A pair of fighters will be making their promotional debuts at UFC St. Petersburg when Movsar Evloev battles Seung Woo Choi.
On September 15 of last year, the UFC came to Russia for the first time in promotion history and it was an instant success despite many injuries to the card. On April 20, the UFC is coming to St.Petersburg, Russia. Movsar Evloev was scheduled to debut against Muin Gafurov but Gafurov had to pull out due to contract violation with ONE Championship. Now Seung Woo Choi steps in and will fight Evloev.
How Does Movsar Evloev Fare in the UFC:
Movsar Evloev is a legit talent who I think has all the potential to crack the top 15. The Russian is a fantastic grappler who has dominated his foes for the most part. On the feet, he has a good jab and a nice straight one-two down the middle. At times he can leave his chin in the air and leave himself exposed in exchanges. Evloev still needs to put it together on the feet but has the skill to close the distance and work his takedowns. He can get single legs and double legs but what he specializes in is just working to the back and getting it down from there. The Russian is glue-like on the mat giving his opposition no room. With four rear-naked chokes, that stems with the ability to take the back so effortlessly. Him finding submissions isn’t the only problem for opponents because Evloev has active ground-and-pound forcing his foes to give up better positions. Overall, he’s legit and I think he has a very bright future.
How Does Seung Woo Choi Fare in the UFC:
With the UFC having more events in the ESPN era, they are expanding their roster. The UFC has actually gone more global rather than just signing US-based fighters. South Korea had a lot of exciting prospects and Choi is a proven fighter. Where he struggles is getting too patient and allowing his opponent to set the pace. Choi will also plant his feet and throw heavy leather. While he has the knockout power he’s also been dropped and finished because he leaves his head on the center line. Choi throws stinging leg kicks and has quick hand speed. One of his favorite weapons is his front kick. While he just misses with his big shots, he uses it to maintain distance. The Korean has shown solid takedown defense and cardio that improves as the fight goes. Overall, I think he does well.
How They Match Up:
This would be one of those fights described as striker vs. grappler. Evloev is the clear favorite as grappler who’s never been outstruck. The main reason is that he hasn’t found an opponent able to stop the takedowns. Choi, on the other hand, has been outstruck but has never been on his back. I don’t have confidence that Choi can keep Evloev at range and fend off the takedowns. Evloev is much more aggressive and I think can find success on the feet. I predict Evloev to be a pretty good size favorite around -300 and rightfully so.