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UFC Monterrey: DraftKings Preview

Kelvin Gastelum
Photo Courtesy of AP

The UFC debuts in Monterrey, Mexico with The Ultimate Fighter: Latino America 2 Finale. Coaches Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero are up against Neil Magny and Leandro Silva, respectively. Ricardo Lamas welcomes fellow Mexican-American Diego Sanchez to the featherweight division in a potential brawl and Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo fights Jussier Formiga in a title contender fight. There’s plenty of other even fights with lots of potential budget plays in a card that promises to be very exciting and unpredictable.

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

Main Card

Kelvin Gastelum ($10,900) vs. Neil Magny ($8,500)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

Gastelum gets a last-minute opponent in Magny; the change affects both who were previously training against strikers. Gastelum has the wrestling edge and if he gets Magny from top he could finish. But Magny is hard to finish and gets stronger as the fight goes on and Gastelum can get worn down. Gastelum could get an early finish and Magny is capable of a finish too especially having a significant size advantage.

Play: Draft Magny on a budget

Ricardo Lamas ($11,200) vs. Diego Sanchez ($8,200)
Featherweight Bout (145 lbs)

Picking against Diego is risky. The Greg Jackson student is notorious for his relentless style always seeking out brawls for anyone who’ll humor him. Lamas isn’t a brawler but possesses power and is improving as a striker. Sanchez cutting down is also worrisome as his durability and endurance may get worse. Finishing Sanchez is a tall task and at that price tag, Lamas seems a bit unaffordable.

Play: Draft Lamas or Pass

Henry Cejudo ($11,100) vs. Jussier Formiga ($8,300)
Flyweight Bout (125 lbs)

A fight that really favors Cejudo, the Mexican-American is an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling and is a solid boxer. Formiga is a BJJ specialist but his best position is from the top or from the back. Wherever the fight goes it favors Cejudo but a finish is unlikely so his ceiling may be low but he’s also a relatively safe pick.

Play: Cejudo or Pass

Enrique “Wasabi” Marin ($10,600) vs. Erick Montano ($8,800)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)

A fight that could yield some fantasy points. Wasabi proves to be better than his low self-esteem yields. He’s tough, has good size and is capable on the ground from top. Montano has punching power and wrestling and has the better overall skillset. There’s a good chance of a finish here but Montano is better overall and him at budget is worth a shot.

Play: Draft Montano

Enrique “El Fuerte” Barzola ($10,100) vs. Horacio Guttierez ($9,300)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)

A really fun fight between two TUF teammates who both finished their fights by TKO in the first round after two entertaining scraps. It’s tough to gauge who wins or scores points if they go back and forth, but “El Fuerte” showed a more complete skillset and is the slight lean but Guttierez’s high volume style is also playable at budget.

Play: Draft Guttierez or Pass

Leandro Silva ($9,900) vs. Efrain Escudero ($9,500)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)

Escudero is the better fighter all around. The former TUF winner has good wrestling and kickboxing so he’s competitive wherever the fight goes. Silva better known as “Buscape” is black belt in BJJ and prefers it on the ground. Escudero is better overall but his history with inconsistency makes him a tough bet. There’s likely no finish here either.

Play: Pass

Prelims

Erik Perez ($10,000) vs. Taylor Lapilus ($9,400)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs)

Great fight on paper. Perez and Lapilus are strikers with Perez having a penchant to get into brawls with his assertive style. Lapilus is raw as a fighter overall but has the size, reach and physical tools to give Perez a tough time, maybe even surprise the Mexican crowd. This is a dog or pass scenario as the prospect for a finish may be higher with Lapilus.

Play: Draft Lapilus or Pass

Bartosz Fabinski ($10,500) vs. Hector Urbina ($8,900)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

Fabinski and Urbina are both grapplers and that could mean they cancel each other out and go at it on their feet. But if it goes to the ground, it should favor Fabinski and Urbina is prone to mistakes and can leave himself susceptible to a finish. Fabinski is also strong in the clinch. He should win but Urbina shouldn’t be counted out too easily. Play Fabinski at your own risk.

Play: Draft Fabinski or Pass

Scott Jorgensen ($10,200) vs. Alejandro Perez ($9,200)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs)

Jorgensen is far more experienced but Perez is much younger and fresher. The TUF Latin America winner was finished quickly by Alan Patrick but has otherwise been very tough and has the boxing and wrestling to contend with Jorgensen, who has been on a decline. There’s likely no finish so it’s tough to recommend either guy but Perez is a good budget play.

Play: Draft Perez or Pass

Andre Fili ($10,700) vs. Gabriel Benitez ($8,700)
Featherweight Bout (145 lbs)

Fili and Benitez could dance and put up some fireworks. Both are strikers but Fili is more creative, varied and the longer fighter. Benitez has BJJ chops and Fili’s shown vulnerability to the ground but it likely won’t go there. Benitez is tough so a finish may not be likely but Fili should control this fight if he chooses to.

Play: Draft Fili

Vernon Ramos ($10,300) vs. Alvaro Herrera ($9,100)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)

Ramos is a tough customer and fights at a high intensity. Alvaro is a similar mold but Ramos showed more of a skillset and is a higher level athlete. Ramos should be able to dictate the pace unless they get into a brawl in which Alvaro has a prayer to land but it may likely be Ramos who does. Still it’s hard to trust at that price.

Play: Draft Ramos or Pass

Cesar Arzamendia ($10,400) vs “Marco” Polo Reyes ($9,000)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

Arzamendia put up a good fight against El Fuerte until he ate a body shot. He’s pretty big and has power and Polo likes to get in scraps and hasn’t shown much on the wrestling or ground. Arzmanedia likely knocks out Polo if they get in an exchange or finish him at some point.

Play: Draft Arzamendia

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS

Michel Prazeres ($9,800) vs. Valmir Lazaro ($9,600)
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)

A grappler (Prazeres) versus striker (Lazaro) fight; Prazeres has the Gleison Tibau build and can use his strong stocky build and the clinch to secure takedowns and ride out top position but Lazaro has great takedown defense and is the better striker. If the fight stays standing, Lazaro can rack up striking points but there’s likely no finish.

Play: Pass

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