Justin’s Pick: Luis Pena
Pena was arguably the best fighter on his season of The Ultimate Fighter, but an injury forced him from the competition. The UFC is obviously high on him, though, as they gave him a fight at The Ultimate Fighter Finale. He won that fight via Guillotine Choke in the first round. On the same night, his opponent, Michael Trizano, defeated Joe Giannetti via a questionable split decision. While Trizano showed flashed during TUF, Pena simply looks to be on a different level. He’s an active fighter that can utilize his striking or grappling. He also comes with finishing potential, as he has yet to go to decision in his career. Pena’s activity makes him a safe option, as he can score a plethora of fantasy points with a finish or in a decision.
Jason’s Reaction: I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that Pena is “safe.” His Vegas odds are a bit too concerning (along with the very high price tag) for cash game usage, in my opinion.
Jason’s Pick: Mark De La Rosa
It is sort of difficult to justify rostering Mark De La Rosa when Davi Ramos is only five hundred dollars less, but that price differential could be very important this Saturday, as a lot of the fights are going to be close. De La Rosa has good odds to win this fight, and despite Vegas predicting that this fight goes the distance, his submission ability is always present. Joby Sanchez has horrible takedown defense, which should bode well for De La Rosa, even if it does go decision. He had two takedowns in his last fight, and that number could more than double this Sunday in three rounds. The upside is nearly the same as that of Ramos, and the price tag is less. Risk it.
Justin’s Reaction: De La Rosa is in a great position this weekend, and I’m a big fan of him. He’s one of very few fighters that hasn’t seen ridiculous line movement this event, as well.
Justin’s Pick: Chan Sung Jung
This is a fight that I absolutely want to get a piece of. Chan Sung Jung took four years off before knocking out Dennis Bermudez in the first round in his first fight back. He’s been away from the octagon for over a year once again, but so has his opponent, Yair Rodriguez. Rodriguez is coming off of a loss against Frankie Edgar, displaying plenty of holes in his game. Rodriguez utilizes a flashy offense, but also has cardio issues because of this. In a five round fight, I favor The Korean Zombie, who has flashed a more complete MMA game throughout his career. He has more ways to win this fight, and should have the significantly better gas tank. He will have a five round floor with the potential for an earlier finish.
Jason’s Reaction: I agree entirely with this one.
Jason’s Pick: Chas Skelly
Chas Skelly is far from a lock to win this fight, but if he does pick up the victory this Saturday, he should provide plenty of fantasy points to risky owners. After loses to both Darren Elkins and Jason Knight, Skelly is looking to get back on track. He has six wins in his last eight fights, and every single one of those wins produced over 90 fantasy points. He has solid wrestling, great submissions, and he is a high-energy fighter. Bobby Moffett is a fierce competitor, who just recently picked up a submission win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (whoever thought that was a good name for a show should be fired). He comes out of MMA Lab and has great wrestling, so Skelly will have to be careful, but Skelly has the experience to avoid dangerous situations. Again, if he wins, he should do it in a fashion that is positive for fantasy point accumulation.
Justin’s Reaction: Moffett is one of multiple fighters with odds value on this card, but I also side with Skelly in this fight. I’ll only be using him in tournaments, though.
Justin’s Pick: Donald Cerrone
I don’t necessarily believe Cerrone will win this fight, but I want a piece of it. It currently features -265 odds that it does not go to decision, and Cerrone has proven that Mike Perry isn’t the only one in this fight that has finishing potential. Cerrone likely has the more complete game between these two, but getting inside on someone with the power that Perry possesses could be an issue. Furthermore, Cerrone features a questionable chin, although it held up for five rounds in his last fight against Leon Edwards. Cerrone has more ways to finish this fight, making him a live dog in a high upside position, even if it may not be the most likely outcome when these two meet on Saturday.
Jason’s Reaction: I really wanted the Cerrone recommendation this week. Way to beat me to it.
Jason’s Pick: Thiago Moises
Beneil Dariush is a better fighter than Thiago Moises. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be priced so low. However, Moises has a better chance to win this fight than DraftKings anticipates. Dariush is on a losing skid, and he needs to pick up a victory. Do not look too heavily into those loses, as they came to fighters like Michael Chiesa, Edson Barboza, and Alexander Hernandez. That said, he enjoys a slower paced fight, and he tends to out-point his opponents. He does have some submission ability, as well as enough power to land a knockout punch. Moises, on the other hand, is a finisher. Whether or not this is because he is facing lesser competition in other professional fight league is yet to be seen – after all, Dariush submitted quite a few opponents prior to his UFC debut. Still, Moises is an active, young fighter. He could give Dariush fits, and Dariush’s confidence may be fading. This is a long shot, but Moises has the ability to pick up an upset finish victory this Saturday.
Justin’s Reaction: I quietly like Moises. If he wins this fight, he’s going to finish Dariush. He comes with decent odds value, and they should continue to shift as Saturday approaches. Moises is a top-notch GPP option, and he could potentially be used in cash games if you’re in a pinch.