Levan-MakashviliPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Levan Makashvili as he takes on 8th-ranked featherweight Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 60 in Broomfield, Colorado.   Levan “The Hornet” Makashvili Hometown: Gori, Georgia Age: 26 Height: 5’8” Reach: 69” Weight Class: Lightweight Camp: Mutant MM/Bellmore Kickboxing Career Record: 9-1 Key Wins: Alexandre Bezerra Key Losses: Alexandre Bezerra   Background From the Caucasus nation of Georgia, Makashvili is a former national champion in wrestling that has long had a fascination with MMA. Of his nine career wins, five of them have come by knockout.   Strengths

  • Good physique for the weight class
  • Above average athlete
  • Strong wrestling background
  • Very good takedown defense
  • Does his best striking in the clinch
  • Mixes in leg kicks well
  • Constantly moving forward; prefers to be the aggressor
  • When smells blood, he will go for the finish

  Weaknesses

  • Too complacent on the feet early in fights
  • Doesn’t check leg kicks
  • Hasn’t shown much proficiency in submission grappling

  00GradeMakash     Matchup with Nik Lentz A really interesting matchup for Levan Makashvili’s debut, Nik Lentz has proven to be a top 10 fighter in the UFC’s featherweight division. These fighters are pretty similar. Both bring in strong wrestling backgrounds; effective at scoring takedowns as well as not allowing their opponents to put them on their back. Makashvili comes from the respected Cage Fury Fighting Championship which has recently produced the likes of Paul Felder and Aljamain Sterling. He’s faced solid competition and should certainly be ready for this bout. On the feet, Makashvili should have the advantage, he’s the more dynamic/varied striker. He’s got a solid chin and it’s difficult to imagine Lentz being able to hurt him standing. Despite being a national champion in Georgia in wrestling, Makashvili won’t have the advantage in the grappling. Lentz’ All-American wrestling pedigree from the University of Minnesota has bested most of his opponents. The volume-heavy style of Lentz should give him the edge in this matchup and it will be interesting to see just how good Makashvili’s wrestling ability really is. That’s ultimately the key to this fight: How good of a wrestler is Levan Makashvili? If Makashvili could stunt the takedown attempts, he could pull off the big upset. If he has trouble, he will likely be on his back for the majority of the fight. Makashvili hasn’t shown much skill in submission grappling and could be threatened with submission attempts if he’s on the ground for a prolonged period. Nik Lentz aggressive grappling should be enough to win against the talented Georgian, but it’s certainly not a pushover. If anything, Makashvili is worth consideration if he moves to over +400. UFC Ceiling Levan Makashvili is one of the better featherweight prospects to enter the UFC in the past couple years. There are very few weaknesses in his fighting arsenal. He’s the aggressor in most of his fights. He doesn’t get hit a lot, has a solid chin, and mixes in his striking well. His offensive wrestling is solid and he’s shown he score takedowns against solid opposition. Defensively, his takedown defense is very good. In the footage I saw, which consisted of over an hour of in cage time, he was only taken to the mat by an opponent one time. He was held down for less than five seconds before the fight returned to the feet. Makashvili is a rather smart fighter; he’s the type of fighter who will more likely grind out a decision win than forcing a knockout. While his debut fight is a difficult one, expect him to put in a respectable performance and then build his way up against less proven competition. Makashvili certainly has the potential to make a name for himself in the UFC. To be a top 10 fighter, he will need to improve his submission grappling. That seems to be a real trouble spot and something he will need to iron out in a division with many jiu jitsu black belts.   Fight Film Check out Levan Makashvili in some of his recent fights:   Levan Makashvili vs. Alexandre Bezerra

  Levan Makashvili vs. Tom English

Levan Makashvili vs. Scott Heckman


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