UFC 200 MMA DFS Picks
UFC 200 moves to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday night. All of the talk this week has been of the Jon Jones positive test for a banned substance, and the fact his bout with Daniel Cormier is off. While the substance causing the positive test is not yet known, it’s a huge disappointment for fight fans and the big cheese, Dana White.
Anderson Silva steps in to face Cormier, so the card still has more than enough drawing power. While that bout is very attractive, the card is littered with outstanding fights with a who’s who of UFC for the milestone event. Remember, Brock Lesnar is back to face Mark Hunt in a heavyweight bout, while Amanda Nunes and Miesha Tate battle for the women’s bantamweight belt. Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will also duel for the featherweight belt, while Cain Velasquez looks to push aside Travis Browne in a heavyweight bout. Add in the fact Johny Hendricks and Kelvin Gastelum are doing battle, TJ Dillashaw fights on the card and teen phenom Sage Northcutt will face Enrique Marin in a lightweight contest. If you do not normally do pay-per-view, this is the weekend to change that!
It will be difficult with some many top-notch fights on the card to fit a full lineup under the $50K salary cap. You will need to target at least one longshot for an upset, while taking an underdog in another bout. It can certainly be done, however.
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TJ Dillashaw ($11,000 vs. Raphael Assuncao): Dillashaw, the former bantamweight title holder, returns to the octagon for the first time since losing his belt. That split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz Jan. 17, 2016 was his first setback since losing to Assuncao at UFC Fight Night 29 Oct. 9, 2013 in a split-decision loss. Assuncao has seven straight victories, and this is a very important battle for both as they look to get into position to sack Dominick Cruz. Dillashaw is a solid striker and a tremendous boxer who will likely want to stay on his feet and avoid getting into a tussle on the mat. If he can turn this into a boxing match, rather than an intense grappling show, Dillashaw will get revenge.
Mark Hunt ($10,400 vs. Brock Lesnar): Hunt will face the 38-year-old Lesnar, who makes his return to the octagon for the first time since UFC 141 back on Dec. 30, 2011. He finished his first tour with the UFC with back-to-back losses to Alistair Overeem and Cain Velasquez to drop to 5-3 and head to the WWE. He is back, and will face a tough fighter in Hunt while serving as a decisive underdog. Lesnar is an outstanding wrestler, but Hunt is very good at rebuffing attempts to get him down to the ground. The ‘Super Samoan’ is coming off impressive back-to-back first-round KO/TKO’s over Frank Mir and Antonio Silva, and losses in previous bouts to Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum is certainly nothing to be ashamed about. Hunt is battle-tested, and he’ll be more than up for the challenge from Lesnar.
Gegard Mousasi ($10,300 vs. Thiago Santos): Mousasi was scheduled to face Derek Brunson, but he is out due to a vision problem, so Santos steps in. ‘Marreta’ takes the fight on short notice, putting his four-bout win streak on the line. Santos has three KO/TKO’s during the span, but none were against the caliber fighter of Mousasi. ‘The Dreamcatcher’ has posted 38 victories, including a bounceback win over Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night Feb. 27. Mousasi is a heavy hitter who will weather the initial storm of Santos, who comes out with fists flying but will tire quickly. By Round 2, look for Mousasi to catch Santos with a huge punch to end this one before it goes to the judges.
Travis Browne ($8,200 vs. Cain Velasquez): Velasquez is a heavy favorite in this one, but Browne is a live ‘dog in this one. He is 18-3-1 with 78 percent of his victories coming via knockout. Last time out he pushed aside Matt Mitrione, and you can expect him to come out with vigor. He is extremely powerful with very good striking, averaging 3.02 significant strikes per minute. Browne has the height and reach advantage, and a knockout is certainly possible for Browne. At this price level he is a giant DFS value.
Frankie Edgar ($9,900 vs. Jose Aldo): Edgar-Aldo is a giant bout which would headline most cards. Edgar is a slight favorite in this rematch from UFC 156. Like the Assuncao-Dillashaw rematch, look for the loser of the previous bout to get revenge. Edgar is a top-notch wrestler who continues to make headway as a striker. The last time we saw Aldo he was a bloody mess after a 13-second debacle against Conor McGregor. Edgar can do it either on his feet or on the mat, and it’s uncertain how much Aldo’s failure last time out will affect him. He’ll either come out overzealous, possibly getting caught with a power punch, he’ll play it safe which will not look good to the judges should it get that far, or he’ll be a whirling dervish rebounding nicely. Two of those three scenarios end well for Edgar. As a No. 4 fighter he is a tremendous value.