We’re back for another betting prediction and pick for UFC Saudi Arabia: Whittaker vs. Aliskerov as we turn the attention towards the next bout in the Welterweight (170) Division. Russia’s Rinat Fakhretdinov will put his unbeaten streak on the line against the surging Nicolas Dalby of Denmark. Check out our UFC odds series for our Fakhretdinov-Dalby prediction and pick.

Rinat Fakhretdinov (22-2-1) has gone 3-0-1 throughout his UFC stint since 2022. He opened his run with three dominating victories over strong opponents like Kevin Lee and Bryan Battle. His last fight against Elizeu Zaleski ended in a Majority Draw on the scorecards, so he’ll be hungry to find a win this time around. Fakhretdinov stands 6’0″ with a 74-inch reach.

Nicolas Dalby (23-4-1) has gone 7-3-1-1 in his UFC career since 2015. Since leaving the UFC and making a return in 2019, Dalby has gone 6-1 during that stretch and comes into this fight riding four consecutive wins. He took down Gabriel Bonfim as an underdog in his last fight, so he’ll be looking to replicate that exact result in Saudi Arabia. Dalby stands 5’10” with a 74.5-inch reach.

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

UFC Saudi Arabia Odds: Rinat Fakhretdinov-Nicolas Dalby Odds

Rinat Fakhretdinov: -350

Nicolas Dalby: +285

Over 2.5 rounds: -215

Under 2.5 rounds: +175

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Why Rinat Fakhretdinov Will Win

Rinat Fakhretdinov will make yet another appearance here as the heavy betting favorite, entering as such throughout each one of his UFC fights. He’s a suffocating wrestler coming out of Russia and typically fights behind the takedowns. Once he gets his hands wrapped behind his opponent, it’s usually a sure takedown followed by minutes of ground control time. He’s got seven of his wins coming by way of submission and has been competing in grappling tournaments recently, trying to improve even more. With the grit and determination he has in chasing the takedowns, we should see him land on Dalby at least a few times throughout this contest.

Rinat Fakhretdinov also differentiates himself from typical Russian wrestlers in the sense that he typically favors standing up and using his striking to get the finish. His last fight was the first time he was really tested and while it can be argued that he won the fight, it should serve as a wake-up call for him. Dalby shouldn’t be taken lightly, so Fakhretdinov will have to stay persistent on his takedowns and keep his guard high when exchanging punches.

Why Nicolas Dalby Will Win

Ever since returning to the UFC in 2019, Nicolas Dalby has looked like a completely different fighter. He’s always been a tough opponent with a solid chin, but he’s dialed-in his striking completely and does a great job of mixing up his strikes to each level. After three consecutive decision wins, he capped-off his last fight against Bonfim with massive knees up the middle and finishing strikes on the ground. He’s in a particular groove at the moment and fighting with a ton of confidence, so don’t be surprised if he has his moments in the boxing throughout this fight.

Nicolas Dalby doesn’t typically spend too much time on the mat, but he’s adept at defending himself and scrambles well through transitions. He’s not likely to push the grappling against a much better wrestler like Fakhretdinov, so Dalby should look to keep this fight standing and give himself a chance with the knockout punch. Fakhretdinov also pushes a very high pace, so Dalby will need to conserve his energy and strike when the iron is hot late in this fight.

Final Rinat Fakhretdinov-Nicolas Dalby Prediction & Pick

This should be a great fight between these unranked Welterweights who could be seeing a top-15 ranking after this win. They share a combined UFC record of 10-3 and both have won their last fights coming into this one. Both men push a crazy pace in the striking and we should see some furious exchanges in the pocket.

Although he’s the heavy betting underdog, Nicolas Dalby is on a heated four-fight winning streak and has been pushing the pace with his striking against some very tough opponents. If he’s able to stay consistent and defensive, he could be able to turn this fight with his dirty boxing and pour the pressure late in the fight.

However, Rinat Fakhretdinov has been working on his grappling submissions and I expect him to look for the submission finish here. He may be slightly outmatched by the technical striking of Nicolas Dalby and if he grows frustrated with the lack of success, he’ll likely begin chasing the takedowns. From there, you have to like his ability to keep Dalby down and grind out this win.

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Final Rinat Fakhretdinov-Nicolas Dalby Prediction & Pick: Rinat Fakhretdinov (-350); OVER 2.5 Rounds (-215)