UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero – Idiot’s Guide Preview to Hacran Dias vs Levan Makashvili

The featherweights look to open the main card with a featherweight sort-of-bang this June 27, 2015 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood…

By: David Castillo | 9 years
UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero – Idiot’s Guide Preview to Hacran Dias vs Levan Makashvili
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

The featherweights look to open the main card with a featherweight sort-of-bang this June 27, 2015 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The Match Up

Featherweight Hacran Dias 22-3-1 vs. Levan Makashvili 7-1

The Odds

Featherweight Hacran Dias -185 vs. Levan Makashvili +160

3 Things You Should Know

1. Hacran Dias has been legitimately underrated for a long time. It’ll probably stay that way. And that’s not really a good thing.

Dias is like a grappling version of Tarec Saffiedine. Fighters won’t look all that great against him, whether in victory or defeat, and the same is true of Dias. He’s got some very stout wins, beating Iuri Alcantara and Darren Elkins. Meanwhile, his losses are to ranked fighters in Nik Lentz and Ricardo Lamas. He was originally set to face Chas Skelly, but Skelly pulled out, and now he’s fighting Makashvili. This fight could get ugly. Like, Omigawa vs. Gracie ugly.

2. Makashvili is taking this fight on short notice after beating Mark Eddiva. He’s not that ready for this fight, but he’s got enough going for him that it’s not a blowout by any stretch.

I’m not sure the Makashvili fight taught us all that much. Other than that might have had a judge in his pocket. The Eddiva fight was just dreadful. His fight with Tom English was much better.

Even with an exciting finish, this fight is unforgivably who Makashvili actually is. In his defense, he’s a young fighter with little tenure in the sport but he’s faced some very tough competition in his short career. Alexandre Bezzera, Scott Heckman, and Jordan Stiner are all incredibly solid regional opponents out of Cage Fury Fighting Championships. This is a good stylistic matchup for him all things considered.

3. Usually the main card opens with a bout that promises action. Not this time.

This is all a little unfair to both fighters to analyze this bout, and act like it’s gonna be a slow ride to grandma’s house. But there’s just nothing to indicate otherwise. Which means I’ll get the usual one or two emails or tweets from rabid Makashvili fans telling me I’ve failed my job. Which is fine, because they’re not incorrect. I just wonder where the extreme attachment comes from.

It’s rare that I dwell on the action of a fight that hasn’t happened, but it’s worth nothing all the same. Makasvhili is a solid athlete who seems to have a decent amount of potential, but doesn’t appear well coached or trained. His striking is one and done. It’s clear that he’s got mechanics underneath his inactive exterior, but he’s unsure of how to integrate everything into his overall game. His athleticism is mostly used in service of his wrestling. While his wrestling is good, it’s not intimidating. In part because he has the problem wrestlers of yesteryear used to have; being unable to threaten in top position.

He may prefer to keep it standing, which is where this fight gets ugly if that’s the case. Dias is a swift grappler, capable of all kinds of sorcery with his trips. It’s not anything flashy, but Dias’ grappling is a little like Werdum’s; dynamic with simplicity. He moves into point with the kind of slickness we’ve come to expect from Nova Uniao. Dias isn’t a great striker, but I think his short one-two combinations will be enough to land him takedowns as the fight inches toward the end.

Prediction

Hacran Dias by Decision.

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David Castillo
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