Fight Island 3: Hot Prospects to Watch! Russian Takeover
UFC Fight Island 3 is packed with 15 fights scheduled, but there are two soaring Russian prospects you need to look out for.
Movsar Evloev (12-0-0) vs. Mike Grundy (12-1-0)
This prelim bout features rising prospect Movsar Evloev. At 26 years old, Evloev is a Russian born fighter who has shown glimpses of being a future champion in the UFC. He possesses a strong Greco-Roman wrestling background and according to UFC stats, he is landing 5 takedowns on average per 15 minutes inside the octagon. However, both Evolev and Grundy come into this fight with an outstanding 100% takedown defense. Evloev has trained at Tiger Muay Thai, and recently posted a picture on Instagram training at American Top Team (ATT) in preparation for Saturday. So, it is clear that he is seeking the best training available to become a well-rounded fighter and take his game to the next level.
On the other side of the octagon is Mike Grundy. Grundy is 33 years old with his last fight being in March 2019 where he scored the first KO/TKO victory of his career against Nad Narimani. But, he is not known for his striking as he has received a Bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games for Men's Freestyle wrestling. Aside from his impressive wrestling credentials, Grundy has developed a slick ground game by finishing 8 of his 12 opponents by submission, so Evloev will have to very cautious with his takedown attempts.
Currently, Bodog has Evloev as the favourite at -200 and his opponent Grundy at +160. The -200 price tag is a bit high, but the line as gotten closer since the odds initially came out. I would wait to see if the line drops to get Evloev at a better price because this fight is closer than the line suggests at the moment. Grundy may have better wrestling credentials, but Evloev's MMA wrestling by using the cage to his advantage makes his style of wrestling more dangerous in this matchup. As for striking, Grundy should have the power advantage on the feet, but I believe Evloev is the more polished striker, and that, mixed with his chain wrestling should give him the nod in the judge's scorecards.
Prediction: Evloev by Decision
Khamzat Chimaev (7-0-0) vs. Rhys McKee (10-2-1)
If you watched UFC Fight Island 1, you should be familiar with Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev put himself on everyone's radar with a dominant performance over John Phillips, where he out struck his opponent 124-2 before submitting him with a d'arce choke in round 2. Chimaev is a 26 year old Russian who fights out of Allstars Training Center in Sweden with fellow Fight Island 3 fighter Alexander Gustafsson. This will be his second fight on Fight Island as he looks to complete his stay with another dominant performance.
Chimaev is slated to face UFC newcomer Rhys McKee, who was a former Cage Warriors contender before his call up to the big show. McKee is only 24 years old and is a proven finisher with a 100% finish rate that includes 7 knockouts and 3 submissions in his professional career. McKee may be a prospect to look out for in the future, but this is a tough introduction fight into the UFC.
The oddsmakers on Bodog have Chimaev at -1200 and McKee at +700. There is no value bet in this fight unless you are going to side with McKee, so this is a great fight to sit back and enjoy. My prediction for this fight is that Chimaev drags McKee to the mat and uses his ferocious ground and pound until the ref is forced to step in and stop the fight.
Prediction: Chimaev by KO/TKO