UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Dustin Jacoby vs Maxim Grisham

The UFC is going to stick around Vegas for the foreseeable future. I have heard they won’t return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi until the summertime. That’s gonna be fun. That arena is no less than 100 degrees on a June morning.

Have fun with that, y’all. You can say what you want about Vegas but they have some of the most sophisticated HVAC systems you can ever imagine. Rooms full of people smoking and you barely notice.

There are the older casinos, though, with the low ceilings. If second hand is your thing, then hit up the Flamingo or the consensus worst, Gold Coast. I really don’t mind the UFC sticking around Vegas for a while. I just wish I could go to an event or two.

Hopefully soon.

One positive about holding fights at the APEX is the small Octagon. It truly makes a huge difference and favors the front foot fighters. Don’t always think that the small cage is just going to favor the grappler and/or the shorter fighter.

The athletes who continually move forward have a massive advantage in a smaller space.

One of the potentially most exciting matchups we are going to see on Saturday features a couple of extra large light heavyweights, American Dustin Jacoby and Russia’s Maxim Grishin.

Both standing every bit of 6’4” tall and leaned out, they both love to strike. Dustin has experience fighting for GLORY Kickboxing and looking pretty decent. He prefers to prey on wrestlers, though.

Grishin is a good looking prospect but had a rough welcome to the UFC when he got matched up against the still surging Marcin Tybura. Tybura didn’t land a ton of shots in that fight. Heck, the two men combined for a whopping 42 significant strikes landed in a full 15-minute fight.

You can’t exactly “blame” Max for that one. It was his fault he got taken down but then Marcin only landing 24 is kinda lame. The Polish fighter got the job done, though and moved on to completely humiliating Greg Hardy and putting smiles on the faces of fans around the globe.

Hey, the guy was arrested for domestic violence more than once AND played for the Dallas Cowboys! I mean, how unlikable can you get?

Back to Max and Dustin. They are both strikers and I feel almost certain the fight will play out on the feet. That is why it is lined as closely as it is. How close is that?

The online sportsbook BetOnline has the odds for us this week. Let’s take a gander and make our predictions on a winner and/or a round total for the matchup between Dustin Jacoby and Maxim Grishin.

Dustin Jacoby (-185) vs Maxim Grishin (+160)

Even though this is only Dustin Jacoby’s 2nd ever UFC fight, he has a boatload of combat sports experience including an MMA record of 13-5.

He made quick work of fellow striker Justin Ledet with a first round TKO from leg kicks. To get a leg kick finish inside of 3 minutes, you have to have found your range and executed perfectly. Dustin is a scary guy on the feet.

He has been in the kickboxing ring with Simon Marcus who is one of the most technical and powerful Muay Thai strikers at his weight in the world. If you think I’m just pumping up my likely prediction, you can see Marcus is legit here.

Yes, that was with Buakaw. Man, I miss sparring with the Thais. It is such a high level yet 100% completely under control with no anger or ego.

Jacoby could have some problems with a dominant wrestler or an extremely powerful puncher but Maxim Grishin is neither. He is a striker himself but going on 37 years old in May while Dustin is the younger man by 4 years.

There was a chunk of initial dough that came in on Grishin bringing Dustin’s betting line down from (-210) to where it is now at an affordable (-185). I really don’t see this line moving any further south.

In fact, it may just return to where it started.

As far as the numbers go, neither man has a load of UFC experience but as far as striking volume is concerned, I have to side with the American. Even when Max wasn’t being controlled on the mat, he still had a low output.

For 7:30, he wasn’t being controlled against Antigulov but still only managed to land 34 significant strikes. He still got the TKO with 2 seconds remaining in the second round but Jacoby isn’t Antigulov.

Dustin landed 117 significant strikes in a unanimous decision victory on the Contender Series and was on pace for the same when he landed 22 in half of a round against Ledet before the stoppage.

Volume, youth, and technique are all edges I give Jacoby. He was ground and pounded out once by Mo Lawal which is completely understandable. John Salter subbed him and that is par for the course as well.

Please Note:

In GLORY Kickboxing, Jacoby was only finished by Alex Perriera-the only man to knock out current UFC Middleweight World Champion, Israel Adesanya. What I like best is the progression and evolution from Dustin.

He used to not have takedown defense. Now he does. He may need it against the Russin but I think if Max wants to play that game, it will only benefit the man focused on landing strikes.

Are we going to see a finish in this fight? That’s a tough call. The betting odds are even for it so we will leave that one alone.

I will take Dustin on the moneyline to get the win here. You can get him to win a decision for (+200). That isn’t a bad line, really. Max has only been finished with strikes twice in the past decade and both came after the end of the 3rd round.

Magomed Ankalaev, who will likely fight for the 205 belt, was one of the men who put Max away and the other guy got him in the 24th minute.

1 unit on the moneyline and half of a unit on Jacoby by decision.

My Pick
Dustin Jacoby
Jacoby by Decision

In Conclusion

This could be a sleeper for fight of the night!

Don’t miss this fight, guys. You are in for a treat if you like striking and two massive guys meeting head on in the middle of a small Octagon.

Dustin Jacoby is a very high level guy on the feet and appears to have the total package including the takedown defense as well as heart and durability. He trains in Colorado as well and will just have a couple of hours of flying time tops before he lands in the Mojave Desert.

Max Grishin, conversely, will be traveling from Mother Russia. I’m sure he has been in Vegas for a little bit but even then, he is outside of his comfort zone, bed, etc.

There are enough boxes checked for Dustin to take his moneyline of (-185).

He is younger, has stood toe to toe with some of the best strikers on the planet, lands with double the volume of his opponent, and he passes the eye test as well. I think Grishin will hang in there because he can hold his own but unless he gets the TKO, I don’t see him out pointing the Colorado native.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

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