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 makes his UFC debut against the Phillipines own Mark Eddiva at UFC Fight Night 66 in Pasay, Phillipines. Levan “The Hornet” Makashvili Hometown: Gori, Georgia Age: 26 Height: 5’8” Reach: 69” Weight Class: Lightweight Camp: Mutant MMA / Bellmore Kickboxing Career Record: 9-1 Key Wins: Alexandre Bezerra Key Losses: Alexandre Bezerra Background From the nation of Georgia, Makashvili is a former national champion in wrestling that has had a long 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
  • Catches kicks well putting him in position for easy takedowns
  • 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 Mark Eddiva Levan Makashvili makes his UFC debut against home country fighter Mark Eddiva. Makashvili has a pretty well-rounded skill set. He’s an aggressive striker, well-conditioned, with solid wrestling. On the feet, this should be a competitive contest. Eddiva has some nice kicks in his arsenal and could do some work on Makashvili who does not check leg kicks well. What Makashvili does do well however is catch kicks aimed at the body. In doing so, he’s able to transition into takedown attempts. I expect him to do that quite a bit in this fight. When Eddiva forces the leg kicks, the Georgian fighter will power into takedown attempts. From there, look for Makashvili to use his size advantage to maintain positions on the mat to win a decision. Makashvili is a (-400) favorite heading into this bout. While he is the deserving favorite, that’s a high number to trust a fighter on in his UFC debut.  If you’re looking for a plus number, Makashvili by decision (+119) is your best bet. 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 over fight forcing a knock out. 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 that 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

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