Justin’s Pick: Song Yadong
When you can get this kind of value, you have to take it. Song is a -500 favorite, but only costs $9.1K. He has finished both of his fights in the UFC, winning one by TKO and one by submission, although he recorded a knockdown in both fights. He’s an extremely well-rounded fighter, who gets a great matchup against Vince Morales, who will be making his UFC debut. Morales has won two fights in Bellator, but lost his fight on DWTNCS. He’s a fighter that comes with solid power, but I simply feel Song is the better fighter all over. He has multiple avenues to finish this fight, and that can be seen with his -167 inside the distance prop. Song is simply one of the safest fighters on the card, who is likely to finish his opponent, and we need to take advantage of his price tag.
Jason’s Reaction: It’s hard to argue with Song’s odds and price tag.
Jason’s Pick: Curtis Blaydes
Curtis Blaydes is too cheap on DraftKings. Both Francis Ngannou and Blaydes have been running through the heavyweight division over the last two or three years, and it will be interesting to see what happens when these two meet for a second time. In his last fight, Ngannou looked extremely hesitant against Derrick Lewis and ultimately ended up losing the fight. Blaydes, on the other hand, has been dominant over and over again. He has four consecutive victories against Daniel Omielanczuk, Alexey Oleynik, Mark Hunt, and Alistair Overeem. It is about time the UFC allows him to show what he is capable of doing against potential champions. Until Daniel Cormier retires, it is unlikely that Blaydes gets the title shot that he deserves. As far as DraftKings is concerned, he is obviously a fantastic wrestler, and he is going to force action. Ngannou could come out hesitant again, but that will not work against constant single and double leg takedown attempts. If Blaydes grounds him, this fight could be over quick. Ngannou’s path to victory is a knockout, but Blaydes proved he has a chin that will hold up. In their last fight, Blaydes did not get knocked out. He had to stop the fight due to a doctor’s stoppage. This is one of the most exciting fights of the year. Enjoy.
Justin’s Reaction: I love Blaydes in this matchup. Ngannou got the better of him in their first fight, but Blaydes has been training at real camps since then, while Ngannou hasn’t. In other words, Blaydes has been making strides in his game, while Ngannou has been relying mainly on knockout power.
Justin’s Pick: Sergey Pavlovich
There are a few mid-priced heavyweights that we can take advantage of. In this situation, I’m siding with Sergey Pavlovich, who is making his debut as an undefeated heavyweight prospect. He comes from Russia with serious striking skills, and his most likely method of victory is via TKO. He gets a matchup against Alistair Overeem, who has been on a bit of a skid recently. Overeem has lost three of his last five fights, although his victories were against Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt. He has the grappling advantage of Pavlovich, and this fight essentially comes down to one factor – do you believe Overeem’s chin will hold up? Personally, I do not, and I’m willing to pay the low price tag that comes with a potential first round knockout in this situation.
Jason’s Reaction: I agree that you need a piece of this fight, but I disagree on which side you should be getting. Overeem makes the better option, especially for the cheaper price tag.
Jason’s Pick: Song Kenan
Kenan “The Assassin” Song has found success in the UFC over the last two years. Fighting out of Jackson-Wink MMA, he picked up victories against both Bobby Nash and Hector Aldana. This weekend, he fights UFC veteran Alex Morono. Morono has struggle in his last three fights, dropping two of them to Jordan Mein and Keita Nakamura. After his early UFC success, Morono has been on a skid, and if he loses on Saturday, it could put him in a bad fight or get cut situation. Song, on the other hand, needs to pick up a win, if he wants to find his way to the top 15. For fantasy value, Song has great finishing potential, but Morono has only been finished once in his career. Song has also only been finished once in his career. Song is the more active fighter, which might bode well for him on the judge’s scorecard. This is definitely a fight to attack on Saturday.
Justin’s Reaction: I side slightly with Song, but not much. This fight is truly a toss up, although I feel Song has the better finishing potential, making him the better pick for fantasy.
Justin’s Pick: Su Mudaerji
I’m extremely interested in this fight. Sherdog has Mudaeji at 8-1, but he stated that his true record is 12-3 because it simply hasn’t been updated yet. Regardless, Mudaerji has been an elite finisher throughout his career, possessing tremendous power for his size. He’s also the first Tibetan fighter in the UFC, and will enjoy the home crowd this weekend. Louis Smolka has previously been in the UFC, but was given his walking papers after losing four fights in a row. He won two fights since then, and has moved to 135 lbs. This is going to be a difficult return for Smolka, as he’s heading to hostile territory against a known finisher. He has finishing potential himself, though, and similarly to many of these fights, it likely won’t be going a full three rounds. It’s difficult to find the same upside Mudaerji has for his price tag, though.
Jason’s Reaction: Again, we disagree. I’m more on Smolka this weekend, but I understand his upside for the price tag.
Jason’s Pick: Hu Yaozong
This is an interesting fight for Hu Yaozong, while Rashad Coulter will look to pick up a victory in an effort to not get cut from the UFC. Coulter has three straight losses, while Yaozong lost his only UFC fight to Cyril Asker. Luckily for the ET MMA up-and-comer, he is only 23-years-old, which means that his skills are getting better at a rather rapid rate. He should be a much better fighter this time around, while Coulter is old and has been around. As long as Yaozong can avoid the overhand right, he should be able to pick up a win this weekend. He has great finishing potential, as well. Vegas has the fight as a pick ‘em right now, but Yaozong is significantly cheaper on DraftKings. He is one of the top underdogs on this upcoming card.
Justin’s Reaction: Truthfully, neither of these fighters truly belong in the UFC. Virtually anything can happen with low-level heavyweight fighters, and you just kind of plug someone in and hope. With that being said, you basically have to use one of these fighters in GPPs, as this fight likely won’t last long.