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UFC Saudi Arabia: Kyung Ho Kang vs. Muin Gafurov: betting odds and predictions June 22

Publish Date: 06/22/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

The UFC makes its highly anticipated debut at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Headlining this monumental fight card are two of the best middleweight contenders the UFC has to offer, former undisputed middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and surging prospect Ikram Aliskerov.

In a fight on the prelims, we have a matchup in the bantamweight division between a mainstay in the division Kyung Ho Kang and Muin Gafurov.

Kang is now 2-1 in his last three fights but most recently dropped a decision in his last fight to John Castaneda meanwhile, Gafurov is still winless in the UFC losing the first two fights of his career and most recently got submitted in round one by Said Nurgamomedov.

With that said, we take a look at this bantamweight fight and give out our prediction and pick for this Kang-Gafurov matchup.

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC Saudi Arabia: Kyung Ho Kang Predictions

Kyung Ho Kang (19-10) is a 13-fight UFC veteran who has compiled an 8-4-0, 1 NC record during his 11-year run with the promotion.

  • He is now 2-2 over his last four fights and he most recently dropped a competitive decision to John Castaneda.

Now, he is set to take on an up-and-coming prospect Muin Gafurov as he looks to get back on track this weekend.

Kang might not be the most flashy fighter in the bantamweight division but he is a tough fight for even someone who's as experienced as Gafurov. Kang does a good job of utilizing his length to his advantage as he will have a 2" height and 5" reach advantage against Gafurov.

  • He uses a nice long jab-straight combination to keep his opponents at bay as well as a calf kick to keep his opponents from just pressing forward.

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In this matchup against an opponent as dangerous as Gafurov, Kang will need to use those long-range attacks to keep him at the end of his strikes and then mix in the grappling.

  • That is where Kang should have a distinct advantage where he has 12 wins via submission and Gafurov was just submitted in his last fight and has a tendency to give up takedowns as the fight progresses.

If Kang can make Gafurov work in the early going of this fight and drag him into deep waters we can expect Gafurov to fade mightily much like he has in the two fights he fought to a decision under the UFC banner.

That is when Kang can take full advantage and either get a late finish or get the nod on the judge's scorecards.

UFC Saudi Arabia: Muin Gafurov Predictions

Muin Gafurov (18-6) had his first chance of securing his contract when he fought on the Contender Series in 2021 however, he faded mightily after a great first round and lost a split decision to Chad Anheliger.

  • After back-to-back finishes in the LFA promotion, the UFC gave him his second shot, and after two fights he comes into his third and final chance to get his first win inside the Octagon this weekend against Kyung Ho Kang.

Now, on the heels of two consecutive losses Gafurov is going to need to pick it up in this matchup against Kang. He is a dangerous fighter who has the ability to finish the fight on the feet and on the mat.

  • He is also 8 years younger than Kang giving him the leg up in youth in this fight.

As we've seen in the Castaneda fight, Kang doesn't do so well when he's pressured throughout the fight and that's right up Gafurov's alley.

Gafurov is one to bring the fight to his opponent and press forward for the majority of the fight and that nonstop pressure against Kang who's now 36-years-old will pay dividends the later this fight goes.

However, sometimes when Gafurov overextends on his pressure he tends to fade late so he will have to be mindful of his cardio in this matchup as well.

If Gafurov can maintain his cardio throughout and keep the pressure on Kang for the full 15 minutes he can finally get the job done and get his first win inside the Octagon this weekend.

UFC SAUDI ARABIA: KYUNG HO KANG VS. MUIN GAFUROV FANDUEL ODDS FOR JUNE 22ND

MONEY LINE

  • KYUNG HO KANG: +130
  • MUIN GAFUROV: -154

PROPS

  • KYUNG HO KANG BY POINTS: +260
  • KYUNG HO KANG BY SUBMISSION: +600
  • KYUNG HO KANG BY KNOCKOUT/TKO: +1300
  • MUIN GAFUROV BY POINTS: +175
  • MUIN GAFUROV BY KNOCKOUT/TKO: +350
  • MUIN GAFUROV BY SUBMISSION: +1100

OVER/UNDER (ROUNDS TOTAL)

  • OVER 2.5 ROUNDS (-196)
  • UNDER 2.5 ROUNDS (+152)

BEST UFC SAUDI ARABIA ODDS FOR KYUNG HO KANG VS. MUIN GAFUROV

  • Kyung Ho Kang is the underdog. DraftKings Sportsbook currently has the best odds at (+136)
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  • Muin Gafurov is the favorite against Kyung Ho Kang. FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the best odds at (-154)
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  • DraftKings currently has the best odds for the total, which is set at 2.5 Rounds (-180) for the over, and (+140) for the under
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Check our FanDuel sportsbook review to find out more about FanDuel's rating, bonuses, betting margins, and other helpful details.

FINAL KANG-GAFUROV PICK & PREDICTION

This is a fantastic matchup in the bantamweight division for the prelims for this monumental event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both fighters will be looking to keep their UFC careers alive with a much-needed victory this weekend.

Ultimately, it's going to be the length and diversity of Kang that's going to be the difference maker in this fight. Kang has the cardio to go all three rounds at a hard pace and has the grappling to make this a very tough fight for Gafurov.

As long as Kang doesn't get caught early, as he's never been finished in his UFC career, he should be able to drown Gafurov with his pace and get back into the win column.

FINAL KANG-GAFUROV PICK & PREDICTION: KYUNG HO KANG (-120)

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Allan HoweDan TraceyGarrett KermanKenny DuceySara Jane Gamelli
Allan Howe
Allan Howe
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Dan Tracey
Dan Tracey
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Garrett Kerman
Sports Reporter | Capper
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Kenny Ducey
Sports Reporter | Capper
Sara Jane Gamelli
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Sports Writer | Bettor

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