This week the UFC comes to us from Berlin, Germany with a an early afternoon starting time over in North America. This card isn’t the deepest but there is a title fight headlining and as always a few interesting matchups. I think more hard-core fans will be interested in this fight for entertainment purposes but as a DFS player this card is as good as any for making rosters. There will be some unknowns, some fights that are must plays and some decent underdogs to hopefully use to boost your teams.
I’m definitely recommending you use the betting odds a lot in making your picks this week. With a lot of unknown fighters looking at what fights Vegas thinks is going to end before the final bell is a great place to start research this week. I’ve mainly targeted those who will be competing in fights with high probabilities of finishing before round 3 ends. For fantasy the most important thing is always getting those TKO/KO/stoppage bonuses and this week is no different, even with a less than stellar card.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-650) v Jessica Penne (+475)
DraftKings: 11300 v 8300
Kountermove: 5500 v 4700
The main event this weekend is a title fight in the woman’s straw-weight division. The fight odds are heavily weighted to the reigning champion Jedrzejczyk and rightfully so. Jedrzejczyk is a fantastic striker with a great background in muay Thai. She has great movement, works well in clinches and for a weaker division is a great all-around fighter and champion. He opponent Penne, has strung together some nice wins but is really not in the same class in many areas. Penne is not a great wrestler however she is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and so there is some chance she could pull off a surprise victory. However I expect this fight will mostly take place on the feet and in the clinch which will mean bad things most likely for Penne. The only one I’m using from this fight is Jedrzejczyk and I expect she finishes this before three rounds are up.
Odds to win: -220
Backstrom is a big (tall) and rangy featherweight fighter who is going to carry a significant striking advantage in this fight. His opponent has a decent ground game, but I expect the size of Backstrom is going to make it hard for him to be taken down. Backstrom is most likely going to be able to land a high number of shots at range and in the clinch and is a talented enough fighter to end this before the final round. Vegas has this as one of the most likely fights to end as a TKO/submission/KO. I think Backstrom is probably going to be one of the best plays of the night and is someone I’d focus on for fantasy purposes, an early win is in his grasp.
Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki
Odds to win: -255
The other fight that Vegas has ending before the final bell is the one between Sasaki and Taylor Lapilus. This is a bantamweight fight and perhaps even a closer one than the odds suggest, however I think the matchup still favours Sasaki. He’s the bigger stronger fighter and a great grappler. Lapilus has shown improvement in his recent fights, and particularly his striking, but I don’t think he offers enough stand up to neutralize Sasaki’s strengths. Sasaki is a very aggressive fighter and I expect him to try and impose himself early and often and walk off with the quick win. I’d recommend him in fantasy since most people will tend to ignore the first fight on the card.
Odds to win: -220
Amirkhani is really more of a grappler-wrester than a striker, but he did win his last bought in 8 sec via flying knee. Although I highly doubt there will be a repeat I do think Amirkhani is being set up here for another big win. His opponent is a decent striker but is going to be outclassed in the wrestling/grappling department and I expect Amirkhani is going to be able to impose his will in this fight. I’d expect there’s a decent shot that he wins by submission and Vegas has this fight as a favourite to end before round 3. I agree, and think you’ll likely see Amirkhani achieve victory before the final round ends.
Odds to win: -320
If you’re playing on Kountermove this week I think you really have to take advantage of how low Sobotta is priced. As a -320 favourite Sobotta is actually priced lower than his opponent for fantasy purposes on Kountermove, most likely to a late last minute change in fighters (Steve Kennedy was a last minute replacement). However, Sobotta is the better fighter in his new matchup in almost all areas and should also be the more well-prepared fighter given he went through an entire camp. I think he’s an absolute must play on Kountermove and would recommend you get him into your lineups this week.
Odds to win: -220
Allen is a nice young prospect who should be involved in a pretty lively scrap this weekend with another good fighter in Alan Omer. There’s no doubt that Allen is going to have a bit of a disadvantage in the stand-up game this weekend however as a young fighter who is filling in on short notice I think Allen gives you a decent shot of getting an underdog victory. Allen is a strong clinch fighter and grappler and will look to control this fight with his strength in the clinch or transitions. This card is not loaded with great underdogs but I think Allen gives you the most realistic shot at achieving a victory amoung the non-favourites this weekend.