UFC Fight Island has been a major success for the UFC so far, with Dana White saying that business is booming like never before. Well, business doesn’t stop there as we approach the third fight card in seven days on Saturday and in this one, I’ll be taking a look at the remaining 3 prelim fights set for the card on Saturday.
Joe Duffy vs Joel Alvarez – Lightweight Bout
Lightweights continue the prelim show at UFC Fight Island 2 and this one sees Joe Duffy face Joel Alvarez. Joe Duffy made a huge name for himself back in Cage Warriors when he choked a young Conor McGregor out within a minute, since then he’s fought a fair few times in the UFC but has never managed to breach into the top tier of lightweight fighters, losing big fights against Dustin Poirier, James Vick and a fight I saw live last year against Marc Diakese. Duffy is a ground game specialist who will look for the takedown and instantly lock in a submission, something he has done 10 times in his career.
Joel Alvarez came into the UFC on the back off a serious run of wins in other promotions, however, he lost his debut in the UFC via decision, but bounced back last time out, knocking Danilo Belluardo out in the 2nd round. Alvarez is a Jiu-Jitsu specialist, having 14 of his 16 wins come via submission and will look to out work and submit Joe Duffy, a task which is pretty difficult to do.
This fight will be a very technical battle between two submission specialists and it’ll be fascinating to see whose game is at a higher level. Duffy has the pedigree of fighting bigger names and bigger talents, however, he’s been beaten easily in those fights. Honestly, I’m taking Alvarez here, I think he has a better ground game than Duffy and Duffy is on a losing streak heading into the fight.
Grant Dawson vs Nad Narimani – Catchweight Bout
In a catchweight bout, meaning there’s been a pre-determined weight that this fight will take place at, Grant Dawson and Nad Narimani will do battle. Grant Dawson has been unstoppable in the UFC since making his debut back in March 2019, after first impressing on Dana White’s Contender Series. Dawson has won all 3 of his fights in the UFC, two of which via submission and has really impressed with his strong, powerful wrestling and great, technical submission game.
Nad Narimani is currently 2-1 in the UFC and he lost his last fight, a fight I saw live at UFC London when he was knocked out in the second round by Mike Grundy. Narimani wasn’t impressive at all that night and will be looking to bounce back here. Narimani is known for grinding out wins, he never stops fighting and has a decent submission game that will make Dawson think on the ground.
This fight is going to be interesting given it’s at catchweight and that could affect the fight massively. In terms of skill and who’s looked better so far, Dawson takes that and I think he takes the fight. His submission game is better than Narimani and I’m not sure Narimani has a good enough striking game to put Dawson out.
Roman Dolidze vs Khadis Ibragimov – Light Heavyweight Bout
In the featured prelim fight, light heavyweights do battle as Roman Dolidze faces Khadis Ibragimov. Roman Dolidze is making his UFC debut and will be hoping to follow the other light heavyweight debutants at Fight Island with an impressive win. Dolidze has a 6-0 record, finishing every one of his opponents, 3 via KO/TKO and 3 via submission. Dolidze looks to be a really solid prospect at light heavyweight and it’ll be interesting to see what he does at this level of competition.
Khadis Ibragimov made his name outside of the UFC with an impressive 8-0 record, however, he joined the UFC in August 2019 has lost both of his fights in the promotion. Khadis hasn’t taken well to this level of competition so far, but he’s a well-rounded fighter who can finish his opponents on the feet or via submission. He’ll need to be much better than he has been to win here tonight but he has the tools to do so.
This featured prelim bout is a surprising one, given the other fights on this prelim card, however, it could end up paying off if Dolidze makes a very impressive debut, just like his fellow light heavyweight Jiri Prochazka did at UFC 251. I’m taking Dolidze here, Khadis hasn’t impressed at all in the UFC and I think Dolidze will find this debut fight and easy one in the end.
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