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Trinaldo (-140) 3 units (W) +2.14 units
We really like Trinaldo in this spot. He's coming off a great performance against Alexander Hernandez back in July, losing an incredibly close decision as a +220 underdog, but many people thought that Trinaldo had won the fight. At 41 his age does not concern us yet. His matchup with Green is a tough one, but Green has been so inactive over the past 5 years, that we have to think he will not be as comfortable in the cage as Trinaldo, especially with this fight taking place in Brazil, Trinaldo's home country. Trinaldo by decision is the most likely outcome.
Turman (+110) 2 units (W) +2.2 units
Turman is somewhat of an unknown within the UFC ranks, as his lone fight with the organization is a close loss to Karl Roberson, who proved to be impressive in his performance last week in Moscow. Turman is well rounded, and has a very solid discipline and Fight IQ - moreso than that of his opponent. Perez is overrated, is not technically sound with his striking, has questionable cardio, and a Fight IQ that is less than desirable. These factors have pushed us to have a lean on Turman. Look for a win by decision, and Perez comes back down to earth.
Warlley Alves (-120) 4 units (L) -4 units
Alves is our heaviest lean on the card. We love this matchup against an inconsistent Brown who doesn't handle leg kicks very well. Alves won his last fight against Moraes as a direct result of punishing leg kicks. Brown was picked apart by Belal Muhammad using leg kick after leg kick. Brown has chicken legs that won't be able to withstand the punishment that Alves will be delivering. The leg kicks will cause Brown to slow down, rethink his game plan, and by that time it will be too late. Alves fighting on his home turf will also mentally effect Brown and his confidence. Look for Alves to win via unanimous decision, or a late fight stoppage.
Jan Blachowicz (-215/-170) 4 units (W) +2 units
Blachowicz has a jab from hell, is solid on the mat (bjj blackbelt), has improved cardio, and is in the prime of his career. Jacare is a legend of the sport, but he's on the back nine of his career, and has taken an awful lot of damage during his UFC career. Jacare is dangerous wherever the fight takes place, but Blachowicz high Fight IQ, size (6" reach advantage", and striking abilities will cause Jacare to wilt in the later rounds. This line has come back into a range that makes sense, so hop on it while it's under -200. You know what they say, once you go Blachowicz, you never go backowicz!
PROPS & PARLAYS
--> Rua/Craig <1.5 rounds (+100) 2 units
(L) -2 units
--> Ramos/Garragori <2.5 rounds (+140) 2.5 units
(W) +3.5 units
--> Trinaldo by decision (+150) 1.5 units
(W) +2.25 units
1) --> Rua/Craig does not go to decision
--> Oliveira/Gordon does not go to decision
2.5 units (about -120 combined)
(L) -2.5 units
2) --> Oliveira to win
--> Ramos to win
--> de Andrade to win
--> Rua/Craig <1.5 rnds
1.5 units (+347)
(L) -1.5 units
Our DraftKings Targets will be added by midday on Friday. Check back here for a list of fighters to target for both GPP and Cash game contests.
➜ Jan Blachowicz ($8,900) -175
W - 65.5 pts
Jan’s a solid play in any format this weekend. He’ll have a size advantage over Jacare who’s coming up in weight, so the clinch should favor Blachowicz, especially against the cage. It’s a 5 round fight, so his value increases, as there is a good chance this one gets into the 4th or 5th round, and maybe even a decision. Blachowicz is at the peak of career right now, and has been on an impressive run over the last few years. Jacare was once considered one of the best fighters in the world, but he’s 41 years old and he has some serious mileage on that body, and especially that chin. Blachowicz has a great jab, and I suspect he’ll use this weapon often to keep the distance with Jacare and frustrate him with a hand constantly in his face. Look for Blachowicz to score on the feet, win the clinch game, and eventually wear down Jacare to capture a TKO in the 4th or 5th round. At $8,900 he’s affordable with a pretty high ceiling. He needs to control the distance, and be defensively prepared when Jacare explodes with heavy strikes for 30 seconds at a time. I suspect Jacare’s cardio will fail him in the later rounds, he’ll head movement will settle to a dull roar, and Blachowicz will have a relatively easy time laying it on the Brazilian in front of his fans. Very good GPP and Cash option for $8,900, but he will be highly owned, so be prepared.
Blachowicz | TKO | 4th
➜ Ricardo Ramos ($9,200) -345
W - 108 pts
Ramos is one of the more expensive fighters on the card, but there is good reason for that. The kids a stud. He's got a great ground game that he hasn't showed off in the UFC yet, but he also has a flashy, yet effective striking game. He's quick, athletic, and has a HUGE experience advantage over his opponent, Eduardo Garagorri. He's the 2nd biggest favorite on the card at -345, and he also has one of the best Inside the Distance (ITD) lines at +160. Garagorri is a tough kid, but he hasn't fought near the competition level that Ramos has been competing at for a while. He'll be overwhelmed by the moment. The Brazilian crowd will play a factor, and Ramos will dominate this fight wherever it goes. The nice thing about Ramos is that he's a versatile DK scorer, as many of his fights are a combination of striking and grappling. In all of his UFC victories he has scored via multiple offensive categories (striking, takedowns, sweeps, passes, etc...), and typically in 3+ categories. I don't think this fight will be any different. Ramos will be able to dictate where this fight takes place, and he's superior to Garagorri in all facets of this game. He's worth the investment, as he'll most likely score 90+ points, especially knowing that the UFC would like to build him up, and there is no better place to do that than in the jungles of Brazil!
Ramos | Submission | 2nd
➜ Shogun Rua ($9,300) -280
Draw - 20.5 pts
You just can't kill Shogun Rua! The guys a machine! A legend! He's fought the most dangerous men on the planet for the better part of 15 years, and he's still here, winning fights. He's got an awesome ITD line at -140, so Vegas thinks there's a good chance this one ends before the final bell. And I agree. Shogun is my 3rd Top Tier pick for the explosive shock factor that this fight should deliver. We're looking for a KO 3+ minutes into round 1, setting up a juicy 115+ point night for the high-end Rua. Craig is very chinny and has been KO'ed before, and I don't think this fight will end any differently. Shogun has power in his hands, and once he gets Craig backed against the fence, he'll land a few hooks in secession, and put Craig to bed. The only chance that Craig has of pulling an upset is by clipping Shogun, who's chin has proven to not be what it used to be, getting rocked much easier than he had during his prime. It's a natural occurrence (i.e. Chuck Lidell), and hopefully it doesn't get tested by Craig in this contest. Craig isn't much of a striker, but anyone can get lucky - this is MMA. I'll be a mediocre buyer of Shogun in my GPP lineups, as I do anticipate him to be highly owned, not only because of his ITD line, but because of his name recognition as well. I wouldn't put Shogun in many cash lineups, because if he does end up losing to Craig it will probably be in the 1st round, not allowing him an opportunity to rack up many points. Shogun's heavy hands, experience, and home court advantage will allow him to impressively take out Craig for a 110-120 point night
Shogun | KO | 1st
➜ Others To Consider: Charles Oliveira ($9,400), Douglas de Andrade ($9,100)
$7,800 - $8,500
➜ Warlley Alves ($8,300) -130
L - 25.5 pts
There isn't a ton of options in the mid-tier on this card. The top end is stacked with plenty of options (hence the 5 fighters I mentioned above), so we need to construct our lineups around a few top end fighters that we like. This usually means you need to find a good value in the mid-tier, and that's what we have here with Warlley Alves. The Brazilian is coming off an impressive win over Moraes, leg-kicking him to death, and KO'ing him in the 3rd. Moraes gets a great matchup here in Randy Brown, someone who doesn't handle leg kicks very well. Brown isn't built to handle punishment on his lower half, and I suspect that Alves will look to establish heavy low-kicks early on in the fight. If he's successful at attacking Brown's legs, then it will greatly impact Brown's best attribute - his boxing. Alves is a solid play in GPP's, but I wouldn't expect a 100+ point night from him. He'll more than likely be in the 85-95 point range with a late round win. He's got a pretty high floor also, so he's a pretty solid play in Cash games as wells. The Brazilian crowd carries Alves to a dominant late round stoppage, or decision.
Alves | Decision | Unanimous
Ownership: Avg - High
➜ Andre Muniz ($8,200) -120
W - 62 pts
Muniz is making his UFC debut, but found his way to the big show through Dana White's Contender Series, as did his opponent. Muniz has a very good ground game, and will look to get this one to the ground and submit his foe. Antonio Arroyo is an explosive kicker, and may very well KO Muniz, but he tires once the fights hits the 2nd round. Muniz will need to avoid the big kicks, work for the clinch, and get the fight to the mat. This will be easier to do once the fight hits the 2nd round. I'd be very surprised if this fight makes it past the 2nd round, and ultimately we'll see Muniz with his hand raised due to a submission victory. Muniz won't be very highly owned, so he's a good play in GPP's if you need to balance out your roster. His ceiling is somewhat limited, but he could score 100+ points if he can tie up Arroyo early, but I wouldn't expect it. His floor is pretty low due to the fact that his opponent has explosive, fight-ending power, and I wouldn't expect Muniz to rack up too many points on the feet.
Muniz | Submission | 2nd
Ownership: Low - Avg
➜ Others To Consider: Francisco Trinaldo ($8,400)
➜ Ariane Lipski ($7,700) -265
W - 66.5 pts
Okay, this is a weird one. Lipski's initial opponent, Veronica Macedo, was someone we were really high on, and would have had a significant play on. Lipski was uber-hyped coming into the UFC just 10 months ago, but poor performances against Joanne Calderwood and Molly McCann has put Lipski on ice, and if she doesn't win this fight, there's a good chance her UFC career will be over within a year. Lipski has crisp, solid boxing, but she lacks any sort of defense. She has minimal head movement, and doesn't angle off to avoid taking damage. Based on watching some her previous fights, and then analyzing Macedo, it was determined that Macedo was a strong play. Well, so much for that, because Macedo pulled out on Thursday, 2 days before fight night. Somehow the UFC was able to pull a rabbit out of their hat, and was able to find a replacement on one days notice. Enter Isabella de Padua. A 5-1 Brazilian who'll be fighting for the 6th time in the last year. She's fought very low level competition, so it's hard to tell what she'll bring to the table against Lipski. I really don't like either fighter here, but both are in play, and here's why. Lipski was priced at $7,700 on DraftKings when her opponent was Macedo. Once Macedo backed out, we figured that DK would either pull Lipski from their rosterable fighters, or possibly just leave her new opponent, de Padua, off the roster. DK ended up adding the unknown de Padua at $6,700, meaning that in DK's eyes, that Lipski should be priced around $9,400 or $9,500. DK kept Lipski's salary at the original $7,700, and this created a bargain basement deal! Unfortunately, I really hate Lipski's game and wouldn't want any part of her, but there's just too much value here to leave on the table. Lipski becomes even more important to your lineups once you see the pricing of the fighters we want on our rosters. The top-tier is super stacked on this card. With Oliveira, Rua, Blachowicz, Ramos, and de Andrade all rosterable, but also very expensive. Lipski gives you a slight salary relief on a card where there is hard to find any value in the middle or low tiers. Grin and bear it - it's the right thing to do. She'll be incredibly highly owned in combination with Oliveira on moany GPP rosters, so if you want to go contrarian, then fading Lipski might be the way to go.
Lipski | Decision | Unanimous
Ownership: Stupidly high
➜ Wellington Turman ($7,600) +100
W - 67 pts
Again, there aren't many solid salary saver options on this card, so we need to get creative with trying to fit in those top end talents that will score big on this card. The man with the coolest name on the card, Wellington, is making his second appearance in the UFC's Octagon, losing a close decision to the tough Karl Roberson. Turman has a clinch heavy game and is solid on the ground. Perex has some hype behind him, but he hasn't beat the best competition, and he hasn't looked overly impressive either. He has a wild style that seems to sap his energy as the fight grows longer. Turman is a more disciplined, measured fighter, and I think this pays dividends in the later rounds, and allowing him to control the fight in the 2nd and 3rd round, most likely winning by decision. Do I love Turman's upside? No. Does he have a very good chance of picking up a victory for $7,600? Yes. And ultimately we are trying to put together 6 wins on our GPP lineups, and Turman saves us some salary and gives us a good shot at victory. He's a risky play, but we don't think he'll be highly owned, with the upside of a possible victory.
Turman | Decision | Split
➜ Sergio Moraes ($7,200) +175
L - 28.5 pts
This is the target that I am most torn over on this card. Moraes has a very tough matchup with James Krause. Moraes is getting older and showing signs of slowing down. Moraes has one path to victory; get the fight to the mat and submit Krause. This will be a difficult task, as Krause is a solid BJJer himself. If Moraes can't get Krause to the mat, it will be a long night for the Brazilian. This is a contrarian play that I wouldn't include in more than 25-30% of your GPP lineups. If he does get the fight to ground, then there is a good chance he submits Krause and walks away with a huge victory. I don't think it's likely, but Moraes will be a low owned flyer in a few of our lineups. It's a gamble, but that's what we are, gamblers.
Moraes | Submission | 2nd
➜ Others To Consider: Isabella de Padua ($6,700)