Prior to the pandemic, Makwan Amirkhani was training with Conor McGregor in Ireland. Ten of his 15 victories are by submission entering this fight with Danny Henry.
Not too often MMA fans will see a fight between a Finn and a Scotsman, but that’s the case at featherweight among the prelims of UFC 251 on Saturday from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi as Makwan Amirkhani and Danny Henry face off. Amirkhani is a -215 favourite on the MMA odds with Henry at +165.
Amirkhani vs. Henry UFC 251 Odds
The current featherweight champion is Alexander Volkanovski, who will fight No. 1 contender Max Holloway in the main event portion of this card. Neither Amirkhani nor Henry is ranked in the 145-pound division.
The 31-year-old Amirkhani (15-4) became a mixed martial arts professional in 2010 and his UFC debut was quite memorable in January 2015 against Andy Ogle. That’s because Amirkhani won by TKO (flying knee and punches) in just eight seconds – one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history.
Rather oddly, that’s the only win Amirkhani has by KO/TKO. Ten of his 15 victories are by submission and he’s a former Finnish champion wrestler. “Mr. Finland” – so named because Amirkhani finished first runner-up in the 2012 Mr. Finland pageant – comes off a third-round TKO loss (punches) to Shane Burgos in November. Prior to the pandemic, Amirkhani was training with Conor McGregor in Ireland.
Amirkhani’s UFC fights average 10:07, and he lands 1.60 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 2.77) along with 3.39 takedowns per 15 minutes with 34 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 57 per cent. Amirkhani’s favoured method of victory Saturday is by submission at +175.
Henry (12-3), 31, has been a pro MMA fighter since 2011 and his UFC debut was in July 2017, a unanimous decision win over Daniel Teymur that earned Fight of the Night honours. Henry’s five-fight overall winning streak ended in March 2019 in a first-round submission loss (rear-naked choke) to Dan Ige. “He came out, he clipped me and he caught me early,” Henry said. He had been scheduled to fight twice since then, but they fell through for various reasons.
“The Hatchet” has won five times by KO/TKO, five by submission and twice by decision – two of his three losses are via the judges. His favoured method of victory Saturday is by decision at +375. Henry’s UFC fights average just 5:39 and he lands 5.85 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 4.84) and 0.89 takedowns per 15 minutes with 33 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 66 per cent.
UFC Fight Island Predictions: Amirkhani vs. Henry
The over-under for total rounds (scheduled for three) is 2.5, with the under a slight -120 favourite. That it goes the distance is +120 with no at -155. Back Amirkhani to win by second-round submission.