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UFC 193: DraftKings Preview

Photo Courtesy of AP

UFC 193 is finally here. The promotion’s debut in Melbourne, Australia features two women’s title fights, making it another first in UFC history. In the headliner, Ronda Rousey makes her seventh title defense against former boxing star, Holly Holm and Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her women’s strawweight title against the gritty Valerie Letourneau.

Here is the DraftdKings (daily fantasy sports) breakdown of the fights:

MAIN CARD (PPV)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVU2eUzGR5Q

Ronda Rousey ($11,400) vs Holly Holm ($8,000)
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (135 lbs)

It’s rare for a fighter to be priced almost a quarter of your entire budget to be worth every penny. With a 100 percent finish rate and all but one fight ending in the first, Rousey is going to rack up over 100 points easily. Holm could maybe make it to the second but her only chance of winning is via a prayer of a knockout or by playing pitter patter with Rousey.

Play: Draft Rousey (or Jedrzejczyk)

 

Joanna Jedrzejczyk ($11,300) vs Valerie Letourneau ($8,100)
UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship (115 lbs)

Jedrzejczyk may not end fights as quickly as Ronda but she throws at such rapid rate (landed 126 significant strikes against Penne in three rounds) she’ll rack up points even if the finish isn’t there. Letourneau likes to brawl and throws a lot but also eats a lot. But she’s durable and has some boxing. So long as she stands with Jedrzejczyk, this is going to be a brawl.

Play: Draft Jedrzejczyk (or Ronda) or draft Letourneau if you’re feeling extra spicy

 

Mark Hunt ($10,500) vs Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva ($8,900)
Heayvweight Bout (206-265 lbs)

Hunt and “Bigfoot” won’t likely recreate the barnburner they had from before, but one of them will likely be knocked out. The “Super Samoan” is a wrecking ball with an iron chin. He got roughed up by Miocic and dropped by “Bigfoot” in their first match, but Silva’s vulnerable chin and big head combo makes him a walking target for another Hunt KO.

Play: Draft Hunt or Pass

 

Uriah Hall ($9,800) vs Robert Whittaker ($9,600)
Middleweight Bout (185 lbs)

A great technical battle between “Primetime” and the “Reaper.” Keyword: technical. Whittaker will push the pace on Hall moving forward and Hall will try to use his length to keep “Reaper” at bay. Either guy could finish the fight at any moment either with Whittaker’s fists or Hall’s kicks. Hall’s inconsistency and Whittaker’s hot streak lean it for the underdog.

Play: Draft Whittaker or Pass

 

Stefan Struve ($9,900) vs Jared Rosholt ($9,500)
Heavyweight Bout (206-265 lbs)

Usually heavyweight fights are must plays due to their propensity to finish fights with one punch but that doesn’t seem like it here. Neither man has that one-punch power and will likely duke it out in a clinch where Struve’s knees could eat up the wrestler. Rosholt could make the fight dirty but won’t likely win outside a decision.

Play: Pass

 

PRELIMS

Jake Matthews ($11,000) vs Akhbar Arreola ($8,300)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)

Matthews is being given a fight tailor-made for him. The Australian’s hype was derailed after a loss to Vick but Arreola is beatable. Matthews will win this fight wherever the fight goes and there’s good chance of a finish. But he isn’t a finished product or a proven commodity by any means. He’s a high-risk, high-reward play but this fight should be on the safer side. On paper.

Play: Draft Matthews or Pass

 

Peter Sobotta ($10,200) vs Kyle Noke ($9,200)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

Two grapplers at different points in their careers. Sobotta has been resurgent since losing three in a row and has improved his striking on top of finishing fights on the ground. Noke is also a grappler with some sneaky punching power. Sobotta should win but Noke is a tough grizzled vet who finds his ways. A decision is highly likely.

Play: Pass

 

Gian Villante ($10,900) vs Anthony Perosh ($8,500)
Light Heavyweight Bout (205 lbs)

A token striker (Villante) versus grappler (Perosh) matchup; stylistically Villante is the superior fighter especially if he keeps the fight on its feet where he should outstrike Perosh handily, who also doesn’t have a good chin. Villante’s main concern is his cardio and if he starts to fade, Perosh could take over and steal the fight. Villante is a decent play but a really risky one.

Play: Draft Villante or Pass

 

Danny Martinez ($9,700) vs Richie Vaculik ($9,700)
Flyweight Bout (125 lbs)

This is a pick’em fight with a low chance of a finish. It’s anyone’s guess who will slip and make a crucial mistake if and when the fight hits the ground. On paper Martinez is the superior wrestler but Vaculik’s grit and craftiness comes into play. Not much fantasy value here.

Play: Pass

 

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

Steve Montgomery ($10,400) vs Dan Kelly ($9,000)
Middleweight Bout (185 lbs)

Montgomery-Kelly is another striker versus grappler scrap. Montgomery, the striker will keep the fight on its feet and piece up Kelly who is primarily a judoka. There’s a high likelihood of a finish leaning on Montgomery to finish Kelly by strikes. But there’s still a threat of Kelly getting the fight to the ground.

Play: Draft Montgomery or Pass

 

Richie Walsh ($10,800) vs Steve Kennedy ($8,600)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

A clash between two journeymen who are pretty well-rounded but not particularly great at one thing. Walsh should be the superior fighter and has the home crowd. There’s an outside chance Walsh finishes Kennedy but a better chance it’s a pretty muddy affair with a decision.

Play: Pass

 

James Moontasri ($10,600) vs Anton Zafir ($8,800)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

Moontasri is a fantastic striker who can also end fights on the ground. Zafir is fighting on short notice and is taking a huge step up in competition. Zafir is a good athlete with some power but Moontasri is on a different level and it’ll be too much too soon for the local hero. This is a chance for Moontasri to shine again.

Play: Draft Moontasri

 

Ben Nguyen ($10,000) vs Ryan Benoit ($9,400)
Flyweight Bout (125 lbs)

Nguyen and Benoit are going to stand and scrap. This has great potential for a good scrap with either fighter having enough power to end a fight, something uncommon for flyweights. Nguyen is quicker and has a slight striking advantage but Benoit can end the fight just as well. At the cheaper price, Benoit could be a better play.

Play: Draft Benoit or Pass

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