MadLab’s UFC Fight Night Breakdown and Predictions!!!
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UFC FIGHT NIGHT CARD
Alistair Overeem DK $8800 / FD $22 vs. Augusto Sakai DK $7400 / FD $19
For those that haven’t been following MMA for a very long time, you probably don’t remember the history of the “Reem.” This is a guy who stems way back to Pride and is still doing his thing. He came onto the scene as a Light Heavyweight and was literally sparking people out with his crisp striking on a regular. At one point in time, The Reem had a 12 fight win streak with all of them ending in the 1st round except for 2 that ended in the 2nd. With a record of 46-18, the 40-year-old kickboxer from the Netherlands owns 24 KOs and snatched 17 submissions. In his losses, The Reem has been KO’d 14 times and only submitted 1 time. In the meat of his career, The Reem was a mountain of a man that clearly was on PEDs and he utilized the size and strength to complement his flawless striking acumen. The Reem would literally just push forward. Ragdoll you into a spot where he wants you, and then berate you with punches, kicks and knees that were beyond measure in power and extremely strategically placed. When the Reem was at his best, there were not many men that could keep up with him on the feet and his grappling was extremely glossed over due to this. His resume speaks for itself. Beating men like Werdum, Hunt, Belfort, Arlovski, JDS, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar are all statistics sitting in his win column. The height, reach, speed, power skill and athleticism. It was all there for him in his prime. I say “Was” because he is now 40 years in and has completely changed his game around after taking a few serious losses and some that ended up on forever highlight reels. After his casket looking KO loss to Francis, I literally thought his career was over. Then he came back against Curtis Blaydes and was KO’d again. It was clear that the Reem was changing something, and it either didn’t fit what he does or he just hasn’t grasped the new style yet. He looked sloppy, throwing punches in spots and leaving himself completely exposed on the centerline. He just didn’t look confident at all in his approach in those 2 fights. He didn’t seem like he was comfortable in his own skin.
Now, a lot of that can be from not being on the gear. When you don’t have the reassurance behind you, you can tend to question yourself. However, this was different. This was more of a durability fear and not wanting to engage unless it was in small spots. I didn’t like what I was seeing from the reem. However, he now has started to make things translate a bit more. Winning 3 of his last 5. With wins comes momentum and confidence and I think The Reem is sitting in a good spot right now to possibly see a title shot before he retires if he keeps up the momentum. The reem has become a labored and calculated fighter. He likes distance now. He has no issues with a slow and lulling fight until he is good and ready. Well, he is going to get just that with Sakai. Sakai fights very slow and labored. A better athlete than he appears, Sakai beats you on accumulating damage. He does have power but he doesn’t have that one shot game-changing power like Reem has. However, he is very cautious with his approach. With a record of 15-1, Sakai is undefeated under the UFC umbrella. Winning 4 straight against Chase Sherman, Andrei Arlovski by split, Tybura and Ivanov by split. 2 things you will notice is that Sakai hasn’t had nearly the resume that the reem has but also he will make fights much closer than they need to be due to his activity rate and style, as it shows in the 2 splits as of late. He does have 11 KO’s to his merit and in his only loss was by way of decision. There is no doubt that Sakai has skills and talent, but he is giving Overeem a fight that, in an around about way, suits his style in his older age. Slow, strategic, and stingy in the offensive output. However, what makes me nervous is the 5 round fight status. If this was 3 rounds I would feel much more confident. It’s 5 rounds which is not something that makes me feel comfortable with Reem. However, from a stylistic matchup, this is very suitable for him and he is the far superior fighter on the feet when it comes to talent, skill and experience. I’ll take the vet at 40 here.
The Pick: The Reem
Alonzo Menifield DK $8300 / FD $18 vs. Ovince Saint Preux DK $7900 / FD $16
Menifield is one of those guys who understands that he has game-changing power. However… Now that I think about it. Does he? His power is proven in the stats and obviously, when you have that much power, you have some stroke of confidence in the pocket. However, Something that concerns me about Menifield is that he doesn’t listen to his corner very well. To me, that is an extreme element in fighting. It tells a story about how they can possibly be on the Training Grounds. The reason why I look into that is that fighting is all about adjustments. If your team is advising you to lean a certain way, and you don’t listen, then what adjustments will really be made? The last fight against Devon Clark made me realize how much this kid really needs to work on. His conditioning, His grappling, and how to really set his punches up and when they are dialed in, start chaining them together properly. There is no doubt that Menifield is a scary fight for anyone, but there are clear blueprints as long as you have a chin for the 1st round and ½. He takes on the vet in OSP. OSP has fought some of the Elite in the game but it really depends solely on what OSP you are going to get on any given night. A very long striker that clears space very very well. Sharp hands when he lets them go and his footwork changes from good movement to sitting completely flat-footed. With that said, OSP has an extremely crafty ground game. He is a very patient grappler and he usually has a few different setups for this choke but even tho a fighter knows it’s coming, it tends to be there for him often.
With a record of 24-14, OSP has 11 wins by way of KO and 8 wins by submission. 4 of those submissions are by way of his favorite choke that isn’t used too often, created by Jason Flue. Since OSP brought that submission back into the cage, it has recently been re-named, The Von Prueix choke. There is no doubt OSP offensively is very talented. However, you can fold him if you start getting off first. In his 14 losses, he has been KOd 2 times and submitted 3. When you really look at both fighters there are concerns on both sides. For Menifield, it’s his experience, his conditioning and his overall game. OSP has the know-how to get this one done. If he can get this to the ground and keep it there long enough, I think Menifield will have a big issue on his hands. However, OSP also concerns me with his frequency to not pull the trigger sometimes and as of late he looks like his durability looks like it’s starting to fade a bit. He is put on skates much easier these days. I think Menifield isn’t going to show major improvements, but I do think he finds his way in on OSP at some point in this fight and stings OSP with something big, setting the tone of the fight. However, he better not hit the ground or gas himself out because OSP will, in fact, capitalize late if that’s the case. I’ll give Menifield the nod here in a very difficult fight for both men.
The Pick: Menifield
Karol Rosa DK $8500 / FD $15 vs. Sijara Eubanks DK $7700 / FD $11
Not sure why this fight is priced like this but I made some sense of it, just not all that much. Comes into this fight as a replacement for Macy Chiasson. With a record of 13-3, Rosa has done a good job putting a stamp on her arrival here in the UFC. Winning both of her fights under the umbrella she has some people’s attention right now. The fighter from Brazil seems to be much more of a decision fighter with 7 of her 13 wins coming by way of decision, 4 by KO, and 2 by way of Submission. It is clear where she wants the fight but a few things that I did notice with her are she doesn’t have a ton of power and she throws very wildly when she is pushing some power in her punches. She also has a rough time checking leg kicks and really keeps her head on the centerline. The reason why it really hasn’t caught up to her yet is the level of competition. There is no secret that Eubanks has underachieved majorly thus far with a record of 5-4 Eubanks lost 2 of her last 3 and will be looking to keep out of 500 waters here. Eubanks is very tricky because she has the talent, the size, the strength and the skill to be very good but it just hasn’t tied together for her. It’s like something just isn’t translating properly with her. The decorated black belt in BJJ has multiple places where she can win fights but when the lights are on it seems she shies away a bit. Well, she can’t shy away here. Rosa is tough and she has no issues sitting in the pocket with Eubanks, but Eubanks is just the more crisp and sharp fighter for me. A little more cautious, throws with more pop, much better camp and just all the tools to get this one done if she can start to tie everything together. I feel like we haven’t seen the real Eubanks just yet and you know what? Maybe we never will but I know there is more in there and if she’s going to release some more of her potential this is the fight to do it.
The Pick: Eubanks
Michel Pereira DK $8200 / FD $17 vs. Zelim Imadaev DK $8000 / FD $16
Imadaev came into the UFC with an 8-0 record and some decent steam behind him finishing all his fights inside the horn. However, he has been less than good under the wings of the UFC. Dropping 2 in a row, you wonder where his confidence is at the present moment. The UFC is truly the proving ground and all though people coming in high on their horses, you can be humbled very quickly and the curtain will eventually expose who is who. Imadaev is in a tough spot here facing a 3 fight losing skid, but to make matters worse, he is fighting an extremely dynamic wild card in Pereira. Pereira is the poster board for the showman. We all waited for his arrival knowing that he was going to bring that wow factor that is borderline insanity when it comes to his risk-taking in the cage to put on a show. In his first fight, it worked out extremely well for him. However, it has been a nightmare since. A major upset loss against a journeyman and a loss to the aging Diego Sanchez is now starting to make people think that he is much more of a novelty at this point. With that said, I can make somewhat of an excuse for him against Connely. I think he literally took that fight way too lightly. He came in clowning and Connely wasn’t having any of it. Against Sanchez, he tried to abandon his style slightly and it backfired. With a record of 24-1, there is no doubt that he is a sick athlete with a lot of ability. With 10 KOS and 5 Submissions to his credit, he does take the show to his opposition and looks to finish. In his 11 losses, he has only been finished 2 times. I think he knows that this is a very important fight for both men. This can be the exit ticket to the loser here. I am looking for him to come out with activity but loose. He needs to get back to what he is good at and have fun in there. He needs to just flow unchained and see what happens. His dynamic and unorthodox style is what got him here so might as well fall on your sword with it if that’s the case. Imadaev is well rounded but there is no doubt that he hasn’t fully pulled the trigger just yet and I feel like MP’s style will make anyone gun shy because it’s very unpredictable. I am expecting this to be a very close fight but I think MP edges this one out.
The Pick: Michel Pereira
Thiago Moises DK $9000 / FD $20 vs. Jalin Turner DK $7200 / FD $14
Turner is a very long fighter with unordinary stats for his weight class when it comes to physicality and length. A very good range striker with the ability to hit the ground if it goes there, Turner is still very very raw. With a 9-5 record, Turner has 8 by way of KO, and in his 5 losses, he has been KO’d 3 times. His record in the UFC has been a rotating door of wins and losses. Turner’s issue, like some very long thin strikers, is the ability to stuff a takedown and keep it moving on the feet. This is proven to be problematic for Turner and other fighters like him. Even tho he is serviceable when it goes there, he is no match on the ground for Moises. The Black Belt in BJJ holds a record of 13-4 with 6 wins by way of submission. He too has been a rotating door of wins and losses since stepping foot on UFC soil. With that said, Moises seems to have fought the better competition since in the big show. Turner is obviously going to have better success on the feet if he can keep this fight in space and in his range. Moises is going to find a way underneath to get in on the hips of Turner without getting tagged by something up the middle like a knee. I think Turner stays long early while Moises feels him out to catch a pattern or two where he can find a crease to enter. Once he finds it, whether it be opportunistic or for desperation reasons, He will find an entry at some point and bring this to the ground where he should be able to get the control time there.
The Pick: Moises
Bartosz Fabinski DK $8600 / FD $18 vs. Andre Muniz DK $7600 / FD $13
Don’t expect a high volume of stand up here. Both these guys are very comfortable when things hit the ground. Both have very different styles when it gets there, but the end game is the same. Fabinski is going to push a grinding pace on you. He will put on that relentless pressure that will literally start to break you as the fight goes on. Fabinski knows where his success lies and he will not stray from that unless he is cornered in doing so. Before his loss to Prazeres, he scored 22 takedowns in 3 fights (10,6,6). Mind you, the competition was not the greatest but it still shows a clear blueprint where he wants it. It’s going to be interesting to see if he is this relentless against a Submission artist that welcomes the ground exchanges. Muniz comes to us with a southpaw style and background in BJJ that has been his biggest end gamer since he has been fighting. With a record of 19-4, he has 12 submissions and 4 KO’s. Muniz will also look for the takedown to get his grappling rolling but he is just fine off his back as well. However, there is a difference when you are grappling with a guy that has no top control or wrestling game. Fabinski is very smothering, so getting your hips loose can be an issue. Fabinski doesn’t give you much air space, so your windows open and close rather quickly. I am not expecting this to be a fight of the night candidate but for the wrestler/grappler fan, it can get quite strategic. I’ll go with Fabinski here to control the action more in the 15 minute period.
The Pick: Fabinski
Viviane Araujo DK $8900 / FD $18 vs. Montana De La Rosa DK $7300 / FD $9
I don’t understand this, to be honest. This pricing to me is not priced correctly at all. I get what Araujo is and I understand what her path is. With that said, there are also plenty of holes in her game. What makes her dangerous is her speed and her style that is very awkward to pin down and time. I don’t even know if she knows what she is going to throw next, because she is just very wild and unchained. Her speed and her ability to get in and out is more than likely going to edge most women in that department. However, against Davis, she showed some clear concerns for me. Davis was able to control the ground game in the 2nd round after reversing position off of one of Araujo’s takedowns. The 3rd round is what really stood out to me. She won the fight and battered Davis, but Davis is not the most athletic fighter in the world and she will always be a tough sitting duck in range exchanges. However, Araujo did start to really gas out from her hell-bent style. If Davis was able to put Araujo into some adversity, I see no reason why De La Rosa can’t, especially on the ground. I am expecting Araujo to come out very elusive and hot. She may even win the first round kind of convincingly, but if De La Rosa can get her timing down and get this to the mat, then I think it will be real problems for Araujo here. If De La Rosa can get this to the ground in the 3rd then it could really be a tough out at that point. This fight to me is all predicated on whether or not De La Rosa can get this to the ground or not. Despite what the masses say. I think her shot is far greater than most may think. Dangerous fight for both ladies and I’ll take the dog here in a close fight.
The Pick: De La Rosa
Brian Kelleher DK $9200 / FD $18 vs. Kevin Natividad DK $7000 / FD $12
I was never a fan of Kelleher but this is a fight that he really should win. Kelleher is just someone that I never was fond of as a fighter. I think he is a wildcard and can win a fight here and there, but the guy isn’t very good. I am sorry I just don’t think he is. I don’t know what it is about him that I can’t get behind, but I am not a fan. However, this is a very good matchup for him and he does possess plenty of pop in his punches to change the complexion of things if they start to go sour. With a 12-11 record, Boom has a very well rounded finishing rate of 8 KOS and 9 Submissions. A brown belt under the 10th planet system, he doesn’t use it as a first resort. Kelleher would rather stand and trade with you and more than not Kelleher can win that exchange. He takes on Natividad, who is honestly very, very predictable. There is nothing special about him. He is very vanilla, and he will not throw anything at Boom that he has not seen before. I am sure he is going to want to take this to the ground at some point, but on film, he does a good job securing the takedowns but really can’t hold it there long enough to really start getting off. I think Kelleher is going to be able to stick and stun him on the feet, and if it hits the ground, I think Boom is well rounded enough to stay safe and get things rolling his direction again. Hard to pick against him in this spot.
The Pick: Kelleher
Alexander Romanov DK $8400 / FD $17 vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima DK $7800 / FD $16
I would assume someone gets put to sleep here at some point so getting some love on this fight both ways would be proper. Romanov comes to us undefeated with a record of 11-0 and all of them by way of finish. With 5 by KO and 6 by submission, he has shown a clear well-rounded ability to finish things wherever they may roam. Issue here for me is that he hasn’t fought a great group of combatants and he has only been out of the 1st round 2 times in 11 fights. Interesting thing is, I have the same issue with de Lima. This is a guy that comes out hot and will lose steam majorly down the stretch. However, he has been out of the 1st many more times. He is 3-5-1 when fights go out of the 1st round. So he is taken more than he takes. With a record of 17-6, he has 12 KOs and 3 submissions. In his 6 losses, he was KO’d 1 time and submitted 4 times. This fight could be a real slobber knocker and can honestly go either way. With that said, I am going to side with the dog here. Either one of these guys are flight risks but I will take the guy with more experience in the big show even if there is nothing about him that can be trusted.
The Pick: de Lima
Hunter Azure DK $9100 / FD $21 vs. Cole Smith DK $7100 / FD $10
Another odd pricing here. Azure was winning his fight against Kelleher until for some odd reason his gas tank started to get a gaping hole in it and he was then KO’d by Kelleher. Azure is fast, good striking, good wrestling and has a pretty decent defense while engaging in plenty of offense. With that said I can’t for the life of me figure out why this kid gassed like he did. That is a concern for sure against someone like Smith that will keep bringing the pressure later in the fight if he can weather the storm of Azure early. I think that’s going to be Smith’s game plan and a good game plan it would be since that is a very big question mark right now. However, Azure is the better fighter and if he can get his conditioning under control, I don’t see a reason why he loses this fight. First of the night and anything can happen, but I think the speed of Azure gives him the edge here and I also believe that he will be able to get a good enough lead to hold onto it if he starts to gas late.
The Pick: Azure
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DFS
Alistair Overeem – DK $8800 / FD $22
I am looking for this to be a much slower paced fight, so that price tag does scare me a bit. Being a 5 round fight scares me a bit more. With that said, I am picking him to win but he is not a must-play at his price tag.
Augusto Sakai – DK $7400 / FD $19
There is a value here in a 5 round fight. Slow or not if he wins, he covers most likely. The value is there so I don’t hate it but it’s not a fight in its entirety that you need.
Alonzo Menifield – DK $8300 / FD $18
The upside is very good for him with a finish if he gets it early. With that said, when you use the term fall off the cliff, that is an understatement with him. His conditioning has not been there past 1.5. He is the definition of high risk for high reward and I’m all about risk. Get some.
OSP – DK $7900 / FD $16
There is value here late. He will need to gas the arms out if Menifield and weather the storm. If he can take this deep he has a clear path. I’m not super high here but I’ll have a small back up for sure.
Karol Rosa – DK $8500 / FD $15
Rosa is tough but she is wild and reckless. I really think Eubanks is the better fighter here but her conditioning will always keep the opposition in the game. If Rosa can keep this close going into the 2nd and 3rd, the volume that she throws will justify the price. However, I think she loses a close one here, so my interest is lacking.
Sijara Eubanks – DK $7700 / FD $11
In my opinion, she is better everywhere. However, as I stated above, her conditioning kills her at times. With her price at $7700, I would say this is a reasonable play if she can figure out her conditioning issues.
Michel Pereira – DK $8200 / FD $17
Zelim Imadaev – DK $8000 / FD $16
When they are this close you need to play it both ways but I will have a heavier lean on Pereira with his dynamic movements and better upside for a finish while Imadaev will look to grind a little more.
Thiago Moises – DK $9000 / FD $20
Very expensive here but I think it is all predicated on his ability to get this to the ground and work his grappling where he will have an advantage. The upside and path are there for a submission, but I am not high on the price. So I will have a small sprinkle here in case the submission does come, but if it doesn’t, value is going to be rough.
Jalin Turner – DK $7200 / FD $14
Turner is very very long and will hold a significant reach advantage here. If he can stay long and elude the takedowns then he can point his way to victory here. I won’t fade him completely in this spot at his price and I would suggest you play it the same way.
Bartosz Fabinski – DK $8600 / FD $18
$8600 seems pricey but the guy is going to try and suck in the hips as much as he can in this spot, and for that, he will earn my respect in some of my lineups.
Andre Muniz – DK $7600 / FD $13
He is going to have to catch Fabinski with something on the ground which is possible but I am not going to play him here.
Brian Kelleher – DK $9200 / FD $18
Never was a fan of his but this is a good matchup for him. I won’t be overexposed at all because I know what a Jekyll and Hyde that he is, but even tho he is pricey, there is some upside here.
Kevin Natividad – DK $7000 / FD $12
Viviane Araujo – DK $8900 / FD $18
To me, this is way too much money. She is fast and throws a decent amount of volume, but if De La Rosa succeeds with getting this to the ground then it can take away valuable time where she could be scoring. I am off her here. This is a better fight than the makers are making it out to be.
Montana De La Rosa – DK $7300 / FD $9
There is some value here, especially if De La Rosa can find her rhythm on the ground. I’ll take a few swings here for this price.
Alexander Romanov – DK $8400 / FD $17
Marcos Rogerio de Lima – DK $7800 / FD $16
Someone should be able to get the finish here. Both men are major risks so you want to get some both ways but the upside for de Lima to get an earlier finish is in his favor. After the first round, it’s all up in the air from there. More of lean on de Lima.
Hunter Azure – DK $9100 / FD $21
Pricey but the kid is fast and talented. He is another one that had some conditioning elements that have failed him in the past but I am hoping he has fixed that somewhat or paces himself better this time around. I will take a few fliers even tho I hate his price.
Cole Smith – DK $7100 / FD $10
Azure fades and he will be in the game. I am not expecting him to fade this time, that’s the problem.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT VEGAS
1.15 to win 1
1.5 to win 1
2 to win 1
De Lima +145
.5 to win 72.5
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