Merab Dvalishvili owns a 3-2 UFC record but posted 70+ fantasy points in each of those five fights. He posted 5+ takedowns in each of his UFC fights, including 12 takedowns in his last fight. He’s a non-stop action fight, who comes with elite takedown potential whenever he steps into the octagon. Dvalishvili scored 131 fantasy points in a decision win in his last fight, and he’ll see easier competition this weekend.
Dvalishvili was originally scheduled to fight Ray Borg, but the latter has since dropped out of this fight. Instead, Dvalishvili will take on Gustavo Lopez, who will be making his UFC debut. Lopez has finished 10 of his 11 wins but was knocked out in the first round in his against Andre Ewell, who has since made his way to the UFC.
Dvalishvili is currently a -1000 favorite in this fight. He doesn’t offer much finishing potential but has consistently looked elite in decision wins. He would’ve scored 90+ fantasy points in all of his UFC fights (assuming he picked up the win), and he boasts tremendous upside. Dvalishvili will dominate Lopez for 15 minutes this weekend. He’s the safest option on the slate and can be used in all leagues.
Tyson Nam has struggled in the UFC, recording an 0-2 record thus far. Still, losses to Kai Kara-France and Sergio Pettis are far from disappointing losses. He’s a powerful striker but lacks volume. He hasn’t flashed grappling potential in the UFC but this will likely the fight that he shows off any grappling upside he has. Similarly to Dvalishvili, Nam will face off against a late replacement opponent.
Nam was originally a small underdog against Ryan Benoit but his odds have shifted against his new opponent, Zarrukh Adashev. Adashev is an outstanding kickboxer, possessing a career 16-3 record. He’s only 3-1 in professional MMA. Adashev lost his MMA debut before winning three fights in Bellator. Those fights were against sub-par competition, to say the least.
Nam is priced as a small underdog, but he’s a -125 favorite. This won’t be an easy fight, but Nam will be far and away the best fighter Adashev has faced in his MMA career. If Nam utilizes his grappling to control the kickboxer, he should have a clear path to victory. The risk is that Nam hasn’t used his grappling in the UFC and he isn’t likely to win a 15-minute striking battle. Still, the odds value is enough to consider Nam this weekend.
Cynthia Calvillo will be making her flyweight debut in the UFC after missing weight on multiple occasions. She found plenty of success early in her career, relying heavily on her wrestling and grappling. Calvillo is outstanding at taking the back once getting her opponents to the ground. She’s an active striker on the feet when she can’t get takedowns, as well. Ultimately, Calvillo will be looking to turn this fight into a grappling match.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Jessica Eye, but she is 4-1 since moving back to flyweight. She relies heavily on her striking, and she’s coming off of a 98 significant strike performance against Viviane Araujo. Eye will have the clear power advantage, but she’ll need to keep this fight standing if she wants to have the edge.
It’s a bit odd that Calvillo is the underdog, although it’s even depending on what book you’re using. Calvillo should have a distinct edge if she can get this fight to the ground. That’s a big if, though, as she’s moving up a weight class. If she can’t, Eye should have an edge, but it’s reasonable to believe Calvillo could show enough volume to steal a decision. In a fight that’s likely to go five rounds, I’ll side with the fighter that has more routes to victory.