UFC 202 MMA DFS Picks
The UFC heads back to Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena for UFC 202, and Conor McGregor ($10,400) looks for revenge against Nate Diaz ($9,200) in the main event. The last time these two met at UFC 196 back in early March it was Diaz, fighting on short notice, applying the rear-naked choke in Round 2 for the submission win which shocked the world. It snapped a six-bout KO/TKO win streak by ‘The Notorious’, and was McGregor’s first setback in the octagon dating back to Nov. 27, 2010 in CWFC 39.
Diaz-McGregor 2 isn’t the only notable or entertaining bout on the card. Not by a long shot. Anthony Johnson ($10,700) and Glover Teixeira ($8,700) will do battle in a light heavyweight tilt which should be a war. Donald Cerrone ($10,000) is also on the card, facing Rick Story ($9,400) in what should be a good battle. All eyes will be on Cody Garbrandt ($10,300), too, as he looks to run his record to an impressive 10-0. Garbrandt (-550) is the biggest favorite on the board in his bout against Takeya Mizugaki ($9,100). The most underrated fight on the card might be Lorenz Larkin ($8,900) against Neil Magny ($10,500). While the DFS salaries say otherwise, Vegas expects this to be a close match with Magny (-155) listed as a slight favorite.
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Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone ($10,000 vs. Rick Story): Story is a difficult matchup for ‘Cowboy’, as he is a whirling dervish with the fists and an exceptional wrestler. However, it’s nothing Cerrone hasn’t seen before. He will look to work over Story and weaken his legs with pressure kicks and knees, trying to get Story down to the mat. If Cerrone can stay off the fence, and turn the tables and pressure Story, it will end well for the veteran. This bout could be a grind, but you can expect Cerrone to be the one having his hand raised in the end.
Colby Covington ($11,300 vs. Max Griffin): Covington is a heavy favorite against Griffin, who has won eight of his past nine bouts. However, Griffin is making his UFC debut and the step up in competition will be noticeable. Covington is outstanding on the mat, and that’s Griffin’s biggest weakness. Covington, who is looking to rebound after a shocking loss to Warlley Alves last time out, has tapped six of his 10 opponents since turning pro. Look for Covington to have a huge chip on his shoulder and cruise back into the win column.
Cody Garbrandt ($10,300 vs. Takeya Mizugaki): Garbrandt’s ascension continues, as he takes on Takeya Mizugaki trying to win and position himself for a title shot. As mentioned, Garbrandt is the biggest favorite on the board. He’ll look to keep Mizugaki on his feet, pounding him with violent punches. If he can force Mizugaki into a boxing match, it will not end well for the Japanese fighter. Look for a knockout sooner rather than later, as Garbrandt might score the most Fantasy points of any fighter on the UFC 202 card.
Raquel Pennington ($9,200 vs. Elizabeth Phillips): Vegas has installed Pennington (-275) as a healthy favorite, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the DFS salaries. Phillips ($10,200) is much more expensive, but not the play in this match. Pennington is coming off two straight impressive victories over Jessica Andrade and Bethe Correia since a UFC 184 loss to Holly Holm. Pennington is the more battle tested fighter in his bout and it will show. Phillips comes in with losses in two of the past three outings, and she hasn’t fought since July 25, 2015. You can expect plenty of rust, which certainly won’t bode well against an aggressive Pennington.
Marvin Vettori ($8,800 vs. Alberto Uda): The Italian southpaw makes his UFC debut, and the wise guys in Vegas are backing the 22-year-old. He steps into the octagon as a moderate favorite at -170. Uda is looking to pick himself up off the mat after a second-round KO against Jake Collier at UFC Fight Night 88. Vettori is a much more polished fighter, and Uda isn’t much in the area of defense. If he leaves himself open to a bunch of shots like his previous fights, Vettori will have a successful debut in the UFC and it might not be a long bout, either.