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4 bold UFC Predictions for UFC Vegas 76, including wins for Strickland and Lee

Get a round of bold UFC predictions for the promotion’s next event, UFC Vegas 76 on July 1.

The MMA world leader begins its schedule in July with a UFC Fight Night card at its headquarters in Las Vegas. The card is led by a matchup in the middleweight division as rankings stalwart Sean Strickland competes in a high-risk scrap against PFL veteran Abus Magomedov.

Related: UFC tonight – Get the fight card, watch times and odds for Saturday’s UFC event

UFC Vegas 76 will also see the return of several Octagon veterans, including Alexandr Romanov, Kevin Lee, Ariane Lipski, Blagoy Ivanov, and Max Griffin. With that in mind, let’s make a few bold UFC predictions for the promotion’s card on Saturday night.

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Sean Strickland (26-5) vs. Abus Magomedov (25-4-1)

Despite just one bout in the Octagon, 2018 PFL middleweight championship finalist Magomedov is being thrust into a main event matchup in the UFC. And in the biggest spotlight opportunity of his career, the Russian will get a very difficult task in top-10 fighter Sean Strickland.

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While “Tarzan” has lost two of his last three and his opponent has only tasted defeat once in the last seven years, there is a massive difference in the level of competition the two men have faced. Over the last few years, Strickland has battled some of the best the 185-pound division has to offer and it takes an elite fighter to defeat him. Magomedov is not that.

Expect Strickland to look very impressive in his latest UFC Fight Night headliner opportunity.

  • UFC Vegas 76 odds: Strickland (-150), Magomedov (+130)
  • Prediction: Strickland by TKO, Round 3

Kevin Lee (19-7) vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov (20-1)

ufc predictions
Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

After one fight away from the UFC, Kevin Lee makes his return on Saturday and battles a rising star in the welterweight division. While Lee will get much of the attention heading into the bout, Rinat Fakhretdinov is a good fighter who needs to be taken very seriously. The Russian has just one loss in his 21-fight career and that was a decade ago.

Nevertheless, like Strickland vs. Magomedov, there is a huge difference in the schedule both fighters have had, and while Lee has never lived up to the potential many thought he had, the majority of his losses are against former champions and very talented competitors. While it won’t be easy, look for the American to secure a hard-fought victory in his UFC return this weekend.

  • Odds: Lee (+160), Fakhretdinov (-190)
  • Prediction: Lee by unanimous decision

Alexandr Romanov (16-2) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (19-5)

ufc predictions
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Romanov vs. Ivanov is a very solid clash in the UFC heavyweight division and both are legitimate top 15 to 20 big men in the MMA game. Romanov enters the bout as the favorite but only by a slim amount, and that is likely to the fact that his opponent is extremely durable and a hard out any time he competes.

However, Ivanov has not looked impressive (outside of his toughness) inside the cage in quite some time, and Romanov just seems like a fighter in a far better groove in their career over the last few years. Like every Ivanov fight this one will be very close but look for “King Kong” to score a bounce-back win at UFC Vegas 76.

  • Odds: Romanov (-135), Ivanov (+115)
  • UFC Prediction: Romanov by unanimous decision

Guram Kutateladze (-380) vs. Elves Brener (+310)

Guram Kutateladze is one of the biggest betting favorites on the card and by a huge amount. He is a very talented rising lightweight who has faced high-level competition in his two UFC bouts and split the pair — scoring a win over ranked talent Mateusz Gamrot in his debut.

The only real knock on his career of late has been his limited activity, but Elves Brener is not going to be the fighter that puts his possible ring rust to a true test on Saturday night. Expect the “Georgian Viking” to be impressive as he scores a dominant TKO win this weekend.

  • Odds: Kutateladze (-600), Brener (+450)
  • UFC Prediction: Kutateladze by TKO, Round 1