to Round 3?

Tafa vs. Porter Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: February 11, 2023
  • Time: 9:15 PM EDT
  • Where: RAC Arena (AUS), Perth, Australia
  • Where to Watch: PPV

Click here for Culibao vs. Baghdasaryan odds

Josh Culibao vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan Prediction

And now for a bonafide sleeper match extravaganza, the always-game Josh Culibao will come to devastating blows against Armenian Kickboxing Sensation, Melsik Baghdasaryan. What's interesting about this fight off the cuff is how much of a borderline mirror match it is when you look at it stylistically. While Culibao does not have nearly the same accolades as Baghdasaryn at least when it comes to kickboxing credentials, in the sport of MMA he displays an arguably equal understanding of stand-up violence, rivaling the Armenian in not just his striking defense but offensive differentials and movement capabilities when under fire to boot. 

Time and time again Culibao has encountered the hardest power-punching combatants during his opening octagon tenure, with bouts against Jalin Turner up a weight class, Charles Jourdain, and Seung Woo Choi being nothing to scoff at and showing that his road inside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been anything but easy. On the other side of the fray, Melsik has had a considerably easier go of things in terms of his strength of schedule, but don't get it twisted as his performances have more than made up for it, putting on three consecutive masterclasses over his adversaries if you count his Contender Series showing. 

Besides his current MMA run, a peep into his time with K1 and other kickboxing promotions shows he is lightning-fast inside of the pocket and is defensibly responsible when at range. The way I see this fight is fairly binary. Either Culibao implements all aspects of his mixed martial arts training and shoots for takedowns early to gas out Baghdasaryan, or the Armenian finds Culibao's timing fairly quickly. It dictates the pace for the allotted time. Because I believe this fight is going to compete at such a high level, I do not see a finish in either scenario previously mapped out. 

It is for that reason that while there is no shame in formulating your reasons to pick a side here, ultimately everyone is going to end up in the same area, that being in the hands of the judges after a grueling 15 minutes of action. Give me the fight to complete two rounds to take oneself out of the judge's grubby equation and cash easily while others sweat out a decision largely out of their control. 

Josh Culibao vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan Pick

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