After what can only be described as a weekend off while the circus came to town, real fighting is back this weekend. Even better, fantasy MMA is back and we’ve got you covered with a preview of a really nice card that boasts some extremely interesting and competitive fights.
UFC Fight Night 65 comes to you from Australia this Saturday at 7:45 est and should be an excellent way to cleanse your pallet from the “fight” of the century last weekend. The card features lots of local Aussie talent and some very intriguing prospects that are looking to make their mark in the UFC. Lots of these fights should be close, and the potential exists for some huge KO’s and also some big underdog victories. Many of the fighters will be unknown to most fantasy players so picking and choosing the right fighters will be a tougher task this week than most.
As always, make sure you check out both Kountermove and DraftKings this weekend for the best daily fantasy MMA games. Kountermove is the only MMA specific daily fantasy site and offers fantasy games on almost all MMA and boxing events, not just the UFC.
Main Event: Mark Hunt (+200) vs. Stipe Miocic (-220) (Heavyweights—5 rounds)
Kountermove: Hunt (5300) Miocic (5200)
DraftKings: Hunt (8900) Miocic (10800)
This should be a really interesting main event (aka the opposite of last week’s boxing match). This is a 5 round heavyweight fight between two of the best heavyweights in the division as Hunt is currently ranked 5th in the division and Miocic 4th. Hunt is a more experienced fighter who has essentially fought his way into top level status. Hunt has great power and has finally developed some decent defense and movement to go with his great punching prowess. He’s a great story and also exciting to watch as he’s capable of knocking anyone out at any time. Miocic is a much more complete fighter who took Junior Dos Santos to 5 rounds recently. He’s a great wrestler who has shown great quickness in his standup for a man his size. He may not have the power Hunt does but he has a much more complete game. Both of these fighters have been known for putting on great shows and have high strike rates (highest in the division). I doubt this fight lasts more than 2 rounds and I really think that favours Hunt. Miocic is definitely the more durable of the two however, but if he gets into a straight standup war his edge decreases. I like Hunt on DraftKings for his price and think you could go either way on Kountermove considering they are priced equally. I wouldn’t fade this fight for fantasy, the winner should get huge points.
Odds to win: -380
Sam Alvey is a great fighter for fantasy purposes because he has great power, and doesn’t mind standing in front of his opponent and swinging for the fences. This week he gets the perfect opponent for his style, the aggressive Dan Kelly. Kelly looked very mediocre in his last fight and Alvey just KO’d a more dangerous opponent in his last match. Alvey will undoubtedly attempt to engage Kelly and its likely Kelly will oblige. Alvey simply has more power and is great at absorbing punches himself. This screams early KO and I don’t mind paying up for Alvey for that reason even if he is one of the more expensive fighters on the card.
Odds to win: -160
This is a fight you can definitely take advantage of this weekend. Rawlings is without a doubt the more athletic, younger and larger athlete and the only thing keeping the odds as close as they are is the lack of solid wins on her record. Ellis is an experienced fighter, but is simply outmatched physically in this fight, and it seems as if she is essentially being fed to the lambs in an attempt to boast Rawlings credibility. This is Rawlings fight to lose and I expect it’s likely she will make short work of Ellis, Rawlings is a great fantasy option this weekend.
Odds to win: +135
O’Connell should be involved in another very interesting and very active fight that could be great for fantasy purposes. He is taking on 42 year old Anthony Perosh who has an aggressive style and does have quite good power but is also very susceptible to getting hit hard as well. O’Connell is simply the younger more powerful fighter at this point and I expect Perosh’s aggressive nature may play right into O’Connell’s strength as he prefers to stand and bang. Perosh is the more experienced and more well-rounded fighter but I expect he’ll have trouble advancing on O’Connell. I think O’Connell makes for a great underdog play in fantasy as he has the very real chance of winning this fight due to stoppage or KO.
Odds to win: +100
While there’s not a huge amount of upside in some of the underdogs I do think Brendan O’Reilly carries a striking advantage in his fight and could use that advantage to get an early stoppage. Both of these fighters are truly lucky to be in the UFC at this point and while it’s tempting to side with the hometown boy (Grujic) I’d rather side with the more athletic fighter and that is without a doubt O’Reilly in this case. This fight could actually be pretty entertaining as neither fighter as anything to lose (except their job) so they could be looking to put on a show. It’s definitely a good fight to target for fantasy and I like O’Reilly for the discounted price tag.
Fight Notes: I really like Hatsu Hioki in his fight and won’t be shocked if he wins convincingly. He’s definitely got some potential for big points as well. Kyle Noke v Jonavin Webb should be a really even matchup and you could target either side of this fight if you needed to. Webb is the better long-term fighter and probably carries more upside in this fight as well. Finally, I think the Tavares v Whittaker match is destined to go to a decision. There should be a decent amount of strikes thrown but Tavares is not known for his power and Whittaker just moved up a division. Whittaker is cheaper so I would lean towards using him if I had to choose for fantasy purposes.