Octagon Oracles: Javid Basharat

Grade: A

A dominant performance and late finish on Contender Series 2021 earned Javid Basharat a UFC contract, and he’ll make his promotional debut on Saturday against Trevin Jones.

Basharat’s undefeated professional record has never seen him go the distance, and up until his Contender Series fight with Orono Kahlon he had never even gone past the second round. His finishes have also been quite varied, with five wins via strikes and six submissions ranging anywhere from heel hooks to d’arce chokes.

“The Snow Leopard” has a wide stance when striking, and regularly switches between orthodox and southpaw while relying on his kicks when working in open space. One of the standout traits of his kicking game are the hard rear kicks to his opponent’s lead leg from orthodox, as Basharat often swings his whole body into the kick and can buckle his opponents when it lands cleanly. As he settles into the fight he’ll start to press forward and be more active with punches, with his right hand being particularly dangerous. Basharat is also excellent at circling away from his opponents when they pressure him in order to avoid being backed up to the fence. He relies on his head movement quite a bit to avoid strikes as well, and although he moves his head well he does have a tendency to sometimes duck down a little bit low.

While he’s certainly impressive on the feet, Bashart is also a willing grappler when the opportunity presents itself. He caught a kick early in the first round with Kahlon and spent the rest of that round in top position showing off good ground and pound where he varied his strikes between the body and head of Kahlon. His ground and pound was also on display in his first-round finish of Nicholas Savio, where he opened him up badly on the mat before the ref ended up checking the cut and stopping the bout. In addition to his submissions skills from top position, Bashart is also quick to grab a guillotine off of his opponent’s takedown attempts or if they move to their knees in an effort to stand up.

If there’s any real criticism or point of concern that can be levied at Basharat at this point in his career it’s that the overall level of competition before his more recent opponents was fairly middling. That being said, he ran through many of those early opponents and most recently stopped 11-1 Aleksandr Bezkorovainiy and the previously undefeated Kahlon, so it certainly seems like he’s prepared for a higher-level of competition.

While he’s technically 1-1 (1 NC) in the UFC, Trevin Jones should be a solid first test for Basharat. He’s shown off plenty of power in his hands, and in particular I’m curious to see how Basharat handles Jones’s leg kicks given how much “The Snow Leopard” relies on his movement and stance switching.

Basharat is only twenty-six, and despite the records of some of the opponents early in his career he looked extremely dominant in that Contender Series performance. He’s dangerous both on the feet and on the mat, and although it remains to be seen if his finishing streak can continue against UFC-caliber opposition I’m excited to see what he’s able to do in the promotion’s stacked bantamweight division.

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