MadLab’s UFC Fight Night Raleigh Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT MAIN CARD
Junior Dos Santos $7200 vs. Curtis Blaydes $9000
If this fight was about 5 years ago this would be a little different, but this is a pretty cut and dry for me here. There is no doubt that JDS is going to just let you walk in the cage and roll him. That will never just happen on any given Saturday. However, there are elements involved that can make it hard for him. Speed is one of them. As he gets older it is clear that he is losing speed and for a striker that is really a big deal. Your lunges don’t come out of the chamber as they did, the combos just don’t tie together as well and the pop isn’t like it was. All these things have a certain element of speed involved and if you are a striker that can hinder a part of your game. Curtis Blaydes is one of the young guns that shows clear promise. I wouldn’t say he is a better striker than JDS because he is not and I also wouldn’t say he is stronger than JDS because he probably isn’t that either. What I will say is that although JDS was known for his speed, that element is becoming more and more less relevant as age kicks in. He’s dialing down to the normal speed of the division and once that happens, the edge starts to evaporate. Blaydes is going to bring that spring and bounce to his game with a very good wrestling game but I am not sure how well it will work against a fleeing JDS who enjoys engaging when it works for him but will also skirt the cage when in trouble. I see this being competitive, I really do to a point, but eventually, the young legs of Blaydes should prevail if he can keep that chin tucked in the process.
The Pick: Blaydes
Rafael Dos Anjos $8900 vs. Michael Chiesa $7300
This fight is so hard to call. The reason? RDA is just so well rounded, and unless you are going to completely outhustle or outwrestle him, beating him is not easy. Chiesa is very good with a great submission game, larger, longer and by all stretch of the means has the ability to beat RDA if he implored the right game plan. The problem is, if you are going to beat RDA, you can’t let him breathe. You need to frustrate him, take away his kicks And take away his range. Make him want to separate and when he does leach right back onto him. We know he has cardio. But carrying the weight will only take some of the speed and snap out of his pepper down the stretch. I just don’t know if Chiesa can do this for 3 straight rounds against someone like RDA, who understands adjusting. Chiesa will not fair well on the feet of he decides to stand and trade with RDA and it is becoming more clear to me that RDA can possibly take his legs out before the final bell if this doesn’t hit the floor. Case and point. the maverick needs to throw away his range and reach in this one. Get in tight and make this a sloppy affair. He has the chops to do but to do it against RDA in which Chiesa will have trouble KOing him and RDA is not Getting submitted, so that would leave him to outwork him and I can’t justify it. I’m taking RDA after a tough see-saw battle mentally for me on this one.
The Pick: RDA
Alex Perez $9100 vs. Jordan Espinosa $7100
This is a good fight and when I mean a good fight on this one, I mean it should not be a boring one. Perez is a past DWCS fighter in which has shown some nice things in his approach. Pretty diverse and he likes to open the fight with a slingshot leg kick to soften you up for a takedown. As sharp and fast as he is, I have seen some gaping holes in his game. One is the way he looks to transition. He does not have heavy hips and it seems he doesn’t run the seem that well. He leaves a lot of open space between himself and his opponent when he’s looking to advance position. Not something you want to do, especially in the future when the competition thickens. I do like his in-and-out movement, but the issue with it sometimes is that when he throws his punches he literally turns everything with it, leaving his head exposed which can be a feeding ground for someone like Perez who looks to hunt with every engagement. Perez likes to mirror you. Although he isn’t the nimble fighter that Espinosa is, he has very tight boxing, keeps his hands high and looks to tie a multitude of attacks when he sees them. Although he has proven the ability to dance on the ground, he probably wants to keep Espinosa upright. Espinosa has an ability in slippery transitions to cinch in some pretty nasty D’Arce chokes, and once locked in, it’s not the easiest choke to escape. I think Espinosa looks good early and I think heavy lunches are thrown in round 1 considering Perez fires out of the gate as well. I just see the fundamentals of Perez’s game to show better stability throughout the fight with his pressure, his volume, and his ability to just walk you down. Judges look at that and that may, in fact, be the difference in this one.
The Pick: Perez
Angela Hill $8600 vs. Hannah Cifers $7600
I know. I know. Don’t trust Angela Hill, especially when she’s a late replacement. Being a late replacement does not concern me all that much. She is always in shape. However, the issue with her is she doesn’t always show up. Hill is a very good athlete and a very crisp striker “when she wants to be.” Long, rangy, quick and accurate. She just sometimes doesn’t pull the trigger. In this fight against Hannah Cifers, this would be the perfect time for her to just unlock the safety button and let her hands go. Cifers can hit and she throws with more intent than she does for accuracy and precision. However, Hill should be able to keep her space, move around, shake off some takedown attempts and keep this exactly where she wants it. In space. I think it’s going to be a competitive fight, but I don’t think Cifers can keep up with Hill’s volume, if she shows up.
The Pick: Hill
Darko Stosic $7700 vs. Jamahal Hill $8500
This fight has two zones. The Stosic zone (early) and the Hill zone (later). I see this because All you really need to do is the eye test on this one and a few small comparisons and you will find your paths for both men quite simply. Stosic is a pocket fighter. He needs to be in close range to do his damage. His thick frame allows him to generate extreme torque in his attacks, but to no one’s surprise, it comes at a heavy cost halfway through the fight. He becomes labored, tired, and just physically exhausted in his approach. If he was fighting a similar fighter, it would t make much of a difference. However, he is fighting Hill who is longer, faster, rangy and a southpaw. Now don’t get it twisted, he isn’t that good. I have seen plenty of holes in his game too, but he has better conditioning and his approach to fighting is based on that conditioning. So as Stosic starts to fade, Hill can pick up the pace on him and force him to keep up tiring Stosic out even more. So the zones are Stosic catching him in the pocket early while he’s fresh or Hill carrying him a bit and running away with the minutes. I feel that’s exactly how this is slated to go but I am going to lean away from the sprinter and lean towards the Hill who can start taking over later. Very interesting skill set matchup here and I’m curious to see how it pans out. Give me Hill in this one.
The Pick: Hill
UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS
Bevon Lewis $9300 vs. Dequan Townsend $6900
This fight is really not one that I care to look into too much. I watched the film on Townsend and I know Bevon Lewis and it just seems that Townsend has some good traits but some bad matchup elements here as well. He has a solid frame, fights long and has good power. He is patient and he likes to pick and choose his spots. That’s a good thing on a lot of cases but against Bevon Lewis it may not be the best game plan. Townsend seems to be a little too patient in spots and it can make him look like he has a block in his throttle or he is just sitting in 2nd gear. Lewis will bring pressure and it’s going to force Townsend to leave his comfort zone. A zone in which I don’t think he can keep up with.
The Pick: Lewis
Arnold Allen $9200 vs. Nik Lentz $7000
There is no doubt, at one time, Nik Lentz was one tough SOB. He still is but the former Division I wrestler is getting a bit older now and his wheels aren’t keeping up with his past. In his last fight against CO, he was KO’d and it made me wonder if this was a possible durability decline coming on with all of the tough fights he has been involved in. His wrestling will always keep him safe to a point but Allen also has good chain wrestling and a solid game all around. I think Lentz can hang, but I think Lentz is going to start falling behind a bit in this one. Allen has many tough attributes to handle and his well-rounded finishing ratio shows it. He can finish it on the feet, on the ground, and to the final bell. Lentz is going to have his hands full here with this 26-year-old, and even if he gets his wrestling working, I’m not sure he will be able to keep Allen in one spot. This can be a good fight if Lentz keeps it methodical but I just don’t see him doing it for 15 minutes.
The Pick: Allen
Justine Kish $7500 vs. Lucie Pudilova $8700
Someone’s losing streak has to come to a close here. Pudilova dropped her last 3, but I’m her defense she lost them to some tough competition in the division. Kish has dropped her last pair against similar level opposition. So both of their records really don’t indicate their skill set. Both women are very good strikers and look to really get at it. Never shying away from a firefight, you look at who would be the more gritty of the 2. Tough call because they are both extremely gritty and tough. The fight is really a toss-up for me here because their styles are similar, their fate is similar and the importance of this fight is very similar. I just see Kish being much more polished when it comes to the overall striking prowess and as much as Pudilova likes to bang, Kish is going to stand there and bang right back. I’m taking the dog here. Give me Kish here.
The Pick: Kish
Felipe Colares $6800 vs. Montel Jackson $9400
Jackson comes in with the equalizer against Colares’ strength here and that should tell you where I’m going here. Colares is a very high octane fighter with a comfortable thirst for doing most of his damage when he has you grounded. He seems to really open up with success during this time. With that said, you need to get him down or hold him down to achieve that. Jackson is not that guy that is going to make it easy and if you get him there, his wrestling chops, size, and strength will def have something to say about it. On the feet, Jackson has the length and range to really impose an issue on Colares even getting inside. I just see Jackson shucking Colares off and making this fight in his terms where he controls the majority of these 15 minutes. Give me Jackson comfortably.
The Pick: Jackson
Lina Lansberg $7800 vs. Sara McMann $8400
In a perfect world, Sara McMann would be the woman of my choice to train if given the crack to train her. It isn’t every day you come across a fighter in Women’s MMA who has a good wrestling pedigree, never mind possess the credentials of a Sara McMann. The Olympic silver medalist brings a foundation and an athletic set that isn’t found very often. With that said, it has not really translated for her into MMA as well as I expected. As talented as she is, it just seems that she has faltered at times when the fight really truly meant something. Now we can sit here and speculate all we want, but when you have someone with that type of foundation accomplishing Olympic honors, what makes you think she can’t accomplish other aspects of fighting? It all boils down to team and camp fit. Like in life and career, building blocks make you discover the caves within yourself that you have never dove down before. With that said, if you don’t have the proper guidance, you will never know where they exist and how to get there. The philosophy I have built around a fighter/trainer relationship contains 3 major components which are Communication, Translation, and Execution. A fighter and their trainer need that seamless streamline in order to be successful and unfortunately Sara McMann, in my opinion, never had that opportunity. You need to play in concert with each other and I don’t think she realizes how that mindset could have changed the trajectory of her career. This is not a shot at her camp, but some fits are just better than others. Now In the twilight of her career, she is still an extremely talented fighter. However, one thing that stands true is that she never scratched the surface on cracking the code to extract how good she may have been. She without a doubt would have been 1 fighter that I would have loved to get my brain fork in to see just how much I could squeeze from her talent pool. The good news is she won’t need to do anything special here except tuck her chin, get well-timed level changes and introduce Lansberg to the ground a few times. Lansberg brings a toughness on the feet that has given Sara some fits in the past and that is a concern. Good clinch game, solid elbows in the clinch and just a rough grit about her makes this a fitting and telling g fight for both ladies. Despite my thoughts on Sara’s camps. She is just too pure of an athlete to not pick here.
The Pick: McMann
Brett Johns $8000 vs. Tony Gravely $8200
This is a really interesting matchup. Two very good wrestlers that look to pressure fast and pressure hard. The hype train on Gravely is as it was with everyone screaming Johns from mountain tops a while ago. I would tell everyone to slow down. He needs to show me more. Then, sure enough, Johns faulted and here we are. Now all the people who praised Johns are moving over the steam onto Gravely and I will say it again. SLOW DOWN. The kid is good and there is no denying that but Johns just seems a little more experienced and better everywhere as of right now. He has shown me a little more and I think he is maturing where gravely right now is still forming and molding. This is a super tough fight to call but I think experience edges this one and o think Johns comes out with his hand raised after the horn. Taking the slight dog here.
The Pick: Johns
Herbert Burns $7900 vs. Nate Landwehr $8300
Good matchup. Landwehr is without a doubt the better striker, but Burns is an extremely tricky grappler. Even tho most fights start on the feet, when you have 2 very raw fighters, taking it to the ground isn’t far fetched. The formula is easy: Landwehr is going to want to keep his hips in space and keep Burns at bay from trying to take a shot, while Burns’ gameplan is simple in his own right. Find the hips, look for a good entry spot without getting clipped and get this into his world where he can start working his BJJ. It is such a hard fight to call, but I think Burns finds his way to the ground and understands he can’t let Landwehr get his hands going. If that doesn’t happen, then you can expect Burns to possibly get completely worked over on the feet. So careful here, but from a DK perspective, you want some of this fight both ways.
The Pick: Burns
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DRAFTKINGS
In a 5 round fight, I guess it would be foolish not to have a few stabs here. It’s heavyweights, and JDS is the far more experienced fighter. I would not fade him here by any stretch at that price.
If this was 3 rounds, I would probably pass at this tag, but it’s 5 rounds and he will have the opportunity to cover his value plenty of ways. Not super thrilled about the lopsided price tag but he wins, he should cover. I will have some.
Little pricey here, but he does have the chops to finish this inside the horn. With that said, I am not super high on this from a DK perspective. I will have some in case he does get the finish, but Chiesa is better than Vegas is spitting out.
He is a live dog. I don’t see a ton of paths here, but he can absolutely win this fight if the proper gameplan is in place. I picked RDA to win, but Chiesa at $7300 is basically a borderline punt and you won’t see me not trying to grab that value if he does pull off the upset. Don’t be afraid to take a few chances here.
Very pricey yet again, and the speed of Espinosa can be a tricky thing early, but once Perez dials him in, things can change. Perez is going to hunt for 15 minutes, and that is enough for me to spend the money.
I just don’t think he has the tight enough game to hang with Perez for 3 rounds. FADE
A. Hill $8600 / Cifers $7600
Meh… I think I am just watching this one.
I’m picking him to lose, but the upside is there for 1 maybe 1.5 rounds before he gases out. If he can land that kill shot, then at $7700, he can hold some big value. I just don’t think he is very good, to be honest, but I would be lying if I said he didn’t have a small window.
J. Hill $8500
He is going to have to finish this in the later rounds. Really just step on the gas and steam away from the tired fighter. $8500 in a fight that should not be a walk in the park is scary, but there are some ways to cover. It’s not a fight that you need, but I wouldn’t hate ya if you wanted to grab a low owned fighter that should win. Just be safe.
I just don’t like this guy. Something about him bothers me. I am not rostering him on principle just for the mere fact that people think he is far better than he actually is. Even DraftKings with that price. You do what you want here, but for me, I am going in small.
Not super high on the price here, but people may be off him due to the toughness of Lentz. For that reason, he may find his way on a few but def not a strong leg.
I have seen worse punts, and I don’t mind it, but I am expecting Allen to win this fight. But Lentz is not a terrible punt if you really need it.
She holds some good value here at $7500 in a fight I think she can win. She is the better, the stronger and more polished fighter here, and for that, she’s worth some spots on a card that’s hard to find value.
Super expensive, but I see him controlling the fight here and possibly finishing inside the horn. I wouldn’t fear the price tag too much even tho he is still raw.
The only reason why I am considering her is that McMann has a tendency of giving away fights. But she really SHOULD lose this fight. Especially if McMann realizes that wrestling Lansberg is the path of least resistance.
$8400 is a serviceable price here. I am picking her to win, and she should be able to get her wrestling going in this one. I will have her rostered on some lineups for sure.
Johns $8000 / Gravely $8200
Both have very good high octane wrestling, so I would play both here. However, I am playing a heavier lean on Johns. He should not be the dog here.
Burns $7900 / Landwehr $8300
You want shares both ways here. Both of these guys can finish each other, and I am not willing to miss out on that. I am leaning Burns more, but I will have some weight the other way as well.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 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!
Justine Kish +160
1 to win 1.6
There is just clear value here. Hard to look Past.
Alex Perez -220
2.2 to win 1
1.5 to win 1
Angela Hill -160
1.6 to Win 1
Long Shot Fun Parlay:
1 Unit to win 2.47 Units
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