In the main event of UFC Vegas 31 we will see a lightweight showdown between two top fifteen contenders. Dagestan’s Islam Makhachev (19-1) gets his first headlining fight as he takes on the surging Thiago Moises (15-4) tomorrow night.
Thiago Moises is making his seventh UFC appearance tomorrow night. After earning a contract with the promotion on Dana White’s Contender Series, Moises at a young age was thrown right to the wolves in taking on Beneil Dariush in his first fight.
Since losing that fight to Dariush, Moises has gone 4-1 in the UFC. Since losing the first round to Michael Johnson last year, Moises has really flipped the switch. He submitted Johnson in the second round then dominated Bobby Green and Alexander Hernandez.
At just 26 years old, Moises is really coming into his own. That said, he has a nightmare to deal with at UFC Vegas 31. It is a very popular take in the MMA world to say that Islam Makhachev looks like a future UFC champion.
He is the protégé of Khabib Nurmagomedov and he looks like he can be that dominant. Makhachev is the total package and even looks like he could be more advanced than the former undisputed lightweight champion.
He possesses that same dominant grappling style as Khabib, but it’s not a stretch at all to say he possesses better striking. Makhachev has gone 8-1 in the UFC and every time we see him he looks more and more dominant.
UFC Vegas 31 Prediction
We are going to learn a lot about both of these guys tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 31. For Moises, we are going to learn just how good he really is. In the case of Makhachev, we are going to see how well he handles the pressure of being a huge favorite in a main event.
Moises has incredible jiu jitsu and we’ve seen him show off impressive striking. He’s going to need all of his tools to be sharp at UFC Vegas 31. I will say that Thiago Moises can win this fight tomorrow night and he has the skills to do it.
However, it’s an incredible tall order. While he has great jiu jitsu, I don’t think he’s ever experienced someone with the top game and pressure of Makhachev. If Makhachev gets on top tomorrow night, I just don’t see Moises pulling off a submission.
While Moises has looked better than ever, I think we are going to see a showcase at UFC Vegas 31. I’m expecting a statement win for Islam Makhachev as he continues his surge towards the elites of the division. Expect to see a Khabib-Esque performance tomorrow from his protégé.
Prediction: Islam Makhachev by TKO – Round 3