UFC on ABC Betting Pick: Ramazan Emeev vs David Zawada

The UFC has finally made their return to action and this Saturday night’s card is a milestone for the organization. This event will be broadcast on ABC! Yes, I’m sure you’re connecting the dots by now.

ESPN is owned by Disney and Mickey owns ABC as well. As long as it goes better than the NFL on Nickelodeon, I think they will be alright. The UFC already has a good but not great stable of commentators.

I just hope they don’t bring in any network guys or gals that don’t know the game. I am too much of a purist for that. Heck, so much of a purist, I don’t want to hear the commentary at all. I think more often than not, they are either overdramatizing something or rambling on and not calling the fight as it should be. That is just me. I switched over to watching in Spanish and that was great because I still absolutely must hear the shots landing. That in and of itself has been such a treat since they started putting on post lockdown events with no fans back in May.

I can hear the shots land and I remember my first UFC when I sat up in the nosebleeds. I didn’t enjoy the show very much at all simply because I couldn’t hear it! I guess when you spoil yourself by fighting, cornering, and even judging, then any seat further back than the front row becomes a disappointment.

If you’re going to watch a fight where there truly isn’t much to hear, then this one might just be it.

Both men are grapplers who don’t throw a lot of strikes. They have a combined average of 5.4 significant strikes landed per minute in their careers fighting inside the Octagon.

When both fighters are grapplers, you go with the better wrestler or the better striker. I think Ramazan is both and the sportsbooks mostly agree with me. BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this matchup.

Let’s take a look at the lines for this fight and make our predictions on either a winner, method of victory, or possibly a round total.

Ramazan Emeev (-260) vs David Zawada (+220)

Ramazan Emeev is not the company’s favorite fighter. I will tell you that. Heck, he might keep on winning and be denied a contract extension much like Canadian, Elias Theadoreau, who attempted to master the art of fighting without fighting.

I respect the effort but the company is named the Ultimate Fighting Championship for a reason. Just listen to the strikes landed count from all 5 of Ramazan’s fights inside of the Octagon.

Keep in mind that all of his fights have gone the distance so we are talking about 25 total minutes of fight time. 172 strikes landed in 75 minutes of fighting!

This is terrible and it gets worse! He has been in control of his opponents for the vast majority of that time as well. He takes the wall and stall to new levels and if David Zawada was a dangerous striker, then maybe I would give him a chance here.

He is a Jiu Jitsu guy, though, and his best chance at victory is catching something from the bottom and the Russian has been submitted only once and that came in his second career pro fight more than 10 years ago.

His opponent, Dusseldorf Germany’s David Zawada is primarily a submission threat even though he goes by the name of Sagat. I don’t necessarily approve of that and I doubt this guy does either.

There are some other good videos of him in that series as well if you’re interested. You can also train with him in Thailand. A private lesson with a video game character who is a true legend Nak Muay is a dream and it is still on my personal bucket list.

Maybe he isn’t Sagat but David Zawada has some impressive submissions on his record. Just ask Abubakar Nurmagomedov who was David’s only victim inside of the Octagon. Zawada was on his way to an 0-3 record in the UFC and likely getting cut but he did the unthinkable and submitted the Dagestani star.

He closed around (+190) for that fight around where his betting odds are now. Zawada is slick and if they spend most of their time on the mat, it is going to be a sweat for Emeev backers but Ramazan should be well aware at this point of how dangerous David is on the mat.

Maybe 1 minute of circling to start each round followed by 3:30 of cage control/wall n’ stall time/and then get a take down with only seconds left in the round. As lame as his game is, Ramazan is really good at what he does.

Zawada by submission is (+700). I think that is certainly worth .25 units.

To me, that is really his only route to victory so we will leave him alone after that play and focus in on the favorite, Emmev. The Russian is (-110) to win a decision. I think that is more than fair for a guy who is 4-1 in the UFC with his only loss to a tough out like Rocco Martin who gave Damien Maia a hard time for a while.

3 of David’s 5 losses have come before the final bell but again, Emeev is a decision machine and hasn’t come close to showing us any differently. If Zawada weren’t a strong grappler than maybe a submission win is a larger threat to the decision method of victory prop but he likes to grapple.

I do worry about David going for the whole time because he is a gamer. When you go for a submission, many times you are risking or giving up a position. Ram could work his way to the back and maybe sub from there but I still think Emmev wins a decision at least 2 out of the three times these two fight.

That is more than enough of an edge to play the (-110).

The Bets
Zawada by Submission (.25 units)
Emeev by Decision (1.5 units)

In Conclusion

This fight could be a lot of fun but it could also be a great time to step outside for a few with your friends.

If Ramazan decides to take his chances inside the guard of Zawada, that’s fine with me because he isn’t likely to finish the man from guard because every strike he throws leaves him slightly more susceptible to a submission attempt from his opponent.

Emeev has been taking guys down his whole career and in the UFC, has only been landing around 30 strikes in a 15 minute fight where he is in control most of the time. That is madness but hey, as a bettor eying almost even money for him to grab a decision, that’s my dog!

I love Ramazan Emeev!

We have to shut our inner fanboy up as well as my martial artist side who only wants to see finishers fighting each other. If that was the case, though, we would have a much harder time predicting the outcomes of these fights.

Maybe we would get more playable betting lines but the level of difficulty would rise significantly. I am happy where we are right now. If they change the way fights are scored, it could hurt us but we could also look at it as a challenge and attempt to use it to our advantage.

Please Note:
When all the big money flowed into the sportsbooks when the UFC was the only major American sport being played post lockdown, a lot of the once-affordable betting lines on some favorites I wanted to bet became too expensive.

I admit I did cry about it for a bit but once I realized that a lot of this money was dumb money that didn’t know MMA very well, we took advantage of their mistakes.

Ramazan is a grinder who tends to grind himself out at times as well so that is more reason to play the Emeev decision line and protect it with a Zawada by submission bet at 7 to 1!

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.