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UFC: Seoul DraftKings Preview

Benson Henderson UFC
Photo Courtesy of AP

The UFC continues its global expansion with another debut this time in the capital city of South Korea. Former WEC and UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, who is of Korean heritage, will main event opposite streetfighter turned MMA veteran, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal.

Plenty of Korean prospects and powerhouses are lined up including Dong Hyun Kim, Doo Ho Choi. It also marks the return of Japan’s Choo Sung-hoon a.k.a. Yoshihiro Akiyama, better known as “Sexyama.”

There are plenty of fantasy points to be had as plenty of the fights have the potential for spectacular finishes. Here is how the fights stack from a DraftKings (daily fantasy sports) point of view:

MAIN CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS)

Benson Henderson ($10,800) vs. Jorge Masvidal ($8,600)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

This fight is closer in reality than betting lines or the prices suggest. Henderson is a crafty striker who keeps adding tools to his style but is also a neutralizing wrestler. Masvidal has all the tools in MMA to make any fight a dog fight. The fight will likely be a decision with several series of back-and-forth on the feet or fighting for position on the ground. It’s five rounds so the points may add up and Masvidal is worth a shot especially if he pulls off the upset.

Play: Draft Masvidal or Pass

Dong Hyun Kim ($11,100) vs. Dominic Waters ($8,300)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

Kim is a tough fighter to predict; the big Korean is a Judoka with a stifling game that doesn’t lead to many fantasy points but at the same time is capable of knocking out his opponents. Waters is outmatched in this fight and unless he has a hail mary of a knockout, he’s not worth stashing.

Play: Pass

Yoshihiro Akiyama ($10,200) vs. Alberto Mina ($9,200)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

The Sexy one will put on a show for the Korean fans. A good striker who can mix it up and trade in the pocket will encounter a kickboxer in Mina who will try to counterstrike with Akiyama. Mina’s whopping average is from one fight against a much inferior opponent. He’s worth a look as possibly a budget play but this is Akiyama’s fight to lose though it will probably be by decision.

Play: Draft Akiyama or Pass

Doo Ho Choi ($10,500) vs. Sam Sicilia ($8,900)
Featherweight Bout (145 lbs)

Choi has a ton of hype around him and looks like the new hot Korean fighter. He has knockout power with his right and throws in bunches, though he gets tagged a lot. Sicilia has similarly strong hands and even if Choi has the speed advantage, he may be prone for an upset. This fight could end in a knockout and it will likely be Choi but Sicilia is just as capable.

Play: Draft Sicilia

PRELIMS (UFC FIGHT PASS)

Yui Chul Nam ($9,800) vs. Mike de la Torre ($9,600)
Featherweight Bout (145 lbs)

A decent amount of points here as the Nam and Torre will stand and trade in the pocket until someone gets hurt. They’re near the same price but Nam is the more aggressive fighter and starts fast but can slow down. Torre has a more well-rounded game but may be prone to Nam’s onslaught.

Play: Draft Nam or Pass

Tae Hyun Bang ($10,100) vs. Leo Kuntz ($9,300)
Lightweight (155 lbs)

The object of frat boy jokes, Bang and Kuntz can throw down if they choose. Bang is a striker who has some power but is susceptible to being submitted on the ground. Kuntz is an ATT product who’s good enough striking to keep Bang honest but can also exploit Bang’s weakness. At a budget play, Kuntz might be worth taking.

Play: Draft Kuntz or Pass

Jake Collier ($10,000) vs. Dongi Yang ($9,400)
Middleweight Bout (185 lbs)

Collier and Yang are two well-rounded fighters with an outside chance of finishing the other. Collier can outwrestle Yang who prefers to stand and trade. Yang can finish Collier with cumulative punches but has a questionable gas tank. Collier is the likely winner but a finish is being optimistic.

Play: Pass

Cortney Casey ($10,300) vs. Seo Hee Ham ($9,300)
Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs)

Casey and Ham will go ham on each other but there likely won’t be a finish. Casey is a grappler who goes for high risk subs and is a wild striker. Ham is the better striker but tends to get hit a lot herself. It’s a tossup who wins this fight as well. Ham might have a good shot at budget but the low chance of a finish won’t yield points.

Play: Pass

Fredy Serrano ($10,400) vs. Yao Zhikui ($9,000)
Flyweight Bout (125 lbs)

The Colombian is a big favorite for good reason. The former Olympian has strong wrestling and his stocky build makes him hard to pull off. He also has knockout power and has refined his striking. Zhikui is a striker who comes forward and has some power but Serrano will be better everywhere and should maul Zhikui with a good chance of a finish.

Play: Draft Serrano

Guangyou Ning ($10,600) vs. Marco Beltran ($8,800)
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs)

Guangyou has looked good fighting lower competition and possesses a good bit of umph in his punches. Beltran however is a step up and has a more well-rounded game. He does have porous striking defense giving Guangyou good windows to clock him. But Beltran at a low price is a decent gamble as he can expose Guangyou’s ground game.

Play: Draft Beltran or Pass

Dominique Steele ($9,900) vs. Dong Hyun Kim ($9,500)
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)

No, that is not a typo. The second Dong Hyun Kim otherwise known as “Maestro” is a UFC newcomer filling in for Hyun Gyu Lim on short notice. He’s primarily a striker with a flair for creative and aggressive techniques. However he lacks a ground game and Steele is the bigger fighter who can grind fighters out though his striking is inferior. This is a coin flip fight.

Play: Pass

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