- What: UFC Vegas 76
- Co-Main Event: Damir Ismagulov vs. Grant Dawson
- Date: Saturday, July 1, 2023
- Location: UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Prelims (4:00 p.m. ET) Main Card (7:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: ESPN
The UFC is back in Las Vegas for this weekend’s UFC Vegas 76 fight card. In the main event of the ESPN show, Sean Strickland faces Abusupiyan Magomedov in a middleweight scrap. In the evening’s co-main event, Damir Ismagulov faces Grant Dawson in a lightweight bout. UFC Vegas 76 takes place at the UFC Apex. Here is some background on Saturday’s co-main event fighters before we discuss the betting breakdown for UFC Vegas 76.
Damir Ismagulov enters Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card as the No. 12 fighter in the official UFC lightweight rankings. The 32-year-old is 24-2 with 12 knockouts and one submission. Ismagulov, who joined the UFC in 2018 after holding and defending the M-1 lightweight title, is 5-1 in the UFC and coming off his first loss in more than six years, a December decision loss to the surging Arman Tsarukyan.
Grant Dawson is the No. 15 fighter in the official UFC 145-pound rankings. The 29-year-old is 19-1-1 with four knockouts and 13 submissions. A member of the UFC since 2019, Dawson is unbeaten with the promotion at 7-0-1. His last outing was a November submission win over the previously unbeaten Mark Madsen.
Before we look at the best bets for the co-main event of the UFC Fight Night / UFC Vegas 76 card between Damir Ismagulov and Grant Dawson, check out the best UFC betting sites and our betting picks for the UFC Vegas 76 main event between Sean Strickland and Abus Magomedov.
UFC Vegas 76 co-main event: Damir Ismagulov vs. Grant Dawson betting picks
|To Win UFC Vegas 76 Co-Main Event|
UFC Vegas 76 co-main event: Damir Ismagulov vs. Grant Dawson betting breakdown
While this is not a pure wrestler vs. striker fight, the lightweight matchup between Damir Ismagulov and Grant Dawson could turn into that type of contest. Ismagulov is a very good striker. His output and landing rate were nearly identical to Arman Tsarukyan in their recent matchup, with Ismagulov landing 36 of 86 significant strikes vs. Tsarukyan’s 34 for 81. The difference in that fight was wrestling, as Tsarukyan went seven for 21 in takedowns and accumulated 9:25 of control time on his way to a 30-27×3 unanimous decision win. Given the opportunity, Ismagulov will use his striking skills, especially his jab, to rack up points on the scorecards.
Dawson is a capable wrestler. He went seven for 17 on his takedowns against Jared Gordon in April 2022 and had 7:11 of control time before submitting his foe at the 4:11 mark of the third round. He followed that with two takedowns and 9:31 of control time against Olympic silver-medalist in greco-roman wrestling, Mark Madsen.
UFC Vegas 76 co-main event: Damir Ismagulov vs. Grant Dawson statistical breakdown
Ismagulov and Dawson have similar striking statistics over their UFC careers. Ismagulov lands 3.78 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy of 42 percent. As for his defense, Ismagulov absorbs 2.51 significant strikes per minute and has a defense rate of 62 percent. Dawson’s significant striking rate is 3.12 significant strikes per minute, with 51 percent accuracy. He gets hit 2.41 times per minute and has a striking defense rate of 45 percent.
These two differ in grappling. Dawson lands 3.80 takedowns per 15 minutes vs. Ismagulov’s 1.17. Dawson’s takedown accuracy is 34 percent, and Ismagulov’s is 28 percent. As for takedown defense, Ismagulov stops 75 percent of his foe’s takedown attempts, while Dawson has a takedown defense rate of 40 percent.
Best Bets for UFC Vegas 76 co-main event: Damir Ismagulov vs. Grant Dawson
I expect that Ismagulov has worked on his takedown defense following his recent loss. However, that will be enough to deter Dawson from using his wrestling to get this fight to the mat. The betting pick in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 76 comes down to what style of fight one thinks will take place. If you’re leaning toward a stand-up battle, the betting pick is Ismagulov via decision. If you’re like me and think Dawson will use his takedown and ground skills to get the fight to the mat and keep it there, the betting pick is Dawson to win via decision.
Best UFC UFC Vegas 76 co-main event betting pick: Grant Dawson to beat Damir Ismagulov by decision.
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