I guess these names aren’t too long but we will still be referring to them by Impa and Sasha, respectively. The latter will be making just his second appearance inside of the Octagon while Impa makes his own return from the dead after being on the receiving end of one of the greatest knockouts of all time.
Just in case I need to refresh your memory…
KO of the Year! 🔓
Go all angles on @NewMansa94's masterpiece 😳
— UFC (@ufc) October 10, 2020
The mistake Impa made here was hanging on to the foot of Buckley’s too long. He was supporting him and allowing his opponent to keep his balance. The catch and scoop was picture perfect but you have to have a plan to use it for a sweep or a toss and counter.
I have been there. Never took a spinning backer to the mouth, thank goodness, but I was decent at catching kicks but I am naturally indecisive and there is no time for such in combat.
Impa is still pretty raw as a martial artist. He has the fight in him and certainly the frame/athleticism to beat anyone. That is what got him to the dance a little bit early. Let’s just hope he isn’t permanently mentally damaged as far as his mojo goes by that brutal knockout.
His opponent on Saturday came into his Octagon debut against Contender Series standout Louis Cosce as a (+375) underdog which was ridiculous even without the hindsight we have today.
Palatnikov ends it in the third round, what a fight!! 🤯🙌
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) November 22, 2020
Cosce was making his UFC debut also. At one point, the line was as high as (+455) on Sasha. If you saw the fight, then you understand it was all one way traffic for the Hong Kong-born Palatnikov.
Sasha put in on him for one of the biggest upsets, according to the betting odds, of the year.
He will have a harder fight on his hands against Impa Kasangay on Saturday. The Charlotte-trained Impa will have a physical and size advantage over his opponent as well as the athleticism edge he normally holds against any of his opponents.
The betting odds we will use for today’s UFC prediction are brought to us by the good folks over at BetOnline.AG. They are usually the leaders of the industry releasing the original odds for a fight and the rest of the sportsbooks more or less copy them.
What I love the best about BetOnline is that they more often than not will give you the best value on not one but both fighters. That is hard to beat and they will match your first deposit up to 50%.
Let’s get to our UFC betting odds and predictions for the fight between Sasha Palatnikov and Impa Kasanganay.
Impa Kasanganay (-280) vs Sasha Palatnikov (+240)
Impa is overrated. He is green and still developing. Part of that statement, though, points towards him having a high ceiling and if you’re new at something, then you generally improve quicker than someone who is 34 and has been training since 20 years old.
— Sasha Palatnikov (@PalatnikovMMA) February 25, 2021
This is multiplied when you think about the athleticism and size of Impa. This is a trend in mixed martial arts fights. You see a great athlete who comes in and has some big wins early in their careers but it is generally against competition barely at the UFC level.
We picked him to defeat Maki at around (-150) where the betting odds closed and he got the W but it wasn’t that pretty. His next fight was against Joaquin Buckley and we will never forget that knockout for the rest of our lives.
That is all we have seen from Impa and against a taller opponent who switches stances and throws a lot of volume, this could be a difficult fight for him.
Sasha trains his strength and conditioning in Las Vegas under my mentor Lorenzo Pavlica. The guy keeps Roxanne Modafferi in shape and you can say what you want, she has made the most out of ZERO athleticism in UFC history.
If she could move around like Valentina Shevchenko, Roxy would have been much more successful. What she has been able to do with the help of John Wood and Lorenzo is something special.
Now, Sasha is fairly athletic already but not the level of Impa, in my opinion. He does come in shape, though, and ready to fight hard for the full 15 minutes.
Impa, though, is quite muscle bound and those big arms and legs need blood. That means the heart is going to have to work that much harder. I have to give the endurance edge to the Hong Kong guy, Palatnikov.
Louis Cosce is a decorated wrestler and he was 1/9. Granted, he did gas out after one round but an 89% takedown defense is pretty solid.
Impa didn’t take down Maki or Joaquin, only his opponents on the Contender Series. I will be very very surprised if Impa comes out here and dominates his opponent like the (-280) betting odds are suggesting.
I am taking the dog here. Impa still has not proven himself and maybe he does Saturday night but Sasha has a better performance in one UFC fight than Impa does in 2 plus 2 Contender Series contests.
This is going to be a fun fight and unless Impa just controls his opponent on the ground the entire time, I see this one playing out closely.
- Impa is not a great striker or anything. He is a great athlete with awesome size for the division. He isn’t a great wrestler or submission artist. He doesn’t have a great deal of power in his hands. Right now, at least, he is not even good at everything. He is just okay. His skills are eh but his ceiling and attributes, physically, are above average.
- Sasha Palatnikov is going to stay in his face, though, no matter if Impa is lighting him up or not. What I like most about our underdog pick this week is that we have the cardio advantage. Kasanganay likes to go at his own pace and against power hitters like Piolo and Buckley, he didn’t have to worry about facing volume and pressure.
That is what he is going to have to figure out how to beat when he fight Sasha Palatnikov on Saturday night.
I am hearing that the line could keep moving in the direction of Impa but I really like the (+240) so jump on it!