UFC Long Island
Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez
Man. What an absolute banger. Neither man knows how to have a boring fight, and this’ll be no different. Ortega was seemingly seconds away from being called champ when he caught current champ Alexander Volkanovski in a front guillotine choke that probably no one else in the division gets out of, but he did. But the obvious advantage Ortega has over a ton of fighters in the division is his elite grappling abilities. If he was a better wrestler, I’d argue he’d be champ right now, he’s submission over position, and at times that hurts him. Yair’s biggest drawback is his inactivity. He’s one of the most elite strikers in the division, and he doesn’t know how to have a boring fight. His fight against Max Holloway was a strikers delight. He lands 4.65 SS/m (absorbs 4.09 SS/m, 53% striking defense). Ortega has made significant strides in his own striking, but needs work on his striking defense, he lands one to take 2 more in return sometimes. He lands 4.15 SS/m (but absorbs 6.69 SS/m, 49% striking defense). His fight against Korean Zombie showed just how good he can be on the feet, landing 60% of his strikes in that fight. But when faced against more superior strikers, he can struggle, i.e., Holloway & Volkanovski. Yair falls in line in terms of skill with them. On the feet, Yair should have the edge, and if this stays on the feet for extended periods, Ortega could find hisself behind, but where I think this fight changes is with the TDs from Ortega. Yair let Holloway take him down and control him at times, and that doesn’t bode well for Yair in this matchup, as Ortega should have a lot more success there. In terms of props, the sub spot for Ortega is a good spot to take a gamble. If this goes all 5, this is a stackable fight. And I’m leaning that it does go all 5. I think Ortega mixes things up well enough, that he’ll win a split decision in all likelihood. Either way I think you need this fight in your LUs for DFS purposes on both sites.
PICK: Brian Ortega $21 FD ($8500 DK)
Yair Rodriguez $16 FD ($7700 DK)
Co Main Event
Amanda Lemos vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez
The Karate Hottie is back. And has a chance to stop the momentum Lemos has going for her. Although Lemos kind of took a step back on her own with a first RD submission loss at the hands of Jessica Andrade via standing arm-triangle. The window for Lemos to get a shot at the title seems smaller now though, regardless. This fight reminds me of the Angela Hill/Lemos bout, and I’d argue Hill won that bout. Similar to Hill, Waterson-Gomez moves well in and out of the pocket, and she’ll throw leg kicks to all parts of the body as she moves in and out. She throws a ton of feints that don’t hit the target, and she’s criticized for it, rightfully so. That won’t work too well in this matchup, although I think she’ll find some success making Lemos miss big with her constant movement. Lemos will undoubtedly have the power edge here, and she’ll be the one dictating this fight. So it’ll be up to Waterson-Gomez to counter effectively enough that it matters, and I’m not confident she can. Most of what she’ll do will be frustrating for Lemos more than anything. She likely won’t find much success wrestling Lemos, with her solid TDEF, but there’ll be moments against the cage in the clinch where Lemos should win those exchanges due to her strength. When I first looked at this fight, I legitimately picked Waterson-Gomez outright just based on the Hill fight with Lemos, but then I realized she won’t be as successful striking as Hill will be. Most of her most effective strikes will come from kicks, and that won’t sway the judges enough when Lemos’ striking will be far more impactful. But what I do know is that this fight will be a fade on both ends. Lemos won’t come close to paying off her price, and even if Waterson-Gomez pulls off the upset, her score will be very average. Stay away from this one. The pick is Lemos via decision.
PICK: Amanda Lemos $23 FD ($9400 DK)
Michelle Waterson-Gomez $8 FD ($6800 DK)
Muslim Salikhov vs Li Jingliang
This one should be tight. Jingliang is a talented, powerful striker. I hope the Chimaev fight doesn’t blind people to what he can do, he was just outmatched in that one. He’ll be looking to pressure forward, throwing strikes in the pocket to try and get Salikhov out of there. He lands 4.42 SS/m (absorbs 3.74 SS/m, 58% striking defense). One issue he has with his striking is big looping shots, that if they miss, could cause him to get cracked with a big counter. And Salikhov offers that technical striking that could cause issues. Salikhov will be throwing at a much slower pace. He lands only 3.13 SS/m (absorbs only 2.36 SS/m, 68% striking defense). He does well in not taking big damaging shots, but will be the slower one of the two for sure. I think Salikhov’s biggest worries will be in RD 1. Jingliang won’t come out shy at all, but if this gets extended, both will start to slow, and either could turn ti wrestling for success. But Salikhov has excellent TDEF, so I think it’ll be difficult for Jingliang to get it there, in fact, I think Salikhov will be the one that has more success getting TDs. They each average just over 1 TD per 15mins, but I’ve got to think Salikhov will look to mitigate the damage somehow as the fight goes on. Salikhov isn’t going to welcome a brawl where we see crazy SS numbers from both sides, so this has the potential to underwhelm in terms of fantasy scoring is concerned. Hoping for a finish from either guy to make this one count. And on the surface, I don’t like it for fantasy purposes. I think Salikhov will be more technical down the stretch, and he’ll do more to win a decision, likely not scoring well enough for optimal. Definitely wouldn’t mind Jingliang in a couple LUs in hopes he can find that fight ending power early though.
PICK: Muslim Salikhov $18 FD ($8600 DK)
Li Jingliang $11 FD ($7600 DK)
Su Mudaerji vs Matt Schnell
Here we go, this sneakily could be a FOTN contender for as long as it last. Schnell is 2-2-1 over his last 5, basically 2-3, and the 3 L’s coming by way of being finished. He’s got solid skills, but just hasn’t put it all together yet. He’s a bit of a brawler, and throws more wild strikes than technical, as he looks to try and score a KO of his own. The problem is, he’s only 38% accurate on his strikes, and while he does land 4.26 SS/m (he absorbs 4.23 SS/m, with 59% striking defense), he’s been extremely chinny as of late, and any big counter that comes his way will be trouble, and he’s unfortunately up against a KO artist as of late in Mudaerji. Mudaerji lost his UFC debut via arm bar, but has since reeled off 3 straight impressive wins. He’s a kickboxer, that’ll look to pressure forward putting combinations together. He’s very technical, and will counter strike effectively as well. He lands 4.49 SS/m (only absorbs 2.19 SS/m, with 68% striking defense). He moves extremely well on his feet in and out of the pocket, and avoids taking big strikes as a result. He’ll be a counter striker early in this one I feel, as Schnell will look to stand and bang, when he should actually try to be smart, and utilize his wrestling/grappling. All 4 of Mudaerji’s professional losses have come via submission, and Schnell has some craftiness in his grappling. But he won’t be that smart, and rarely shoots for TDs. He averages less than 1 per 15mins. This should be fun while it last, but I think Mudaerji catches him with a big counter in RD 1 that’ll put him down, and it’ll be the beginning of the end. You’ll want Mudaerji in your LUs Saturday morning.
PICK: Su Mudaerji $21 FD ($9100 DK)
Matt Schnell $9 FD ($7100 DK)
Shane Burgos vs Charles Jourdain
This is the peoples main event!! What an absolute banger we have in store. Jourdain is finding a groove, and has won 3 of 4, with an impressive submission win over Vannata his last time out, showcasing he can get it done wherever the fight takes place. Burgos doesn’t know a boring fight, he just doesn’t. His pressure is insane, and his toughness is a big part of it. He lands an outstanding 7.95 SS/m (but absorbs an astonishing 6.69 SS/m in return, with 57% striking defense). On the other side, Jourdain lands at a high clip on his own, 5.6 SS/m (absorbs 4.53 SS/m, 60% striking defense). Both men have great striking accuracy too, Burgos (52%), Jourdain (49%). And Jourdain’s land rate should slightly increase in this matchup given his opponent’s defensive woes. Neither man will look to shoot for TDs, so we should see a beautiful kickboxing match on the feet. Burgos’ constant pressure is enough for me here, although Jourdain is one of my fav underdogs to target, and would definitely play him if doing multiple entries. Should this see the full 15mins, both men should see over 100 SS landed a piece minimum, making either a decent play regardless. I think Burgos gets a decision win, and in front of his home crowd, will have all the motivation in the world behind him. This is my fav fight for target for DFS, and should easily find its way into optimal.
PICK: Shane Burgos $19 FD ($9000 DK)
Charles Jourdain $12 FD ($7200 DK)
Miesha Tate vs Lauren Murphy
Murphy enters this fight, just under 2 weeks from her 39th bday. But prior to her Shevchenko fight, she had won 5 straight, and though we knew how that title fight would turn out, she was the next best ‘option’ at the time. She’s got a solid skill set, but won’t be as effective as she once was. She has solid striking, and good wrestling to fall back on. She lands basically 1 TD per 15mins. On the feet, she puts out solid numbers, lands 3.58 SS/m (absorbs 4.35 SS/m, w/59% striking defense). Her striking defense has gotten a tad worse over time, and this fight will be no different. Obviously Shevchenko had success landing clean, but so did Joanne Wood, who’s no longer with the organization, that’s no Bueno. Tate had taken an extended absence prior to her return bout vs Marion Reneau last July. She had been away for 5yrs. But she vowed to give it one last title push, and can back a much improved striker to go along with her wrestling/grappling prowess. She showed great pressure in both her return bouts, but the countering of Ketlen Vieira proved too much in that bout. Now, she’ll be matched with a much slower Murphy, who won’t be able to land as effective, and who’ll likely be on the back foot in terms of wrestling. This is another great spot for Tate to potentially dominate, and I love the upside she brings. Especially for DK. If Murphy can keep it standing, Tate should see north of 100 SS landed again. She’s a really nice piece to LUs, and I’ll definitely have her in play.
PICK: Meisha Tate $21 FD ($8800 DK)
Lauren Murphy $10 FD ($7400 DK)
Punahele Soriano vs Dalcha Lungiambula
This seems like a must win for Dalcha. He’s lost 3 of his last 4, with his most recent against Brundage that resulted in him getting submitted due to a big cardio dump after not finding the KO. It’s no secret the physical gifts he possesses, he just hasn’t put it all together. He’s a powerful striker, and loads up on his punches looking for the KO. He also has solid wrestling, he averages 2.19 TDs per 15mins, and basically looks to control more than anything. Punahele could be in a similar situation in terms of keeping his job if he drops this one, he’s lost 2 straight, and can’t afford a 3rd. Both losses were via decision, and in his last bout, he showed how poor his TDEF can be against a solid wrestler with great cardio. Nick Maximov landed 11/16 TDs. Dalcha won’t have near the amount of gas in the tank to do that for 15mins, so I’m not worried there. However, cardio becomes a bit of concern for Punahele as well, if he isn’t able to get an early finish. Of the two, Punahele seems to have the better chin, and Dalcha gassing is more detrimental to his success than it is for Punahele. Punahele took some big shots from Allen in the pocket and stood firm. Dalcha will likely get a couple TDs in RD 1, but won’t do much with them. I think he’ll then gas himself a bit too much, and get finished in RD 2 as a result. Without a finish from either side, this fight will score poorly, so keep that in mind.
PICK: Punahele Soriano $22 FD ($9200 DK)
Dalcha Lungiambula $9 FD ($7000 DK)
Jack Shore vs Ricky Simon
Another fight with FOTN written on it. This reminds me of Arman Tsarukyan vs Mateusz Gamrot a few weeks ago in terms of the skill level in this fight. Shore puts his undefeated record on the line again in this one, he’s 16-0 overall (5-0 UFC). He’s an extremely good well rounded fighter. On the back of a strong wrestling gm. Simon has come into his own here recently too, and has reeled off 4 straight wins. Simon is also a really good overall fighter in his own right, and his numbers suggest just that. On the feet, he lands 3.03 SS/m (absorbs 3 SS/m, w/64% striking defense). I’m terms of wrestling, he averages nearly SEVEN TDs per 15mins (6.76). That’s insane, and speaks to his cardio. On the flip side, Shore is the much more technical striker on the feet, and lands 4.18 SS/m (absorbs 2.27 SS/m, w/68% striking defense). He averages 4.1 TDs per 15mins. He’ll be at a power disadvantage in terms of striking, but should be pretty even in terms of wrestling abilities. However, along with the power advantage on the feet in striking, I think Simon will just physically be stronger than Shore, and wrestling exchanges should go in his favor for the bulk of 15mins. On DK, this is another fight I see being most optimal, just due to their pricing and overall peripheral stats from either. I think Simon is a much better version of Timur Valiev, and Valiev took Shore to the brink before late theatrics played in Shores favor. I’m taking the discount on Simon all day here, and think he gets the decision.
PICK: Ricky Simon $13 FD ($7800 DK)
Jack Shore $17 FD ($8400 DK)
Bill Algeo vs Herbert Burns
Hopefully people overlook Burns here from his last outing against Daniel Pineda. He’s still an extremely talented fighter, and has great grappling to fall on. He’s been away nearly 2yrs, and looks focused on the goal at hand. He gets a stiff test in Algeo here, who does a little bit of everything. Solid striker, decent wrestler, but struggles against solid wrestlers when it comes to TDEF. In his bout with Ricardo Ramos, he was taken down 8/13 times. On the feet, Algeo has the clear advantage, he just doesn’t have the KO stopping power you’d want to take advantage of for this matchup. He lands 5.88 SS/m (absorbs 4.43 SS/m, w/43% striking defense). Burns numbers are awful in comparison, he lands just 1.67 SS/m (absorbs 5.02 SS/m, w/33% striking defense). A lot of what Burns does offensively on the feet is a means to close distance and get the fight to the mat. He’ll most certainly use that approach here as well. Algeo is tough to submit, but with Burns skill in grappling, the opportunity could be there. If somehow, Algeo keeps this standing for prolonged periods, he’ll pick apart Burns on the feet. I don’t see that happening though. I think Burns could get 5-7 TDs if given the full 15mins, and that seems like enough to steal 2 RDs of this fight. I don’t think Algeo will have the power to catch Burns with anything, so his hope is to grind him out. Burns is one of my fav dogs to target, because I think he’ll be slightly overlooked due to his last outing and the layoff, but at the least I think he steals a decision, with the opportunity for a sub between RDs 1 & 2.
PICK: Herbert Burns $10 FD ($7500 DK)
Bill Algeo $20 FD ($8700 DK)
Da Un Jung vs Dustin Jacoby
Both these guys come in having won 4-0-1 in their last 5. So someone’s momentum will be halted a bit. But I love this matchup. The line on this fight has moved quite a bit this week, Jacoby opened as favorite, and as of now, Jung sits the slight favorite at around -120/-130. Jacoby finds success when he’s able to get his kickboxing going, and keeping the fight at range on the feet with his kicks. He has solid striking output, and looks to win on volume, he lands 5.3 SS/m (absorbs 3.75 SS/m, w/58% striking defense). He moves pretty good in the pocket. However, in this matchup with Jung, he’s going to have a tough time utilizing his plan. Jung will dictate this fight from the jump with his pressure, he’s moving forward nonstop dishing out offense. He lands just over 4 strikes per min at 4.03 (absorbs 3.77 SS/m, w/55% striking defense). But where I think his bread and butter will be is in his wrestling, he averages nearly 3 TDs per 15mins (2.6), and Jacoby’s TDEF is awful, defends at just about a 60% clip. So apply that, on top of Jung’s pressure, and the only path to victory for Jacoby seems like a flash KO that probably won’t come. Jung should be able to do what he wants here, with the possibility to wear Jacoby down for a late finish, but I like the decision here for him regardless.
PICK: Da Un Jung $15 FD ($7900 DK)
Dustin Jacoby $15 FD ($8300 DK)
Dwight Grant vs Dustin Stoltzfus
We’ll see how the move up to middleweight pans out for Grant here, but seems like a head scratcher on the surface. He seemed to have had the power advantage in the welterweight division, he just hasn’t been that good to this point. He was very timid on the feet, and often just threw single big shots hoping to land something. In his last bout, he vowed prior to be more active, and he was, it just resulted in him getting caught on the feet and put out. Now he’ll be going against more power in the middleweight division, so we’ll see what happens. He’s lost 3 of 4, so a loss here could figure to be his last if he’s not careful. On the other side, Stoltzfus is looking for a win in a big way as well, he’s dropped 3 straight, so a loss here for him figures to be his job as well. Stoltzfus is a wrestler, and takes things slow in terms of his striking and uses a more technical approach. He lands just 2.87 SS/m (absorbs 3.08 SS/m, w/47% striking defense). He wants to close distance and try to get it grounded. He averages nearly 2 TDs per 15mins (1.7). He notched 4 TDs on 4 attempts vs Gerald Meerschaert before he was submitted. Grant won’t offer that type of dangerous threat on the mat by a long shot. Grant looks to do damage on the feet, he averages 3.26 SS/m (absorbs 2.55 SS/m, w/61% striking defense). Will be interesting to see if his more aggressive approach is on display in this one. I think the weight move up was a bad move, Stoltzfus should find success getting TDs, Grant was only about 65% successful in defending them at welterweight. Stoltzfus is a sneaky play to get different on DK I feel like, with the control time he should be able to get if he’s smart. And I like him to at the least win a decision, we’ll see what Grant’s fight IQ looks like when he’s on the mat for an extended period of time.
PICK: Dustin Stoltzfus $14 FD ($7300 DK)
Dwight Grant $17 FD ($8900 DK)
Emily Ducote vs Jessica Penne
Penne just turned 39 this past January. She’s just 3-3 overall in the UFC. But has found a groove here recently, and has won 2 straight. She won’t make a title run or anything, but she’ll be a difficult task for lower level competition trying to make their way. Penne is pretty average everywhere, she’s a lower volume striker on the feet, and has solid wrestling/grappling to fall on. Ducote is making her UFC debut here, and will certainly have the physical advantage here. She’s got power in her striking, and can be successful with her wrestling as well. However this’ll be a considerable step up for Ducote in terms of facing someone with the BJJ skills Penne has, and if Penne can get a TD or two to work her offensive grappling, Ducote could be in trouble. It’s hard to see Ducote really being able to find the KO that she’ll need to win this one, and the size difference in terms of height for Penne should help her. She could make for a solid piece to LUs to start things off if she can rack up control time, or even find another submission. And here’s a fun fact, 8 of the last 10 underdogs to open fight night cards have won. I like those odds. Give me the vet Jessica Penne to get it done.
PICK: Jessica Penne $14 FD ($8000 DK)
Emily Ducote $16 FD ($8200 DK)
by: Chris Joseph (cmj0009)