DWCS 2022 Week 8 Breakdown and Predictions

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Ikram Aliskerov and Mario Sousa, Dana White's Contender Series 54
Ikram Aliskerov and Mario Sousa, Dana White’s Contender Series 54 Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Middleweight: Ikram Aliskerov Vs. Mario Sousa

Tale of the tape

Ikram Aliskerov
29-years-old
6’0″
Makhachkala, Russia
KHK MMA Team
12-1
4 KO/TKOs, 4 Submissions
Combined opponent’s record: 95-48
Mario Sousa
25-years-old
6’3″
Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
Cães do Ringue
14-2
9 KO/TKOs, 4 Submissions
Combined opponent’s record: 47-23

Pros and Cons

Ikram Aliskerov

Pros

  • Excellent wrestling
  • Submission threat
  • Chain-wrestling ability
  • Good ground and pound
  • Blends together kicks and punches
  • Strong grappling
  • Good jab
  • Accurate
  • Excellent takedown entries
  • Impressive timing

Cons

  • Vulnerable to leg kicks

Mario Sousa

Pros

  • Fast starter
  • Good front kick
  • Submission threat
  • Good guard
  • Does well off his back
  • Good ground and pound
  • Decent cardio

Cons

  • Poor TDD
  • Weak positional grappling
  • Hands low/Chin high

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Aliskerov
Speed: Sousa
Output/Volume: Aliskerov
Kickboxing: Aliskerov
Striking defense: Even
Footwork/movement: Aliskerov
Wrestling: Aliskerov
Grappling: Aliskerov
More likely to finish on the mat: Aliskerov
Gas tank: Aliskerov

Prediction: Sousa will be making his return to the Contender Series for the third time. He’s been fed killers and is once again in Aliskerov.

Sousa is probably UFC level but is getting matched up against superior fighters. Aliskerov is the real deal and someone I think has top 15 potential. He’s a combat sambo wrestler that could use his wrestling to win this fight.

Sousa is a threat on the feet with his power however. That said, Aliskerov has improved so much on the feet I think he’s even the better striker in this fight. I hate it for Sousa but I see Aliskerov making his life really difficult in this one.

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