UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. BrandaoSaturday, July 19 – 4:30 p.m. ET
Conor McGregor (14-2) vs. Diego Brandao (22-9)Featherweight bout
Line: McGregor -475, Brandao +350
Conor McGregor will look to continue his hot streak as he goes up against Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night in Ireland on Saturday.
McGregor has been on a tear as of late, winning 10 consecutive fights, including his first two matchups in the UFC. In his last fight on August 17, 2013, he defeated Max Holloway by way of unanimous decision. McGregor has shown in the early part of his career that he has the ability to end a fight very quickly, as he has devastating knockout power. He is an explosive athlete, using that quickness to get his opponent off balance, before knocking his opponent out. On Saturday, McGregor will be going up against a fighter eager to bounce back from a loss in his last fight, as Brandao fell to Dustin Poirier at UFC 168 on December 28, 2013. In that match, he was knocked out in the first round, but Brandao has still prevailed in eight of his past 10 fights. This has the makings of being a terrific matchup as these two fighters both have the ability to win by knockout. However, in the end, the favored McGREGOR has improved significantly in a short period of time, and he will do enough to get the win.
"The Notorious" McGregor has 14 wins in his career, with 12 of them coming by way of knockout. He also has one win by both submission and decision, and has tallied an impressive 10 first-round finishes in his young career. Not only will he have his hometown crowd behind him, but McGregor will have a huge advantage in this fight when it comes to striking, landing 4.59 significant strikes per minute, compared to only 2.44 by Brandao. He is not as accurate when it comes to landing his strikes (45% for Brando, 39% for McGregor). However, the 26-year-old McGregor does a great job of putting the pressure on his opponents early, and then continuing to throw those strikes throughout the fight. If he is able to get going early, he will have a great chance to win this match. The 5-foot-9 McGregor stands two inches taller than his opponent. However, if there is one thing going for Brandao, it is that he also has elite knockout power for the featherweight class too.
Of his 22 career fights, "DB" Brandao has nine wins by way of knockout. He also has eight wins by decision, and five by way of submission. His ability to throw punches is huge in this match as McGregor is absolutely relentless on his opponents. While he does not have as many takedowns as McGregor (3.72, compared to 3.35 for Brandao), the Brazilian Brandao does a much better job of defending against the takedown (86% compared to 0% for McGregor). McGregor is rarely tested on his grappling because he turns the fights into brawls. However, if the 27-year-old Brandao can take the fight to the mat, he has a great chance of scoring the upset victory.