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UFC 272

Main Event

Colby Covington vs Jorge Masvidal


These guys are a combined 0-4 vs Kamaru Usman. Covington is 1-2 over his last 3, with the win over Woodley sandwiched in between the 2 Usman L’s. Jorge’s last win was vs Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in 2019. Covington is recently coming off of fighting for the title, so this fight is a bit more important than it is for Jorge, because I’m sure he’ll get another shot with a few consecutive wins after Leon Edwards gets his shot. But let’s look at this matchup, it’s honestly wrestler/grappler vs striker, although Covington doesn’t mind the long periods of standup if needed. In his most recent bout he had no choice, Usman stuffed all 11 of his official TD attempts. Jorge won’t provide THAT much resistance. Jorge wants fights to get dirty, that gives him his best chance, he’s a volume technical striker that has ‘ok’ power. This being 5 rounds, you never know, I just don’t know what he offers outside of an unforeseen highlight KO that won’t end in him losing this unanimously. Covington will employ a relentless wrestle style approach, shooting for TDs and dishing out heavy shots on the ground until Jorge can find his way back up. I think this’ll be very interesting for the first 2 RDs, and then Covington should start to separate himself on the cards after about the 15min mark. His cardio is much more elite than Jorge’s. And let’s be honest, Covington has gone 10 RDs with one of the hardest punchers in Welterweight history in Usman, so durability isn’t an issue. On both sites, Jorge’s floor is low, and his ceiling is minimal IMO because I don’t think he gets a KO. Covington’s approach is much better served on DK in this stylistic matchup, I don’t think he’ll quite payoff his price tag on FD. The pick is for Covington to take this via unanimous decision.

PICK: Colby Covington $23 FD ($9400 DK)

Jorge Masvidal $12 FD ($6800 DK)

Co Main Event

Rafael Dos Anjos vs Renato Moicano


Really thought we wouldn’t see RDA on this card after Fiziev fell out. Instead, Moicano steps up after just fighting a little more than a week ago coming off of an impressive win over Alexander Hernández. RDA was a pretty sizable underdog vs Fiziev, so his price on DK was slotted at $7300, when they added Moicano, his price is indicative of the new line, which puts him as the underdog now, so you get a fight I feel will be in optimal LU most certainly now with Moicano only being $7200. FD is much more patient with adding contest now, and do it on Thursday’s the week of, so this fight is correctly priced there. Let’s look at the matchup though, styles make matchups, but this one is pretty even as far as what each guy thrives on. Moicano is a volume striker when it’s on the feet, but is very well versed on the ground when it gets there, and hunts for submissions. RDA, won’t throw as much volume on the feet, but is a bit more technical than Moicano, and will throw nice counters. He’ll give up 2 inches in height and reach, but that won’t phase him too much. In his last bout vs Paul Felder, he shot for TWENTY TWO TDs (only landing 6), but the plan was there, and was simple, close distance and work a heavy grappling approach. That’ll be the same here, and with this fight being 5 RDs, it gives both guys an opportunity to have their moments. But if you ask me, the longer this fight goes, the more it favors RDA. RDA will be a bit more offensive on the mat as far as throwing strikes are concerned, vs Moicano will look to get position for a submission. No matter where you land on this fight, I think winner is in optimal on DK, FD depends on SS numbers and total TDs etc, RDA figures to be better suited there.  The pick is RDA via decision. Should be a really close fight.

PICK: RDA $18 FD ($7300 DK)

Renato Moicano $13 ($7200 DK)

Bryce Mitchell vs Edson Barboza


This is a very interesting matchup, and personally can’t wait to see it. Mitchell is young in his UFC career, but has surged into the Top 15 after starting off 5-0. He gets a huge test vs Barboza here. Barboza is in the back half of his career, but he’s shown to still have what it takes to compete at a high level, especially with the strategic move to come down a weight class to probably finish out his career. Barboza features elite kickboxing skills, and throws some of the hardest kicks you’ll see, especially in the division. He tries to beat that lead leg up to neutralize what his opponents want to do. However, that’s generally vs fighters who have a similar approach and look to use kickboxing as a means for most of their offense. He now gets matched with a heavy oriented wrestler/grappler who wants to close distance and get this to the mat and hunt for submissions, and his cardio allows him to do it for 15mins. Barboza hasn’t faced many like this recently, at least since his bout with Kevin Lee, and in that bout Lee landed 4 of 9 total attempts a few years ago. Mitchell lands 3.26 TDs per 15mins (, while on the flip side, Barboza defends the TD at a 78% clip, but again, that number is skewed, because most of Barboza’s opponents aren’t shooting for TDs with regularity. If somehow, Barboza is able to keep this fight standing for 7+ mins, he has a chance, he has crisp technical striking with good power, and he could definitely fluster Mitchell. And if I had confidence that he’d for sure keep it standing, I’d take him by a mile, but I don’t think he can. Like I’ve often said, styles make matchups, and this just isn’t a good stylistic matchup for Barboza. I think Mitchell will drown him with TDs over the course of 15mins, and probably land somewhere between 5-6 of them. He could very well find a sub too, especially if Barboza starts to gas down the stretch. But I’ll be conservative and say Mitchell gets it done by decision. Another fight I think shows up in optimal on DK at least due to pricing.

PICK: Bryce Mitchell $18 FD ($8300 DK)

Edson Barboza $13 FD ($7900 DK)

Kevin Holland vs Alex Oliveira


I’m not sure if this is a long term decision or not, but Holland makes the cut down to Welterweight for this bout and looked as though the weight cut wasn’t an issue. There was some strength issues with the stronger grapplers in Middleweight, so I figure he’ll have much better chances in this weight class. And ironically enough, his first bout at Welterweight is against a guy who leans heavily on his grappling/wrestling to find success. Holland will have a 5 inch reach in both height and reach, so that will help. Oliveira’s TD accuracy isn’t the best either, he averages 2.26 per 15 mins (, but only at a 37% accuracy. Holland defends at 50%, and that was mainly Middleweight. So I don’t think he’ll have much issue there, at the least he should be able to get back up. We have seen the striking power translates on the mat though, as he basically got a KO vs Ronaldo Souza off of his back. Holland’s striking is beautiful when he puts it together and his striking defense is pretty good too, he only absorbs 2.34/per min while dishing 3.67/min, that isn’t an astronomical number, but he makes them count. On the flip, Oliveira dishes at a 2.97/per min clip, and absorbs 2.38 ( Plainly put, if this is a standup fight, Holland will runaway with this, Oliveira’s clear path to victory is keeping Holland grounded, and I don’t have confidence that he can. The pick is Holland via 2nd RD TKO/KO.

PICK: Kevin Holland $21 FD ($9100 DK)

Alex Oliveira $9 FD ($7100 DK)

Sergey Spivak vs Greg Hardy


Hardy is dangerous for about 90 seconds of a fight most times, if he hasn’t won by then, it generally goes south. He had Tai Tuivasa on the ropes before Tuivasa landed a beautiful counter that caught him on the chin and put him down. Hardy throws hard combos, and his intent is to end the fight as fast as he can. Spivak’s approach is a bit different, he doesn’t have that general heavy stopping power you’d like to see for a heavyweight, but what he does have his patience, and a knack for being a good technical striker, and one thing he has to fall back on is his use of wrestling, he averages 2.72 per 15mins (, that’s insane for a heavyweight. As I mentioned, Hardy’s window seems to be early in the 1st RD, 90sec-2mins or so, if he hasn’t gotten a KO by then, it’s probably not a good thing. I see Spivak being able to implement TDs and begin to wear down on him. I see a 2nd RD stoppage via ground and pound or sub.

PICK: Sergey Spivak $19 FD ($8700 DK)

Greg Hardy $11 FD ($7500 DK)

Jalin Turner vs Jamie Mullarkey


This is another crucial matchup to get right in terms of being in optimal LU I feel like, and the pricing for them on both sites is great. Turner is surprisingly coming off of back to back submission wins, but 3 straight finishes over his last 3. Mullarkey is coming off of back to back TKO/KO wins himself, so this should be fireworks. Turner will be the slightly longer fighter, he’ll have 2 inches in height and a 3 inch reach advantage, which should help keep distance. However, Mullarkey’s approach to this fight won’t be to stand and trade on the feet, he’ll need to get it to the mat and work his wrestling, he averages 3.5 TDs/per 15 mins ( Because on the feet, Turner lands 6.2 SS/min vs Mullarkeys 3.03 SS/min, and that’s obviously due to the dedication Mullarkey has with his ground gm. Both fighters cardio shouldn’t be an issue, so if this goes the distance, it’ll likely be determined by how long Mullarkey was able to have ground control. He has power in his hands too, so I’m not discounting that at all. Turners TDEF is 78%, so it’s pretty good, and he should have the overall strength advantage. When on the feet, Turner presses the issue well, so if he’s able to keep it standing, he should win most all striking exchanges. I don’t see how this fight sees the final horn, both guys have a knack for finding the finish. I’ve got Turner via 2nd KO/TKO. Although sub is obviously not out of the realm of possibility with him. Would definitely want shares of Mullarkey in this one too.

PICK: Jalin Turner $17 FD ($8200 DK)

Jamie Mullarkey $15 FD ($8000 DK)

Marina Rodriguez vs Yan Xiaonan

Women’s Strawweight

I think like most people, I’m 100% confused why this isn’t on main card, if this was Co Main on this card I don’t think anyone would’ve batted an eye, I digress. Let’s look at this matchup, it is a strikers delight, and I know Yan is very happy she likely won’t have to deal with any TD attempts from Rodriguez, Esparza exposed her badly last time out. Esparza has beaten both women in this matchup. Both women throw strikes at a high clip, Yan throws 5.95 SS/m and Rodriguez throws 5.05 SS/m. The one glaring difference is the power, Rodriguez has really crisp technical striking and she lands with more impact, I think that’s what will make the difference in this matchup. Yan may lead by 40-50 or so total strikes by the end of it, but the damage that’ll be caused by Rodriguez will be more impactful I feel from a judging perspective. IMO, the line on this fight is much wider than it should be. It 100% could be a split decision type of fight, and over the last few cards we’ve seen some terrible decisions. Yan is someone I’m interested in if doing mass LUs, her output could be enough to score decently even in a loss. That being said, I think Rodriguez wins via decision, but will be close.

PICK: Marina Rodriguez $21 FD ($9300 DK)

Yan Xiaonan $9 FD ($6900 DK)

Nicolae Negumereanu vs Kennedy Nzechukwu

Light Heavyweight

This one is a near coin flip. Both guys young in their UFC careers, Nzechukwu sits 3-2, while Negumereanu is 2-1. Nzechukwu is coming off of a humbling experience this past November vs Da Un Jung and is looking to bounce back. His previous 2 KO victories saw him stay poised enough to find his opportunities to take over. Negumereanu is looking to make it 3 straight, after his most recent outing saw him finish Ike Villanueva in short order. Nicolae marches forward with reckless abandon at times, not caring about getting hit in return, his striking defense is 29% (, that’s not ideal. Whereas Nzechukwu’s is basically 50%, he has a knack for shelling up, and when he does that, he blocks a lot of the big damage. Nzechukwu has impressive output too as far as LHW’s are concerned. He dishes out 4.86 SS/LPM, while Negumereanu is just shy of 3 at 2.97 SS/LPM. This is rightfully a near coin flip matchup, but Nzechukwu seems more fit to miss being hit with the more impactful shots during exchanges. Negumereanu is pretty tough, so it could go to the cards, but  Nzechukwu’s output has a chance to see great numbers as a result. I’ve got Nzechukwu via decision.

PICK: Kennedy Nzechukwu $16 FD ($8400 DK)

Nicolae Negumereanu $16 FD ($7800 DK)

Mariya Agapova vs  Maryna Moroz

Women’s Flyweight

This should be a fun scrap, this is Moroz’s first fight in nearly 2yrs, her last bout came vs Mayra Bueno Silva where she took a decision win. Given the matchup, she can be an extremely effective volume striker, but that generally comes as a result of her leading the dance and pressuring constantly. Agapova’s last outing was a mystery as far as how she’d perform, her previous outing vs Shana Dobson saw her aggression lead to her gassing badly and getting finished. Which was frustrating, because she clearly has tools that could see her go far in the division. It was clear what her coaches went back and worked on, and that was to maintain that aggression, which she did beautifully against Sabina Mazo. Mazo had moments where she pressured well and controlled the cage, but Agapova countered wonderfully most of the night, and had the more impactful shots. In the 3rd RD she clipped her and it put her down, shortly after taking the back before finding the submission. This should be a similar style kickboxing match, as both women average less than 1 TD landed per 15mins. I’m not sure she can finish someone as tough as Moroz, but should be able to have the volume/impact it takes to win on the judges scorecards. I think a unanimous decision win is in order here.

PICK: Mariya Agapova $19 FD ($8800 DK)

Maryna Moroz $11 FD ($7400 DK)

Umar Nurmagomedov vs Brian Kelleher


Nurmagomedov is a younger cousin of Khabib. He’s looking to make a name for hisself, as he sits 13-0 professionally, and 1-0 to start his UFC career. He’s extremely well rounded, but leans heavily on; you guessed it, his wrestling. Per 15mins, he averages an insane 8.67 TDs. And his striking isn’t to be overlooked, he lands at a decent clip there considering the amount of volume he has with TDs. His SSLMP is just under 3 at 2.89 SS, he uses his striking to help set things up in terms of closing the distance and getting to his dominant wrestling. Kelleher is a vet, and has had mixed results, but when he puts it altogether he’s a dangerous fighter with 1 shot ending power in his hands. He fights in a lower stance, which helps produce the massive power he can throw with sometimes cause it’s all coming from his legs. At times though, he can start slow offensively, and against a guy like Umar, you don’t want to do that. Umar throws really nice kicks to all parts of the body and moves really well Omni his feet. It’ll have to be a flawless performance from Kelleher to steal this one. Seems like a lot of ground control time will be had for him, which will give Umar ample time to find a finish. It’s always tough to gauge when it’ll happen, but I expect Umar to finish this ITD within the first 2 RDs.

PICK: Umar Nurmagomedov $22 FD ($9600 DK)

Brian Kelleher $8 FD ($6600 DK)

Tagir Ulbanbekov vs Tim Elliot


Maybe I watched a different Tagir in his debut, but I wasn’t impressed at all, and I’m not quite sure why he’s as big of a fav as he is here. Tim Elliot is a scrappy veteran who’s faced extremely tough competition throughout his time. Tagir is crafty on the mat, but never really threatened Nascimento in the debut, and Elliot is bigger from a physical standpoint. Elliot will give up about 4 inches in reach, but I don’t expect this fight to be standing for so long that it truly matters. Could see this fight being grounded for 10mins and if Elliot can get top control, he may be able to get quality control time on the mat. I give Elliott the slight edge in striking, both in technicality and power.  Both guys come in averaging greater than 3 TDs per 15mins too, Elliot sits at 3.79 (45% accuracy), and Tagir is at 4.5 (56% accuracy). The TDEF is near even, Elliott (56%), Tagir (55%). So this fight is CLOSE on paper, and I’m betting it is when it’s actually time to throw down. There’s a need for underdogs in the DFS world, and I’m taking a chance that Elliot can spring the upset via split decision. Not touching this fight on FD just due to the nature of the matchup, but DK this matchup is delightful because of points earned from ground control/TDs/and reversals/sweeps. The pick is for Elliot to get it done via decision.

PICK: Tim Elliot $10 FD ($7200 DK)

Tagir Ulbanbekov $20 FD ($9000 DK)

Devonte Smith vs Ludovit Klein


There are several just absolutely brutal fights to pick an outright winner from and this is another. All 5 of Smith’s UFC bouts have come via ITD, so the kid has a knack for excitement. His original opponent fell through, and so insert Klein on short notice. Klein started his UFC career off with a bang, scoring a big head kick KO, but subsequently followed it up with a decision loss to Mike Trizano, then got submitted by Nate Landwehr in October. So he’s looking to bounce back. He has the tools to be successful, he just seemed a bit too gun shy his last couple times out. Smith is definitely the more active between the two on the feet, he dishes out 5.1 SS/LPM vs 3.35 SS/LPM for Klein. Smith is going to pressure well early, utilizing his kickboxing to set things up with his striking, he looks to get Klein’s back to the cage where he can really go to work. Based on numbers too, Smith absorbs slightly less damage. Klein has great kickboxing, and can mix targets when it comes to that part of his game. The head kick KO seemed a bit surprising to his opponent vs something that was unavoidable, I figure Smith will be aware and avoid any huge damage from that. I could 100% see s scenario where both guys are pretty timid and content with a boring striking duel, in which case it favors Smith. But as mentioned, Smith doesn’t know a boring UFC fight, and I see this ending ITD one way or the other. Give me Smith via 3rd RD finish.

PICK: Devonte Smith $17 FD ($8500 DK)

Ludovit Klein $14 FD ($7700 DK)

Dustin Jacoby vs Michal Oleksiejczuk

Light Heavyweight

Really fun scrap to open the card. Jacoby looking to make it 3 in a row, after a striking clinic over John Allan last November and finishing Darren Stewart in RD 1 before that. He’s put things together here recently, and is 3-0-1 over his last 4. He’s a really good kickboxer, and will definitely utilize that part of his game here vs a boxer like Michal. Michal is looking to win a 3rd straight fight himself, after an impressive 1st RD win over Shamik Gamzatov in October of last year. Michal’s game plan is simple, walk his opponent down in hopes of landing the big shot that starts the beginning of the end. He generally focuses on purely boxing, and from time to time get it to the clinch to try and ground the fight. I’m just not so sure he wants to stand and trade with a guy like Jacoby. Jacoby’s toughness was on full display vs Cutelaba, and at times looked like it was about to be finished, but Jacoby weathered the storm and it turned out to be a draw. I think Jacoby has more ways to win this one, and if it comes down to a dirty decision type of fight, you can bet it’s because Jacoby has pulled away a bit late. Michal’s best chance is early. If it doesn’t happen RD 1, Jacoby likely starts to find his range and coast the rest of the way. I’ve got Jacoby via 3rd RD stoppage.

PICK: Dustin Jacoby $20 FD ($8600 DK)

Michal Oleksiejczuk $10 FD ($7600)

by: Chris Joseph (cmj0009)

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