Prediction for the fight Umar Nurmagomedov vs Brian Kelleher

The Nurmagomedov dynasty continues to seize the top Western league with confident steps, sending their best fighters there. Umar Nurmagomedov made his debut in the UFC just over a year ago, and at this stage of his career, having collected a number of titles in various sports, he has not known defeat. This time, he was picked up by a worthy opponent - Brian Kelleher, who has more than three dozen fights behind him.

The guys will meet as part of the UFC 272 preliminary card, and for each of them this is an ideal opportunity to express themselves: Umar will beat a veteran with a good track record in the cage, and Brian will beat an opponent without a loss, and even with a big name. Despite the fact that the American is a big underdog, so far, his young counterpart has not faced opposition of such a level, therefore, we can expect a very entertaining confrontation, which will not be easy for one of its participants.

Umar Nurmagomedov vs Brian Kelleher

Umar Nurmagomedov

Before his professional debut, Umar mastered the best competitive grounds in amateur sports. He several times became the champion of Dagestan and the North Caucasus Federal District in Muay Thai, the world champion in combat sambo, and also the owner of the title of Russian champion in MMA. In addition, he has a GFC promotion belt in his collection and, as mentioned above, an impeccable record of 13-0.

Nurmagomedov spent most of his career in Fight Nights Global, also played in the PFL a couple of times, but often filled his statistics with second-rate opposition in the home arena. Against the background of such rivals, of course, he looked very dignified, but it is in the UFC that he will have to fully reveal himself as a representative of mixed martial arts.


Despite belonging to a family where wrestling is most revered, Umar demonstrates excellent skills in striking technique. He kicks a lot, and not only the standard low kicks, he does not skimp on turntables, ex-kicks and so on. Of course, his hands are also set correctly.

If you look at the numbers, Nurmagomedov can be called one of the most targeted bantamweight fighters. He does not hit very often, but extremely accurately, while he himself misses no more than 20% of the blows flying at him, perfectly controlling the distance and moving from the line of attack.

Combat sambo and wrestling allow the Russian to use various attack options to work with opponents on the ground. He gives out 2-3 knockdowns per round, flawlessly holds positions, completely disables his counterpart's legs, and systematically prepares submissions.

Given the feints that Umar uses, a lot of wrestling, amplitude throws and other things, at a distance of 3 rounds he does not have any problems with functionality, but on the contrary, the pace grows with each subsequent minute.


There are no questions to the level of Nurmagomedov - he has repeatedly proved his worth at the championships of Russia and the world. However, it was in mixed martial arts that he did not meet really serious fighters, and this is perhaps the only disadvantage that in the future may reveal other shortcomings in Umar's technique.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

The Russian is only 25 years old, and we have not seen him in the UFC octagon since January 2021. Such a downtime is unlikely to affect the young athlete, but given the increase in the level of opponents, it is quite possible that he will need a little more time than usual to join the fight. Victories over Sergey Morozov, Brian Gonzalez and Saidemar Honorio showed that Umar is constantly improving and willingly demonstrates new tricks learned in the gym in fights. And, given such a break, we are sure that during this period Nurmagomedov was able to pump his skill, and from now on he will show previously unprecedented results in the cage.

Umar Nurmagomedov vs Brian Kelleher

Brian Kelleher

The American fighter has been performing professionally for more than 10 years. He fought in the bantamweight and featherweight divisions, was the champion of the WCMMA, as well as the Ring of Combat organization. Brian tried himself in Bellator, CES and other promotions, but eventually settled in the UFC, where he established himself as a strong middle man, able to compete with opponents from the top.

He dated Marlon Vera, Renan Barao, Jimmy Rivera and other really cool athletes. But now “Boom” plays the role of a gatekeeper, which is used by many young guys who want to have a victory over “old” in statistics, although, as practice shows, it is very difficult to do this.


Brian is not the most outstanding fighter in terms of dimensions, because his crown distance in the stance is medium and close. He throws hooks very well, has good speed and is not afraid of missed punches at all. The pressure from him, as well as his own tricks, like sudden backfists and punches with unexpected trajectories, help him level out the shortcomings.

Just going to the opponent's feet or pulling him onto the canvas from the clinch is not interesting. Therefore, Kelleher prefers to raise his counterpart higher, and then with a roar dump him on the ground. It takes strength, but it turns out spectacularly and helps to gain a foothold from above to develop an attack.

The American won the lion's share of early victories through submissions. The guillotine and armbar are his crowns, therefore, in a horizontal position, jokes are bad with this guy.


In addition to the fact that in the stand, Brian eats more blows than he throws himself, relying on a concrete jaw, he defends himself quite poorly from tricks, demonstrating helplessness in working from the back in certain episodes. From there, and a large number of defeats to the same “near-tops”, striving for the top lines of the rating table.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Kelleher is 35 years old and his stats are constantly dropping due to losses to fighters like Ricky Simon, Cody Stamann and their peers. Yes, Brian confidently dealt with Kevin Krum, Domingo Pilarte and Ray Rodriguez, but these are not the guys to be proud of. Now Boom is in a clear decline, and he needs to work hard to stay afloat, especially given that he was given no more than a month for training - on January 16 he fought his last fight.

Comparative analysis

Let's start with the fact that Kelleher is inferior to Nurmagomedov in several points at once. He is 10 years older, 5 cm shorter, and has an arm span that is almost 8 cm shorter. And, given the way Brian fights (I remind you, only at close and medium distances), he has practically nothing to catch in the stance with Umar, due to the fact that he maintains the line of fire at arm's length and moves very well, therefore it will be incredibly difficult to get him. In addition, the American does not shine with technique, relying on pressure and “mill”, which is also suitable for a neat and accurate Russian, with his perfect defense. It will be enough for him to throw punches at the meeting in time, and Kelleher himself will go to fight, not wanting to endure colossal damage without any result.

And when it comes to the ground, and it will definitely happen, even if Brian wants to stay on his feet and think of something, the situation will be a little more interesting. Here Umar will have to clearly prioritize, because it will definitely not work to instantly lay siege to such an experienced counterpart on the ground floor. Therefore, most likely, he will exhaust him with a power struggle, and after that he will pick up the keys to bypass the defense, which is unlikely to remain effective throughout the entire distance of the meeting. Although Brian is not a gift - he quickly finds a way to the receptions, so in this aspect, we will see competition that will make it clear how good Nurmagomedov is in fights with high-level grapplers.

Umar Nurmagomedov vs Brian Kelleher Fight Prediction

The slim chances of a Kelleher win are justified by his opponent's record and how dominant he has been against his opponents in the past. But let's be honest, Bryan is a more serious opponent, so it's going to be an intriguing fight. As mentioned above, we're unlikely to see a stand-up finish, as everyone in this fight prefers to finish their opponents on the ground. And there the masters of pain and choke will be able to show all they have learned over the years in mixed martial arts. But his youth, his advantage in size, his Dagestani school and Umar's excellent defence will be the decisive factors in this clash. If our fighter does not make too gross a mistake, which he has never done before, he is most likely to be able to execute his fight plan, defeat Bryan in the standup and then choke him horizontally, or take the win by decision of the judges. Download 1xbet to your phone and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: Umar Nurmagomedov to win

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