UFC Fight Night 74 MMA DFS picks
It’s time for a mixed martial arts event way up in the Great White North, as the UFC invades the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for UFC Fight Night 74. It comes at just the right time, too, as the Roughriders of the CFL have given Saskatchewan fans very little to cheer about to this point.
There are some absolute bargains if you match up the Las Vegas betting lines and the DFS salaries, especially when it comes to the Chad Laprise-Francisco Trinaldo bout. In fact, it’s rather hard to explain, but be sure to take advantage and get Laprise into your lineup. That bout is one to really look forward to seeing, as is the lightweight battle between Tony Sims and Olivier Aubin-Mercier and the main event featuring Charles Oliveira and Max Holloway.
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(Kountermove.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET).
Olivier Aubin-Mercier ($5,200 vs. Tony Sims): Originally OAM was scheduled to fight Chris Wade, but he was removed from the bout for an undisclosed reason and replaced by Sims. The 26-year-old will be fighting at home against the southpaw American who just made his UFC debut June 27. Sims has won 12 bouts in his career, with two coming by submission and 10 via KO/TKO. He has a strong ground game, but he is rather inexperienced and it will show against ‘The Quebec Kid’, who has a little more experience. In addition, if OAM can get Sims onto the ground, it’s over. He has choked out all six opponents in his wins, with four wins coming in the first round. Since bumping up to the UFC, he has two wins via choke, and his only loss came in a split decision against Chad Laprise at UFC TUF Nations.
Max Holloway ($5,400 vs. Charles Oliveira): Holloway is a decisive favorite (-285) heading into the main event, and it’s mostly because he has been on a serious roll. ‘Blessed’ is his nickname, and his solemn dedication has been choking out opponents or knocking them out. Since his last setback at UFC Fight Night 26 Aug. 17, 2013 against Conor McGregor, Holloway has ripped off six straight wins, with only one bout going to the card. That includes an impressive guillotine choke of Cub Swanson last time out in mid-April, as well as a first-round KO/TKO against Akiri Corassini and a choke out of Andre Fili during the stretch. You’re going to get your money’s worth from Holloway, and he could end Oliveira rather early. Just be cognizant of the fact he has just two takedown attempts in his UFC career, so don’t expect your Fantasy points to come in that area.
PLENTY OF UPSIDE
Nikita Krylov ($5,100 vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima): Krylov heads into this bout as the better all-around option. He is not the most gifted defensive fighter, but he has a tremendous ground game and is a tremendous fighter with plenty of power. In fact, if he and deLima go toe-to-toe it will be a power-fest as each try to wear each other down. If that happens and both tire, as mentioned, Krylov has the better ground game and he should be able to put de Lima to sleep. After losing to Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 171 in mid-March, he rebounded with a KO/TKO win against Cody Donovan at UFC Fight Night 46 and he ended the night of Stanislav Nedkov by guillotine choke in just 84 seconds at a UFC on FOX event in late January. ‘Al Capone’ has, as you would guess for this section, plenty of upside, but he can be a little careless with his defense. That’s the only worry with using him against a hard puncher like de Lima.
Chad Laprise ($4,600 vs. Francisco Trinaldo): ‘The Disciple’ will be fighting in his home nation of Canada, and he looks to keep his record peerless. He enters 10-0 with four TKO/KO wins and a submission. Since bumping up to UFC, he has had all three of his bouts go to the card, but he is a scrapper who should be able to knock out the very vanilla Trinaldo. Laprise is the better technical fighter by a mile with great footwork, devastating right hand and left hooks while also maintaining a tremendous advantage on the ground. Trinaldo can hold his own on the ground, but a knockout in favor of Laprise is expected by Round 3.
Misha Cirkunov ($4,700 vs. Daniel Jolly): The Latvian makes his UFC debut, and it will be to much fanfare. The light heavyweight was scheduled to face veteran Sean O’Connell in what would have been a much tougher matchup, but he was forced out due to injury and Jolly was called to step in on very short notice. Jolly has had more than a year off between bouts and the rust will show against Cirkunov, who has seven stoppages in nine career victories. Jolly needs to beware of Cirkunov’s feet. Just ask UFC veteran Rodney Wallace, who took a devastating kick to the head at School of Hard Knocks 41 Jan. 30. Cirkunov isn’t used to going deep into fights, with his past five ended in the first round. This one might not end that quickly, but it will end with Cirkunov victorious via submission, likely his go-to armbar.