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Gaethje vs Fiziev Prediction, Fight Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

Fiziev and Gaethje Get Into Technical Brawl

Anchoring the co-main event of UFC 286 is a strikers’ delight as Justin Gaethje takes on Rafael Fiziev. Gaethje, the two-time title challenger, will be the underdog in this bout per the UFC lines. Fiziev is arguably the best pure striker in the division and is the striking coach at the renowned Tiger Muay Thai. He’s on a six-fight winning streak and could score his biggest win here.

Gaethje Is Dangerous Under These Circumstances

Gaethje rolls into UFC 286 as an underdog with plenty of bite. After all, he’s won four of his seven UFC bouts as one. And of the three fighters he lost to here, two were to champions and one was a two-time title challenger like himself. Fiziev appears like a step down considering their credentials.

Gaethje vs Fiziev Prediction, Fight Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks
Gaethje vs Fiziev Prediction, Fight Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

Yet there is talk that Gaethje is in a bad matchup as Fiziev is the superior striker. Gaethje is notorious for eating a lot of shots. He absorbs a whopping 7.85 significant strikes per minute and has been in many wars. But folks betting online against Gaethje should be wary.

The former WSOF champion has only lost to one striker in his career: Dustin Poirier. And Gaethje has switched his style since training with Trevor Wittman. He’s absorbed far less damage and is still able to win slugfests such as the one against Michael Chandler. Most importantly, he still has his wrestling, which can be a fight changer.

Fiziev is Levels Above

“There are levels to this” as two-division champion Daniel Cormier famously quips. And Fiziev is just a striker above most other fighters. The Azerbaijani is not only prolific but also precise. He will light up opponents when they make a mistake and he can finish: two-thirds of his wins have come via KO.

Fiziev also passed the grappling test with flying colors. He finished former champion Rafael dos Anjos by stuffing all but two of his 16 takedown attempts. Should Gaethje go to this, “Ataman” will be ready and will make Gaethje pay for trying. The UFC odds favor Fiziev because he’s a much more diverse striker than Gaethje as well.

He’ll break Gaethje apart slowly by targeting his mid-section and legs. Gaethje has a high guard and is prone to Fiziev’s powerful kicks and body shots. The totals are juiced to go over 1½ rounds (-180) for a reason. Fiziev can outstrike Gaethje. But it will come slowly and methodically. Either way, he’s ready to make big UFC news with a win.

Gaethje vs Fiziev Head-to-Head

Gaethje is taller than Fiziev by three inches but it’s the latter with the 1.5-inch reach advantage. Fiziev is also four years younger than Gaethje. He can switch his striking stances while Gaethje strikes in orthodox.

Gaethje vs Fiziev Fight Information

  • Fighters: Gaethje (23-4-0) vs Fiziev (12-1-0)
  • Location: O2 Arena, London, England
  • Day/Time: Saturday, March 18, 5 p.m. ET
  • Gaethje vs Fiziev Live stream: UFC Fight Pass

Gaethje vs Fiziev Betting Lines

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Gaethje vs Fiziev Picks & Prediction

Gaethje is a live underdog here and will warrant many UFC picks this Saturday. But Fiziev is the better striker and should have his way against Gaethje. However, the UFC bet here is for the fight to go over 1½ rounds. Most fans expect this to be like a rock’em sock’em robots kind of fight where someone gets slept in one round. That won’t be the case as both will approach this fight cautiously.

Gaethje is listed at +175 in our Vegas UFC lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Gaethje, you have a chance to win $175. Fiziev is -220, offering a chance to win $47 on a $100 wager.

The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Gaethje a 36.36% chance to win, with Fiziev at 68.75%

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