Sodiq Yusuff has a dangerous matchup against Don Shainis even if the UFC betting lines say otherwise. Yusuff, originally scheduled to fight Giga Chikadze, gets Shainis on short notice. Now, the 12th-ranked Nigerian must dispatch Shainis without issue so he can maintain his standing and get a more notable opponent next.
Yusuff Hits Hard Despite Lack of Finishes
A glimpse of Yusuff’s UFC resume shows he has two TKO wins and four decisions. And yet, the contender could be one of the division’s hardest hitters. Yusuff claimed it’s not in his style to make his fights “exciting.” This is a good thing for his backers as he is more of a calculated fighter.
After a flurry of punches, Sodiq Yusuff gets the TKO win. pic.twitter.com/DgDXaibMHT
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 2, 2018
Yusuff won’t go hunting too hard for a finish. However, should Shainis rush him, Yusuff will put him down with his crisp combinations. “Super” Sodiq was derailed by Arnold Allen in 2021 but that remains one of his only two career blemishes. An area of concern for Yusuff is his durability. He has been knocked out cold in Titan FC.
In Shainis, Yusuff is fighting a grappler. He should be able to keep the fight standing and light up his overmatched opponent. But at such long lines, it may not be worth straight betting online on Yusuff. Instead, throw him in a parlay or look for a prop bet for him to finish.
Shainis Can Pull a ‘Charlie Brenneman’
In 2011, Charlie Brenneman pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year when he defeated Rick Story. At this time, Brenneman was as long as a 4-1 underdog. But he managed to outwork and out grapple Story, who was initially training to fight Nate Marquardt, a striker.
There are similarities here with Shainis, who is a wrestler first and foremost. He is going against Yusuff, who was training to fight Chikadze, a kickboxer. However, Yusuff has had a few weeks to train against Shainis, unlike Story who was notified just a day before the fight.
Still, Shainis could be the better grappler in his matchup. If he can find a way to grind out Yusuff or even get on top of him, he will make the fight interesting. At such long odds on the online sportsbook, a small bet on Shainis is not that crazy.
Yusuff vs Shainis Head-to-Head
Yusuff has a few advantages in this matchup, physique-wise. He is three inches taller with a 4½-inch reach advantage. Yusuff is also younger by two years and has fought a much higher level of competition.
Yusuff vs Shainis Fight Information
- Fighters: Yusuff (12-2-0) vs Shainis (12-3-0)
- Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas
- Day/Time: Saturday, Oct. 01, 6 p.m. ET
- Yusuff vs Shainis Live stream: UFC Fight Pass
Yusuff vs Shainis Betting Lines
The odds in this chart are based on the time of publication. They are subject to change.
Yusuff vs Shainis Prediction
The key stat in this fight will be Yusuff’s takedown defense against Shainis’s takedown accuracy. Yusuff has stuffed 68 percent of his opponents’ takedown attempts. The only fighters who have taken him down are Allen and Andre Fili, and he still managed to beat Fili.
As for Shainis, most of his finishes have come via his grappling. This will be his trump card against Yusuff as he does not need to always take Yusuff down. If he can make him spend most of the fight defending, that could give him the edge on the scorecards. We see him having some success in this so the fight should go for quite a while. The over 1½ rounds is the best UFC bet for this matchup.