Sato vs Brahimaj Predictions: Betting The Underdog
Continuing my UFC Vegas 4 coverage, let’s take a look at my Brahimaj vs Sato predictions. I put out a Twitter poll last week asking how many dogs would cash at UFC Vegas 3 and I set the line at 7.5. The majority of answers came back on the under, but we came extremely close to cashing that over! Exactly 7 underdogs came through last week and these wild COVID cards and lower level match-ups provide exactly the opportunity for upsets. Once again the dogs are barking and we need to dive into our criteria to find a few this week! Let’s take a look at my Brahimaj vs Sato predictions.
To learn how I find my underdogs in more detail check out the full article here:
Ramiz Brahimaj vs Takashi Sato: The Basics
Takashi Sato is a strange fighter who we aren’t really sure of. He could be really good, but he could also be really bad and his 2 fights in the UFC really haven’t answered any questions.
|#UFCVegas4 Welterweight Bout||Ramiz Brahimaj||Takashi Sato|
|To Win Outright||+137||-164|
Ramiz Brahimaj is making his UFC debut and is a standout grappler who could have made his octagon debut some time ago and it feels as though the UFC is feeding Takashi to the young gun.
|Age||27 years old|
|Wins by KO/TKO||8|
Brahimaj is making his UFC debut at UFC Vegas 4 this Saturday and I generally avoid betting on debuting fighters, but this one seems special. Brahimaj is a submission stand out and trains out of one of my favorite rising gyms, Fortis MMA! He has a 100% finish rate and shows off insanely slick transitions and advances on the mat. He takes the back effortlessly and has devastating ground and pound. You do not want this man on top of you or on your back. In fact, you probably just don’t want to be in the cage with him.
|Age||30 years old|
|Wins by KO/TKO||14|
Takashi is a Judo black belt and stalks his opponents with constant forward pressure. He stands tall and walks his opponents down landing long jabs and firing a big power right cross. The issue with Sato is that he is very hittable, he has basic stand up, and he is rather slow. Sato can plod forward and will rely on his durability to take out his opponents, but if you have any finesse he can be out-worked.
Brahimaj vs Sato: The criteria
Brahimaj is training out of Fortis MMA with coach Sayif Saud who is doing masterful work with his young bath of hungry rising contenders and he knows where his advantage is. Brahimaj has not fallen in love with his hands and his attacks are all centered around opening up that ground game that he is so well known for. I expect him to go for broke looking for opportunities to get this fight to the mat or take Sato’s back and that is all we need from him here. Stick to the game plan is fight IQ enough.
In his 10 professional fights, Brahimaj has 2 losses and both came by way of decision. Brahimaj has not been finished in his MMA career and he has gone a full 15 minutes multiple times with punchers who could have gotten the job done. This is a key figure for me since Takashi is a bit on the slow side, but carries some power in those hands. As much as I would like to avoid it we might need Brahimaj to survive a few good shots.
Brahimaj is a hunter. He is always looking to advance his position and get the fight to his world and even for a young fighter he has faced some adversity in his career and I have not seen him wilt. This one is a bit of a question mark at this stage of his career admittedly, but he has shown me no signs of looking for a way out of a fight.
Again, we count submission ability or the ability to finish the fight as power just as much as we would knock out ability and Brahimaj has that covered! Brahimaj has the ability to land a sub from almost anywhere on the ground. Not only that but he has some power ground and pound that could very easily lead him to a TKO victory as well. When you have a 100% finish rate next to your record I have little concern with meeting this part of the criteria.
Brahimaj vs Sato: The verdict
Ramiz Brahimaj checks all 4 of the boxes needed for betting on a good underdog, so even though we have a few questions around what he will bring to the table for his first UFC fight we have everything we need to take the shot. This is a spot where if you follow me on twitter (@DieHardMMAPod) you would benefit from my early reads!
I locked this bet up at +145 and I am not the only one seeing the value on this submission ace on Saturday. I believe that Sato who uses his physical size and strength to bully his opponents will find himself matched by Brahimaj. Without the ability to overpower the newer fighter I believe it will just be a matter of time before Sato finds himself under the young gun.
Whether or not Brahimaj finds a submission on Sato I believe he can find a path to victory. Sato has been submitted twice, so it wouldn’t be the first time, and don’t forget we are in the small cage at the UFC Apex, so grapplers have less ground to cover in order to get their hands on their foes. TKO, decision, or submission are all on the table. Let’s go Brahimaj!
The Pick: Ramiz Brahimaj (+137)