We’re set for yet another betting prediction and pick for UFC Saudi Arabia: Whittaker vs. Aliskerov as we turn our attention towards this next bout in the Featherweight (145) Division. Tajikistan’s Muhammad Naimov will take on the debuting Felipe Lima of Brazil. Check out our UFC odds series for our Naimov-Lima prediction and pick.

Muhammad Naimov (11-2) has gone a perfect 3-0 in the UFC since 2023. Following an initial loss on Dana White’s Contender Series, he rebounded in other organizations and had won his last six fights in a row. He’s also notched two finishes in the UFC and will be looking to impress with his fourth-consecutive win. Naimov stands 5’9″ with a 70-inch reach.

Felipe Lima (12-1) will be making his UFC debut on Saturday against Naimov. He’s a 4-0 prospect out of Amazon Talent and he’s won his last 12 consecutive pro MMA fights. He steps into this bout on short notice and comes in as a short underdog, an early indication that he could be a talent to watch at this weight class. Lima stands 5’6″.

Here are the UFC Saudi Arabia Odds, courtesy of BetOnline. 

UFC Saudi Arabia Odds: Muhammad Naimov-Felipe Lima Odds

Muhammad Naimov: -126

Felipe Lima: +106

Over 1.5 rounds: -200

Under 1.5 rounds: +160

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Why Muhammad Naimov Will Win

Muhammad Naimov has looked stellar through his first three UFC contests and it’s clear he’s dedicated himself to improving his fight game since his DWCS audition. He hasn’t had a single easy fight in the UFC so far and he’s looked extremely poised against strong competitors like Nathaniel Wood and Jamie Mullarkey. He’s a very technical wrestler and can control where the fight takes place with his takedown defense and scrambles. Given his size, he’s usually giving up a slight disadvantage, but does a ton of work to break his opponents down and put them on their backs.

Muhammad Naimov also has an advanced striking game and while he isn’t typically clean with his defense, he’s extremely solid in hitting his target and throwing hard while doing so. His body kicks are very damaging and he won his last fight on a count of almost breaking Erik Silva’s leg with his kicks. Look for him to do something similar here as he welcomes a debuting fighter and tries to drag him into deep water. Still, Naimov will have to stay defensively sound as his opponent will be coming back with furious combinations.

Why Felipe Lima Will Win

Felipe Lima is a highly-touted prospect coming from Brazil and he’s currently riding a 12-fight winning streak heading into this one. He notably trains at Allstars Training Center in Stockholm, Sweden alongside figures like Alexander Gustafsson and Khamzat Chimaev. He’ll also be coming into this bout on fairly short notice, so his training camp will have to be perfect in getting him ready for this debut. Lima is extremely talented at just 26 years old and has six wins by decision, often controlling fights for their entire duration.

With this being his debut, Lima will have to conserve his energy and avoid any adrenaline dumps early into this fight. His gas tank holds up very well and he has great cardio while pushing a high pace, so expect him to start fast and keep his foot on the gas during this one. He has very fast hands and he’ll be looking to dart in and out of range while landing constant strikes. Watch out for his high leg kicks as he tries to catch Naimov off-guard.

Final Muhammad Naimov-Felipe Lima Prediction & Pick

This fight should prove to be extremely exciting with how skilled and fresh both prospects are. Muhammad Naimov has looked perfect through his first three UFC fights and with two finishes under his belt already, he has a ton of confidence knowing he can handle established, rostered UFC opponents. He’ll certainly have the edge in experience being the more battle-tested fighter.

Felipe Lima is making his debut and the odds reflect a near-even bout. His stock is certainly high heading into this one and as long as he can keep a calm head during his debut, he should have success given his speed and quickness advantage.

For our prediction, we have to side with Muhammad Naimov and his experience against much better opposition. Although his record is spotless for the most part, Felipe Lima hasn’t faced very tough competition and it’s unknown how he’ll handle someone with the resume of Naimov. Let’s roll with Muhammad Naimov to get this win.

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Final Muhammad Naimov-Felipe Lima Prediction & Pick: Muhammad Naimov (-126); OVER 1.5 Rounds (-200)