UFC 271: Bobby Green vs Nasrat Haqparast - Prediction - 02/12/22
Bobby Green vs Nasrat Haqparast
Bobby Green (28-12-1) is a long-time staple in the lightweight division, having fought under the UFC banner for the past 9 years. His UFC record stands at 9-7-1. Most of his fights end up going to decision due to his patient counter punching tactics but he reversed that trend last time out, scoring a TKO finish over Al Iaquinta. Early in his UFC career he did manage to string together 8 straight wins but soon came the jump in competition that a streak like that brings. He’s defeated notable names like Clay Guida, James Krause, Lando Vannata, and the aforementioned Iaquinta, while succumbing to divisional standouts in Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza, and Rafael Fiziev.
After losing his first pro fight, Nasrat Haqparast (13-4) rattled off 8 straight KO wins on the regional scene. He would find that those KO victories would not come so easily in the UFC as he dropped his debut to Marcin Held by decision. Solid performances in his next couple of fights would get him significantly more octagon experience as all those fights went to the judges. The German striker would then score his first UFC KO victory against Joaquim Silva, but quickly have this momentum halted when he got caught cold by Drew Dober in the first round next time out. Bounce back decision wins would net him a big name in Dan Hooker for his most recent fight, but once more Haqparast would fail to keep the momentum going as Hooker would skate to a wide decision over 3 rounds.
Both fighters will stand at 5’10” tall but Haqparast will have 1 extra inch of reach on “King”.
How They Match Up
I don’t think we will see any surprises from these two but that doesn’t make it any easier to call a winner. Bobby Green is going to come out and keep his hands at his hips and attempt to slip punches and counter with his own. He is incredibly fast and skilled at doing this. Oh and he’ll be probably telling Haqparast how garbage his strikes are every time he slips one. Haqparast however prefers to circle around the cage on the back foot and fire off his own counters.
With both guys preferring to counter I like the fighter who’s better at performing while outside that counter comfort zone. And that to me is Bobby Green. As mentioned, he will have a huge edge in speed and is also plenty capable of pumping out high output. Neither fighter is a big kicker so it should end up as a boxing match and I give the edge to Green here. Out of the two, it is Green who is likely to throw in a surprise takedown as well.
Lastly, both guys are plenty durable and even though Haqparast was KO’d by Dober a couple years ago, Green isn’t really a one-shot finisher (although his speed and accuracy can sometimes produce that result). He’s also fought a much wider range of stiff competition over his career. Therefore, with edges in speed, output, durability, and competition, I’ll take Green to get the decision. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out Green's woeful inconsistency over the years so there's a solid lack of confidence in this pick. If the wrong version of Green shows up, Haqparast will get back on track. But I'll bank on the coin hitting heads and we get the good version of Green.