UFC 167 Prediction: Ali Bagautinov vs. Tim Elliott
November 13, 2013
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This is a very tricky fight to evaluate from a statistical perspective. The only data I have on Ali Bagautinov is from his UFC debut against Marcos Vinicius. In that fight Bagautinov showed that perhaps he can be the Russian John Dodson – a flyweight with terrific KO power and finishing ability. Bagautinov does have five career wins by KO/TKO, so it might not be too much of a stretch… but still, it’s just one fight against an opponent in Vinicius who is just not very good.
On the other side, we have Tim Elliott, who surprisingly checks in with the flyweight division’s highest FPR at +4.41. That’s right, higher than Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez, or Dodson. This is where I have to accept a limitation of FPR. I don’t think it does the best job of handling a blowout performance against an inferior opponent. In Elliott’s last fight he was utterly dominant against an over-matched Louis Gaudinot. Elliott landed 116 significant strikes and six takedowns, and attempted two submissions as well.
Since I’ve compared Bagautinov to John Dodson (likely a horrible comparison) let’s go back to when Elliott fought Dodson. In that fight, Elliott kept up with Dodson in significant strikes (79-80) but Dodson took him down a couple times. Dodson won by unanimous decision but it was a much more competitive fight than expected.
It also indicates that Elliott isn’t as good a wrestler as his 13:2 takedown ratio suggests. There are a lot of fighters who would have great success in the takedown game if they fought Gaudinot and Jared Papazian. We may find out that it’s actually Bagautinov who had the advantage in the takedown game.
Ultimately this is a fight where I have limited data, and the data I have is flawed. Based on what little I know, I think Elliott should be favored because he seems to be better at landing strikes, but this will be a fight that’s more about me learning about the fighters and less about me pretending to be an expert on them. FPR likes Elliott to win and the sportsbooks like Elliott to win, and that’s good enough for me.
Pick: Tim Elliott by decision