UFC 195 MMA DFS Picks
Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully you had a safe and enjoyable holiday season. As we move into 2016, it’s time for the first UFC event of the new year. UFC 195 takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas where the 2005 calendar year ended up.
The main card features a welterweight championship tussle between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. The 170-pounders have a total of 56 career victories between them, and this one figures to be a hard-fought battle which will not ended quickly like some recent title bouts.
While the cards isn’t as stacked as some recent events, there are plenty of bouts for MMA fans and Fantasy players to look forward to. The heavyweight bout between Andrei Arlovski and Stipe Miocic figures to be a very entertaining bout, while the welterweight fight between Lorenz Larkin and Albert Tumenov might be the highlight of the evening. Featherweight Brian Ortega (9-0) looks to remain unbeaten when he does battle with veteran Diego Brandao.
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(Kountermove.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET).
Michael McDonald ($5,400 vs. Masanori Kanehara): The last time we saw the bantamweight McDonald was at UFC on FOX 9 back on Dec. 14, 2013. He was choked out by Urijah Faber in Round 2, and he has been dealing with several injuries since. However, he faces a favorable matchup against Japan’s Kanehara, as he is also coming off a setback in his most recent bout, and he has dropped two of his past three matches. While rust could be a factor for McDonald, he is still a very youthful 24 years old compared to Kanehara, who is 32. McDonald’s speed and stamina will be the difference.
Stipe Miocic ($5,300 vs. Andrei Arlovski): Miocic takes on Arlovski in a very important heavyweight battle, as each fighter looks to climb the ladder to move into position for a potential title shot. Miocic is a big-time boxer and an above-average wrestler, and he has really improved his overall game over the past few bouts. Arlovski needs to avoid the takedown against Miocic, and that might be easier said than done. If Arlovski cannot keep Miocic locked in a toe-to-toe upright brawl, he is done. For DFS purposes, you can bank on that.
PLENTY OF UPSIDE
Joseph Duffy ($4,800 vs. Dustin Poirier): According to Kountermove, this match should be a coin-flip, but according to Vegas Duffy is a moderate favorite (-165). Duffy is a highly-touted Irish prospect who has won his first two UFC matches, and 14 of his 15 career bouts overall. Originally this bout was set to take place in October, but a concussion by Duffy forced this much-anticipated fight to be pushed back. It should be worth the wait. Duffy is an above-average striker, and he has been fantastic lately on the mat, winning two of his past four bouts via submission with the other two wins since Oct. 1, 2011, coming via KO/TKO. He’ll overpower Poirier by the end of Round 2.
Albert Tumenov ($5,000 vs. Lorenz Larkin): Tumenov is on the rise, winning four straight bouts since a disappointing UFC debut against Ildemar Alcantara back on Feb. 15, 2014. He continues to stay busy and fight often, and his KO/TKO over Alan Jouban in the first round at UFC 192 was extremely impressive. In 10 of Tumenov’s past 12 bouts dating back to his Russian Championship days, he has won via KO/TKO. A lot of his success has come thanks to his devastating left hook, which is among the most dangerous in UFC. Tumenov is an above-average boxer, and he is a better all-around boxer. As long as he isn’t overwhelmed and/or frustrated by the speed of Larkin, he’ll excel.
Kyle Noke ($4,500 vs. Alex Morono): The southpaw Noke (-330) enters this bout as a prohibitive favorite, which makes his DFS salary all the more interesting. He is coming off a Round 1 win over Peter Sobotta at UFC 193. Morono steps in as an injury replacement for Kelvin Gastelum, and while he has a five-bout win streak going, he hasn’t faced anyone with close to the skillset of Noke. Morono is a solid striker, but he has his problems in the wrestling game. If Noke can get him up against the fence or on the mat early and often, this one might not reach the first break. Look for Noke to easily live up to DFS salary expectations in this one.