Kevin Lee 9000 vs Al Iaquinta 7200 This is the long awaited rematch between these two young fighters. The fight took place when they were both very raw and you should not take too much from the first meeting.
NOTE: Jessica Rose Clark and Andrea Lee has been scratched
due to a bad weight cut on Clark’s side. adjust lineups if you decided to roster any of them
Kevin Lee 9000 vs Al Iaquinta 7200
This is the long awaited rematch between these two young fighters. The fight took place when they were both very raw and you should not take too much from the first meeting. Both men have transcended from then and you will see a much higher and much more calculated skill set between the two men. The first fight was an undisciplined war in which both men came in with high offensive output and not much blueprint behind them. Like most young bucks, confidence was high and a game of top that would be played. In the first round Al would drop Lee quickly putting him on ice skates only for Lee to recover and gain his legs back enough to take a shot at a single leg. Al would fold lee in the process of looking for his own heel hook. In the 2nd round Lee would give Al a very big scare when he took his back early in the round and sunk in a super deep rear naked choke in which a game of hand fighting would ensue. Al started to really change color and at one point you can see him holding back the drool that would spurt from his mouth for a moment. Somehow and someway Al slipped his chin under Lee’s arm and freed himself of the pressure. The fight would continue on and Al went on to steal a decision. 4 years later the UFC decides to let these 2 men run it back to see who is who did their homework. The two men have continued on their path but it seems that Lee has been much more active as of late. Al has focused much more on real estate. It’s seems he has swallowed a bitter pill and there was no love lost between the UFC and Al. On the flip side, Lee has been fighting, growing and winning as a fighter. He is bigger, stronger, more mature and much more polished then he was in their last dance. Al may not have been as active but he showed who he is when he stepped in on short notice against Khabib and took him yard in a losing effort. I think that fight even tho he lost was a blessing in disguise for him. It shows the UFC that this kid is game and will not go quietly into the night for anyone. There is something to be said about that from an owners and promoters stand point. It shows reliability. For Al, I think it showed him how good he can be if he dials in. Before this fight he could really have cared less if he fought again and now he is publicly voicing that this is truly what he loves to do and he seems to be a much more mature version of the crazy man from just a few short years ago. This is a tough rock to turn over because you understand that Lee is the better athlete and the one that should be able to take advantage of his explosion and athleticism early, but Al has never been finished by strikes and you wonder how Lee will handle that late. Al has been submitted 3 times early in his career but he is a very underrated grappler that will stay in your face the entire fight and he will not let you off the hook even if he is losing. He will keep moving forward and keep you working. We have seen Lee pushed to those limits and get tired. In a 5 round fight you have to be concerned if Lee can’t put this away inside 3 rounds. Once the water gets deep, dirty and musty, I tend to lean on Al here to push harder through the pain barrier. The problem is will he be too far behind the cards at that point. I honestly think he will be. Lee is not the same guy anymore. He is bigger, stronger, faster, and much more battle tested at this stage of his career. He should be able to edge this out on his athletic ability, speed, and overall reach advantage in this fight. However, Al isn’t going to make it easy.
The Pick: Kevin Lee
Dan Hooker 8200 vs Edson Barboza 8000
When you look at all the different philosophies this matchup has quite a few of them. One that stands out more than most is that sometimes when you see a fighter take a beating like Edson did vs Khabib, you wonder if a piece of him was left in there that night. You wonder if his will and soul were broken or taken that night. You see guys, It is easy to sit there and look at a screen and point out flaws in fighters. It is easy to point out flaws of theirs without having your lungs on fire due to gassing out, what it feels like when your bell is rung from one shot and what it takes to gather yourself again, and how hard it is to think in these situations. It is easy to say things from afar without ever being in the trenches and seeing the dark side of the weight cuts, the training, the injuries, the recovery, and everything these fighters have to go through in the build up to the actual dance. I have seen brutal weight cuts in front of my face. I have been involved in some brutal weight cuts where I wanted to pull the plug on them for the mere fact that I felt we were walking way too much of a tightrope. Where I really felt as if we were pushing the envelope a bit too far. However, I have also been there when these athletes won and lost during these times. I have been there and it can be as heart wrenching as well as glorious. Losing a fight is not just the loss that night for a fighter or the damage inflicted that night. It is deeper than that. The months of training put in, the mental drainage they go through and some of the private hells involved in the cuts will just compact the entire feeling of loss. Everything is magnified and serious questioning can start to tear down the inner fibers of a person. So yes, when you go in there and get beat up like that, sometimes it does take some of your life out of you. However, this is not the case for everyone. There is no doubt that Barboza was changed that night, but he is far from a beaten man, especially if he has the right matchup. People are talking about him like he is dead because he lost a brutal fight and then lost his next one following that. What most people don’t understand is that how much a fighter loses in a particular war is premised on their style, the wars they have been in before that and, most importantly, what is threaded in the fibers of their genetic code. Barboza will have his hands full against another extremely bright prospect, but let's pump the breaks until we gut this fight down fully. Dan Hooker is an intriguing fighter. Nothing he really does blows you away but he finds these little avenues for his strikes to find a pipeline to a pot of gold. In 3 of his last 4 fights he has found the mark finishing the fights inside the horn and in the 4th he found the neck to finish it that way. There is no doubt that the needle is climbing with Hooker. With that said he is yet to really fight a solid stand up pedigree to match his kick boxing style like Barboza can. Even tho Hooker is comfortable on the ground, there is no secret that his first home is on the feet, and if he can have it his way that is where he would like to test your chops. However, he is going to run into a bit of a problem with the schematics of his plan this time around. Barboza has showed some clear glaring holes within his takedown defense against high pedigree wrestlers but I wouldn’t consider Hooker a very high pedigree wrestler. So even tho I expect Hooker to try and get this to the ground, I personally don’t think it will be by choice. I think it will be out of necessity. Barboza might have the most devastating and brutal kicking game in the cage today. His striking is crisp, strong, and snappy for all 3 or 5 rounds if he is off his back. I see this actually being a problem for hooker in the Volume department, and I also see the leg kicks from Barboza slowing him up a bit later in the fight if Hooker can strip him early. Barboza is the more savvy vet in there and I think he will be the one being able to apply the pressure longer, land the more damaging strikes, and ultimately swat the judges in most likely a fight that can end up being a striker's delight for us all to enjoy.
The Pick: Barboza
Rob Font 8400 vs Sergio 7800
This is a fight I don’t think I need to spend a ton of time on. The minute I heard about it, I kind of knew where I was leaning and although it was a tough decision to reach, I feel like my initial philosophy was the correct one. Sergio Pettis is a very sharp, well calculated points fighter with very good in and out movement, speed, and accuracy. If this was point fighting then Sergio pettis would be ranked higher than he is, but it’s not. People fighting Sergio understand that he is crafty, tough, extremely slick on his feet, and serviceable on the ground. What they also do know is that he doesn’t pack a ton of power and his takedown defense is below average. Someone like Rob Font who has very sharp stand up in his own right has much more power than Sergio and understands that walking through fire to land some power punches may be his path to victory. He knows that if things get a little heated in there that he can lean on a takedown or two to slow things down and make Sergio uncomfortable. Sergio went on a 4 fight tear in which it really looked like he was coming into his own in a big way. Then he dropped one to Henry Cejudo, beat JoeB by split decision, and lost his last fight to Formigga. It seems despite his level on comp that he lost to, he has come back down to earth a bit. This is a very tough matchup for him stylistic matchup for him if you really dig into it. Font has never been finished by strikes and I find it highly unlikely that Sergio is going to submit him. Sergio has one solid path to victory and that is skating to a decision. That is very possible, but I think Font feels Sergio’s power in the first, doesn’t fear it, walks through and starts landing the bigger strikes. He may gathering come control time to steal some close rounds but at the end of the day, I see more paths for Font to win in this one.
The Pick: Font
Charles Oliveira 8900 vs Jim Miller 7300
This is a fight in which I looked long and hard for a quite longer than I probably normally do. I think most of you that have been following me know that I am very partial to Jim Miller. I trained with him and his brother for about a year before while they were both on the regional circuit and fighting for Reality Fighting here in NJ. I know what he is capable of, I know what kind of guy he is, and I know what he can do when he ties it all together. I also do know that age and wars will take its toll and it seems it rears its head every now and again. However, after a 4 fight skid, Miller was in desperate need of a win to get that wind back under his sails. He did just that against Alex white in his last fight with a slick 1st round submission. Sometimes 1 win can just render your computer again and just spit fire on your spark plugs once more. Jim is a very overlooked with his ground savvy. The Black Belt in BJJ under one of NJ’s finest Jamie cruz has 15 Submissions in his 29 wins. He also has 4 KO’s and 10 wins by way of decision. In 42 fights Miller has only been finished 2 times by submission and 2 times by KO. His other 8 losses were all by way of Decision. Miller is overall a very durable fighter that you will really need to just outwork for 15 minutes. Although his gas tank is not what it once was due to his Lyme and age, he still will look to be in your face until the end. The man standing across the cage from him on saturday carries some history with him. 8 Years ago they faced each other and Miller ended up finishing him by Knee Bar. With that said it is safe to say that Charles is a completely different fighter since then. His grappling chops have taken a huge leap for the better. Embracing his own Black Belt in BJJ now, he showed off his chops by obtaining 16 submissions in 24 wins. He also own 6 KOs to his merit. As you can see Charles likes to get things done before the horn so the judges can’t muddy the waters. With that said in his losses he also doesn’t really let things go to the judges either, losing 4 times by KO, 3 by Submission, and 2 by way of decision. The think with charles is that he is very opportunistic with his grappling. He can be losing a fight and just look to throw something up slick to catch you breathing. He is one of the sneakier grapplers I have seen in a while and really understands the game very well. He understands the transition game but most importantly he understands the baiting game. The issue here is that I don’t know if he will be able to bait someone like Jim Miller. Jim has been there and has experienced every look thrown his way. I don’t think he will fall for baited traps and I think he is going to try and keep this standing to be honest. Both men are very slick on the ground and I think that it could be a stalemate if it hits the mat, but Miller may not have the faster hands or the better power, but he will make you fight him and Charles has been known to throw in the towel in certain times in his career if things aren’t going his way. MIller is going to have to be in his face from Horn to Horn and just make him very uncomfortable in there. Leg kicks, pressure and stinging strikes that will make him shoot for desperation shots. I can see charles wanting to clinch against the cage, so Miller will need to have the conditioning to fend this off as well as break and continue to march him down. I haven’t seen Miller look great in has last few fights but he looked very different against alex White. Mind you, it was alex White, but he did look sharp in his approach and he may have gotten the taste of victory he needed to get the fever again. I feel this fight should be closer than it actually is and I am going to take a swing on Miller here. I think he may be able to just out work Charles here and pull off a close decision.
The Pick: Jim Miller
D. Grant 9400 vs Zak Ottow 6800
I have to say that I am a little uncomfortable with this price tag here. I am actually a lot uncomfortable with this price tag actually. After watching Grant, there is no denying that if he connects flushly then you are going to feel it. However, he is extremely raw and sloppy on his feet and if he was fighting a pure striker I would actually choose him to get KOd. He needs a lot of work on his feet but if anyone can do it, it’s Javier Mendez. Aka must see something in this kid to keep him around. There is no secret that he has a great team behind him but as of right now, he is basically a very raw fighter with power. I haven’t seen much of his wrestling or grappling at all, but he seems to have a serviceable sprawl. I can tell you that his takedown defense will most likely get tested by Zak Ottow. Zak Ottow is not a fighter that would usually scare you when picking a fight, the newness of this kid def puts a chill in my bones. I can totally see Ottow putting quick pressure on him and taking him to the ground, grinding him for 3 rounds. However, here is the problem. Zak Ottow is chinny and even a raw fighter has 15 minutes to land that big shot on you. You will know very early where this fight is going. You will know how it will end and you will know who will win. If Ottow is unsuccessful on the takedown attempts, then I can see Ottow getting hit over and over with damaging strikes. I think Ottow is the better fighter here but after seeing Sage drop him with a jab and how quickly he gassed in that fight makes me very cautiously picking Grant here. I think between Mendez tightening up his striking and the wrestling pedigree around AKA will have him prepared and ready for the fight. Also Zak Ottow is coming in on somewhat short notice and that also makes you wonder about where his conditioning will be when trying to really wrestle early like he did against Sage before gassing and getting clipped by a jab. The crazy thing here is that there is a clear path for Ottow to win this fight but I just can’t trust him enough to really pick him here. However, confidence is low on Grant.
The Pick Grant
Andrea Lee 9200 vs J. Clark 7000
Andrea Lee, better known as KGB, is silently well rounded. Her striking is her most comfortable area in the cage for sure. She ties her punches and kicks very well and she has no qualms about moving forward and engaging in a pocket war with you. With that said she also utilizes the clinch very well. She will not sit there for too long tho. She will utilize it to move your back against the cage and then look to take you down. The problem I do have with her takedown attempts is that sometimes she will go for a head and arm throw which is a very risky move in MMA. Michelle Waterson is notorious for them and she would get reversed half of the time giving up control. It is really a high risk and high reward move that if you do land it, you need to advance position quickly. However, even when KGB is on her back in a bad position, she has a very intriguing, raw, and creative escape game. She really has shown the ability to make something out of nothing just by staying with the route. I would not consider KGB a fully developed fighter, but I would call her a game fighter. Her pretty looks should not be taken lightly, this girl is not afraid to throw down and she is going to need that mentality against Jessica Rose Clark that relies on her past and her grit to carry her through fights. I think it is safe to say that JRC has not had the easiest life on earth and that is really her motor behind her career. She came into the UFC beating Bec Rawlings in her debut and then Beating Paige VanZant as a follow up performance. In her last fight against Jessica Eye she took her 1st “L’ under the UFC umbrella. However, after seeing the leaps that Eye has made as of late, we can’t really look too deep into that loss. What we can look at is that she does tend to go to the cards quite often. She only has 1 finish in the past 11 fights win or lose and that is something you always have to wonder if she just doesn’t know how to finish or doesn’t have the power or the ground ability to do so. It wasn’t always that way with Clark tho. She does have 2 Submissions and 2 KO’s under her belt but that was on the front end of her career when she was fighting on the Australian regional circuit. The good news tho is that it also shows that she is durable and she has seen the 3rd round quite often, so these waters aren’t too deep for her. With that said I do have an issue with this matchup for her here when it comes to the pace that KGB shells out. I find it hard to believe that she will be able to outwork KGB here. KGB although not the cleanest in the world, really does put on a nice steady pace and she encourages some kind of engagement. Whether she is on the good end of it or the bad end of it, she encourages it by stalking, moving forward and locking up with her opposition. The judges will be looking at that and I also think her being longer with a 5 inch reach will allow her to really keep Rose honest here. I think KGB walks rose down for the majority of this fight scoring enough to steal at least 2 of the 3 rounds to take this one on Volume alone.
The Pick: Andrea Lee
D. Klose 9300 vs Bobby Green 6900
I actually like this fight. Talent wise, Bobby Green is a better fighter than his resume has shown as of late. Even tho he won his last fight against Erik Koch, he had a draw and lost his last 3. The opposition was nothing to shake a stick at, but they are still losses that he has had better performances. Green is a tricky fighter. He believes in his hand speed and will approach you with his hands labored and utilize good defensive head movement and carry his hands high as your striking, but he is very calm and composed in his approach. I wouldn’t say Green has hell on earth power but he has enough power to sting you and finish you with follow ups. In 24 fights he has 8 by KO, 9 by way of Submission, and 7 by way of decision. So as you can see, where ever the fight goes, Green has the capability to play with you there. In his 8 Loses he is just as well rounded with 2 by KO, 2 by Submission, and 4 by way of decision. Bobby Green will take chances and that can be a blessing and a curse in this game, but he will need to be very cautious in his approach against very explosive MMA LAB prospect Drakkar Klose. Klose is now 3-1 in the UFC only losing to David Teymur. Even tho Klose does have some finishes to his merit with 4 KOs in 9 fights, they were all on the front end of his career and as the competition stiffens he is finding his way to victory lane, but it is taking him all 15 minutes to get there. Klose is a young explosive fighter that has a very good grinding wrestling game. With that said, you wonder if a veteran fighter like Bobby Green can bait him to stand and trade with him. Klose is not a volume striker, but he does try to make whatever he throws count and he also uses it as a means to change levels where he can get top heavy and drain some clock. Green is not going to be fended off easy by Klose and if he is taken down, then expect him to be able to escape at least in the early going. However, as the time starts to fill the hour glass, Klose is going to be the one with the more damaging strikes and the more aggression in the wrestling game to get this one done. There is not a bone in my body that would be shocked if Green won this fight, but the way to beat Green is to be able to match him athletically and that is something that Klose can do. That is something that I expect him to do while making Green retreat becoming much more of the counter striker in this affair.
The Pick: Klose
J. Gordon 8600 vs J. Silva 7600
Jared Gordon is a very free flowing fighter that tends to throw caution to the wind. Whenever he fights you can expect him to throw caution to the wind and look to get in on your hips. Averaging over 3 takedowns a fight Gordon plays a dangerous game of much offense with very little defense. With a 16-2 Record it seems that his style has worked for the most part. With 6 Kos and only 2 Submissions you can see that even tho he has a good wrestling pedigree and a Brown Belt under the Leg Lock master himself John Danaher, that Boxing is his first skill set. Gordon is a bit more well rounded than you think but his style of fighting can be a playground for a fighter that tends not to make mistakes but capitalize on yours. Silva comes in with 1 blemish on his record by the hands of Vinc Pichel in his very last fight. With a 10-1 record “NetoBJJ” has 5 by the way of KO, 3 by way of decision, and 2 by way of decision. The Black Belt in BJJ likes to throw his hands and he too likes too throw a little caution to the wind when he fights. So basically what we have here is two guys that are going to pretty much have a pissing match and may the best man win. Gordon is the guy that seems to stand out more to me here. He seems to be in your face with much more urgency than Silva and he is the better fighter slightly everywhere except for the grappling department where he probably is not too far behind under the watchful eye of Danaher. I can see this being a gunslinger style matchup but in the end I think Gordon is the one that will have the more steady cage control in which both men will have their opportunities. However, I just see Gordon having more windows to jump through here and getting this one done. This one could be fireworks tho.
The Pick: Gordon
J Hermansson 8800 vs G. Meerschaert 7400
Jack Hermanson has always been right on the fringe with me. I thought he was good and then some fights I just thought he was over achieving a bit. When he was KO’d by Thiago Santos in the very first round, the lean on the fence that he was starting to lose his allure with me. Well that changed real quick in his fight against Thales Leites. He was able to survive after being caught in a submission and severely injuring his shoulder and willing himself to victory in the final round with basically one arm. The heart on this guy in the fight was pretty remarkable to watch. Hermansson is not much of a submission specialist at all, but what he does have is decent wrestling, a strong frame, and very good striking. His strong frame allows him to muscle his way into underhooks and position to stop level changes from the clinch and his wrestling serves its purpose in top control to deliver some very good ground and pound and to help him graft his way out of some bad situations if need be. He doesn’t use it too much as a means of offense unless he smells that end is near for him or his opposition. Jack wants to keep his fights standing where he is more comfortable even tho he started with a wrestling foundation. His ability to neutralize takedowns with his wrestling is not the greatest but it is serviceable and he will need all of it to stop the very crafty grappler in Meerschaert from getting this fight to his space. Gm is a very well established KickBoxer under Duke Roufus but it is clear that his submission game is where it’s at. In 28 wins, 20 of them have been by way of submission and only 6 by KO. in 9 losses he has only been KO’d 1 time and has been submitted 7. Both men may have an issue finishing each other in their projected strong suit, especially since Jack has only been submitted 2 times in 21 fights. Unlike GM, Jack has 11 wins by KO and only 3 by way of submission. His is a fight that will really depend truly on who gets what and for how long. I just think Jack Hermannson is going to bring the high measuring stick here and I am not sure GM will be able to reach that level of will as the fight gets deeper and deeper. I like this matchup for many reasons but I just like it for The Joker a little more.
The Pick: Hermannson
D. Ige 8500 vs Griffin 7700
Jordan Griffin is one of those fighters that has potential under the correct watchful eyes. The things that I like about him… He is very patient and he will not utilize too much wasted energy in his approach and that he is very very relaxed when put into bad situations. Many times a fighter is put in a bad situation and will panic. What this does is allow you to basically just forget all that you understand and not follow the proper advancements to escape, so you basically just start fighting out of desperation and panic. Griffin was put into a very bad situation in his Contender Series fight where his neck was sunk in pretty deep and it looked like it could be the end. He relaxed his breathing, didn’t panic, and waited for his moment to really just transition out of it. I actually found that extremely impressive from a guy to have that much poise with so much on the line. My two biggest issues that I did see with him is that he really tends to reach when he strikes. He pushes forward and completely leaves himself exposed for solid counter striking when you over reach on your strikes you will leave a certain parameter open to be met somewhere on the centerline. I also was not thrilled with his hip entry. He seems to either shoot from too far out or just not explode deep enough to have a solid wrap when he is in. If that was Ige stuffing that shot then I would be fairly confident that I’ve would have finished that fight. Ige is 9-2 with 4 by way of submission and 3 by way of KO. The black belt in Bjj and the Brown belt in judo will welcome a ground fight if that is what you really want. In Griffins 17 wins, 8 of them have been by way of submission and 4 of them by way of KO. Both men are very comfortable with a ground fight but I just think Ige is more seasoned at a higher level and although he has no glaring bright spots, he also doesn’t have many glaring low spots either. I think the consistency and the more polished fighter tends to prevail in this spot. It really should be a game of mistakes here and who can jump on the first big ole made. I think Ige is the safer bet here to be a tad sharper everywhere.
The Pick: Ige
Milstead 8700 vs Rodriguez 7500
These type of fights really get a little hairy because both men really are highly unproven and have serious holes in their games. So when you get these types of fights you wonder how and why one man is favored much more then the other. Milstead had 2 tough losses against 2 high pedigree wrestlers in the division in Curtis Blaydes in which was overturned to a no contest and Jordan Johnson in which he lost a split decision. I would dare to say that he is undersized a bit and being a solid wrestler. He tends to like to stand and bang. Probably not the greatest idea when you are fighting a tall southpaw striker like Rodríguez. Rod has a very long and dynamic striking prowess that can be sneaky if you aren’t aware of your surroundings. In all his 9 wins, 7 have been by way of KO and 2 by way of submission. In his loses he has never been KOd. He was submitted 1 time and went to a decision 2 times. This is a more dangerous fight for Milstead I think however, when a mans back is against the wall it is hard to look away. He is in the final fight of his contract and a loss will most likely mean his release. He is starving for a win and I think if he was smart he would lean heavily on his wrestling in which Rod has shown clear holes in defending the takedown. I would probably think that Milstead would try and take more chances if his contract wasn’t up but understanding that a loss will send him home I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t be smart enough to anon his strength which is Rods weakness. I’m going to roll the dice on Milstead here. Even tho he is a favorite, when 2 guys are this raw, it’s always a roll of the dice.
The Pick: Milstead
Cummings 9100 vs Smith 7100
Cummings disappointed me a bit in the last outing against Prazeres. However, after watching that fight again and really thinking about it. Prazeres is a really tough riddle to solve especially if you are a grappling heavy fighter. He is short, compact, and he also is extremely high pedigreed when it comes to grappling himself. So I’m all actuality this was just a bad matchup for him all the way around and you can see that he was really having trouble solving the riddle the entire fight. With that’s said, Cummings is a tough fighter with a lot of good credentials inside the cage. He is without a doubt much more well versed on the ground with 11 of his 21 wins coming by way of Submission but still hold 5 by way of KO. He has only been stopped inside the horn 2 times by way of submission which dates back to 2009 and 2014 by the hands of Tim Kennedy and Renzo Gracie Black Belt Gunnar Nelson. He will take on Trevor Smith who in his own right has a decent grappling background with wrestling and a tight little submission game himself with 9 of his 15 wins by way of submission. In his loses he has proven to be a bit chinny with 4 of them coming by way of KO and 1 by way of submission inside the horn. The thing that really jumped out on me here is the non ability to really compact any power in his punches. With only one KO to his merit, he will need to really out work Cummings in volume or out grapple him on the ground. There is a slight chance that he can out volume Cummings if he comes in flat, however, he will not submit cal Cummings and knowing that his paths are limited, it’s hard to go against Cummings here that can really finish it whereever it goes.
The Pick: Zak Cummings
Adams 9500 vs De La Rocha 6700
De La Rocha is a guy that I respect as a fighter for the mere fact that he is a fighter. However, he isn’t a full time fighter and that is always a concern. He has shown heart, some decent things inside of the cage but at the end of the day, he is what he is. An Ok fighter that will most likely never progress any further and I think he understands that. He will ride this out for as long as he can and then fall back to his normal life. However, when you are fighting young guys that are hungry for bread then you know they are training much harder and their minds are aligned a title differently. Besides, at 39 years of age how far is he really going these days. He will be taking on what could possibly be his last hoorah if he loses in the cage against young and hungry Adams. The 4-0 prospect is extremely raw but genetically built like a freak. At 6’5 265 he will not wow you with freakish veins and vascularity like Borrachina or Yoel, but he just has that powerful looking frame and at 28 years of age you wonder what he will look like if he starts to ad to his overall game. Like all new fighters with quick finishes like Adams, you tend to wonder how he will fair outside of the 1st round considering all 4 fights have been KO’s inside the 1st round. At his siZe and never being into the deep waters, there will always be a concern on how long he can last before hitting a wall. I think he passes the test here and takes his first swim in the UFC Victory pool in his debut.
The Pick: Adams
- Kevin Lee 9000
In a 5 round fight Kevin Lee will have his opportunities to hit his value. The takedowns, the transitions, the speed, and the overall getting to the spots quicker. However, that 9k price tag is a bit high for me against a real tough kid in Al. Al is not going to make things easy here and does have the power to hurt Lee like we have seen him rocked before. I will have some shares of Lee here with the expectations of this going the full 25 minutes, but 9k is pulling my shares back a smidge here.
- Al Iaquinta 7200
7200 is a very tempting punt for such a tough kid that went 5 rounds on short notice with Khabib. You are not throwing Al on the table at 7200 in a 5 rounder and I am going to have my shares. I will have my punts on him and so should you. He is never out of a fight and he showed that. He may get outclassed for 5 rounds, but getting rid of him isnt easy.
- Dan Hooker 8200 / Edson Barboza 8000
You must play this both ways. Both of these guys have the pedigree to finish each other off when all cylinders are firing properly. I am going to have more of Barboza then hooker but if you play this fight I suggest hedging a bit. It is a targetable fight at this price tho.
- Rob Font 8400
At 8400 the threat of him getting KO’d is not too concerning for me. He is bigger and stronger than Sergio and Sergio just doesn’t throw with enough heat. He can get out pointed here but the upside is here for him if he can walk through the line in the sand and make Sergio taste his power. I will have some shares on Rob Font.
- Sergio 7800
He is slick on the feet and he does have crisp striking. However, I dont want a decision on my lineup if I can help it and even tho in a decision win he may cover his value, I am willing to fade him here.
- Charles Oliveira 8900
If you are rostering him, them you are rostering him with the hopes of a finish within the first 2 rounds. As the rounds get deeper, things can get a bit hairy in this fight. I would consider him a boom or bust play at 8900 dollars. He can very well Submit jim here and cover his value quite nicely so I can see if you decide to ride with him, but for me, I think my exposure will be minimal, and its probably due to his moderate to low ownership that I am expecting.
- Jim MIller 7300
Jim Miller seems to have a small resurgence and even tho he is not what he was in the past, there still might be some fight left in this dog. The thing with Miller is that he will grind you if you let him and if he can Grind Charles to a certain point, then you may see Charles start to wilt. It is a dangerous play here but it is a play that I wouldn’t be shocked at all if it pays off. At 7300, I have seen much much worse punts.
- D. Grant 9400
This dude is raw… I mean really raw. He has very good power, but his striking is a bit sloppy. 9400 is a huge price tag to pay for a guy that really hasn’t showed us all that much. The issue with staying away totally is that Ottow can be had if that chin is caught. So although I hate this price, I can’t argue with anyone wanting to take a stab here, but for me, I think I am going to pass here. That's a little too pricey for my taste.
- Zak Ottow 6800
Believe it or not, as chinny as Ottow can be, there are paths to victory here for him. I know its on short notice and I know that he is Chinny, but he does have decent chain wrestling and grappling and we have never seen Grant tested there. 6800 on a small flyer in a multiple Lineup setting? I don’t hate it. I don’t hate it at all.
- Andrea Lee 9200/J. Clark 7000
This fight is kind of a pass for me…. Lee is a bit too pricey for my liking and Clark really doesn’t do much for me outside of her being gritty.
- D. Klose 9300
Pricey…yes… Dangerous play…yes… However, he does put on a good pace and I think he will go low owned here. I am interested just because of him possibly being overlooked in this spot.
- Bobby Green 6900
You can do worse then Bobby Green. I don’t hate it, but the volume just isn’t there to be super excited here. However, he is the craftier vet and I wouldn’t sleep on him totally. I just have Klose winning this fight and thats what pulls me away a bit.
- J. Gordon 8600
Good price for him here. I think if he can stay safe and not go balls to the wall and get caught then he can have a good outing here. His pace will set the tone early and I am looking to get him in some of my lineups for sure.
- J. Silva 7600
If gordon gets sloppy then Neto's BJJ can surely secure something and make him pay for it, but I I think Gordon's pace may be a bit too much. He isn’t out of play here tho
- J Hermansson 8800
I like him in this spot. I think if he keeps this on his feet he can have a decent night. He will need to do just that tho. Stay off his back and make Meerschart stand with him
- G. Meerschaert 7400
He has the talent and he has the chops to get this done. His price stands to pay off big if he can somehow gift wrap the joker here. I don’t mind a small dose here but after seeing how the joker willed himself to victory in his last fight, I would not invest too much here.
- D. Ige 8500
I don't hate it and he may go overlooked a bit. The upside is there for him but he will have to put the peddle to the floor to pay off his price tag for us.
- Griffin 7700
He is crafty and calm but I think Ige just has a little more than him here. I can see this being a highly contested contest but I think he gets edged out here.
- Milstead 8700
He is pricey but his wrestling and takedowns could pay off late and down the stretch. He isnt a safe play by any means but I can see him being fairly low owned and for that reason a small dose isn’t going to kill my night if it doesn’t pan out.
- Rodriguez 7500
Outside of his striking, he really hasn’t showed me too much. Milstead is really tough and hard to put away. I can see many people jumping on him here, but I am going to stay away and hope he doesn’t get a highlight finish
- Cummings 9100
I like Cummings in this spot. I know he tends to be a bit up and down with his performances but I think he has decent upside here to get this done inside the horn.
- Smith 7100
I'm passing here.
- Adams 9500
This is a really dangerous play. I know this guy is huge and powerful but if he doesn’t get this done early then you have no idea what his gas tank is like late. This is a real boom or bust here. There is no reason why he can’t get the early finish here and I will take a stab in some spots with one eye closed, but this is a really risky play with moderate upside. I don’t mind you proceed lightly, but proceed with caution.
- De La Rocha 6700
There is nothing about this guy that I trust… I know he is fighting a very raw fighter and anything can happen at heavyweight, but I see much better punts out there.
Lee -350 (No Play)
I just don’t trust this line…
Over 2.5 rounds -120 (1.2 to win 1)
A nice pivot if you want action
Barboza +100 (1 to win 1)
He lasts the initial attack and he can run away with it late
Font -165 (1.65 to win 1)
He will need to walk through the point system of Pettis here and just make this dirty. If he stays out of a points battle and uses his size and power, he should win this fight.
Miller +270 (.5 to win 1.35… Why not…)
He is an old Crusty dog, but Charles is known to have serious brain lapses in the cage. The odds are stacked against him here but if he waits for the lapse, he is good enough to capitalize on it. Risky play, but worth a small taste, especially if your up
Over 1.5 (1.05 to win 1)
Jim is tough enough and his grappling is good enough to stay safe for 1.5 rounds.
Grant -275 (No Play)
To raw for me to take a swing…
Klose -240 (2.4 to win 1) also Parlay
Most likely will go yard, but the pace he puts on should give him the nod in the judges eyes
Lee -240 (No Play)
On a raw womens fight, -240 is a little risky here although I do like her to win
Gordon -155 (1.55 to win 1)
Good spot for Gordon at this price.. I think his pressure gets him the nod.
Hermansson -155 (1.55 to win 1)
He will need to really stay sharp and stay on the feet here. I think his range game and his defensive wrestling is good enough to take away Meerscharts greatest asset which is his submission game
Ige -175 (1.75 to win 1)
Ige is a little pricey here but he just seems to be a bit better everywhere
Milstead -135 (1.35 to win 1)
This will be set in stone early. If he wrestles, he wins. If he doesn’t he loses. I think he wrestles.
Cummings -310 (Parlay)
Pricey but good for a parlay
Adams -450 (No Play)
Not a chance I lay -450 on a raw heavyweight.
(1.5 unit to win 1.31)