UFC Vegas 58
Rafael Fiziev vs Rafael Dos Anjos
Here we go. This fight had been scheduled a couple times before, but never came to fruition. Fiziev has been on a tear, he lost his UFC debut, but since, has won 5 straight. He has elite striking skills mixed with insane athleticism. He lands 5.35 SS/m (52% accuracy), but (absorbs 5.57 SS/m 50% defense). So his biggest concern is his defense in terms of basically taking a strike to land one, but he likes to stand and bang and that’s a result of it. The other concern is his cardio as fights go long, he noticeably tends to slow, and could give up important RDs if he does that here vs RDA. RDA is a vet of all vets, he’s extremely well rounded and will take the action wherever. He’s slightly less active on the feet, but still has solid striking. He lands 3.62 SS/m (46% accuracy), and (absorbs 3.24 SS/m 61% defense). So he’s pretty solid in terms of not taking big damage on the feet, but that’s a result of how often he shoots for TDs and has success there. He basically averages 2 TDs per 15mins (1.99), with just 37% accuracy. He’s running up against someone with elite TDEF though, Fiziev has 95% TDD. He’s been taken down just once out of a total 22 attempts thus far. If RDA can’t get TDs with regularity, he’s going to have an uphill battle. Fiziev is the better athlete, and will be a step ahead on the feet. That said, I think this’ll be a war of a fight, and could go either way, but I like Fiziev to come out the victor. He honestly has a chance to overwhelm RDA on the feet within the first 3 RDs. If this hits RDs 4 and 5, he’ll be floating with potentially losing 1 of the 2 which he may not be able to afford. Regardless I like him via decision. And he should have enough striking numbers over the course of 5 RDs to put up a solid score. He’s closer to a fade for me on FD at that price. Much more playable on DK.
PICK: Rafael Fiziev $23 FD ($9000 DK)
Rafael Dos Anjos $10 FD ($7200 DK)
Co Main Event
Caio Borrahlo vs Armen Petroysan
This is a fun scrap. Two up and coming prospects coming off of debut wins. This is grappler vs striker. Borrahlo has belts in Judo & Jiu jitsu. While Petroysan looks to capitalize on really excellent kickboxing. Petroysan is powerful in his striking, and he has great volume. He lands nearly 8 SS/m (7.56), absorbing (3.39 SS/m). He moves well on his feet, and he’s fine being a counter striker. His debut vs Gregory Rodrigues was impressive in terms of his durability, and his cardio. He kept a good flow throughout, and even when he was taken down, was able to get back up and get to his striking. Rodrigues, however, wasn’t worried about control as much as he was trying to get submissions almost immediately. Borrahlo is elite when he can get his offensive wrestling/grappling going. He’s more concerned with positioning vs submissions when he does get it to the mat, but if the opportunity presents itself, he’ll definitely try to lock up a submission. On the feet, Borrahlo is steadily improving, and his striking defense is solid as well (65%). So he’s done well to not really take too big of damage. His bread and butter will be through TDs, he averages nearly 2 TDs per 15mins (1.96), with 80 accuracy, and Petroysan’s TDEF is only about 40%, so he’ll definitely struggle there. I feel like the line on this fight should be a bit closer, but do feel like Borrahlo should be the fav, and I like him via decision. He has a chance to put up a solid DK score with control time/TDs. A little less thrilled to play him on FD at that price.
PICK: Caio Borrahlo $21 FD ($8900 DK)
Armen Petroysan $14 FD ($7300 DK)
Said Nurmagomedov vs Silva De Andrade
Another promising prospect in Nurmagomedov here, and no, there’s no relation this time to Khabib. Nurmagomedov is 4-1 to start his UFC career. On the other side, Andrade is a vet. He’s 6-4 in the UFC, and has been in the organization since 2014. Andrade relies on power, of his 28 total professional wins, 20 have come via finish. He hasn’t had that consistent KO win success in the UFC to this point, but it’s still relevant. In his last fight vs Morozov, it turned into an absolute brawl which didn’t favor Morozov, and he got put away. However, even though Andrade should likely have the power edge again here, he’ll be at such a speed disadvantage, that he’ll probably swing and miss much more in this one while in the pocket, and that’ll leave him to getting countered, and if he gets dropped in this one, Nurmagomedov has excellent top pressure, and utilizes ground and pound effectively. Andrade absorbs more SS/m, than he lands per min; 4.19 to 3.83 respectively, and is only accurate on 39% of his strikes landed. You need to be a lot more efficient against a fighter like Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov lands 4.75 SS/m (absorbs just 2.35 SS/m), so his range control is excellent, and he can get in and out of the pocket without much trouble most times. I feel like this’ll be a fight that plays out on the feet mostly, but if it does hit the mat, Nurmagomedov’s grappling is much more dangerous, and he’s also pretty sound defensively there. At the end of the day, I feel like Nurmagomedov’s speed will be too much, and Andrade won’t be able to land clean enough that it’ll matter. Nurmagomedov should be able to catch him with something that’ll put him down where he can end the fight, I’ll say it happens RD 2.
PICK: S. Nurmagomedov $22 FD ($9200 DK)
Silva De Andrade $9 FD ($7000 DK)
Jared Vanderaa vs Chase Sherman
The only big boy fight on the card likely ends with one of the two getting cut for the loser. Vanderaa has been in competitive fights in his short UFC run to this point, but he’s lost 4 of 5. And Sherman is on a 4 fight losing streak, also having lost 4 of 5. This fight should primarily play out on the feet, so we should see a 15min striking affair. This boils down to simply who’s better of these two? They’re extremely similar in terms of statistical numbers, so it boils down to mechanics for me, and I feel like Sherman is the better technical striker, and has more power. Sherman should be able to control the pace of this one with pressure, and therefore should put Vanderaa behind as the RDs go long. Vanderaa doesn’t possess the wrestling chops that would give Sherman real issues in this matchup, and the same goes for Sherman not being able to effectively wrestle Vanderaa if it boils down to it. Each of these guys essentially gives a strike to take one, so a matter of who’ll wear the most damage by the end. Vanderaa lands 4.52 SS/m (absorbs 4.78 SS/m), while Sherman lands 6.08 SS/m (absorbs 6.32 SS/m). Also at weigh ins, I couldn’t get past how much better Sherman looked in comparison to previous fights. It looked as if he took this camp seriously and has come in in great shape. This’ll be a close one, but give me the discount on Sherman all day. I like him via decision.
PICK: Chase Sherman $10 FD ($7600 DK)
Jared Vanderaa $20 FD ($8600 DK)
Ricky Turcios vs Aiemann Zahabi
I love this matchup. It’s 2 young prospects going head to head. Turcios recently won TUF 29, and showed a good well rounded game. He thrives on pressuring his opponents with volume. He doesn’t have much power in his striking, he’s just looking to throw to overwhelm you, and hopefully you start to break as the fights go longer due to his excellent cardio. Zahabi showed why he’s dangerous his last time out in the UFC when he caught Drako Rodriguez with a big counter that put him down/out. Contrary to Turcios, Zahabi is a lower volume striker that’ll rely on big counters to take advantage on the feet, he lands just 2.82 SS/m (absorbs 3.91 SS/m). Turcios lands a massive 7 SS/m (absorbs 4.23 SS/m). In Turcios’ fight with Hiestand in his UFC debut, his poor TDEF showed, he was taken down 6 times on 11 attempts from Hiestand, it’s just Hiestand’s wrestling was average at best, and he couldn’t really control him when it got there. Zahabi doesn’t shoot for TDs a ton, but I feel like he’ll opt to go there more in this bout due to him likely having success, and also having better wrestling between the two, and he definitely has better wrestling than Hiestand. When it came down to it, I had to side with Zahabi, because the power edge is evident, Turcios won’t finish many fighters in the UFC unless he works on his power, his claim to fame will be volume, and if he’s high volume again, that means he’ll be playing with fire in the pocket for getting countered and put down. Turcios has shown to be pretty durable, but at some point that changes. I’m not sure that’s here, but I think Zahabi will get enough respect, that it’ll slow his normal approach and allow for Zahabi to be more successful in all areas of this fight. Think he steals a decision.
PICK: Aiemann Zahabi $11 FD ($7400 DK)
Ricky Turcios $19 FD ($8800 DK)
Jamie Mullarkey vs Michael Johnson
Was a little confused by how wide this line was on this fight. This would be Mullarkey’s biggest win on his resume if he can pull it off. And I get it, prior to MJ’s most recent win over Alan Patrick, he had lost 4 straight. And at 36yrs old now, I don’t think Johnson is going to go on some wild winning streak on his way to title contention or anything, but he wants to prove he still belongs, and for that, it makes him dangerous going up against almost anyone not in the Top 15 of the division. He now gets Mullarkey, who’s coming off of a brutal KO loss to Jalin Turner this past March. Prior to that, he was on a two fight win streak, but overall he’s 2-3 in his last 5. He’s pretty solid anywhere the fight goes, and has a strong wrestling base, and wants to shoot for TDs and get his wrestling going. He averages nearly 3.5 TDs per 15mins, with just 32% accuracy. Johnson’s TDEF is solid (78%), and showed that in his bout with Patrick, who was unsuccessful on 5 attempts. So if you were to tell me this would be a pure stand up battle, I give the edge to Johnson. He still has that KO finishing capability, and as long as he doesn’t get cute, he should be able to find his range in this one and be a bully at times. I feel like this should be much closer to a pick ‘em than a near 2 to 1 favorite for Mullarkey. I think Mullarkey is coming back too soon from such a brutal KO, and I think it affects him here. Johnson should be able to find his range, and when he does, he’ll get the KO in RD 2. Regardless of who wins this, I think it’s by finish, so playing Mullarkey isn’t necessarily a bad play, I’m just taking the value on a much more experienced fighter.
PICK: Michael Johnson $9 FD ($7100 DK)
Jamie Mullarkey $21 FD ($9100 DK)
Treasean Gore vs Cody Brundage
This is another striker vs grappler matchup. Brundage’s UFC debut was all but uninspiring vs Nick Maximov. Maximov was much more aggressive in terms of shooting for TDs, and while Brundage’s TDEF held up for 5mins, the pressure from Maximov eventually broke him down and he was relegated to being a defensive wrestler/grappler. Brundage had a nice follow up win vs Dalcha Lungiambula after Lungiambula went for broke and gassed himself out, then stupidly shot for a TD and got caught in a guillotine. That win was more so on Lungiambula’s poor fight IQ than Brundage’s actual dominant capabilities. Gore’s UFC debut was the unofficial Ultimate Fighter championship vs Bryan Battle. It didn’t go his way of course, but what he showed was powerful striking with good kickboxing to go along with it. He also has great TDEF, and that’ll be crucial to Brundage’s success in this bout. He’s not winning a stand up fight vs Gore here. Battle was successful on just 1 out of 8 attempts, if that’s what Brundage’s TD stats look like he’s in trouble. Gore is also pretty solid wrestler in his own right. I like Gore to find a finish in this one. Brundage should wear himself down in the first 5mins to where the TD attempts become even more difficult in the 2nd RD, when that happens, Gore should be able to tee off cleanly to find his shot. Gore via 2nd RD KO/TKO.
PICK: Tresean Gore $16 FD ($8300 DK)
Cody Brundage $15 FD ($7900 DK)
Antonina Shevchenko vs Cortney Casey
This is such an uninspiring bout. Shevchenko is the older sister of UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko, except the part where she’s not nearly in the same stratosphere in terms of talent. Antonina is only 3-4 so far in the UFC with mixed results. She’s decent anywhere the fight is, and it’s more so the matchup that’ll determine her success. She gets a more favorable opponent here in Casey, who is 6-8 so far in the UFC. Casey thrives on output on the feet, she lands 4.46 SS/m (absorbs 4.03 SS/m), while Shevchenko, being the more technical striker of the two, lands 3.89 SS/m (absorb 3.05 SS/m). Shevchenko’s best path to victory here will be the clinch up against the fence, and then trying to work for the TD. Casey doesn’t like to fight off of her back, and she could be in trouble in terms of getting back to the feet if it goes there. Casey is sub 40% in TDEF, so odds are it will. I’m mainly staying away from a DFS in this one, there are just much better spots to get to without the hassle of sweating this one out. I think finishing upside resides with Shevchenko via ground and pound probably, but other than that, I think this ends with a pretty average score from whoever wins. I like Shevchenko to control enough of the wrestling exchanges to win 2 RDs.
PICK: Antonina Shevchenko $18 FD ($8700 DK)
Cortney Casey $12 FD ($7500 DK)
David Onama vs Garrett Armfield
For a split second hope was lost that Onama would once again have to wait another month or so before fighting again after his opponent pulled out. But at the last minute the UFC was able to get Armfield to fill in. A few years ago these two faced off in an Amateur Featherweight title event when Onama was 10-0, and Armfield was 6-0. It went to a decision with Onama taking the win. In that bout, Onama was much bigger physically, and was really able to control the pace of that fight from start to finish. Armfield showed toughness, and he fired off leg kicks to try and slow the pace of Onama, but it didn’t do much, and in the 3rd RD of that fight, Onama had him hurt, and almost got the finish. Since then, I believe Onama has leveled up a bit, he needs to work on his defensive striking, but he’s shown some nice durability so far, and Armfield isn’t a power puncher. I don’t think this matchup goes much different than their first meeting, except I think Onama looks more polished, and I believe he’ll actually find a finish, either late 1st RD or early 2nd. Making him a great play on either site. Factor in the fact Armfield is on such short notice and it makes this decision easy.
PICK: David Onama $22 FD ($9300 DK)
Garrett Armfield $8 FD ($6800 DK)
Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Karl Roberson
This should be a fun scrap. Prior to his most recent loss, Nzechukwu had won 3 out of 4, but currently is on a 2 fight skid. I think he won vs Negumereanu, but that doesn’t matter. He now gets faced with Roberson, who’s needing a win in a bad way, he’s 2-3 in his last 5, and has lost 3 straight, albeit to tough competition; Khalil Rountree Jr, Brendan Allen, & Marvin Vettori, nothing to hang your head over for there. But a loss here could result in being cut. Nzechukwu is often in wars, and this’ll be no different. His biggest detriment to this point IMO is just his fight IQ at times, it seems like he should find way more success due to his physical gifts at times than he does. He’s 6’5”, and will have a 4” height advantage and NINE inches in reach advantage over Roberson in this one. So on the feet, he should be able to keep range at a pretty decent clip, he lands 5.13 SS/m (absorbs 4.9 SS/m). I don’t believe Roberson wants to keep the fight at range though, he averages less than 1 TD per 15mins (0.85), but I think he’ll look to capitalize there as much as possible. That didn’t stop Nzechukwu when he stopped Marques late in their bout. Nzechukwu actually defended well and avoided being submitted, Roberson isn’t as big of a submission threat as Marques, so will be more about control than anything else. If he’s using heavy wrestling approach early, I think he’ll start to gas, which’ll open the door for Nzechukwu late, and I think we get a 3rd RD TKO/KO as a result. Making Nzechukwu a great middle of the pack play today.
PICK: Kennedy Nzechukwu $16 FD ($8200 DK)
Karl Roberson $15 FD ($8000 DK)
Ronnie Lawrence vs Saidyokub Kakhramonov
What an absolute banger to start the card. Lawrence has started his UFC career off 2-0, and is a relentless wrestler/grappler. He averages 9 TDs per 15mins. Insanity. He’s proven to have high cardio and won’t fade much down the stretch. He lands at a decent clip on the feet, lands 3.54 SS/m (absorbs just 1.62 SS/m). He also has 100% TDEF so far, so will be interesting how that fairs in this matchup. In his bout vs Mana Martinez, his decision making late almost cost him the win, he decided to brawl more with him, and got knocked down, but recovered. As competition level rises, that could get him in trouble. And I think we see that here vs Kakhramonov. In Kakhramonov’s debut vs Trevin Jones, he almost locked up a standing guillotine choke within the first 90 seconds, but Jones got free. But after that, Kakhramonov’s pressure & power detoured Jones from wanting to engage the rest of that fight. Kakhramonov is extremely well rounded, and should be the superior grappler in this fight, even off of his back. And while he doesn’t get TDs at such a high clip, he lands 2 TDs per 15mins. But his TD accuracy is much less effective. He sports 87% TDEF, but I think that changes a bit in this one as Lawrence should get a few TDs, his issue is controlling his opponents, because if you’re getting 6+ TDs every fight, that means your opponents are standing on most every one you get. That’ll be an issue in this one, because Kakhramonov hits harder, and he won’t mind when it goes go to the mat. This seems like the perfect time to fade Lawrence who should see pretty good ownership. I think he gets himself caught on the feet, and Kakhramonov will jump on a choke for the submission win in RD 3. Regardless, I think this is a fight to have in your DFS LUs, should be fun.
PICK: Saidyokub Kakhramonov $14 FD ($7800 DK)
Ronnie Lawrence $17 FD ($8400 DK)
by: Chris Joseph (cmj0009)