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A welterweight bout will occur at UFC 285 between Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal. Will Neal make a statement at UFC 285? Ben Rajavuori breaks the bout down.
ANALYSIS

Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Prediction: Will Neal Make a Statement at UFC 285?

A highly anticipated UFC 285 welterweight showdown between Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal is set to take place this Saturday, with both fighters looking to make their mark in one of the most stacked divisions in the sport. Rakhmonov is 16-0 and one of the most highly touted prospects in the UFC right now. As such, he is hanging a -550 price tag. Is it justified?

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Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Prediction

Rakhmonov is a highly touted prospect with a perfect 16-0 record, all of which have been finishes. Eight have come by knockout, while eight have come by submission. His dynamic striking and grappling make him a tough opponent for anyone, and his grinding pace wears down his opponents by the second round.

However, Neal is no slouch, either. With a two-fight win streak against Santiago Ponzinibbio and Vicente Luque, Neal has proven that he's a tough fighter who's difficult to put away. His excellent striking defense and southpaw boxing makes him a formidable opponent, and his 85% takedown defense rate could be a factor in this fight. No fighter has been able to finish Neal in the UFC, and he has faced some hard hitters, like Vicente Luque, Santiago Ponzinibbio, Stephen Thompson, and Niko Price.

If Neal can keep the fight standing and use his striking to keep Rakhmonov at bay, he has a good chance of pulling off the upset. Rakhmonov will likely look to take the fight to the mat and use his grappling to finish Neal. His Sambo style grinds his opponents down and wears on them, but this is something Neal has dealt with and has experience with.

Despite Rakhmonov's impressive finishing streak, I'm going to go against the odds and pick Neal to win this fight. His toughness and striking defense make him a difficult opponent to finish, and his striking could be a factor in keeping Rakhmonov at range. Rakhmonov's diverse attack could pose problems for Neal, but I believe Neal has the experience and skills to come out on top in this matchup and be the first loss on Rakhmonov's record. Look for him to use his striking to win by points on the judges' scorecards. Rakhmanov has never been to a decision, and we haven't seen him in a third round in the UFC yet. That could play against him in this fight.

This is going to be a close fight that could go either way in my book, which is not at all reflected by the odds. I give the edge to Neal based on his recent performances and ability to withstand Rakhmonov's attack. I feel a LOT of people will have Rakhmonov in a parlay this weekend. They see a 16-0 record with 16 finishes, and their eyes light up. But Rakhmonov, as impressive as he looks, is still young in his UFC career, and he faces a tough foe in Neal. He's a tempting parlay piece, but I think this fight could be the one to break a lot of parlays tomorrow night.

Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Pick

Pick: Geoff Neal ML @ (+400) Bet $100 to collect $500. Get the best odds at Caesars; click here to bet

Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • When: March 4, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 PM EDT
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
  • Where to Watch: PPV

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Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

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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