Danny Henry (+166) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (-205)
When: July 11th, 8pm Eastern Time
Where: Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
There truly isn’t a bad fight to make in the UFC’s shark tank of a featherweight division. Makwan Amirkhani vs. Danny Henry is another example, with this fight largely flying under the radar as we approach UFC 251. Both fighters are in need of a victory following tough losses in their last respective trips to the octagon.
Makwan “Mr. Finland” Amirkhani took a significant amount of damage against Shane Burgos before eventually being stopped towards the end of the third round this past November. As for Danny Henry’s last go around, he was mauled and choked out by Dan Ige a little over a minute into the fight.
Makwan Amirkhani is 5-2 in the UFC with losses coming against Arnold Allen and Burgos. He somewhat lacks a “signature win”, but he has two UFC submissions. Mr. Finland also has a split decision win over Jason Knight, who lost to some killers in the UFC before having success in bare knuckle boxing.
As for Henry, this will be his fourth UFC appearance. The Scot is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Hakeem Dawodu and Daniel Teymour.
Stylistically, Amirkhani is elite on the ground. His last win was an Anaconda submission over BJJ black-belt Chris Fishgold. He has a solid wrestling base to go along with his BJJ and has plenty of judo moves, which were on display in the first round of the Burgos fight. When he’s on, Makwan Amirkhani is capable of that Khabib-style suffocation. He breaks his opponents down by wearing on them on the ground or in the clinch.
Striking may not be Mr. Finland’s bread and butter, but he is more than serviceable on the feet. He is an accurate striker, though he lacks volume, and power in some regards.
With that said, I like Makwan Amirkhani to bounce back with a win here. The jury is still out on Danny Henry, but the Ige fight was a bad sign. He was mauled in that one and was out-wrestled by Daniel Teymour at times. I could certainly see Henry out-landing his way to a victory, but it’s tough for me to bet on him. I just don’t see a clear advantage. The Edinburgh born Henry is a better striker, but not enough to overcome Amirkhani’s clear edge on the ground.
The only concern I have with Amirkhani is gassing out. He exerted a bit too much energy in round one of the Burgos fight and paid for it. The John Kavanagh student keeps a great pace, but he needs to be landing while he has top control. I’d hate to see him hold top position for over two minutes then lose the round because he was out-struck 12-to-7.
So I’m going with Makwan Amirkhani in this one and I’ll also be sticking with the moneyline.
I could easily see a submission or a points victory. My gut says points, but it’s far from the comfort level I need to place a bet. For these reasons I pondered taking a double chance, points or submission (-170), but it isn’t that much better of a value than the line. There is NOTHING worse than losing a double chance on the outcome you didn’t pick, so save yourself on this one and parlay it with something else.
I suggest Volkan Oezdemir. Check out my breakdown for that fight below.
Prediciton and play: Makwan Amirkhani moneyline (-205)
All odds courtesy of Fanduel.