A handful of undefeated fighters will battle to keep their perfect records intact this weekend at UFC 294. One amongst them is up-and-comer Javid Basharat. In the prelims, he will try to ensure his 14-fight unbeaten streak won’t be ended at the hands of veteran Victor Henry.
An Afghan-born British fighter, Basharat, was awarded a UFC contract after he beat Israeli Oron Kahlon by a third-round Guillotine choke in season 5 of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021. Basharat has won all three of his fights by decision since setting foot inside the octagon. His last victory came against Brazilian Mateus Mendonca at UFC Fight Night 217.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 9, 2023
The tough American Victor Henry made his UFC debut in January 2022 with a win over Raoni Barcelos. He lost his next bout via unanimous decision to longtime contender Raphael Assuncao but bounced back with a victory over Tony Gravely in his last bout. Henry and Basharat were supposed to face each other at UFC Vegas 79, but the former pulled out a little over a month before the fight.
Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry stats
|5 ft 8 in
|5 ft 6 in
Javid Basharat vs Victor Henry prediction
Despite being the younger fighter, Javid Basharat has a fighting IQ that is beyond his years. ‘The Snow Leopard’ stands tall and frequently switches between orthodox and southpaw. He prefers quality over quantity, throwing 5.64 significant strikes per minute at an accuracy rate of 60%. Basharat’s striking arsenal is fluid and diverse, with leg kicks and body shots reinforcing his head strikes.
Basharat fights with his hands low but has a respectable striking defense rate of 67% with only 2.3 strikes landing per minute. Though rare, he does not hesitate to take his opponents to the ground, averaging 2.03 takedowns per minute with 57% accuracy. But with an 85% takedown defense, it is clear that he favors stand-up over grappling.
It is almost a certainty that Basharat will drape the Afghanistan flag over his shoulders on fight night. The UFC recently lifted the ban on fighters carrying their national flags to fights. It imposed the ban last May, in the midst of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In contrast, the well-traveled Victor Henry is much more active and pressures his opponents. He lands 8.67 significant strikes per minute with 54% accuracy. His defense is not as secure as Basharat’s, as he absorbs 5.98 strikes per minute, with 48% of his opponents’ shots landing. Henry has never taken an opponent down but boasts a takedown defense rate of 79%.
As shown, the numbers are clearly in Basharat’s favor. Henry’s best chance will be to try to catch Basharat unawares while constantly advancing, but the latter will probably neutralize the threat with takedowns and head movement. The fight will most likely end with Javid Basharat defeating Victor Henry via Unanimous Decision.