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UFC Fight Night 109 fight card: Omari Akhmedov vs Abdul Razak Alhassan preview

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Noke vs Akhmedov Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight bruisers Omari Akhmedov and Abdul Razak Alhassan will scrap this Sunday (May 28, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 109 inside Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.

Akhmedov may not be anywhere particularly close to the Top 15, but he’s proven to be a stellar action fighter. Luckily, that’s precisely what this fight will provide, as he’s facing off with another dangerous knockout artist. Seven fights into his professional career, I still don’t know all that much about Abdul Razak Alhassan aside from the fact that he’s a terrifying man. “Judo Thunder” has scored seven knockouts, and the longest was still short of 90 total seconds.

In all likelihood, someone is going down hard. Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for each man:

Omari Akhmedov
Record: 16-4
Key Wins: Kyle Noke (UFC Fight Night 101), Brian Ebersole (UFC Fight Night 68), Thiago Perpetuo (UFC Fight Night 32)
Key Losses: Gunnar Nelson (UFC Fight Night 37), Sergio Moraes (UFC Fight Night 80), Elizeu Zaleski (UFC on FOX 19)
Keys to Victory: Akhmedov is a mix of physical power, winging hooks and big takedowns. While that doesn’t always add up to a fighter who really knows how to make his game work inside the Octagon, he did show some improvement in his last bout opposite Kyle Noke. In fact, it was perhaps the most complete performance of his career.

In this match up, Akhmedov must once again show some intelligence. If he walks toward Alhassan and willingly brawls with the knockout artist, it probably won’t end well. It might, but Akhmedov has been stopped by strikes before.

A brawl doesn’t favor him.

Instead, Akhmedov needs to capitalize on the rushes of his opponent. If he can wait patiently on the outside, Alhassan will charge. When that happens, Akhmedov can change levels into a takedown. Even if it doesn’t land, he can slow down Alhassan, and it’s unlikely that a man accustomed to winning so quickly will have the gas tank for three rounds.


Abdul Razak Alhassan
Record: 7-0
Key Wins: Charlie Ward (UFC Fight Night 99)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Despite his Judo-inspired nickname, Alhassan comes to throw hands. He charges at his opponents and swings massive punches, and thus far it has worked phenomenally well.

In this match, just a touch of measured offense would really benefit Alhassan. There’s a fair chance his usual bumrush will finish the fight inside 90 seconds, but if Akhmedov ties him up and survives, he may find himself in a real bad position.

Instead, Alhassan should maintain a reasonable amount of pressure. Akhmedov is not a difficult man to hit, nor is he a masterful wrestler. Between his athleticism and Judo background, Alhassan should be able to remain standing so long as he doesn’t dramatically over-extend himself.

Given some time on his feet, Alhassan should be able to land another big knockout blow.

Bottom Line: Someone is going to sleep.

This is a reasonably low-level fight being given extra exposure because of the high potential for violence. One of these fighters is going to violently smash the other, and that victor will gain a reasonable push forward in the division.

Whoever it is will still be a long way off from the rankings, but progress is progress.

On the other hand, the loser’s position remains about the same. Neither man is particularly well-known, but they also should still have their jobs. Up-and-coming heavy hitters are always in demand ... and both men fit the bill well.

At UFC Fight Night 109, Omari Akhmedov and Abdul Razak Alhassan will throw down. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?

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