Alex Pereira vs Jiri Prochazka
Former LHW Prochazka returns after an apparent severe shoulder injury that forced him to forfeit the belt after he beat Glover Teixeira in June of last year. A late submission in the 5th with less than 30 seconds left secured what was probably going to be a loss otherwise. Jiri is an extremely talented fighter. He’s got an unorthodox style that’s sometimes hard to read on the feet. Got decent power; and his wrestling/grappling is decent as well, although he doesn’t ever really actively use it, more defensive. Now he gets to face one of the best kickboxers in MMA. Pereira won the MW Championship in November of last year over Adesanya, before losing the rematch earlier this year in April. This, now his 3rd fight of the year, gets his shot at LHW gold. Both have solid output, Jiri lands 5.77 SS/m (absorbs 5.4 SS/m), while Pereira lands 5.1 SS/m (absorbs 3.7 SS/m). Pereira will utilize his range well and chop away at Jiri’s lead leg. Jiri has a very wide stance. If that starts landing with regularity, it’ll open up the hands more for Alex. Jiri generally keeps his hands low while in the pocket, and I don’t really see him changing much of that approach, and if that’s the case, lean Alex to get this done, his power is real, and you simply can’t play with fire like that for too long. His left hook is deadly. Jiri will make this interesting, but I see Alex winning via TKO, I’ll say RD 3. If doing ME, have shares of both, as this fight should see pretty even ownership. Each likely in the 40%’s.
PICK: Alex Pereira $20 FD ($8400 DK)
Jiri Prochazka $18 FD ($7800 DK)
Co Main Event
Tom Aspinall vs Sergei Pavlovich
I’m more eager to see this bout than the ME if I’m being honest. I’ve long been a big fan of Aspinall. He’s extremely well rounded, and doesn’t have many holes in his game. He’s got fast, powerful hands, and extremely savvy on the mat with his wrestling/grappling. To this point, he’s boasting 100% TD accuracy and defense. He lands 7.6 SS/m (absorbs 2.9 SS/m). The former stat there is more a product of opponent to this point, we saw in the Blaydes matchup before the injury, that Blaydes was able to tee off on Aspinall with no issue. Blaydes doesn’t have the power of Pavlovich. Aspinall keeps his head extremely high in the pocket without much movement, that will be trouble in this matchup. Pavlovich is on a 6 fight 1st RD KO/TKO streak since the loss to Overeem in 2018. He’s got extremely fast, powerful hands as well, he’s landing 8.7 SS/m (absorbs 4.3 SS/m). He hasn’t had to use wrestling offensively to this point, doubt he really will here either, but he has that in his back pocket. Aspinall is the better athlete here, and that could certainly carry him, but his lack of head movement against a real power puncher like Pavlovich concerns me. To this point, neither has shown durability issues, so that’s an interesting dynamic, but one of these guys is going down, especially given 5 RDs to do it, I personally don’t think this gets to the 3rd. The odds are right, this is a pick ‘em if I’ve ever seen one. Picking this fight correctly will make or break the night. Give me Pavlovich, think more will be on Aspinall, so slightly good leverage spot, but the fight will be highly owned regardless.
PICK: Sergei Pavlovich $15 FD ($8000 DK)
Tom Aspinall $16 FD ($8200 DK)
Mackenzie Dern vs Jessica Andrade
Dern comes into this one having split wins/losses over her last 5, she’s 3-2 in that span. While Andrade has lost 3 straight. Dern is coming off of an impressive performance over Angela Hill, her pressure was too much to overcome for Hill. And while she hasn’t been great by any means getting TDS, she managed 3/9 in that bout. Hill has generally been an extremely tough opponent to get down. So there’s hopefully going to be continued improvement in that area. Andrade was once on the cusp of a title shot again, that seems a bit far fetched at this moment. She hasn’t seemed on her game recently, don’t know that that will change much now. She’s known for her power, and it’s best used early, because any prolonged bouts and her cardio starts to fade. If it’s one thing we know Dern does have, it’s cardio, and her BJJ is excellent when she gets it on the mat. We’ve seen Andrade struggle mightily off her back against strong wrestlers/grapplers. Dern has all the tools to make this one another ugly loss for Andrade, and I think that’s what we see. Dern will have volume early, and once in the clinch, will look for trips etc to get it grounded. She’ll work the cardio of Andrade in RD 1, then I think she finds a submission in the 2nd. She’s one of my fav plays today.
PICK: Mackenzie Dern $19 FD ($9000 DK)
Jessica Andrade $11 FD ($7200 DK)
Benoit Saint Denis vs Matt Frevola
This is going to be an absolute banger. Frevola has turned it on as of late. He’s on a 3 fight win streak, over the likes of Valdez, Azaitar, Dober. Although, I think the Dober loss was called prematurely, and if Herb had given Dober more time, the tides would’ve turned in that one. Dober got knocked down, sure, but he was clearly recovered in my mind, nonetheless a great win for Frevola. He’s well rounded, and has a solid wrestling background. He likes to stand and bang probably more than he should, but when it works, it works. I’d love for BSD to get a rematch vs Dos Santos now, but since that loss, he’s reeled off 4 straight wins and looked great doing it, he’s extremely well rounded also, and thrives on pressure and just wearing down opponents. He essentially made Moises quit in his last outing, which was impressive. Frevola lands 3.59 SS/m (absorbs 3.5 SS/m), while BSD lands 5.5 SS/m (absorbs 5.27 SS/m). I don’t have any real issues with BSD’s durability, but if BSD can get off on Frevola, he’ll be in trouble. BSD has a LW championship on his mind, and I think we continue to see that rise to prominence in this one. Think we get a late 1st RD finish. At worst, 2nd RD. BSD another strong play today up top.
BSD $21 FD ($9100 DK)
Matt Frevola $10 FD ($7100 DK)
Pat Sabatini vs Diego Lopes
This fight should be mainly a wrestling affair. That is the best win condition for both. Lopes was applauded for his effort in a short notice bout with Evloev, then followed it up with a 1st RD submission win his last time out vs Gavin Tucker. Lopes feels like he chooses submission over position, and while that works against certain opponents, it won’t here, he’ll need to be much more effective in that area. Both are extremely low volume on the feet, just due to their approaches. Sabatini lands 1.96 SS/m (absorbs 1.3 SS/m), while Lopes lands 2.1 SS/m (absorbs 4.9 SS/m). Lopes is very hittable on the feet, but he’s durable all things considered. His TDEF is pretty bad though (33%), he counts on his abilities once it gets there. He likely spends 8+mins on his back in this one, and if he hasn’t manufactured a submission win by that point. It likely means he loses this one. Sabatini is extremely talented in BJJ as well, he’ll be defensively aware of what Lopes is trying to do. He’s active in his striking while in top position too, so he won’t just lay and pray. The scrambles will be something to keep an eye on while this one goes, Lopes is always dangerous. Aside from the submission’s, Lopes isn’t a real threat to be successful anywhere else. While I like the kid, I just can’t back him here with confidence in thinking he’ll throw up a submission and land them with regularity against tough competition. Sabatini via decision feels like the most likely outcome here. From a score standpoint, not really a fan of this fight tbh, there’s much better mid priced fighters on this slate.
PICK: Pat Sabatini $15 FD ($8300 DK)
Diego Lopes $15 FD ($7900 DK)
Steve Erceg vs Alessandro Costa
I’m really looking forward to this matchup. We’re going to see if Erceg is really as good as his debut leads us to believe. On short notice, he delivered a win over a top 10 ranked Flyweight. Costa is coming off a win over Jimmy Flick where he had a flawless performance. Costa features really good leg kicks that he’ll try to utilize to keep Erceg at bay. He’s got some power, but Erceg doesn’t seem phased when he takes big shots, he’s extremely durable. Erceg has great cardio and pressure. That will be his friend in this matchup. While Costa is dangerous early, the longer this goes, his cardio becomes a concern. That showed itself in his matchup with Albazi. Erceg will utilize all of his kickboxing skill set and try to pick Costa off at range. The 4 inch height advantage will help. We saw in the debut he has wrestling chops too, he won’t be afraid to shoot for TDs to mix things up. His sneaky power in his shots will be underrated here. I think he finds a late finish in this one after wearing down on Costa. 3rd RD. Erceg is one of my fav sneaky plays on this slate, don’t really think he’ll be highly owned, or at least where he should be. Good way to be different in your builds.
PICK: Steve Erceg $17 FD ($8600 DK)
Alessandro Costa $12 FD ($7600 DK)
Loopy Godinez vs Tabatha Ricci
This fight is going to be an underrated gem on the card. These are two really evenly matched fighters. Ricci is on a 4 fight win streak, while Loopy is on a 3 fight win streak. Their metrics are near even in terms of stats, Ricci lands 4.1 SS/m (absorbs 4.4 SS/m), Loopy lands 4 SS/m (absorbs 3.5 SS/m). The big difference here will be accuracy, Loopy has shown to be more technical with her striking, landing at a 50% clip, while Ricci is under 40% (37%). Loopy will also have more power in her strikes. The equalizer will be how well can either do in the wrestling department. They both average over 3 TDs landed per 15mins, Ricci (4.2), Loopy (3.8). Loopy is better at defending though (82%) vs Ricci’s 66%. The damage Ricci will wear on her face from the striking of Loopy will be biggest difference though. Loopy has had cardio issues, but I don’t think it’ll be enough for Ricci to overcome cause she won’t start slowing until late. This has split decision written all over it, but I think it’ll be more clear for Loopy. Her overall mechanics are better IMO, that should get it done.
PICK: Loopy Godinez $17 FD ($8700 DK)
Tabatha Ricci $13 FD ($7500 DK)
Mateusz Rebecki vs Roosevelt Roberts
Rebecki gets a late notice replacement with Roberts. Roberts hasn’t been really good of late. He’s 0-2, 1 NC in his last 3, and the prior wins weren’t really good competition. He’s got solid tools, not great in any one area; best attribute is probably his grappling if he can get it there. His biggest advantage in this one is the height edge, he’ll have 5 inch edge there. Rebecki looks to be a really talented prospect for this division, he’s started his UFC campaign off 3-0, with an impressive win his last time out. He’s really well rounded, has solid power in his striking, and will look to mix it up with the ground game. He’s averaging nearly 4 TDs per 15mins (3.5). Volume on the feet is great too, he lands 5.57 SS/m (absorbs 2.1 SS/m), while Roberts lands just 3.1 SS/m (absorbs 3.1 SS/m as well). I imagine Rebecki will look to close distance as quickly as possible and shoot for TDs. From there, he’ll just start to wear down on him heavily. I think he gets a 2nd RD TKO via ground and pound. Should be able to score well, just not sure you need him in your LU today.
PICK: Mateusz Rebecki $23 FD ($9600 DK)
Rosevelt Roberts $8 FD ($6600 DK)
Nazim Sadykhov vs Slava Borschchev
Really talented prospects in this one. Sadykhov is perfect in the UFC so far at 3-0. While Slava is 3-2. Slava has been extremely matchup dependent to this point. He doesn’t handle wrestlers well, but can strike with the best of them. He’s got beautiful technical striking. He’s landing 4.6 SS/m (absorbs 3.4 SS/m). Sadykhov does pretty well there too, lands 4.3 SS/m (absorbs 3.7 SS/m). While he doesn’t average even 1 TD per min (.5), that’s his path to least resistance here, and i think circumstance will lead him there. Although, Sadykhov isn’t a pushover by any means on the feet, and if Slava goes in thinking such, he’ll find himself in a bad way. Sadykhov’s top pressure/wrestling will be too much for Slava though, and my hope is that he realizes that quickly. Sadykhov is a sneaky play I really like to get different in LUs. He won’t be more than 20% owned. Think he wins it via comfortable decision.
PICK: Nazim Sadykhov $17 FD ($8500 DK)
Slava Borschchev $14 FD ($7800 DK)
Jared Gordon vs Mark Madsen
In Gordon’s last 5, he’s 2-2, 1 NC, coming off the NC vs Bobby Green before a clash of heads. Gordon looked really good in that matchup vs someone who most predicted to have the better striking. There’s been a little bit of time that’s passed since the Paddy fight, so I’ll say, he beat him too. The UFC just couldn’t stomach handing one of their prized possessions that early of a loss against someone. He gets another favorable matchup here against Madsen. Madsen is lauded for his wrestling background & being an Olympic level winner. He’s certainly utilized that skill in the UFC, he was on a 4 fight win streak prior to his bout with Dawson. Gordon should be well versed enough to avoid getting in any tough spots, and in most cases, should have success of his own. Madsen averages 3 TDs per 15mins, while Gordon averages 2 TDs per 15mins. Biggest edge will be on the feet, Gordon is nearly doubling him up in terms of output. Gordon lands 5.3 SS/m (absorbs 3.2 SS/m), while Madsen lands 3.2 SS/m (absorbs 3.6 SS/m). Those exchanges are what will win Gordon this fight. He can score decent too, but it’s several around his price tag that I favor to score a bit better should they do what they’re supposed to. Madsen not a bad dog option though, not a ton to really like on this card.
PICK: Jared Gordon $19 FD ($8900 DK)
Mark Madsen $12 FD ($7300 DK)
John Castaneda vs Kyung Ho Kang
This has sneaky potential to be a banger. Castaneda will try to get his pressure going early so he can get ahead in the striking, which’ll be a little difficult against Kang who’s good in the pocket with head movement etc. Castaneda has good leg kicks, so his hope will be that he can land those early to slow down Kang. I was surprised to see Kang as the dog in this matchup tbh. Kang is extremely well rounded, and best served as a wrestler, averages just over 2 TDs per 15mins (2.07), and is really successful in getting them, at near 60% accuracy (57%). Kang has never been KO’ed and Castaneda has never been submitted, so this could be a bit of a stale mate, but activity will be there on both sides. Kang should be able to do enough of his game in the wrestling to secure the win IMO. Think it’ll be via decision. Hopefully he’s not a popular dog play, but he’s may fav dog today.
PICK: Kyung Ho Kang $14 FD ($7400 DK)
John Castaneda $17 FD ($8800 DK)
Josh Van vs Kevin Borjas
For time sake, going to be brief here. Borjas stepping in on late notice. Has great striking skills, will likely be slower in the matchup though. Van impressed in his debut, showed great durability. He should have the faster hands and be more poise in this moment. Think he gets it done again via decision. Should have good output again, just not sure he pays off his $9200 price tag. Would be a leverage play if anything.
PICK: Josh Van $21 FD ($9200 DK)
Kevin Borjas $9 FD ($7000 DK)
Jamall Emmers vs Dennis Buzukja
Short and sweet again to finish. Emmers got absolutely hosed vs Jenkins his last time out. He was a -1100 fav in the 3rd RD of that fight. Have no idea what judges were doing. Emmers is just really well rounded/polished. Dennis has good striking, cardio could be a concern again late, if so, Emmers should coast. Don’t really like this one for DFS, betting wise is only avenue I’d take.
PICK: Jamall Emmers $22 FD ($9400 DK)
Dennis Buzukja $9 FD ($6800 DK)
By: Chris Joseph (cmj0009)