MadLab’s UFC 242 Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying…
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UFC 242 MAIN CARD
Khabib Nurmagomedov $9300 vs. Dustin Poirier $6900 TITLE FIGHT
When you think about the perfect fighter, I would say it’s probably a question that you can’t answer. However, when we talk about the most dominant fighter, well, that’s a different ball game. Khabib has a style that just isn’t meant to ever be controlled. His style is predicated on controlling the entire dictation of the fight and as of now there has been no signs of any push or pull in either direction. He has the ability to wrap you up and take you to a place that not only is merely impossible to escape but will drown you in time. The Eagle has always been one of those fighters who was on everyone’s radar but it wasn’t until he completely dominated Conor Mcgregor that he got his rightful due. All the time I have watched Khabib I always said to myself that as good as he is, there is going to be someone that comes along with an extremely slick stand up that is going to catch him clean and it just hasn’t happened yet for a few reasons. Not only can you not make a mistake with Khabib because he will have your hips that quickly but he himself has worked feverishly on his own standup in which is now starting to really take form. Don’t get me wrong, there is going to be a time where Khabib is going to look human. It happens. It’s very rare in combat sports that you can retire undefeated or just coast through as he has with minimal damage. However, as of right now, it’s hard to really believe that someone is going to fight fire-with-fire with him and last. Once he gets you on the ground, his weight management and his ability to understand control are second to none. He doesn’t just absorb you and take control of you, but he also delivers blows on the ground to keep you soft and vulnerable. He is truly a one of a kind fighter and it really just showed me how many people out there follow the media circus when so many were so certain that Mcgregor would win that fight. It was honestly a no brainer. The only thing in that fight that honestly shocked me was the way he put Conor down with that right that fired out of a canon. Everything else that he did was clearly expected. His ability to take your soul is second to none and the way he makes you look helpless in there is scary. He will take on extremely well-rounded fighter in Poirier. This is a guy that has had his ups and downs but the only thing that truly matters is that on his uptick, he got this opportunity. Dustin has extremely underrated striking and what I like most about it is the way he ties it all together. Very crisp, very smooth, and very tight. All his strikes mean something and they are not just coming out to come out. They all have reasonings behind it. Another thing that I notice with him when I watch more film is that even tho in times he has a drop off in cardio, it seems to respond again in spots. I feel like sometimes Dustin looks more tired then he really is because when you’re exhausted, even in spots your punches will seem dirty and sloppy. His just don’t. They still come out tight and crisp. His defensive wrestling is extremely good and he is going to need every bit of that if he expects to keep Khabib on the feet. The problem with keeping Khabib standing is that you have a very small window to do so. So you will need to allude his shot and then open up quick and fast. If you let him reset, then you will most likely find yourself back on your back and the chances are he is going to get you there at some point if the fight drags on. So there is no room to really waste time. Something that Poirier has not done as of late is waste time. He has not lost a fight since 2016, and he has beat the who’s who of the division in this 5-fight run, minus the no-contest with Eddie Alverez. Holloway, Alvarez, Gaethje, and Jim Miller are all men that feel to him during this title chase. I dare to say that I think Dustin will give Khabib a better run than Mcgregor did. He has much better takedown defense; he is long; he is durable, and I truly think he is a more well-rounded fighter, but I just don’t see it being enough. I feel that he will have success. I think he will do some things that may put you on the edge of your seat for a moment or 2, but at the end of the day the storybook will be written the same way it always is, Khabib takes him down and just grinds him out to a lopsided decision.
The Pick: Khabib
Edson Barboza $8500 vs. Paul Felder $7700
Very good fight here in which is a rematch which earned fight of the night. Barboza would end up coming through with the decision win here but this time around, I think it may be a different fight viewing wise. Both men are extremely polished strikers, but extremely technical and understand how to speed up and slow down the pace of a fight. Barboza comes in with possibly the most devastating kicking game in the sport. Even tho Barboza is extremely technical he does know when to open up and finish. With a record of 20-7, he has 12 of them by way of KO. The issue with him is that as he gets older, he really needs to start dialing it back in a sense of being more cautious and lean on his craft from the outside a little more. Barboza took a beating from Khabib that would have most likely changed many fighters careers. I remember in his return fight, I was very weary on picking him until I see how he bounced back from that loss. So I picked him with one eye closed and to my surprise, he looked the Barboza of old. Throwing extremely heavy heat and moving forward like that fight never ever happened. I was extremely impressed by his performance. Then he comes back and gets Knocked out in the 1st round by Justin Gaetchie and here we are. Once again wondering where Barboza is after 2 of his last 3 fights not ending well for him. The only saving grace that makes it a little easier is who he is fighting. Paul Felder is a guy that is extremely well versed on the feet but unlike Khabib and JG, he is not a full bore pressure fighter. He is calculated and composed. Much more of a points fighter in a sense. He does have power and he does have the ability to finish. However, historically with his 16-4 record and 10 by way of KO, you would think that he is much more of a finisher than I view him as, but Felder is an opportunistic finisher. He won’t hunt for the finish if that makes any sense to you. He will let it come to him, and in turn, makes him very calibrated in his approach and that is truly not the greatest way to face someone like Barboza. Even tho Felder does have power, you just can’t stand on the outside and play the points game with Barboza. He will win that battle every time. After awhile those kicks will just start chewing you up and you will need to really look for another route. I would say that grappling would be one way to go, but even tho Barboza does not use it often, he is a brown belt in BJJ under the great Ricardo Almeida. So how does Felder win? Felder is going to have to make this a dirty fight. Close space and get tight. Take away the range of Barboza and fight in a phone booth with him. Lean on him and let him carry your weight. Barboza does tend to get tired and the way to beat him down the stretch is just being better conditioned. Felder can do that, but what I can’t see Felder doing is getting to the spots as quick as Barboza. I feel like Barboza is just so much more explosive and fast that if Felder gives him that space and room early, he can be in trouble and possibly compromised with his already sluggish movement from the Kicking game of Barboza. There is no doubt that Felder has a few clear paths here, but I just think Barboza is going to be able to get to all the right spots before Felder can and that can ultimately seal the rounds needed to win this one again.
The Pick: Barboza
Islam Makhachev $9200 vs. Davi Ramos $7000
Another really interesting go here. Islam Makhachev is one of those guys who flys under the radar quietly. He is like a silent assassin in a sense. People are really getting to know him as time goes on, but he is still not being held as high as I feel he should. The Master of Sambo brings a very dynamic style with him into the cage. With a record of 17-1, Islam is 6-1 in UFC play with his sole loss being by way of KO. The problem remains the same with him as well tho. Who has he really fought? Guys like Cajun Johnson, Chris Wade and an aging Nick Lentz just isn’t going to push the needle. Even a Davi Ramos isn’t someone that is going to push him into a super high bracket. So I do get it, but there is no denying that the kid is talented especially when he gets you grounded. Averaging over 4 takedowns per affair and a very minimalistic striking composite, it is quite clear where he wants to take his fights. The concern here for me is who he will be taking down in this engagement. Davi Ramos is about as legit on the ground as it gets. Holding a 3rd degree Black Belt in BJJ, there is not much that he hasn’t seen on the ground. The former ADCC Gold Medalist is not one to have the greatest success taking his opposition to the ground to show us that, but if you want to take him to the ground, he will not argue with you about it. He will welcome it. With a 10-2 record, he has 7 by way of submission and in his 2 losses he has never been finished. With that said Ramos doesn’t have the greatest gas tank and I have seen him fade in the past and that is a spot where Islam may be able to take over the fight. I don’t think Islam fears to go to the ground at all with Ramos. I am actually expecting him to take it there, but once he is there is when he needs to be extremely strategic in his approach because Ramos will be making blueprints 30 seconds before he attempts them. With that said I just think Ramos’ biggest Achilles heel here is his cardio late and his size. I think a big issue in this fight for him will be the different ranges that Islam will be able to use to measure his spots for a shot or to just clinch up with Ramos. Either way, this fight is going to the ground and the danger is there for Islam to get caught, but I just don’t see him giving Ramos that window to do so, especially very early on where Ramos will need to do it before he starts to fade.
The Pick: Makhachev
Curtis Blaydes $9400 vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov $6800
I can’t say that I am as high on Blaydes as I once was, but I can’t say that I was ever too high on Shamil. The international master of Kickboxing from Russia does hold some clear skills for a big man but who has he really fought to make him someone to really look out for. He is 5-2 in the UFC and I know what you are saying. Yes he does have a good run under this umbrella, but I repeat, Who has he fought? Anthony Hamilton, Chase Sherman, Walt Harris, and aging Pitbull, and Marcin Tybura. His 2 losses in the UFC were by the hands of Derrick Lewis and Timothy Johnson. So as you can see, we really have zero clue about what he is ready for and what he isn’t ready for. We will find out Saturday when he takes on Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes may not be on the top of my radar anymore, but the kid is still proven and good. Fast for his size and an understanding of wrestling and what works for him. Once Blaydes is dialed in on your hips, he can be a takedown machine and he has proven that on many occasions. The 11-2 fighter has 8 wins by way of KO and the concern here against a good striker like Shamil is that in both of his losses, he was KO’d both times. So there is obviously a hole there for Shamil to expose if he can. With that said when you look at the two on film, there is a clear speed advantage for Blaydes. I find it very hard to believe that Shamil will be able to keep Blaydes from getting on his hips for too long. 2 things that Blaydes will do in his fights when it comes to his wrestling. He will utilize it aggressively if he feels that he can feast or if he is in desperation mode just to collect himself and be safe. So in any situation, Shamil is going to have to be very mindful that Blaydes is coming and coming hard. This, in turn, will make Shamil a little hesitant in his striking approach because the threat of the takedown is always going to be there. There are just too many advantages here for Blaydes, and I honestly only see him losing if he just flat out beats himself. I think the first shot by Blaydes will be a small sample size of how well Shamil is prepared to stuff a shot. If he completely shucks Blaydes off then it could be interesting, but if he doesn’t and Blaydes succeeds, then you may be looking at a one-sided affair that Shamil may not be able to keep up with. I personally think this is Blaydes fight to win or lose, and I think when Shamil starts showing signs of fatigue is when he will have problems just holding pace. If Blaydes stays true to his game and doesn’t try to get cute then this is really his fight to win.
The Pick: Blaydes
Mairbek Taisumov $9000 vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira $7200
This fight is your prototypical grappler vs Striker. Taisumov is extremely scary when it comes to throwing hands. Holding a record of 27-5 with 15 KOS, he really holds an edge on the majority of people he will fight on the feet in this division. However, again, this all boils down to the level of competition he has faced. We haven’t seen him tested to the highest level yet, and the men he is currently beating are fighters that he really should be convincingly beating. So I am not holding his striking prowess at a high level yet until I see someone that is willing to stand toe to toe with him and really get dirty or someone that has a ground game to really test him when things aren’t going his way. CDF is the guy that can do that. A 3rd degree Black Belt in BJJ with an extremely slippery ground game, it will be very interesting to see what happens if he can get underneath and bring this fight into his world. With a 15-2 record, he has 6 wins by way of submission and 3 by way of KO. It is quite clear where he wants this fight to go. The issue with him is his chin for me. Even tho in his 2 loses he has only been KO’d once, I have seen him put on skates a few times and if Taisumov starts getting off then this fight can be extremely short-lived. This fight to me is seriously predicated on how long CDF can drag this out for. There is a very good possibility that he gets stretched extremely early, but if he can manage to just stay in close and tie MT up when he starts opening up then you can be talking about an entirely different fight. What he is going to want to do in this spot is really just stay patient and let MT chase him down a bit. Circle away from his power hand and just cut off his ability to have clean looks. In the midst of all this, he needs to keep a keen eye on when and where are the windows to shoot for a chance to take this into the sandbox and test MT there. That’s where things can get extremely interesting. I think CDF is a very live dog here in a DK setting but as far as a pick, it’s just hard to pick against an MT here. I think CDF does have clear paths, but I have the feeling he may walk onto something big that either puts him away or puts him on notice, and in turn, makes him hesitate to take the shots as frequently as he wants. The pricing is way off here, but I think people are expecting a highlight reel KO and don’t be so sure that happens, but my pick will be Taisumov in a much better fight the people may think.
The Pick: Taisumov
UFC 242 UNDERCARD
Joanne Calderwood $7400 vs. Andrea Lee $8800
This fight is fairly easy for me to pick so I won’t waste a boatload of time here. It’s very hard not to respect Calderwood. She comes to fight every time she steps foot in that cage. You know what to expect from her and she will never waiver. No matter how beaten up she is, that girl is going to keep coming until you either finish her or the fight is stopped. There is no quit in her. The former Kickboxer holds a professional MMA record of 13-4 and has only been finished 2 times by way of submission. So as you can see, finishing her on the feet is not really the greatest option. The thing with Calderwood is that her entire career she just seems to beat all the people that we expect her to and when a fight arises that we think may give her trouble or will springboard her up the ranks, she tends to drop that fight. I think a very big reason for this is not her skill set or her will to win, but her athletic ability is just not there. She is very robotic in her approach and really doesn’t hold the speed or the ability to really confuse another fighter. She is very black and white and for an athletic fighter, the patterns of hers become very systematic and easy to read. This seems to be the case in this fight. Lee is a very polished striker with a well rounded grappling game. Both women match up well from a stylistic standpoint, but the athletic ability of Lee is just better. She is faster, more explosive in her movements, and has the ability to really change things up in all levels of the game. With an 11-2 record, she too has only be submitted once in her career. She has 4 submission wins and 2 KOS so the majority of her handy work is more when a fight goes to the cards. It’s her activity and her ability to beat you to the punch that gives her that edge. The interesting thing about this fight is, both women like to dictate. Both women really want to lead the dance in some facet, so depending on who gets what they want, there can, in fact, be the writing on the wall for the other and the fight. Calderwood is going to really want to keep this fight more stationary. Walk Lee to the cage and trap her in spots where she can’t move around too much, and she will need to exchange with you to get out of a certain situation or situations. Lee is going to want to stay active and loose. Move around and use your speed to lead the dance. Let Calderwood come to her and in turn engage in and out not giving Calderwood a chance to really catch any sort of a tempo in her game. Speed and timing will always frustrate a fighter, it just always has. When you know that you are one step or a half step behind it cause you to really just reach for things out of desperation. Calderwood is going to have a rough time keeping up with the pace of Lee here and unless Lee comes out very labored and flat, I don’t see her losing this one.
The Pick: Lee
Zubaira Tukhugov $9500 vs. Lerone Murphy $6700
Interesting dynamic to take into consideration on both sides here. On one side, you have Tukhugov who has not fought in 3 years which you all know how I feel about Cage rust and on the other side you have Murphy who is very raw and taking this fight on short notice. So both men come in with question marks. Tukhugov seemed very promising when he was active. He was on a 9 fight win streak With 3 of them coming in the UFC. mind you the Competition was not the best, he was still beating whoever was put in front of him. In his very last fight in 2016, he was beaten by Renato Moicano and he vanished from there. His style is very stalkerish. He seems to lay a bead on you with an extension of his weak side to really measure and size you up. Always moving forward he will still keep enough space to pop out if he is getting pursued or fired back at. Even tho his striking can be dynamic at times, his ground pressure is where he thrives. He has a very good ability to stay active on the ground and get into positions where he can land a pretty solid Ground and Pound. If taken down, he does a very good job of either reversing position or working his way into a more positive position. The thing that concerns me here the most is the dynamic ability of Murphy. Not that he is some dynamo but when you are inactive for 3 years, sometimes the last thing you want is a guy flying all around the cage. The speed, explosion, and athletic ability can really through you off and not allow you to settle into the pocket of the fight. Murphy is 5-0 coming from the FCC and this will be his toughest test by far. With 3 of those wins coming by way of KO Murphy really has nothing to lose in a spot that he is debuting on short notice against a guy that has a decent reputation up the point that he left. You can expect Murphy to get a little dramatic in there with his approach and flying knees, spinning backfists and good explosive movements forward are all apart of his game. On a full camp, I may really look at him a little more seriously, but outside of him catching Tukhugov, which is very possible with his style, I just don’t see him having the greatest success once he starts getting pressed. He needs to be doing the pressing and if he is not, it takes away from what he is truly good at and that is putting you on your heels. There is a very good chance that he catches Tukhugov cold with something. We have seen it 10,000 times, but how can you pick a guy on that premise alone? You just can’t.
The Pick: Tukhugov
Liana Jojua $8400 vs. Sarah Moras $7800
When you throw fights in a country where they need to keep people interested, you really need to give them something to cheer for. You also need to set up the card in a way where certain fights are matched up properly, but also that some cards are matched up in a way where the crowd isn’t going home with straight “L’s.” Even tho this is not a home fight for Jojua, I think it’s fair to say the Russians run deep on this card for a reason. In my opinion, Moras is just not very good. Never thought she was and never think she will be. She has good grappling and I would label her as “Legit” on the ground for sure, but that is really about all that she is. She is on a 3 fight losing streak and holds a 500 record at 5-5. I just don’t see the point of her even fighting unless they are feeding her to someone for a potential win. Jojua comes in debuting 7-2 and has 5 submissions under her belt, so she is a grappler as well but and even tho I would say Moras is the better submission threat, I dare to say that if Jojua can take some sort of top control then she could really just start pocketing rounds. This is a fight that is really meaningless to the division at this point and to see a bias lean by the judges is something that would not surprise me 1 bit. In a fight that can honestly be boring and labored with one fighter who we know shouldn’t be in the UFC and another that has a good record but is highly unproven, it is not a fight that you should have much skin in the game with, but give me the option to click and I am going with the fighter in Jojua that actually has potential to make a starting gate for herself and not one that is on a 3 fight losing streak with one fight out the door.
The Pick: Jojua
Ottman Azaitar $8900 vs. Teemu Packalen $7300
Azaitar comes in with an 11-0 record, and it’s an extremely cushioned record at that. If you look at him on paper, He looks like a real DK beast. However, when you watch him actually fight, you just really see what he is. His name is exactly what he is: “Bulldozer.” The guy literally just charges forward and throws hand with no skill at all. Losing his footing, swinging wild, and leaving his chin just to be had. The guy just is not very good at all. However, Lucky for him, Packalen is not that good either! Packalen looked like a wooden nutcracker when he fought Diakiese. He was just so stiff in everything that he did. It seemed as if he just refuses to commit fully. That could be a serious problem against a guy like Azaitar that is not good, but at least wants to trade leather. The one bright spot of his game is his grappling with 6 Submissions in 8 wins. However, even his grappling is not very good, but it is much better than Azaitar. So the fight will be determined by either Azaitar winning the exchanges on the feet or Packalen getting what he wants on the ground. Packalan should really look for Azaitar to get sloppy and shoot for the opening. I would seriously leave this fight where it is. But my pick is going to be Packalen for the mere fact that as stiff as he is, he seems a little more tied together.
The Pick: Packalen
Belal Muhammad $9100 vs. Takashi Sato $7100
The man that calls himself Remember The Name is back to make sure you don’t forget it. Belal comes in with a very good game and he really has something strange in his chin that keeps him upright. I wouldn’t say Belal is a good athlete, but he does enough things well to keep him in the fight where ever it may go. With a 15-3 record, 11 of his wins have been by way of decision. He is extremely patient and he will really take what you give him. He does put on a good pace but he can be tagged and when he is, He tends to back up a bit and reset. However, he is constantly looking to stay busy and that is really what I do like about him. In his last fight with Curtis Millender, he was really able to find the holes underneath his very long frame to get what he wanted and ultimately steal a decision win. I would not say that Belal is a fighter with a super high cage IQ, but he is one that has Cage IQ and understands what to do and how to implore it. It doesn’t mean that it will always work but at least he is taking the correct roads. He will be taking on hard-hitting Takashi Sato in which made very quick work of Ben Saunders in his debut with an impressive KO victory. His record stands at 15-2 with 10 KOS and it is quite obvious that he has the power to flip your switch. With that said I think that Belal is far too structured and well rounded for him here. Knocking out Ben Saunders is one thing. It’s really not very hard to do these days, but Knocking out Belal is an entirely different ball of wax. Belal just outworks him here for a solid and convincing decision win.
The Pick: Remember The Name
Nordine Taleb $8200 vs. Muslim Salikhov $8000
Taleb is one of the more intelligent fighters in the game. He is so fundamentally sound that even given his age, he tends to really strive in so many spots. With that said, when is he going to really open the door for his age. At 38 years old, Taleb has to show a decline soon. Even tho he was worked over by Stricklan, for the most part, Taleb has been a pretty damn solid fighter. Sharp Kicks, Good Striking, very effective clinch game, and his grappling is to par when he needs it. With that said, Eventually, something really has to give. Is Salikov going to be the guy to really show it? I really don’t think so and here is why. Salikhov is the faster fighter and packs a lot of power. With a 14-2 record, he has 10 by way of KO. Salikhov is 1-1 in the UFC and was submitted in his lose by Alex Garcia. The Wushu Sanda Champion is widely known as one of the best in his craft. However, in MMA he still just seems very raw and that is the reason I am picking Taleb. I think he is too fundamentally sound defensively to let Salikov just get off at will. I think Taleb is going to slow things down and frustrate him at range in a fight that may be uneventful but a fight that he should very well win if he stays disciplined and patient.
The Pick: Taleb
Omari Akhmedov $8300 vs. Zak Cummings $7900
If you like guys who just love to slang and bang, then you will love Akhmedov. With an 18-4 record, he has a very well rounded finishing resume with 7 KOS and 5 Submissions. However, do not get twisted. This guy likes to throw hands. He throws with good volume but it is more about timing with him. He can be reckless at times, but he is effective in his approach for the most part. I don’t see Cummings being quick or sharp enough to keep up with him here. Cummings will have the grappling card, but Akhmedov has plenty of skills to play safe on the ground if it goes there. Cummings is very easily baited to stay right you want him and as of late he just hasn’t looked all that good. He seems a bit slow; timing just isn’t there and he just appears to be stuck in the mud in some moments of his fights. This is something that Cummings may have some problems against someone like Akhmedov that just really does not stray from his pace. At 23-6 he is much more of a submission threat to anyone he fights with 12 of those wins coming by way of Submission. In his loses, he has never been KO’d so I am not expecting that trend to change much here. Omari can slang and bang, but he isn’t really overly powerful and he presents nothing that Cummings has not seen before. Even tho Cummings is on a 2 fight win streak, he just looks different to me. I am not sure why, but I don’t know if I can really trust him to keep up on the feet with Omari and put Omari in a situation on the ground that will really be able to sink something deep enough to get him tapping. This fight is really going to boil down to just that. Will Omari get what he wants on the feet or will Cummings be able to drag this into the mud and have some fun with Omari’s limbs. I think Omari pulls off a very close decision with a possible biased lean on the judges’ end of things.
The Pick: Akhmedov
Don Madge $8700 vs. Fares Ziam $7500
Madge is a very good striker who ties his punches and kicks together very well and throws many of them with a lot of intent. He will walk you down and he does his best work when you are going back or he has you fighting off your heels. His 8-3 record boasts all of his wins by way of finish with 5 by KO and 3 by submission. In his 3 loses, he has a perfect spectrum of 1-1-1. I wouldn’t consider him extremely well rounded but he does manage in many positions. On the feet is his bread and butter but he does look to advance position and soften you up once he feels like he has you in a vulnerable spot. There is no doubt that he knows what he should be doing and that says a lot, but he is still extremely raw and that is where concerns can lie when he fights. He is really going to want to stay upright against Ziam, who will be looking for his hips early to stay away from a firefight in which Madge wants. Madge can be had if you get in on his hips, but keeping there can be a different animal. His athletic ability will help to assist in that if he needs to pop up out of a bad position. Fares Ziam is 10-2 and he in his own right has finishing skills. In his 10 wins, he has 5 by KO and 4 by way of submission. Ziam is long and rangy, and that can play a big hand in staying away from Madge’s pressure pace, but at the end of the day, I just don’t see him keeping up with Madge when it comes to a firefight and who is to say that he is going to succeed in getting this and keeping it on the ground. I think Madge is a little sharper and faster in this spot and even tho I hate the first fight of the night but this is a fight that can be pretty entertaining if these guys bring the styles they are somewhat capable of. I am expecting Madge to get to the spots quicker and get out quicker. It’s not a fight that I would have major skin in, but I do think Madge is the better fighter when he’s dialed in.
The Pick: Madge
UFC 242 DRAFTKINGS
Five rounds of pure grinding and Khabib time? Do I really need to answer this question? Yes, I will have my shares of the eagle.
I am not expecting him to win this fight, but I will be damned if I am not going to take a few punts here. I have seen far crazier things happen in this game, and at $6,900, there is not a chance I fade him totally.
Barboza $8500 / Felder $7700
I am not super interested in this fight from a DK perspective, to be honest. Their first fight was Fight of the Night but I just see this being very calculated and tit for tat in many spots. Super excited to watch it but I am not thinking from a DK perspective that it is a must play. With that said, if you are really backing Felder, then he obviously holds value in a win. Where Barboza needs to put much more work.
Islam Makhachev $9200
I think his price tag is a little steep here against a guy who is so well versed on the ground like Ramos. I am not sure how Islam will approach this fight given that angle of things but I am thinking that he will be lower owned. In multiple lineups, if you wanted to toss him in the mix minimally, I can’t hate you for it, but I am not super excited about his price in a fight I see maybe going to the cards.
Davi Ramos $7000
Listen, there is a path here for him. Anyone that is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in BJJ has a full bored out lane to win if it hits the mat. I just don’t know if he has the ability to loosen up and create that space to get free if Islam is in heavy top control when and if it goes there. Not high on him here.
Curtis Blaydes $9400
This is actually a good pivot off of Khabib. Especially if you are thinking about a punt with Dustin. You can avoid a lot of traffic in some of your lineups. He is going to do what he loves to do and that is to secure as many takedowns as he possibly can and if he covers his value and the unlikely event happens in which Dustin pulls off a major upset, you can be sitting in a pretty damn good position when the night comes to a close.
Shamil Abdurakhimov $6800
Good striker and movement early on, but when he starts to get tired, I just see Blaydes owning him from pillar to post. I’ll pass.
Mairbek Taisumov $9000
This fight really scares me. I know he has the upside to score big with his power but one mistake and this fight goes to the ground, then he can be in a world of trouble. This will go one of 2 ways. He either knocks CDF’s chin into the 3rd row early, or we see an interesting fight that may be pretty damn competitive. Risky tag here. If you play him, I would play him with caution.
Carlos Diego Ferreira $7200
Another guy like Ramos, with a clear road here. His BJJ is extremely high level, and if he can somehow coax Taisumov to play with him on the ground, you are going to see a possible upset. I don’t expect him to win this fight, but I will not be shocked at all if he does. I will have a few shares here.
She is super durable, and that’s what really keeps her in the game, but I just think Lee is going to be a little too much for her here.
The price tag is terrible, to be honest, but she can actually be a pretty damn sneaky play if she can win and even just cover her value. In a large GPP setting, she can be a lower owned play that can either pay off or be dreadful to your lineup. However, there is some upside here.
I am expecting him to win this fight for sure, but $9,500 is a heavy tag to spend on him. I can see some people pivoting off Khabib here, but I won’t be one of them.
Not interested here at all.
Jojua $8400 / Moras $7800
A fight that I really don’t find any value at all here. Both ladies are very low MMA caliber, and I am not investing in this fight. Neither should you.
I am not investing $8,900 on a guy that just swings for the fences and falls down while doing so. If he catches Packalen then props to him, but he is just a wild man with no structure to his game at all.
This kid is horrible too, but at least he has a little structure to his game. I will take a small plug here in the hopes he can get this to the ground and maybe make something happen.
I like him here, but I just don’t see him finishing the fight at his price. He could, but historically how he fights so opportunistically, it feels like this one is going to the cards. For $9,100, that can be dangerous.
He has the power, but Belal has the chin. I’ll pass.
Taleb $8200 / Salikhov $8000
I do like Taleb more here for his defensive ability and his extremely calculated approach, whereas Salikhov is all about making things happen quickly. That can really play into Taleb’s hands. I would play this both ways but put your lean on Taleb.
Interesting price here. He isn’t a volume machine, but he keeps it on a higher paced cruise control. The problem is, he isn’t going to KO Cummings and he isn’t going to submit him either. So even tho its $8,300, he still has to be somewhat active to cover. I am not crazy about it, to be honest with you, but if he wins the fight in which I am picking him to do so, you need to hope he can cover in a decision. He’s worth a small chance in spots.
There is a path here with his submissions, and I don’t hate it. I wouldn’t invest heavily here, but I wouldn’t fade it either.
I can see him finishing the fight, and if he does, then he could be a super low owned play. I wouldn’t bury much at all here, but I can see taking a small taste here to see if he can land something and start your night right.
I am not going to have much skin in the game on this fight in its entirety, but I do think he has lanes to win. I just don’t like either man that much, to be honest. I will probably have a very small taste of Madge but none here.
UFC 242 PRIZE PICKS
We have a new game in town and it is Prize Picks! This is such an awesome add on to the MMA landscape and I am so happy to be apart of such a cool and unique game. So what prize picks offers is very black and white and it ties in DFS and Wagering all in one format! Quick, easy to navigate, and so fun to play. Here is how it works.
Prize Picks will give you a hand full of fighters with their projected DFS score after their fight. Your job is to basically pick the over/under of their projected total correctly and you win! It’s as simple as that! The kicker is that you can parlay any fighter you want up to 4 fighters. It’s that simple.
I will be adding this to my article every week as an inclusive add on to my already extensive article.
I am trying to give you guys every outlet to win money with my article giving you the best bang for your buck and the ultimate ROI. Below I will give you some of the plays I will be looking at here. I am telling you right now that you will LOVE this game. Use the below link and use promo code ELITE to get started!
MadLab’s Prize Picks!
- Mage Over 76
Blaydes over 96
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Last Week’s UFC Breakdown