Like the fight itself, a Haqparast vs Mullarkey prediction might fly under the radar prior to this weekend's UFC Fight Night 233 event. Yet, this lightweight banger between two elite-strikers should have fans on the edges of their seats. Both of these hungry fighters hail from opposite ends of the globe, but will come together in Las Vegas in order to see which of them will ascend the UFC's lightweight hierarchy — while the other ‘s career will come to a stall.
Any Nasrat Haqparast vs Jamie Mullarkey prediction should assert that these striking-first fighters will most likely meet in the octagon's center and exchange punches. But the fighter we believe will win has more skills up his sleeve than solely striking.
UFC Fight Night 233: Haqparast vs Mullarkey Prediction
Nasrat Haqparast Preview
Despite fighting in a division that is loaded with young, elite grapplers from the Middle East, Nasrat Haqparast (15-5 with 9 KO's) sets himself apart because of his preference to strike, rather than wrestle. The 28 year old has already had 11 fights inside the UFC, and his most recent performance may have been his best one yet.
At September's UFC 293 event in Sydney, Australia, Haqparast produced an impressive unanimous decision victory against Landon Quinones. While Haqparast was clearly the better fighter, he still showed a ton of grit (and an excellent chin) in taking some solid strikes from Quinones. No matter what his opponent threw his way, Haqparast proved that he was willing to go blow for blow until one of them couldn't take any more punishment — which is usually how Haqparast's fights go.
Our Haqparast vs Mullarkey prediction is that this fight will display something of the same. While Naqparast will likely have a wrestling advantage over Mullarkey — which could prove to be the difference maker — we imagine that, like Haqparast alluded to in his pre-fight press conference, he'll be looking to produce a violent fight; which could earn both fighters a nice bonus on top of their base pay.
"I hope he brings the Hooligan out on Saturday because I'm coming for a violent fight."
Card preview ➡️: https://t.co/Sxvh1ZiKOR
— UFC News (@UFCNews) December 8, 2023
Jamie Mullarkey Preview
While Australia's Jamie Mullarkey (17-6 record with 13 finishes) has had a somewhat up and down UFC tenure (5-4 record in nine fights), he — like his opponent — produced one of his best performances in his last fight. In that brawl against John Makdessi (which also took place at UFC 293 in September), Mullarkey displayed the same striking prowess that earned him a highlight-reel knockout of Khama Worthy back in 2021.
You have to stay one step ahead when you're in the Octagon with @Jamie_Mullarkey 🇦🇺
— UFC (@ufc) December 6, 2023
We know that Mullarkey will enter the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 233 on Saturday eager to strike, as he's at his best when he lands his hands go. Although he always seems to receive his fair share of strikes, Mullarkey's crisp combinations to the body combined with front kicks that complement his long reach often allow him to overwhelm his opponents via sheer volume.
Yet, Mullarkey often has moments of tentativeness in the middle of the fights, where he lets his opponent dictate the fight's rhythm. He'll need to be extremely cautious of this on Saturday, because Naqparast's gameplan will be to walk him down and land the more devastating strikes before Mullarkey has a chance to counter. And if he's able to do so, it could be a tough night for Mullarkey.
Nasrat Haqparast vs Jamie Mullarkey: Nasrat's Wrestling Wins the Night
Our official Haqparast vs Mullarkey prediction is that Nasrat Haqparast will beat Jamie Mullarkey by decision (currently available at +120).
While both of these fighters are gritty, we think that Haqparast will prove himself to be the tougher of the two come Saturday. He won't be afraid to wade through Mullarkey's range and take a punch or two in order to land his own offense. And this relentless, aggressive style should allow Haqparast to shoot for takedown attempts and grappling exchanges — where he has the advantage. Hence why, despite believing this fight will play out mostly on the feet, we ultimately believe the wrestling of Haqparast — currently a -200 favorite — will be the reason he wins.
Yet, Mullarkey's length and reach advantage over Haqparast might allow him to maintain distance and execute his own offensive gameplan. Because he isn't the most powerful lightweight, if Mullarkey is indeed able to out-strike Haqparast, it will most likely earn him a decision victory — which is available at +320, and surely worth consideration.
But we ultimately believe Haqparast will emerge victorious in this fight; solely because we don't think Mullarkey can match the pace and aggression that Haqparast brings into every bout. While two fights between strikers are always unpredictable, the more dominant, confident fighter usually wins the day. And we believe that will be Haqparast on Saturday.
This Haqparast vs Mullarkey fight is a surefire Fight of the Night contender. Expect violence, bloodshed, and two tired fighters by the end of the night who will surely be deserving of each other's respect.