Daily Fantasy Sports has taken over the lives of countless sports fans around the world, and UFC fans are no different. The rules are fairly simple; You get a total salary of $50,000 dollars and you have to pick a roster of 5 fighters from that night’s card, each with their own price depending on their odds of winning. Draft Kings offers a wide variety of games and odds, ranging from a 50/50 game, to a $20K guaranteed “Haymaker” tournament.
Alptekin Ozkilic ($10,900) vs. Ben Nguyen ($8,400):
Ben Nguyen takes on Alptekin Ozkilic in his debut. Ozkilic has gone 1-2 since entering the UFC. I believe the value is in Nguyen here, as $10,900 is quite pricey for a fighter with a 1-2 record in the promotion. There is a chance Nguyen could have octagon jitters, so buyers beware.
Vik Grujic ($9,800) vs. Brendan O’Reily ($9,500):
Grujic has lost 2 of his 3 bouts in the UFC, and O’Reily fell to Lipend Zhang via unanimous decision last August. This is a toss up of a match up, and the numbers reflect that. While this is a fight I’d stay away from, I’d lean O’Reilys way.
Kailin Curran ($10,700) vs. Alex Chambers ($8,700):
In this womens strawweight matchup between two fighters who lost in their UFC debut, Kailin Curran is heavily favored. While I agree with Curran being the favorite, I don’t agree with her price. Stay away from Curran, there are much better options at that price. Chambers has a very low price, she may not be a terrible underdog fighter to pick if you need someone inexpensive.
Dylan Andrews($10,100) vs. Bradley Scott($9,300):
After winning his first two fights in the octagon, Andrews has been (T)KO’D twice in a row. Bradley Scott is 1-2 with the UFC, losing his last fight against Claudio Henrique da Silva in March of last year. This fight is full of question marks. It’s tough to predict how Scott will look, as its been over a year since his last fight. On the other hand, its hard to say if Andrews can take a punch as he’s been finished by strikes in his last two fights. The price’s are right, but I would recommend staying away from this one.
Bec Rawlings ($10,600) vs. Lisa Ellis ($8,800):
Rawlings is 1-3 in her last 4, and Ellis is 1-4 in her last 5, and they both lost their octagon debut. Don’t sleep on Ellis, as 3 of her last 4 losses came to supreme competition in Herrig, Penne, and the current WSOF champion Jessica Aguilar. While the value is in Ellis, there’s no clear cut winner in this duel of recent losers.
Sam Alvey ($11,200) vs. Dan Kelly ($8,200):
“Smilin’” Sam Alvey is the biggest favorite on the card as he takes on the undefeated Australian; Dan Kelly. Alvey is coming off two impressive KO victories, but I don’t think that justifies him being the heaviest favorite of the night, especially when he’s up against an undefeated fighter in his home country. While Alvey has potential for big points, coming from an early finish, I think Kelly is the best value pick on the card.
Kyle Noke ($10,000) vs. Jonavin Webb ($9,400):
Noke has gone 1-3 in his last 4 fights, and hasn’t fought since losing to Patrick Cote on TUF: Nations finale last April. He is fighting undefeated newcomer in Jonavin Webb, who has 6 finishes on his record. I think Webb is the pick here, as he’s going against an aging Kyle Noke who may have ring rust. While there is always the possibility of octagon jitters when a newly signed fighter enters the cage, I believe Webb gets the finish regardless.
Hatsu Hioki ($11,000) vs. Dan Hooker ($8,500):
Why is a fighter who has gone 1-4 in his last 5 priced at $11,000? Who knows. Dan Hooker is 1-1 since signing with the promotion, including a TKO win vs. Ian Entwhistle in June of last year. Hioki may still be the better fighter despite his recent record, but that doesn’t make him worth those kinds of dollars. If you want value and a good time, pick up Hooker.
Jake Matthews ($10,500) vs. James Vick ($9,000):
This is my favorite fight of the night, and the one I’m looking forward to the most. This is a battle between two top young contenders, who also happen to be undefeated. This will be a pivotal fight in both athletes career. I think the prices are set right here, and they are both good options. I believe Matthews will win, but Vick isn’t the worst underdog to put your money on.
Anthony Perosh ($9,900) vs. Sean O’Connell ($9,600):
Both fighters are looking for their 2nd win in a row as they face off in the third final fight of the card. Both of shown flashes of potential, but they’ve also had ugly losses as well. I recommend staying away from this fight, but if you need a guy in their price range to squeeze in your lineup, I’d go O’Connell.
Brad Tavares ($10,300) vs. Robert Whittaker ($9,100)
Whittaker is coming off of a huge win in November where he TKO’d Clint Hester. He looked significantly better and showed off a diverse skill set. Tavaras is coming off a UD win vs. Marquardt, but lost his two before that to Tim Boetsch and Yoel Romero. Whittaker has great value at $9,100, and I think he is a smart choice. Either way this fight has potential to become fight of the night.
Stipe Miocic ($10,800) vs. Mark Hunt ($8,900)
In the heavyweight main event, Stipe Miocic comes in as the favorite vs. Mark Hunt after losing a decision to Junior Dos Santos. Hunt lost to Werdum for the interim heavyweight title in his last bout. While Miocic is the more technical boxer, you can never count out the heart and power of Hunt. Stipe is the smart choice here, but if you want early finish potential at a cheap price, look no further than Mark Hunt. Remember, it is always smart to take a fighter in the main event as it has the potential to go 5 rounds, which is 2 more than any other fight on this card. More rounds, more time to score points.
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223
UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.
Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.
After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.
A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.
Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.
Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.
A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.
Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet
Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.
“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”
Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.
“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”
Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April
MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.
The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.
Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.
An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.
His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).
Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.
PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.
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