FNTSY SportsGrid RotoExperts
UFC 199 DFS Picks: Down For The Count
DAILY FANTASY RUNDOWN
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

UFC 199 DFS Picks: Down For The Count

Despite Chris Weidman’s unfortunate injury pull-out a couple weeks ago, UFC 199 still managed to keep its main event title fight and made it meaningful as well. Michael Bisping replaces Weidman for another shot at defeating Luke Rockhold, and it’ll be his 1st title shot in his UFC career. It’s something Bisping has very vocal about, saying he was one of the more deserving middleweights to get a title shot, and his 3 fight winning streak (plus some injury luck) has helped materialize one. The last time Bisping faced Rockhold, it went terribly awful for “The Count” as he was annihilated by Rockhold on the feet, getting knocked down and quickly guillotined when Bisping was sitting on the mat dazed and confused. Maybe the second time around will go better for Bisping? Probably not. Oh yeah, there’s that trilogy match between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber for the bantamweight title. Cruz absolutely hates Faber’s guts and has been hilarious thus far with his trash talk, while Faber is looking to prevent being the 1st fighter to go 0-4 in title matches as the challenger. Yes, 0-4. He lost to Renan Barao twice, Dominick Cruz, and actually has lost his last 5 title matches since losing the WEC belt to Mike Brown. Not good. UFC 199’s main card is loaded with talent, including a strange match-up between Dan Henderson and Hector Lombard and the return of Bobby Green against one of my favorite fighters in Dustin Poirier. Even Max Holloway is on it! So many favorite fighters!

Polo Reyes vs. Dong Hyun Kim

To be clear, this Kim is the fake Donger and not the real Dong Hyun Kim, better known for his nickname of “Stun Gun”. I prefer the Donger, but I digress. Anyways, the fake Donger is fighting against a guy named Marco Polo Reyes. Yes, that’s his real name. MARCO POLO. Snore. I’m probably gonna be playing some Marco Polo during the fight in an effort to find my motivation to watch these terrible fighters.

POLO REYES

Record – 6-3
Height – 5’11    Reach – 71”

Strengths

  • Counter-striker with decent power with a good right cross, sometimes will engage in brawls and wing hooks in an effort to get the spectacular KO
  • Adept in the clinch, looks to land short elbows/uppercuts with some back trip take-downs involved
  • Seems to enjoy forcing scrambles, quick to react for any back take opportunities
  • Whenever gets a chance to, will aggressively go for dominant position from top and finish via GnP

Weaknesses 

  • Mediocre take-down defense, lacks reaction time on level changes especially when Reyes starts swinging for the fences
  • Leaves chin on an island during some striking exchanges, can be flat footed at times and can be sloppy during phone booth brawls
  • Reyes is opportunistic to a fault on scrambles, can be caught out of position and into a submission

DONG HYUN KIM

Record – 13-7-3
Height – 5’11    Reach – 70”

Strengths

  • Likes to stay at range and switch stances while landing leg/body kicks, uses power punching as a counter when he or the opponent closes the gap
  • Excellent from the clinch, stays busy with heavy knees and hard boxing, willing to engage a take-down (usually a trip) if opponents start to try and hold to prevent further clinch offense
  • Very good ground and pound, relentless at times and will posture up to get better angles on his hammer fists
  • Also willing to get into phone booth brawls, has the quickness and movement to excel in such situations

Weaknesses 

  • Below average take-down defense, struggles against any good wrestler with a single/double leg take-down, gets caught on reactive take-downs if Fake Donger gets too close and starts punching
  • Tends to toss out naked leg kicks from range, meaning Fake Donger simply throws out a kick with no defense behind it or keeping hands up/chin down
  • Can be dominated by a striker with a good jab or 1-2 combination, leaves hands down and tries to be elusive with head movement rather than defend and circling out

Both guys have some pretty similar traits, as they are both essentially counter-strikers who will lunge in to instigate a brawl or at the very least a striking exchange near the fence. Both men are willing to get into the clinch and land some short punches, with Fake Donger landing more knees and having the better offensive clinch take-downs. Fake Donger has some pretty good ground and pound, so if he is able to get Reyes on the ground, he could do some major damage. Both guys don’t really have great striking defense, but at least Reyes doesn’t panic against striking pressure like Fake Donger sometimes does. We could see a lot of staring and waiting for counters, or a crazy brawl between two fighters who willfully engage into phone booth brawls and are adept from the clinch. Hard to say who has the advantage here, but I’m leaning towards Fake Donger due to a better clinch game.

Kim via unanimous decision

Kevin Casey vs. Elvis Mutapcic

Another fight I really could not give a donkey’s fart about. Unfortunately, I have to talk about it. Kevin Casey got poked in the eye for a NC vs Carlos Junior, then followed that up with a pathetic effort against Rafael Natal, looking dead and tired while getting his face smooshed on the ground. Now Casey gets to fight some Elvis guy! Hooray! Elvis Mutapcic is coming off a pretty mundane performance against Francimar Barroso, where he looked hesitant and unsure of himself. It was your typical UFC debut cage jitters that happens a little too often. Chances are he’ll probably be ecstatic to fight against a bum like Kevin Casey. A bum!!!

KEVIN CASEY

Record – 9-4
Height – 5’11    Reach – 77”

Strengths

  • Southpaw with decent boxing, depends on jab/hook set-ups to try and land a counter-left for the knockout
  • Strong jiu-jitsu, will be aggressive from guard if given the chance and hunt for triangles/armbars, can sweep off a mistake
  • Generally uses his strength to get a take-down, gets in the bodylock and uses his strength to get leverage on take-downs or set up a trip
  • Vicious ground and pound, hard elbows and constant pressure from top, even if he doesn’t make consistent guard passes
  • Uses GnP violence to set up submissions and guard passes rather than transitioning into them

Weaknesses 

  • No gas tank at all, 1st round is about what Casey is capable of for the entirety of the fight
  • Wobbly chin, has been knocked out or dropped in many of his fights, lunging punches usually lead to counter opportunities
  • Average take-down defense, can be controlled on the ground if not given a chance to move out of full guard, bad gas tank also renders Casey useless on the ground due to lack of stamina

ELVIS MUTAPCIC

Record – 15-4
Height – 6’0    Reach – 72”

Strengths

  • Hard punching, aggressive counter-striker who uses head movement and feints from range to goad an ill-advised strike/lunge into the warm arms of Mutapcic’s counter-cross
  • Likes to lead in with a headkick or a hard kick from range, does most of his damage with punch combinations from up close if able to close the distance
  • Swings hard and mercilessly against any and all pressure, has the accuracy to be a very good counter-striker
  • Decent ground and pound if somehow on top, usually from a clinch take-down or snuffing out a lazy take-down shoot attempt

Weaknesses 

  • Not sure if it was debut jitters, but Mutapcic seemed really hesitant to create striking offense or exchanges against Barroso, to the point where he was just sitting in front of him doing nothing
  • Can get caught flat footed during his counter-swings against pressure which lead to easy duck and shoot/level change take-downs
  • Has kind of a short reach for a MW/LHW (a skinny LHW at that), so can be short armed at times and heavily dependent on close range combat

Kevin Casey is not good. Period. He made his money off beating bums like Bubba Bush, and gets thrashed by average middleweights who can just simply stay on their feet and gas out Casey. His lack of a chin and diverse striking offense to set up take-downs are his biggest weaknesses, and considering Mutapcic is an excellent power counter-striker, this spells doom for Casey. He’s gonna have to trick Mutapcic into throwing his cross/overhand too early for the chance at a quick take-down. Barroso was able to outmuscle and overpower the smaller, leaner Mutapcic en route a boring ground decision. That’s something Casey absolutely has to do if he stands a chance of leaving the 1st round conscious. Turrrrrrrible!

Mutapcic via 1st round KO

Jonathan Wilson vs. Luiz Henrique Da Silva

Both men are undefeated, with Wilson coming off a successful UFC debut with a 1st round KO over absolute trash can Chris Dempsey. It was also one of the few times a fighter from the Xplode fight promotion actually did something in the UFC, even if it was against a garbage can like Dempsey. Both men also have great nicknames, as Wilson is also known as “Johnny Bravo” and Da Silva as “Frankenstein”. For the purpose of hilarity, I am going to use said nicknames in the fight breakdown, so deal with it. Also, there was a lack of film for Frankenstein, which doesn’t surprise. I mean, he is basically the Loch Ness monster.

JOHNNY BRAVO

Record – 7-0
Height – 6’1    Reach – 75”

Strengths

  • Counter-striking southpaw with some athleticism, great lightning quick left straight as either a counter or a poke after a 1-2 combo and will sprinkle in some clean hard leg kicks
  • Has the size to push away take-down attempts or try to muscle in a take-down of his own if it’s right there
  • Has the one hit knockout power that makes Bravo such a dangerous fighter to run in without a plan

Weaknesses 

  • Has basically fought no one of any literal note, amateur career was fought in an awful promotion in Xplode and Gladiator Challenge as a pro – both widely regarded as having some of the trashiest cans around
  • Struggles against pressure since Bravo prefers to back pedal and try to push away, can get caught on entry strikes or lunges
  • Not enough to go on from past fights to judge stamina or actual wrestling on both offense and defense due to lack of fighter talent

FRANKENSTEIN

Record – 10-0
Height – 6’0    Reach – Unknown, probably due to dead limbs

Strengths

  • Forward pressure fighter with a quick snap body kick to go with winging hooks, wins by overwhelming with pressure and smashing via close combat
  • Willing to eat damage just to land a counter of his own, walks like a real life Frankenstein
  • Has the chin to outlast and run through any and all strikes, almost as if he was a zombie

Weaknesses 

  • Lack of film is a concern, but from what I could see Frankenstein is a one dimensional fighter who relies on outlasting via cardio and chin
  • Bad take-down defense, almost always out of position during brawls and can be easily taken down on a reactive take-down
  • Passive on the ground, almost to the point he doesn’t seem to understand guard control
  • Sloppy boxing, if you can even call it that and can get countered endlessly, seems a little slow on his punching speed

Man, talk about 2 guys with an undefeated record and fighting styles/opponents that don’t match up to that record. Johnny Bravo does possess some actual athletic ability and a blistering left straight, so that’s something to build on for his future in MMA. He just has fought literally no one, and as ugly as Frankenstein looks standing with his slow, sloppy power punches, he’ll probably be the hardest opponent to date for Bravo. Considering ol’ Franky has the chin and the guts to run through any and all strikes + the forward pressure to frustrate Bravo, there’s a good chance for a knockout. Same thing goes for Bravo if his left meets Franky’s chin, and when that happens, all bets are off even if his chin is undead. Hedge your bets wisely.

Da Silva via 2st round KO

Sean Strickland vs. Tom Breese

The 6’3 behemoth Tom Breese looks to continue his undefeated run after failing to secure a finish in his 3rd UFC fight, ending a short but fun 2 fight streak of 1st round knockouts. This will be his toughest opponent to date, as Sean Strickland is a well rounded fighter coming off a very solid win over Alex Garcia. He’s also a rather tall and big welterweight, which should help minimize Breese’s usual towering height/reach advantage over most of his opponents. It should be a fun back and forth fight between two great middle-echelon welterweights.

SEAN STRICKLAND

Record – 17-1
Height – 6’1    Reach – 76”

Strengths

  • Boxing heavy striker with good, crisp 1-2 combos and a hard counter-right, can pour it on when Strickland finds his range and starts painting with the stiff jab
  • Generally goes with the flow of the fight, flip flops between being the aggressor and sitting back while landing at range jab/straights with some low kicks
  • Good double leg take-down that Strickland mixes up to keep opponents on their toes, has a decent top control game with a penchant at getting back takes for the RNC submission
  • Has an impressive chin, can take the punishment from a brawl

Weaknesses 

  • While he does his best at moving around at a steady pace, Strickland can be stationary at times and open to easy combinations, has middling striking defense
  • Wrestlers with power based take-downs can take advantage of Strickland’s lack of urgency against pressure and get plastered on the ground
  • Have a feeling Strickland may struggle against the quicker welterweights, but so far hasn’t face anyone with that skill-set

TOM BREESE

Record – 10-0
Height – 6’3    Reach – 73”

Strengths

  • Very long, lanky south paw with a surprising fast left straight and a strong jab, prototypical 3 prong southpaw attacker – counter-left straight, and variations of the left body kick and headkick
  • While reach doesn’t match Breese’s towering height, leg reach is absurd and Breese is great at utilizing both arm/leg reaches by staying at range and destroying on counters and flurries with the uppercut
  • Has a ridiculously dangerous guard due to his obscenely long limbs, uses rubber guard and sets up so many sweeps and submission traps it’s a foolish idea to take Breese down
  • Rarely gets hit and seems to keep his composure standing, never lunges in or gets into brawls – very smart striker

Weaknesses 

  • Has what I call the “Condit Disease”, won’t expend too much energy defending against take-downs due to a ridiculously good guard, which may pose a problem in the future against elite wrestlers/top control fighters
  • Sometimes can be heavily reliant on the counter-left instead of landing more jabs and opening up his offense with more kicks
  • Needs to add wrestling/take-down offense to really complement his slick grappling game and create more situations to help hit home his left hand

I can already see a decision in this match-up. It’s two smart strikers who rarely get into trouble on the feet, and won’t put themselves into unnecessary danger. Breese is a legitimate prospect with the talent to be a scary opponent in a few years time, but right now his reliance on the counter-left is worrisome. Strickland has already fought strong competition and fared well, even showcasing some of his boxing skills and his impressive cardio. Unless Strickland decides to try and take down Breese for whatever reason, I can’t see a finish by either fighter, as Strickland has the chin to survive the hard lefts, and Breese never really seems to get countered much or swings out of position. This is really a coin flip, and I’m probably leaning towards Strickland due to better boxing offense.

Strickland via unanimous decision

Cole Miller vs. Alex Caceres

This was originally supposed to be a fight between Dennis Siver and BJ Penn, then Siver pulled out and Cole Miller agreed to be the replacement some weeks ago. Then BJ Penn got flagged by the USADA for inappropriate usage of IV fluids back in March, thus Penn’s withdrawal from the fight. The UFC decided to go ahead and replace Penn with Alex Caceres, also known as Bruce Leeroy, on a week’s notice. Interesting. Miller is tall, Caceres is not. Caceres hits hard, Miller does not. Snore, snore, snore, sneeze, sneeze, cough.

COLE MILLER

Record – 21-9
Height – 6’1    Reach – 74”

Strengths

  • Long, rangy striker who likes to gauge his range from a distance and land quick 1 hit strikes, usually a stiff jab and some body/head kicks
  • Prefers to slide around and keep poking and prodding using his lengthy jab and land some quick straights as a counter
  • Very dangerous guillotine choke and has a black belt in BJJ, 15 of 21 wins by submission, very efficient from top control with aggressive guard passes to create back take opportunities and get into half guard
  • Effective but not overly dangerous guard, will pounce on triangle attempts if there but isn’t great off his back – must respect it nevertheless

Weaknesses 

  • Lack of tangible offensive wrestling to take advantage of edge in ground skills can make Miller very one dimensional if striking offense doesn’t get going, becomes more hittable
  • Can be flustered by quicker strikers who won’t be intimidated by Miller’s length and reach, tends to back pedal against pressure instead of moving away
  • Struggles defending bigger featherweights from taking him down, allows easy shoot take-downs due to trying to land guillotine choke

ALEX CACERES

Record – 11-8
Height – 5’10    Reach – 73”

Strengths

  • Unorthodox southpaw striker with some karate/kung fu/Taekwondo striking styles, throws out high arcing and acrobatic kicks with good accuracy and will land the heavy body kick at will
  • Blitzes with the left straight Machida style, can land flurries of punches after that
  • Finds unusual and unique striking angle with movement and a wide stance base, goes for the highlight reel strikes especially of the spinning variety – great hand/foot speed allows Bruce Leeroy to pull off such feats

Weaknesses 

  • Bad habit of leaving hands low on certain strikes, especially on the majority of Caceres’ kicks, opens his chin to easy counters
  • Not the greatest chin, aforementioned bad habit of leaving hands leaves chin on an island and Caceres has been rocked badly or completely knocked out due to it
  • Middle of the road take-down defense, if Caceres can scramble his way out of the take-down he can get a back take into the RNC fairly quickly, but otherwise can get overwhelmed due to lanky frame and lack of strength

Cole Miller will have to find his range and keep Bruce Leeroy away from him at all times, avoiding the blitzing left hand and the flurries that follow. He’ll have to establish the jab immediately and try to continuously counter Caceres’ kicks with the right straight. Caceres is such an unique and difficult striker to prepare for, with his unorthodox movement and striking angles and impressive accuracy. Caceres easily could land some crazy looking strike and end Miller’s night, but I think it’ll be a back and forth striking battle with Caceres probably getting the better of the slower Miller. Game changer would be if Miller can get a take-down and use his jiu-jitsu to good use, but he’s not very imaginative with his set-ups and probably needs to get into the clinch. Meh. Going with Bruce Leeroy with 80 sig strikes, as long as his chin can hold up.

Caceres via unanimous decision

Jessica Penne vs. Jessica Andrade

This will be Andrade’s first foray into the strawweight division, where she actually belonged instead of sticking to bantamweight where Andrade was too much of a tweener. Now she is able to use her short but strong build to her advantage against smaller fighters. Penne is coming off a very, very bad performance against the champion Joanna Jed….whatever her last name is. It’s a pretty tough fight for Penne considering Andrade’s short build and strong stature, but it’ll be her chance to prove she deserves the #6 ranking.

JESSICA PENNE

Record – 12-5
Height – 5’5    Reach – 67”

Strengths

  • Basic striking, but decent enough to close the gap against most strawweights, prefers to get into the clinch or try a level change for a single/double leg take-down
  • Excellent grappler/scrambler who knows how to get the dirty take-down, black belt in BJJ with 7 of 12 wins by submission
  • Sneakily good from the clinch with wrist control and trying to create trip take-down opportunities or get the hip toss
  • Aggressive pursuit of submission from top, will make plenty of guard passes and try to give herself best chance for a submission
  • Will sometimes try to pull guard and use her jiu-jitsu skills to reverse opponents from back, point blank wants the fight to go to the ground

Weaknesses 

  • Very rudimentary stand up, porous striking defense and if take-downs don’t materialize, it’s a big disadvantage against better strikers
  • Despite height/reach advantage, Penne had fought at atomweight (105 lbs) and isn’t really a “big” strawweight like Andrade kind of is, may struggle getting the shorter, stockier Andrade down consistently

JESSICA ANDRADE

Record – 13-5
Height – 5’3    Reach – 62”

Strengths

  • Making her 1st fight at strawweight in the UFC, should have a decent size advantage despite still losing in height/reach
  • Aggressive mentality with quick boxing combinations and a pressure based striking style
  • Has a nice guillotine choke and will try to get a double leg take-down then work from top with very good ground and pound, plus some elbows added in there
  • Good from the clinch, can land sweeps and bodylock take-downs or stay busy with dirty boxing
  • Quick feet and good movement, mixes up her combinations with good usage of body attacks, generally lands many significant strikes

Weaknesses 

  • Was a tweener at bantanweight and her lack of reach was too much of an obstacle at times, needed to get real close to do damage – interesting to see if she still deals with same issues
  • Unlikely to struggle against bigger wrestlers at strawweight, but it’s something to note since Andrade tends to panic if her back is on the ground, often tries to scramble back up too quickly or exposing herself to back takes due to trying to turn her back and climb up the fence
  • Aggressive striking nature opens up Andrade to wide open counters, but her tenacity and speed usually keep those windows open for a short amount of time

I think this is a pretty straight-forward match-up. Andrade wants to keep it standing and pound Penne’s face/lack of striking defense into oblivion. Penne wants to get the fight to the ground where she has a decidedly big advantage. Andrade may be the bigger fighter, but she does tend to panic if she ever gets her back to the ground, often times turning her back which is a big no-no when facing an elite grappler like Penne. It’s how she got RNC’d by Pennington, who isn’t even know for her jiu-jitsu, much less her grappling. Andrade also has to be aware of Penne’s attempts at pulling guard, as she may think she can ground and pound Penne from top. Penne has a good guard, and Andrade got triangled by Marion Reneau’s guard, so her own aggressiveness can be a major weakness. I think Andrade may be too strong for Penne to be able to overwhelm from the clinch, and that could mean 100+ sig strikes for Andrade. I would throw in Penne on some rosters for the submission chances, as she should be able to survive for the full 3 rounds, so there will be some chances for her.

Andrade via unanimous decision

Beneil Dariush vs. James Vick

It saddened me to see Chiesa choke out the great Dariush in improbable fashion considering Dariush was basically unsubmittable and is a phenom on the ground. Nevertheless, he’ll get a chance to get a quick victory over towering lightweight in James Vick, who makes a quick turnaround after his win over Glaico Franca a mere month ago. He’ll have his hands full against a hopefully angry Dariush who should have a decided striking advantage and an even more lopsided advantage on the ground should the fight go in that direction. Can the “Texecutioner” keep his undefeated record alive or will he get his own head chopped off? Tune in next week! Wait, I mean this week.

BENEIL DARIUSH

Record – 12-1
Height – 5’10    Reach – 72”

Strengths

  • Southpaw with a Muay Thai background, smooth striking with combination of left straight/body kick and a counter right hook, willing to box up opponents if gets into the flow of the fight
  • Great from the clinch, dangerous knees and short elbows + other various close combat combinations, but most powerful of them all is his tricky take-downs from clinch
  • Has a decent double leg take-down, but does most damage from the clinch, once the fight goes to the ground that’s when Dariush really shines with his methodical yet dominant transitional passing and leg drags/movement to get the upper hand
  • Guard is equally dangerous as Dariush’s top control, extremely comfortable off his back and knows he can get out of it whenever he can or land a sub before his opponents have a chance to even react

Weaknesses 

  • Last loss was due to Dariush’s overconfidence in his guard, trying to turtle his way back up which is a huge no-no against legitimate grapplers, thus the RNC loss
  • Has a little bit of a questionable chin, but so far Dariush seems okay dealing with pressure and has enough striking skills to help hide his possible chin issues
  • A little lackadaisical with his take-downs if not attempted from clinch, would like to see improvement in that regard instead of being lazy with his attempts

JAMES VICK

Record – 9-0
Height – 6’3    Reach – 76”

Strengths

  • Extremely long and rangy with a ridiculous leg reach, kick-centric striking offense with slightly above average boxing skills
  • Likes to use low kicks and front kicks as a jab of sorts, usually tries to set up the body kick into headkick
  • Counter-boxing is decent enough that jumping into Vick’s range may not be the best idea, has improved accuracy over past few fights
  • Biggest strength for Vick outside of his absurd length is his wonky guard, extremely difficult to keep on the ground or avoiding his dangerous guard due to monstrous leg reach
  • Killer guillotine choke as well, ended Jake Matthews’ hype train and blemished his undefeated record with the sub

Weaknesses 

  • Despite obvious height/reach advantage, Vick is still learning how to utilize his length and gauging his striking distance/space, as of right now Vick is still hittable and struggles avoiding getting clipped from range
  • Adding insult to injury, Vick also gets walloped on some of his kicks due to lack of head’s up defense while throwing out naked kicks, and has been dropped several times for that reason
  • Definitely relies on his guard/guillotine choke to negate take-downs, successful or not, and Dariush likely decides whether or not Vick’s reliance on his guard (Condit Disease) is a building block for his future

This just seems like such a bad match-up for Vick. Dariush is an excellent Muay Thai striker with hard low/body kicks and good instinctive boxing, and is a world class grappler with superb clinch offense. Vick struggles against fighters who can size him up and crack away from range and get enough counters on Vick’s kicks. Dariush also won’t be intimidated by Vick’s guard, so even if he decides to take it to the ground, Dariush will still have the upper hand. It’s unlikely Vick even tries to take down Dariush due to lack of offensive wrestling, so he’ll have to put forth his best effort into being a legitimate long range striker that everyone’s been waiting for Vick to transform into. I’m a little biased when it comes to Dariush, but nothing about the match-up makes me hesitant to pick Dariush by anything he wants.

Dariush via 3rd round RNC

Brian Ortega vs. Clay Guida

CLAY THE CARPENTER!!!!! Ah, a Guida fight now has graced upon us! And it’s against a fierce competitor in Brian “T-City” Ortega, whose guard is probably one of the most dangerous in the biz. His triangle attempts are out of this world and he’s a guy who is willing to engage in brawls and just do a bunch of crazy stuff. Clay Guida likes those kind of fights, but might end up maybe having to hold Ortega and get in some tough take-downs to stifle his offense. Not that Ortega is a world beater on the feet or anything, but he’s improving in that area and it’s helped set up his take-down attempts from range. Oh yeah, Ortega is another undefeated fighter on the card. Whew. CLAY THE CARPENTER!!!!

BRIAN ORTEGA

Record – 10-0
Height – 5’8    Reach – 69”

Strengths

  • Improving striking offense especially on timing his counters, but right now it is rudimentary and mostly winging hooks and some uppercuts
  • Crux of what makes Ortega so dangerous is whatever he does on the ground, whether from top or bottom, and his ability to chain everything into a submission or a reversal
  • Guard (most notably when in full guard) is one of the most dangerous in the UFC, always attack from bottom with either punching off his back or contorting himself into a pretzel and somehow gaining positions or locking in a triangle submission
  • If he gets his hands on opponents’ necks, very wily and creative on using it as a pressure trap to force them to drop down/try to get out of it, then Ortega scrambles into something crazy
  • One hell of a chin and an endless gas tank

Weaknesses 

  • Just doesn’t have an answer to the right cross/overhand, eats it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner against anyone with a decent right hand
  • Take-down defense is almost entirely dependent on his front lock shenanigans or his guard, and Clay Guida is one of the more savvy veterans on the ground and very hard to submit
  • Seems to do much better from full guard rather than half guard, gets controlled more and less likely to perform eye-opening sweeps or submission traps – I expect the coaches at Jackson-Winkeljohn to notice this on film

CLAY GUIDA

Record – 32-13
Height – 5’7    Reach – 70”

Strengths

  • Longtime UFC veteran who has transformed himself from a wild caveman swinging for the fences to a more conservative and technical Guida with more emphasis on take-down/top control
  • Utilizes cage movement and footwork as Guida bounces around the octagon while prodding ahead with jab/straight quick combinations, waiting for his moment to pounce on a take-down attempt
  • Persistent and strong offensive wrestling, shoots in on a dime and will constantly try to either grab a leg or push up the fence for some fun Clay-holding
  • Top control may look boring and lame, but it’s overly effective for the elder Guida, staying busy with decent usage of GnP and grinding out the round for the decision win
  • There are moments where that wild caveman hardcore MMA fans used to love, when Guida had no care for his health or his own sanity with intense brawls and swinging ahead his overhand, but they are far and few between

Weaknesses 

  • Anyone who can stifle Guida’s wrestling and avoid being held too long up the fence can wash away his erratic cage movement with timely combinations and low kicks
  • Last loss was a guillotine choke to Tavares, something Ortega could easily do, and as of late Guida has been getting finished, with a RNC loss to Dennis Bermudez (was hurt by him as well) and knocked out by Chad Mendes

I think this really comes down to whether or not Guida decides to just stay at range and beat up Ortega with 1-2 combos and an occasional overhand. If Guida decides to do that, combined with his erratic and sometimes annoying cage movement, he should be able to out-point Ortega for a decision victory. If Guida somehow decides to go for a take-down, whether successful or not, he could be in a world of trouble. Ortega’s guard is seriously one of the most dangerous in the UFC, and even a savvy veteran like Guida would be better off not even attempting a single take-down. Unfortunately for Guida, I don’t think he’s smart enough to realize this, and once he hits that power shot take-down on Ortega, it’s going to be a ticking time bomb for Guida. I’d probably avoid rostering Guida just because a win for him generally means a low output points wise decision win, and he’s very, very unlikely to finish Ortega. Man, that guard though. Can’t ignore it.

Ortega via 2nd round triangle

Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green

Dustin the Diamond has been crushing coals into pure, beautiful diamonds with his fists, as Poirier is currently riding a 3 fight winning streak since his last loss. Who was that loss to, you ask? Conor McGregor! Coincidentally, Poirier defeated Joe Duffy during the streak, and that was the last person to defeat McGregor before the upset win by Nate Diaz. So, Poirier > McGregor now? Anyway, we haven’t seen Bobby Green in almost two years, as he’s been dealing with some injury/personal issues since his loss to Edson Barboza, which had snapped a 8 fight win streak, 4 under the UFC banner. These men have been going at it on Twitter, and it’s a chance for Poirier to continue his ascend through the featherweight ranks, showing that he’s a much different fighter than when he faced McGregor.

DUSTIN POIRIER

Record –
Height – 5’9    Reach – 72”

Strengths

  • Pressure based southpaw striker who excels in dealing with chaos and close combat, loves to push forward constantly with the left straight and see what the opponent does, then follow up with more counters and flurries
  • Devastating from the clinch, absolutely brutal short punches and uppercuts, will land some knees as well
  • Has a decent double leg take-down that Poirier will mix in every now and then, but predominately a fast paced striker
  • Brown belt in BJJ and his grappling is very good, has a great front headlock game and will dominate from top control with nasty elbows and hard punches to help set up guard passes
  • Has the power and flurries to put away even the toughest of foes, dropped Yancy Medeiros several times and the ref actually had to stop the pummeling, and lemme tell ya…that Medeiros guy can take a bleepin’ punch

Weaknesses 

  • Forward pacing style usually opens up Poirier to easy counters, and generally he’s okay with that but…
  • His chin is very questionable, has been rocked and hurt badly by hard counters, but has usually overcame early troubles and bounced back in a big way
  • I wonder how Poirier may fare against a quicker, more technical boxer like a Bobby Green considering his fighting style and tendency to get hit coming in….guess we’ll find out!

BOBBY GREEN

Record – 23-6
Height – 5’10    Reach – 71”

Strengths

  • Utilizes hand movement and feints to try and keep opponents from telegraphing his strikes, usually likes to stand from range and land a protruding jab/quick straight while slipping counters
  • Cross between range striker and counter-striker, just kind of does his thing on the feet with speed and precision being major keys to his striking offense
  • Mixes in some body kicks as well, especially when he shifts into southpaw off a jab, little
  • Has shown some decent wrestling in past fights, but Green is a little bit of a cocky fighter who likes to sit back and slip punches with his hands low and just punch back while laughing

Weaknesses 

  • Ring rust? It’s been two years since we last saw Bobby Green, and ring rust is usually a big factor
  • Struggles against kick-centric strikers who can keep their distance against Green, as Barboza was able to batter Green’s legs and body over and over while circling away from Green’s jab combinations
  • This may just be me thinking out loud here, but I think Green might be a little overwhelmed by Poirier’s pace and struggle defending his pressure-based attacks, especially since he doesn’t really possess knockout power

This is a really interesting fight, just because each fighter’s style may be something different and unique that either hadn’t seem up to this point in their careers. Poirier has the nasty up close striking game to devastate anyone in the division, while Green has some strange combinations utilizing hand movement and slipping into counters. Green’s also got the technical boxing to maybe be able to frustrate Poirier from coming forward and punish his sometimes lazy left straight. I just don’t think Green can handle the pressure efficiently enough to be able to keep Poirier off his back. You add in the fact that Poirier can attack with a double leg at anytime, and should be able to edge out Green on the ground anywhere it goes, and you gotta think Poirier takes this one handily. Let’s get some diamonds, yall!

Poirier via 3rd round TKO

Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard

Poor Dan. This is a very bad match-up for the elder Henderson, who has said he’s probably going to retire once he fights out his UFC contract. He just doesn’t have the chin or the speed to really contend against legitimate fighters. Hector Lombard may have a sieve of a gas tank, but he’s one hell of a striker with immense power and enough fuel in the 1st round to pound Hendo into dust. Lombard will be moving back up to middleweight in an effort to conceal his atrocious stamina, as the weight cut should have less stress on his overall health and conditioning. He’s also coming off an embarrassing loss after an absolute dominant 1st round against Magny, and even before that Lombard had been suspended for 1 year due to steroids. Can the old man get the massive upset over a reeling Lombard?

DAN HENDERSON

Record – 31-14
Height – 5’11    Reach – 74”

Strengths

  • Hendo in the last few years can be summed up in one phrase – the H-Bomb
  • At this point in Hendo’s career, he’s simply going to look for the counter-right hand (H-Bomb) and nothing else, maybe get a take-down if his body allows him to
  • H-Bomb bro! Nothing else to see here

Weaknesses 

  • Chin has deteriorated into what resembles a bowl of rice pudding, the geriatric food of choice – has been knocked out in 3 of his last 4 losses
  • Right hand speed may be there, but reaction time and overall speed has greatly been diminished
  • Can’t depend on his strong wrestling due to lack of gas tank and decrepit body
  • I’m just being mean to an old man, Hendo is a world class guy who has sometimes surprised me in his last few fight so you never know….but seriously, he’s 45 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HECTOR LOMBARD

Record – 34-5-1
Height – 5’9     Reach – 71”

Strengths

  • Brutal knockout power with the hand speed/reaction time countering combo that has made Lombard such a dangerous opponent to even get close to
  • Has a sniper of a left hand, usually one punch is all it takes to uncork an opponent’s chin and has some very good entry attacks to close the gap
  • Big, hulking physique and a black belt in Judo has helped Lombard’s take-down defense, literally shrugs away take-down attempts and punishes those who dare get close to his face from the clinch
  • Speaking of the clinch, whew boy….Lombard is an assassin from the clinch with uppercuts from hell and well placed body punches

Weaknesses 

  • While I would say the move to welterweight was a big issue for his absolute lack of a gas tank, it’s still a major weakness for Lombard even at middleweight
  • Continuing on the cardio point, once his gas tank is depleted, Lombard is a sitting duck and can be dominated everywhere
  • Way too reliant on counter-striking, fight against Boetsch was a literal eye staring contest simply because Lombard wouldn’t engage and Boetsch refused to get within striking range

Listen, in all likelihood this is going to end in the 1st round. It’s probably going to be a Lombard KO over old man Hendo and his brittle chin. Hendo is a hall of famer and a great guy on and off the octagon, but he just simply is a shell of his former self. He’s not taking down the huge Lombard, nor is he going to win a striking battle. He either waits a very long time and runs around the cage, waiting and praying that Lombard gasses himself out, or he lands his patented H-Bomb special sometime in the 1st two minutes (maybe even in the 1st minute). Outside of that? Man, it’s not looking good for the veteran. If Lombard somehow loses this one, I think he’s gotta seriously consider retirement or at the very least a change of camp.

Lombard via 1st round KO

Max Holloway vs. Ricardo Lamas

Holloway is another victim of the McGregor tree, and much like Poirier, he’s a much different fighter than the version that lost to the McGOATer. He’s reeled off 8 straight UFC wins, and a dominant victory over Lamas likely assures a title shot for the surging Holloway. It’s a tough test though, as Lamas is your prototypical extremely well-rounded fighter who can attack anywhere in the octagon. His striking is very good, has solid wrestling, and owns a black belt in BJJ. He was also a challenger for the FW title, losing to the champion at the time Jose Aldo, a mere 4 fights ago. Lamas is probably the best opponent Holloway has faced as far as experience and dearth of talent. If Holloway pulls out the victory, the UFC simply cannot ignore his accomplishments, and he should get the call for the next title shot once Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo finish their battle for the interim title on UFC 200.

MAX HOLLOWAY

Record – 15-3
Height – 5’11    Reach – 69”

Strengths

  • Constant barrages of combinations from range, lands the 1-2 combo effortlessly with variations of the leg kicks as a follow-up
  • Excellent footwork and body movement around the cage, stays busy but elusive and continuously gives himself chances at counter opportunities
  • Underrated grappling game, if gets hands on opponents’ neck, Holloway will crank and squeeze the life out of them
  • Great take-down defense thanks in part to constant movement and reaction time
  • Endless gas tank, elite cardio

Weaknesses 

  • Take-down defense is great, but doesn’t mean it’s impregnable, bigger guys are able to overwhelm Holloway at times if they can close the distance
  • Can sometimes be held up the fence for too long, needs to get better at defending from the clinch
  • Has been on such a great winning streak, defeating legitimate top 10 opponents that his past weaknesses are just that – a thing of the past

RICARDO LAMAS

Record – 15-4
Height – 5’8    Reach – 71”

Strengths

  • Diverse array of attacks ranging from fancy acrobatic kicks to solid technical 1-2 combinations, above average in many things but not elite in anything
  • Good wrestling with a great double leg take-down behind his level changes and mixes up his shots well with his effective striking
  • Despite black belt in BJJ, when in top control Lamas prefers to stay heavy on top and land some brutal GnP, knocked out Eric Koch with some vicious elbows
  • Another member of the guillotine choke club, has a good front headlock game and good scrambler

Weaknesses 

  • Lamas is a guy who is just above average or slightly above average at everything but has no real legitimate strength in anything that could take over a fight
  • Wobbly chin, but generally keeps himself out of trouble defensively for the most part
  • May struggle against Holloway’s length and great take-down defense, especially if he starts getting shot by Holloway’s limitless bullet combinations
  • Forgive me if this breakdown seems pretty bland, but Lamas just doesn’t inspire me despite being probably a top 5 featherweight

Holloway will want to assert his dominance via range striking and take advantage of his height edge over Lamas. Holloway’s impressive ability at changing up his combinations and still being elusive on defense is one of the big reasons why he’s having so much success over the last two years. He’s also capable of neutralizing whatever grappling advantage Lamas may have over Holloway, so combine his great combination heavy fighting style with strong take-down defense, and it certainly makes sense why it’s a mismatch for Lamas. However, you cannot discount a legitimate top 5 featherweight against anyone, and if he’s able to get his offensive wrestling going, he could grind out an upset decision. I’d probably stay away from Lamas in GPPs due to his lack of scoring in majority of his wins. TO THE MAX!!!

Holloway via unanimous decision

Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber

The trilogy fight! Even though Faber doesn’t deserve the title shot, it’s still an interesting fight just because it will be Cruz’s 1st title defense since snatching the belt away from TJ Dillashaw after basically missing 4 years before and after his win over Takeya Mizugaki. Ring Rust? Pfft, says Cruz. Faber was, and still is, the only loss Cruz had suffered in his professional career, and I’m sure the “Dominator” will absolutely love to serve Faber on a platter to the millions of viewers across the globe and prove that Faber is nothing short of a guy living off people recognizing his name.

DOMINICK CRUZ

Record – 21-1
Height – 5’8    Reach – 68”

Strengths

  • Master of the switch stance and constant shifting, Cruz’s fighting style is so awkward looking yet it’s a beautiful thing to watch his footwork, cage movement, and underrated head movement as Cruz is so damn elusive with slipping attacks
  • Digs and attacks from weird angles, will punch forward and instantly shift his stance into a counter from the other hand
  • Add in his hard low kicks and ability to flip a headkick into a lunging strike from a completely different stance, and you have a truly complete and unpredictable striking offense
  • Pretty big for a bantamweight and has one of the better offensive wrestling in the division, capable of hitting level changes off a lunge or just using his own strength for a double leg take-down slam
  • Nasty ground and pound once Cruz gets into position from top, strong guard control and rarely puts himself in danger of getting submitted
  • Endless cardio, can go for miles and miles doing his crazy stance shifting nonsense

Weaknesses 

  • His only legitimate weakness is his awkward lunges off the backfoot, which in the past had been countered and dropped Cruz
  • Loss to Faber was off a guillotine choke, so I imagine Cruz will have to keep that in mind if he tries to take-down Faber and avoid his famous guillotine choke

URIJAH FABER

Record – 33-8
Height – 5’6    Reach – 67”

Strengths

  • Wide stance base with a lunging/blitzing fighting style, looks to counter with some sort of forward strike and go from there, prefers to be a counter-striker and create take-down opportunities
  • Good wrestling base, stocky build and a fighting style that usually has Faber near or right up his opponents’ grill – tries for hip tosses or quick leg trips from clinch
  • Stifling top control with timely ground and pound, not usually aggressive with guard passes but will bide his time for a back take chance and land a RNC
  • One of the best guillotine chokes in the UFC, and it’s bailed Faber out time and time again against take-downs or on scrambles – it’s how he defeated Cruz the 1st time around
  • One of the few Alpha Male members who actually has legitimate cardio

Weaknesses 

  • Struggles against elite strikers who can counter quickly on Faber’s various lunging attempts with quick jab/crosses, and land numerous leg kicks to Faber’s lead leg which for whatever reason Faber still refuses to check
  • For all of his great wrestling skills, he’s kinda average with his take-down defense if his guillotine misses, and has been dominated on the ground by the likes of Frankie Edgar and Cruz the 2nd time around
  • Has been getting countered at a higher rate lately due to fighting style, and it’s taken a toll on his chin

Faber got the better of Cruz the 1st time around, but some may say it was kind of a flukey win with the guillotine choke. Well, the 2nd time around Faber still landed some well-timed counters on Cruz and dropped him a couple times, but ended up on the wrong side of the scorecards after Cruz started dominating him in the later rounds with his wrestling and erratic movement. 5 years later, and Cruz still looks as dominant as ever despite the several knee injuries, while Faber just hasn’t looked like the elite version of Faber that faced Cruz that long ago. Chances are Faber struggles to pinpoint Cruz’s movements and gets shellacked by constant counters and off center punches. Cruz will also have the better wrestling skills of the two, and may choose to use it at any time he wishes during the fight. Honestly, Faber didn’t deserve the title shot, and his last few fights hasn’t given me any hope that he can do what TJ Dillashaw couldn’t do. Beat Cruz. 0-4!

Cruz via unanimous decision

Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping

Rematch! 2 weeks notice! Weidman stinks! Rockhold is handsome! Championship fight! The Count! British people! I feel like the intro of this whole article basically sums up the fight already, so let’s go ahead and use that scroll button of yours.

LUKE ROCKHOLD

Record – 15-2
Height – 6’3    Reach – 77”

Strengths

  • At range southpaw striker who actually knows his range and the distance needed to close the gap against him, usually acts as a counter-striker early to test the waters then gets more aggressive as each minute goes by
  • Deceptive usage of left kick, switches between hard low kick/body kick and the headkick without any tells, makes it extremely difficult to predict and telegraph on sight
  • Uses counter-right hook against entry strikes or when opponents try to jump into his range, likes to roll over left straight against jabs or low kicks – has the length and reach to effectively do it repeatedly without consequences
  • Excellent take-down defense, big and strong for a middleweight w/ the impressive training of a world class wrestler – doesn’t hurt that he trains with Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, two of the premier wrestlers in the UFC
  • No one ever really talks about it, but Rockhold is actually a legitimate BJJ black belt with the grappling of an elite BJJ guy, dangerous guard + guillotine chokes for days
  • More on his BJJ, Rockhold is an excellent scrambler and has the instincts to quickly take advantage of any scuffles on the ground with back takes and instant guard passes – just ask Machida and Weidman
  • Fantastic cardio and much like Bisping, can go for 100 rounds

Weaknesses 

  • Has a bad tendency to try to back up and roll into/away from pressure, leaves his head low in the process which could be taken advantage of by an elite kicker
  • I dunno, he’s just that damn good right now and outside of a crazy spinning kick by a roided Vitor Belfort, Rockhold has looked unstoppable, and that likely continues with a win over Bisping

MICHAEL BISPING

Record – 29-7
Height – 6’1    Reach – 72”

Strengths

  • One of the better boxers in the division, has the hand speed to paint with constant barrages of jabs and straight/cross follow-ups, great footwork in slipping punches and landing counter-hooks off them – very solid overall technical and defensive striking
  • Strong take-down defense, always prepared to defend against duck and shoots/level changes with proper techniques w/ wrist control and underhooks
  • Great scrambler, if he ever gets dropped to the ground by a take-down, Bisping quickly scurries back up to his feet away from danger almost all the time
  • Superior cardio and never slows down even in 5 round fights

Weaknesses 

  • Has a mediocre chin, a good punch or kick (usually a counter) will drop Bisping or stun him momentarily, and of course we all remember what Dan Henderson did to him
  • Seems to struggle against southpaws, especially those who utilize the body kick and can match Bisping’s speed
  • Lack of legitimate take-downs can put a damper on Bisping’s striking output when facing an elite striker who can break through his defensive striking, as good as it may be

Bisping couldn’t’ close the distance against the taller, longer reach Rockhold in their 1st meeting, and he was consistently getting thumped by Rockhold’s body kicks. Rockhold also kept mixing up his kicks and actually landed several on target headkicks that he had faked as a body kick. Bisping looked lost and confused on how to handle Rockhold’s reach and just didn’t have an answer for the body kicks. It didn’t help that Rockhold started landing the left straight repeatedly with Bisping unable to counter back. Sure, it was some years ago and both men are admittedly better than their past versions, but I would say Rockhold got considerably better than Bisping got better. There’s still also Bisping’s wobbly chin, which may come into play again in the rematch. He’ll have to bring his A game and literally win a runaway race by outpointing Rockhold in at least 3 rounds with plenty of jabs and continuous movement to avoid the dreaded left kick of Rockhold’s. It’s probably not gonna happen, and it very well could be over in the 1st. I’ll give Bisping the benefit of the doubt and say he makes it interesting for at least a round until Rockhold starts figuring him out.

Rockhold via 3rd round TKO

***UPDATE ON ROCKHOLD***

Rockhold admitted that he is dealing with a torn MCL and hadn’t grappled/kicked all camp until this past week, so take that for what it’s worth. I still think Rockhold can beat up Bisping any way he wants unless he’s severely hindered by the torn MCL. This isn’t the ACL, and he’s not a sudden striker. He also allegedly torn his MCL a month before his fight versus Weidman. And well….he got the title after that fight. Still some food for thought.

Until next time for UFC 200! TWO HUNDRED! SO MANY FIGHTS!

MMA

We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 

HAVING TROUBLE?









We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 

We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution. 

HAVING TROUBLE?









We are currently experiencing issues with the optimizer. Please check back periodically; Our engineers are working on a solution.