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Derrick Lewis $6,800 vs. Junior dos Santos $9,400
Not too long ago JDS was the top of the heap in the heavyweight division. It wasn’t every day that we saw a big man with the combination of speed power and strategic striking like we did with him in his prime. When he graced the UFC with his arrival it was not predicted that he would go on a 10 fight tear, blowing through people with relative ease. Closing the caskets in 8 of the 10 fights by way of KO against guys like Cain, Werdum, Carwin, Mir and More. His slick striking style was predicated on the cat and mouse game luring you in with a chase like catnip, utilizing his jab and then stopping on a dime to uncork a masterful display of heavyweight showmanship. At one time he seemed to be one of the most unstoppable men in the UFC. However, on a cold December nite in 2012, Cain Velasquez would have his revenge, putting a stop to the reign and reclaim his throne JDS took from here a year before. Since that night JDS has not been the same man. Showing a spotty glimpse of his brilliance here and there, it was clear that the texture of his consistency was beginning to tarnish. He has then been 5-3 coupled with 2 straight wins, and although impressive all 3 of those losses have come by way of KO. There are certain wars that will leave their marks on a region forever. Never to be the same, traces and marks of battle will forever live on the lay of the land. For JDS, the wars with Cain took something from him. Something was left behind when he walked out of the cage. How much was left behind, we really don’t know, but the effects of war have without a doubt tattooed him. With that said, a weathered and tarnishing fighter at the level he was, is still a very good fighter. In JDS’s last fight against very quick riser Tai Tuivasa, he showed us that he wasn’t ready to let the young Lion claim territory just yet. I do believe in 2nd winds and I do believe in the power of mind and it seems as if JDS is back into his belief system of winning. In a division that is truly starving heavyweights, JDS feels he is the recipe even if it means fighting on aging legs. He will need to showcase this against the very dangerous Derrick Lewis on Saturday night. Derrick Lewis is one of those guys who lack the arsenal behind him to bring a very diverse attack on his targets but what he does bring is one major weapon of mass destruction. Lewis has the Uncanny ability to whether it be winning or losing find a home for his power shot and flatten them with the touch of a button. He brings new definition to the term “Punchers Chance.” It seems like in the majority of Lewis’s fights he is behind on the scorecards and he really just doesn’t care. He will wait….wait….and wait until he sees a window to drop that bomb that has put so many in a catatonic state. A perfect example was his fight against Alexander Volkov. He was getting picked apart the entire fight to the point it was heading to a 30-27 decision. With about 15 seconds left in the fight, Lewis saw the window he needed and fired a rifle that put Volkov to rest quickly winning him a fight that all signs pointed to him losing. I picked Lewis in that fight, and at the end of the article, I said, “It only takes one.” I was proven right again. In this fight, I think Lewis will have to really pace himself. He will be fighting a guy who is going to make you chase him a bit, and Lewis, not having the best gas tank, could really start to leak early. In a 5 round fight, this can be a really big problem for the big man. Back issues, cardio issues, a tender midsection, and 5 rounds against a very nimble heavyweight that works very well behind the job and has better than average cardio for a heavyweight. I see this being very slow and lumbering early, but when dos Santos sees the big man start to show signs with his body language that he is tired, dos Santos will start firing at will, most likely putting the big man away late. HOWEVER, I said it in every fight and I will say it here yet again. IT ONLY TAKES ONE with Lewis. So don’t be shocked if he finds that 1 hitter. I just can’t bank on it against the better fighter everywhere.
The Pick: dos Santos
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos $8,000 vs. Curtis Millender $8,200
Curtis is one of those fighters who bring genetic tools that can’t be taught. He is long, rangy, dynamic, and he understands how to use every inch of his range. Millender likes to control the pace, and he does so by using front teep kicks to keep his opponents from clearing the space that he is trying to create for himself to get off. He uses them much like a Jab once he feels that you are getting too close. One thing that I did notice with him, is that he does not like to be pressured and he will then start to get a little less sharp when fighting off the back foot. In order to give Millender a tough time you can’t let him back you up and you also can’t just come crashing in. You need to stalk him and back him and take the center of the cage away from him. If you give him the center to work with then his range and his ability to tie punches and kicks together so well will give him a points age every time. You need to bring the fight to Millender. Not the other way around. Although Millender throws with some good power, it seems the most of his fights are very methodical and go to the cards more than they don’t. In 17 wins, 11 have been by way of Decision and 6 by way of KO. So the power is there but he does play the point game early before he really starts to open up. In his 3 losses, he has never been KO’d; submitted twice and 1 loss by way of decision, Millender will have his chin checked against hard-hitting Brazilian dos Santos. dos Santos is one of those guys that is really super tough and also very overlooked. His Capoeira backdrop is proving grounds of his athletic ability. dos Santos is best suited when he is stalking forward with moderate pressure and is dictating the dance to an extent. Extremely good hands and power, the one thing that I have noticed is that he really can be hit and even tho he showed a chin from hell against Lyman Good in an absolute war, he was sat on his butt by Max Griffin for a short moment. So his chin is human even tho he has never been finished from strikes. He does not grapple often and he will not shoot for a takedown unless it’s absolutely there or he is feeling that he is losing the war on the feet. His ground game is pretty overlooked as well and I think it is certainly a tool and wrinkle that he will need against Millender. Millender will have a 3-inch reach advantage and is going to really play the range game. dos Santos is going to have to just clear space and make this a dirty grinding phone booth fight against the cage. I like both of these guys a lot. I think Millender has the better future in the UFC, but I think dos Santos lands the more significant and damaging strikes in this one even tho I think Millender can control the tempo with his range. I think the aggression of dos Santos starts to find its way into MIllenders borderlines. Very close fight. Tread Lightly
The Pick: dos Santos
Tim Means $8,800 vs. Niko Price $7,400
Niko Price came onto the scene rolling with 3 finishes with 1 that was overturned by a positive marijuana test. He brought a very mysterious ceiling that no one really knew what was going to be. Usually, when a fighter is on a 3 fight win streak, you can really bury a bead on him but Niko Price just always raised my eyebrow that I still needed to see more. He then fought Vicente Luque and was completely exposed. Now, let’s not get it twisted here, Luque is not a pushover. So taking stock in that would be foolish. Then he bounced back stringing 2 impressive wins together before dropping his last fight in the 1st round by rocket launcher ARA. So the jury is still out on Price. He has shown shades of very good potential, and on the same motion, he has shown very bad decisions in the same stroke. He is a willing striker, who can be easily baited into the phone booth for a long argument with hands. He also is a willing grappler with some decent hips and will grapple offensively even tho he only has 3 submissions in 12 wins. He has 8 KOs in those 12 wins, so he will much rather take care of business on the feet. However, he did pay a dear price in his last fight due to that where he suffered his first KO loss. He will need to be a little more strategic against a guy that will gladly dance with him at the ball. Tim Means didn’t inherit the name dirty bird for nothing. The guy literally has earned every letter of that nickname. A somewhat patient striker that thrives in striking his way into close range where he can start tieing in filthy knees and razor sharp elbows. A pocket fight. A fight where he wants to embark in game trading or leather exchanging if you will. More than not Tim Means is going to win that game. In 40 fights Means has only been slept 1 time by strikes and he has been submitted 4 times. In his 28 wins, 19 have been by way of KO. In recent past, Means has really been on the wrong side of split decisions but bounced back with a very solid performance against a not very solid fighter in Ricky Rainey. This is a fight that Means really should win. It seems in his career he was always to beat the bad and the good fighters with relative ease and once he fought a great fighter or an elite fighter, Means tended to drop the ball a bit. With that said, Price is not an Elite Fighter nor a Great one, So this fight is right within Means’ wheelhouse. I’ll take The Dirty Bird here and I will predict some Blood in this one.
The Pick: Tim Means
Blagoy Ivanov $8,400 vs. Ben Rothwell $7,800
Well, this is interesting. Ben Rothwell has been off the map for quite some time now. Since 2016 to be precise. At one time Ben Rothwell was feasting off some very big names. Going 4-1 in his last run beating guys like Josh Barnett, Matt Mitrione, The Ream, and Brandon Vera. The seasoned vet holds a record of 36-10 in MMA play with 20 KOS, 13 Subs, and only 3 decisions. In his 10 losses, he has been KO’d 4 times and submitted twice. At 37 years of age, Rothwell started his Pro MMA career in 2001 in which he was being trained under the watchful eye of one of MMA’s finest back then, Pat Millitech. Rothwell is one of those names that was never really talked about and respected as much as they should have. He has clear KO power and even submitted Josh Barnett, who is looked at as one of the better grapplers that the MMA world has seen. After his loss to JDS in his last fight, he was popped for Anabolics and served his time away from the game. It’s been almost 3 years, and I wonder what Ben will look like in his approach here. A well equipped Ben is an easy pick here but questions do still loom. He will have the opportunity to show us where he is as with International Master of Sambo Blagoy Ivanov. His record is extremely impressive but I would not say that his level of competition was exactly stellar. With a 16-6 record, he has a perfect balance of Finishes. (6 by way of KO and 6 by way of submission). In his 2 losses, he was submitted once and lost 1 decision. He is durable, but he will be the smaller fighter in there on Saturday. One thing that scares me with Blagoy is he really tends to slow down. Rothwell, historically, keeps a pretty good pace, is very well rounded, and has good conditioning for a big man. Outside of running deep into his resume, 2 of his KO losses were from Cain and Arlovski in his prime. So that is really nothing to hang your head down about. I won’t lie… The fight does scare me for the main reason of his layoff, but talent wise, Rothwell is the better fighter. Layoff or not, Rothwell at dog pricing is always intriguing and it is mostly all premised on his layoff. I am willing to take a flyer on the dog here.
The Pick: Ben Rothwell
Beneil Dariush $9,000 vs. Drew Dober $7,200
This is a very good fight. Both men have a very similar style on the feet with extremely good Muay Thai. Drew Dober is very well groomed on his feet and stays very active with his volume. He is pretty bricked up for the division and has an extremely bottom heavy frame which generates a very powerful kicking game along with general torque and explosion. His game was mostly predicated on his stand up until moving to Team Elevation in Colorado where Elliot Marshall really looked to fill in the gaps with his grappling and overall defensive and offensive ground game. He is very Durable and has proven to have a good gas tank in high volume affairs. Dober showed that he is getting much more confident with his grappling when he fought Justin Tuck and was able to secure 3 Takedowns on him and seemed to lean on it heavily in the 3rd round of that fight. With a record of 20-8, I would say that he is better than his record shows. After an up and down career since 2013, the 30-year-old has strung together his last 3 straight in some very testing battles. Dober is quietly creeping up the ladder, and with a 4th straight over an extremely dangerous fighter, Dariush can be a springboard for him in the division. However, that is a big If. Dariush in many ways fights with a similar style in space as Dober does, but he looks to walk you down and take away space to get his extremely good clinch game rolling early. Dariush is also a Black Belt in BJJ where he will, in fact, take it if he feels the need or has the ability to do so. With a 15-4 record, the 29-year-old has submitted 6 and KO’d 3. In his losses, he has been KO’d 3 times and submitted 1 time. Now even tho Dariush leads his resume with submissions, he has not secured one since 2015. As a matter of fact, he has 3 submissions in his 14 fight stint with the UFC. Another concern is, in 2 of his last 4 fights, he has been absolutely KO’d cold. Once by Edson Barboza, where he got caught with a cringing flying knee, and another time when he was corked by a perfectly timed overhand left by Alexander Hernandez. When you get KO’d like that twice, you need to start questioning the chin. Same with what we have seen with Cody in his last fight against Pedro. There is a clear Chin issue now. I do understand that he was caught violently 2 times and both would have finished pretty much anyone, but that is not the point. The point is that he has been rattled very badly 2 times in his last 4 which only starts the decline from that point. I am not saying at all that he is declining at 29 years of age, but it is never a good thing to get caught like that. Dober is the fighter 1 year older but he is the fresher fighter even tho he himself has been in some very violent wars. However, his chin has held up quite well. This fight is super close and there is no way in hell it should be priced out this far apart. Dober has the volume, the cardio, and the power to ignite that button on Dariush. The question is can he keep it in space and on the feet. I am going to lean yes in a close fight that should be much closer and a sizeable dog here.
The Pick: Dober
Tim Boetsch $7,700 vs. Omari Akhmedov $8,500
The Barbarian Boetsch has lived up to his name in his career. The Division I wrestler from well respected Lock Haven University decided to take the plunge into MMA with the notion that using his fists would be a much better asset in the cage then his wrestling. Well, although I never agree with Wrestlers not leaning on that game if they are in high pedigree, Tim has defied that logic with 21 wins and 11 of them by way of KO. The thing with The Barbarian is that he has taken some time off for a business venture that he was pursuing over the summer. I always tend to be a little wary of that when I look into a layoff. You really want to justify why they are coming back to fight if they have other ventures in their life, especially at Tims age. Sometimes, it’s for reasons of honestly missing the competitive edge, and other times it is merely to finance the other excursion. The one ace that Tim holds here is a size advantage over a lot of the division. Once a light heavy, Tim has struggled at time to make the middleweight limit, but has always been able to do so even with the struggle. He is taking on a younger, faster, more spry fighter in Omari, who has shown extremely good durability, the want to engage in a firefight, and also the ability to go ground if he needs to or finds a reason to. The International Master of Sambo comes in with a record of 17-4 and believe it or not has taken a little more of a layoff then Tim has. A very well balanced finishing sheet of 7 KOs, 5 Subs, and 5 Decisions and in his loses, he was KO’d 2 times and Submitted 2 Times. In his last fight against Marvin Vettori, he was involved in a very tough scrap in which was a Majority draw. The one thing that bothers me with him is that he really does get hit a lot for my liking and even tho he showed a great chin against Vettori and ARA, it won’t be long until that chin gives out again in a brutal firefight. The Barbarian is not the guy you want to get into a firefight with. Sitting in the pocket with him is a very dangerous game and a game that he likes to play very much. However, even tho Omari is the smaller fighter here, he will be the faster fighter and should be able to unload more of a clip at once then Tim, beating him to the punch. He will be best suited coming in and out of the exchanges instead of just biting down on his mouthpiece, planting flat footed and throwing heat. With his chin, the way it hangs on a shelf, even with his durability, Tim can expose that. Keeping movement and utilizing his speed advantage while not allowing Tim to lay a bead on him would be my thought process here. Possibly switching up with some level changes late and taking away that weapon of the barbarian. Tough fight and this one may not hit the horn if they come out throwing the way I am expecting them to, but I will take Omari here in a possible back and forth nail biter.
The Pick: Omari
Grant Dawson $8,700 vs. Julian Erosa $7,500
Both of these guys take different roads to victory in their approach. Grant Dawson comes to us with a record of 12-1 with 9 of his wins coming by way of submission and in his sole loss by way of KO. Erosa, on the other hand, holds a record of 22-6 with 10 of those wins coming by way of KO and 3 of his 6 losses are by way of KO. It is quite obvious where they both want to take the fight and this will really be a battle of if Erosa can keep this fight in space and standing. Dawson uses his striking much more for a means to go ground and work slowly from top control. Erosa will bring a tricky test tho with his style. He has a very, well, odd style of striking and it works for him but it is a dangerous piece of work when you start to visit the upperclassmen that can start exposing that style. He will flail his hands around keeping his head exposed and really relying on head movement and just throwing off the entire timing of his opponent. I don’t agree with the style and it is too unsettled for me, but it seems to be working for him as of now. With that said Dawson should really be able to put enough pressure on Erosa to find his hips and at the very least take away that range and movement with either pinning him to the cage or dragging him to the ground where he should be able to gain valuable control time. The concern for Dawson for me is that he has trouble finding the hips or he just gets sparked coming in for a shot. I don’t really agree with the pricing here but I do think that the pressure of Dawson is going to cause problems for Erosa and at the very least grab the decision win off of control time alone.
The Pick: Dawson
Tony Martin $9,200 vs. Sergio Moraes $7,000
This fight is really all predicated on how good Martin’s IQ is in this fight. There really isn’t much to break down here because it’s Martins fight to win or lose. I don’t care who you are, if you think it is a good idea in any way shape or form to go ground with Moraes then you are completely lost in the BJJ world. The guy is an absolute ace on the ground and what he has forgotten in BJJ, many will probably never ever learn. Martin does have some slick grappling but it is in no way on the level of Moraes. Martin is a very slick striker that works behind his jab extremely well. He will be best suited here using good footwork and keeping this fight moving at a fluid pace while keeping this in space. Working behind his jab will keep Moraes very honest and will also look better to the judges when Moraes starts looking for desperation takedown attempts as Martin pings him at range. The danger zone for Martin here is if Moraes can somehow find his hips. If he does then this fight isn’t quite over just yet. Martin, although not on the level of Moraes, can grapple defensively quite well, and depending on where in the round the hip entry takes place, he may be able to survive to the next round. I think Martins crisp stand u gives Moraes fits here and although I don’t see a finish in this one, The control on the feet is going to be what the judges ultimately see here.
The Pick: Martin
Marion Reneau $7,300 vs. Yana Kunitskaya $8,900
Marion is one of those fighters that all us older dogs will always cheer for. At 41 years old she just keeps turning back the clock, winning or losing, she is in there always being competitive. The Black Belt in BJJ will never be out of an affair on the ground and will welcome anyone there for a game of chess if you decide to do so or let her get it there. However, at 41 years old, eventually, youth will start just trumping skill. It happens. However, she hasn’t shown too much decline to be quite honest. Her durability, toughness and veteran savvy ways are still enough against some of the bigger names of the division, but eventually, it has to slowly start making its way back to earth. Yana is a 29-year-old long and rangy striker, with much fresher legs, more snap on her shots, and can only progress from here. I wouldn’t consider her a world beater, and I would not even consider her someone I see being an ultra top contender, but she has gained experience. She is with a good camp, training with former champion Holly Holm at Jackson Wink. She has had her taste of defeat when they tossed her for slaughter against Cyborg, and she also has tasted victory in her last fight against Lina Lansberg. She has been submitted twice in her career, which should catch the attention of Marion, but at the end of the day, she is 12 years younger than Marion. Stronger, faster, longer and rangier. I don’t like her price here, considering Marion has never been finished, but I do like her to win.
The Pick: Yana
Maurice Greene $6,900 vs. Jeff Hughes $9,300
You wanna talk about a super creepy dude? Maurice Greene is just straight creepy. At 6’7″, 260, and an 83-inch reach, he has all the tools to be a very dangerous weapon in the division. Just blows my mind that a dude this big and long has only 1 KO to his Merit yet 4 Submissions. It makes zero sense and is not even logical. I never understood it with guys like Struve and I feel the same about Greene. You are blessed with a gift that you can’t teach. I would literally be training this guy to master the art of range. Literally just mastering the art of distance and space. The guy is just odd man.. Lol. I can’t figure it out. Anyway, enough about him being odd. He is taking on Jeff Hughes in a rematch from LFA where Hughes defended his strap in a 5 round affair that was honestly a pretty good fight. Both men had their spots and showcased decent conditioning and durability. I would not say that either of them was throwing anything super technical, but it was entertaining for what it was. Jeff Hughes utilized his weight a little more behind his punches. In his 10 wins he has 4 by KO, 1 Submission, and 4 by way was of Decision. He has been to the 5th round 4 times and his only blemish on his record is a 5th round KO by the hands of Dan Spohn. Hughes is just barbaric once he gets going. In his film, he does seem to come out of the gate slow but when he hits, you hear it and when he sees you are hurt he will unload his strikes at any cost. I think this fight ends up very similar to the first fight with the same outcome. Greene is just too weird for me to pick. Has tools but I just think he is underachieving with the tools he has been given and I don’t think that will change. Hughes edges another close one out sealing the rematch at 2-0.
The Pick: Hughes
Louis Smolka $8,300 vs. Matt Schnell $7,900
I actually really like this fight. Both of these guys are underwhelming in what they really are skill wise as a fighter. Smolka has had his share of ups and downs personally with battles of addiction etc. However, there is no doubt that the kid has talent, but he just never tapped into it the way he should have. Not really known as a great striker, Smolka is one of those guys that you really don’t want to be caught in a scramble on the ground with. He thrives in scrambles and has a very slick and slippery guard and ground game. After a 4 fight skid in the UFC, he left to get his life together and climb his way back into the window. Grabbing 3 wins outside of the company, he came back to win his re-debut in the UFC in November of 2018 by way of submission. He seems to be much more content these days and says that he has the alcohol issue well under control. A dialed in Smolka could be a very talented one, but we really haven’t seen that just yet and at the young age of 27, it really is not too late to right the ship. He will be taking on Matt Schnell, a black belt in Karate and not too bad of a submission game himself when he is forced to use it. Schnell has pretty good hands that are sharp and fast, but in his 11 wins, he only has 2 KOs but does have 5 submissions to his credit. In his 4 losses, Schnell was Sparked back to back times against Sandoval and Rob Font. He bounced back since then with wins over Beltran and Inoue but with a 500 record in UFC play, he is going to want to get on the right side of the green light here if he wants to start working his way into the center of the lake, but he will need to keep this standing in my opinion where he should own the feet. I think Smolka knows where his strong suit is and if wants to really win this fight, he will have to live in die with his grappling and ability to fire offense from the scramble. This is really a toss-up fight, but a fight I think I feel more comfortable with leaning towards Smolka. I think Smolka has a higher ceiling and if he is dialed in and ready, he should be able to grapple his way to a victory here.
The Pick: Smolka
Alex Morono $9,100 vs. Zak Ottow $7,100
At this point, I feel like this is a filler fight on an already bad card. Both men have had rotating doors of wins and losses since entering the UFC. Zak Ottow is much more of a grinding style wrestler than anything else and if you look at his record, he beats the guys that was tossed to him as lobs, but the second he gets a dose of a step up he seems to dump it. I will not take away from his wrestling, and his ability to control terms once he gets you in a good position, but it is on the feet that can be dangerous grounds for him. With a record of 17-6, Ottow does his best work when he is shooting from the ground with 10 submissions to his credit with only 3 Knockouts. In his 6 losses, 3 of them have been by way of KO. So it is quite clear that his best safety net is being on the ground. However, Alex Morono is a guy who also is extremely well versed on the ground with a Black Belt in BJJ and has never been submitted in 2o fights. With that said he has a decent balance in KO to Sub ratio which makes him “Somewhat” Well rounded. In his 5 loses he has only been KO’d 1 time, so historically he is overall a pretty durable kid and I find it hard to believe that Ottow will be able to submit him on the ground. He does have the ability to control the clock with positional wrestling, but do you really trust that in Zak Ottow? I really don’t.
The Pick: Morono
Alex White $8,600 vs. Dan Moret $7,600
Alex White is sitting on the tail of this card for a reason. With 2 fights left on his contract and a UFC record of 3-5, it is very possible that he can work his way right off the map here. His previous 2 losses before were accepted a little more than his last one against an aging Jim Miller. Miller caught him in the very first round, dropped him and sunk in an RNC for the finish. Now don’t get me wrong, Jim Miller is super tough and is and will always be a tough out for anyone, but Jim Miller hasn’t had a KO win outside of waxing a very chinny Gomi in 2016, since 2011. So this is not a very good look for Alex White. He will take on MMA Lab’s Dan Moret. Moret came into the UFC with a very tough task ahead of him in his first fight against Gilbert Burns. Moret doing much of his handy work as a grappler knew that he was no match for the high pedigree grappling of Burns so on the feet would have to do. Burns, falling in love with his striking game, was able to showcase the 2nd round KO on Moret handing him a tough starting gate. The gap between Alex White and Gilbert Burns is quite large. I think Moret is getting his fair shake at a do over here. Someone much more in his wheelhouse at this point in time, but still has that UFC vet status to go along with him. If this fight stays standing I can see Moret having trouble with white here. Although I wouldn’t consider White to be an Ace on the feet, or anywhere for that matter, he still does some nice things when he gets into his pocket. With that said, I am looking for Moret to use his striking to clinch up and make this a grimy affair. A fight that can literally go to either man, but I will lean slightly on the dog here because this fight should be much closer than its spit out to be. John Crouch does a nice job with adjustments and progressions and I am sure he will be well equipped to win this fight. Whether he does or not is up to him, but Crouch will have him prepared to do so.
The Pick: Moret
DRAFTKINGS WITH LAB WEIGHT
Lab Weight is a tool to let you know where my head is from a percentage perspective. It is used on the scale of 10 lineups and how many of those 10 I am comfortable rostering that fighter.
Derrick Lewis $6,800
- Lab Weight 3
I picked him against Volkov when no one else did… Why? Because I said. All it takes is 1 punch, and sure enough, look what happened. I am picking dos Santos here, but fading Lewis totally would be foolish. A small punt on him is worth it at $6,800 to cover some tracks.
Junior dos Santos $9,400
- Lab Weight 7
I know he is pricey, but remember that this is a 5 round fight and he loves to work the body. With that said, one of Lewis’s biggest pitfalls is his soft durability to the body. JDS has a very good chance here to finish this late if he steps on the gas when Lewis starts to fade late.
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos $8,000 / Curtis Millender $8,200
- Lab Weight EDS 6 / CM 4
You know what to do when a fight is priced this closely. I will have both men, but I will have a heavier lean on dos Santos here. I think he has the better upside for a finish if he can find his way in. Both men are validated here tho if you decide to play it.
Tim Means $8,800
- Lab Weight 5
A little high for my liking, but I can see many people jumping on the value here, pulling down the ownership of Means. He is going to have to stay standing, and you are hoping for one of his nasty, razor-sharp elbows to find its spot on Price’s chin. Due to him being slightly lower owned and many people jumping on price here, he does have a window to hit value. I won’t ignore him, but I won’t be too exposed to him either.
Niko Price $7,400
- Lab Weight 3
There is value here, believe it or not. I am not a fan of Price, and I am not picking him to win, but he is strong and he will own the ground if he can get it there. So I have seen much worse plays at $7,400. He is live.
Blagoy Ivanov $8,400
- Lab Weight 3
People may be leaning on him a bit due to the huge layoff of Rothwell. I, for one, will be fading him in this spot. Rothwell’s durability and better historical conditioning will make it a hard spot for him to finish Rothwell off unless Rothwell is a shell of himself.
Ben Rothwell $7,800
- Lab Weight 5
I will have some plays on him here. At $7,800, if he wins, he should be able to scrape his value. Be careful tho cause we have no idea what he is going to look like after the layoff. With that said, he is a tough dude with a good shot to win this fight. He has beaten some of the best.
Beneil Dariush $9,000
- Lab Weight 3
This is a little too high priced for me here. I know how well versed Dariush is, and I know what he brings to the table, but Dober is durable. Even tho, if he gets Dober to the ground, he can end it, Dober has gotten better in weaker aspects of his game and this fight scares me that it may go yard. I see this as a smidge dangerous at his price.
Drew Dober $7,200
- Lab Weight 4/5
There is good value here. Dober has very high volume striking, has shown a very durable chin, and has good cardio in which he trains in elevation. His soft spot is his grappling and takedown defense, but it seems to be making progress every fight. If he can bait Dariush into staying on the feet, this fight can be extremely highly contested, given the pedigree of both men’s standup. He isn’t a punt you should ignore. There is value here. The fear of him getting submitted if this goes to the ground is very real, but if it stays on the feet, he packs enough heat to give Dariush some issues.
Tim Boetsch $7,700
- Lab Weight 3
When rostering him, you will need to keep in mind it is really on his KO power. He has good wrestling, coming from D-1 pedigree, but it is more used to elude the ground to keep it in firefight range. This is a fight Tim can in fact win. If this fight goes deep, then he will have the conditioning edge. So keep that in mind before you pass him up completely.
Omari Akhmedov $8,500
- Lab Weight 5
He is going to bring the fight to Tim, early and hard. You are hoping for him to get rid of Tim within the first 2 rounds, or the tides can start changing quickly. He has the aggressive style and the ability to do it, but in the same breath, he will have to be wary of Tim’s power coming back. The window is there for him to finish, and at $8,500 I am interested, to a point. But I am interested.
Grant Dawson $8,700
- Lab Weight 5
His price is really expensive for me here. I know he has the ability to get this to the ground and have multiple takedowns, but the odd striking style may temper his actions a smidge here. He may be a little more cautious than usual, given the surprising and mysterious style of Erosa. However, I will def taking a few chances on him in this spot.
Julian Erosa $7,500
- Lab Weight 2
If he keeps this standing, then it can be him all day on the feet. I just think eventually he gets grounded and the points, as well as the clock, will begin to dwindle, taking away his value. Not high on this spot, given the stylistic matchup.
Tony Martin $9,200
- Lab Weight 4
He is very expensive here, and he really is not a knockout artist, even tho he has some good, slick striking behind the jab. He also will not try to test Moraes on the ground where Martin tends to get the bulk of his finishes. So where will he need to get his points? Volume… Which he really isn’t a huge volume winder. With that said, this is really going to drive people off of him, myself included. With that said, in multiple lineups, I may have a couple stabs on him due to his low ownership and hope for a shot and a prayer.
Sergio Moraes $7,000
- Lab Weight 2
Anyone who has the ground game of Sergio Moraes is always worth a look, so I can’t hate ya for wanting a taste. If he gets this to the ground, he can finish anyone. With that said, I will not be investing too much here, if at all.
Marion Reneau $7,300
- Lab Weight 2
She’s the ageless wonder at 41, and I will never count her out of a fight, but she will be outmatched here with size and youth. Rostering her will be solely if she can get her hips active from the ground and possibly tie up a submission. She has to get it there first tho. However, out of the two fighters, Marion holds the better value in this one.
Yana Kunitskaya $8,900
- Lab Weight 1
Not certain about the price here, considering Marion has never been finished. I don’t like the price.
Maurice Greene $6,900
- Lab Weight 0
Although I don’t agree with the price here, especially after these guys fought to the horn in a 5 rounder and a back and forth affair, I just think this dude is too weird for me to pick. lol
Jeff Hughes $9,300
- Lab Weight 3
Small dose just for the upside of heavyweight inside the distance ratios, but his price tag is a little too much for me.
Louis Smolka $8,300 / Matt Schnell $7,900
- Lab Weight LS 4 / MS 3
This fight is going to be really fun. I will have both men because they both have clear paths to win. With that said, my heavier lean is Smolka. I will have him inserted in more.
Alex Morono $9,100
Lab Weight 3
In what world does he ever deserve to be $9,100? However, he is fighting Zak Ottow and that does change things a smidge, but not by much. He is too expensive for me here. He can very well finish Ottow, but I am not willing to lay that juice on Morono.
Zak Ottow $7,100
Lab Weight 0
I mean, I have seen much worse as far as punts, and in a fight where both men are not very good, I get the point behind it. But I won’t have much of this fight, in general, so for the ones I do have in this fight, it won’t be Ottow.
Alex White $8,600
- Lab Weight 2
I’m not really interested in him at this price here or him in general. Tough kid, good stand up, but I’ll pass for the most part I think.
Dan Moret $7,600
Lab Weight 3
I picked him to win, and even tho I hate the first two fights of the night, I will have some stabs on him for the value. He has a good camp behind him, and he is better than his price is showing. There is value here, but neither of these guys is very good.