UFC Fight Night 75 MMA DFS picks
After a few weeks off, the UFC is back in action in Saitama, Japan for the much-anticipated UFC Fight Night 75. The card is littered with Japanese fighters looking to make their mark on the big stage, and it should be a very entertaining event with perhaps some different styles that we normally do not see in Europe or the Americas.
It’s a challenging card, as most casual fans haven’t seen much from these fighters in the limelight. However, we’re here to help, and you can also get a great sense of what to expect from the fight by quickly perusing the Vegas lines, as well as the salary structure in DFS games. For instance, if one fighter has a salary of more than $1000 against his opponent, chances are that’s not an anomaly, and there is a reason for it. Of course, favorites do not always cash, and we only need to look to UFC 191 to see a card where underdogs (six of all 11 fights) were barking all night long.
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(Kountermove.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET).
Kyoji Horiguchi ($5,300 vs. Chico Camus): We have seen enough for Horiguchi to know he is legit. While he lost his last time out April 25 at UFC 186, a loss to Demetrious Johnson by armbar at 4:59 of Round 5 is certainly nothing to be ashamed about. Before that he was on fire, winning nine straight bouts, including three of the past five by KO/TKO. He is a top karate fighter, and he has rock-hard hands which can devastate opponents. Look for a flurry of kicks in concert with a raining of those hard fists. Camus will feel like he is in a Japanese car wash. While Camus is a good wrestler, it will be difficult to get Horiguchi on the ground due to his tremendous balance. As long as Horiguchi can avoid being forced into a wrestling match, or pinned against the fence, this one will end in a KO/TKO for the Japanese fighter.
Gegard Mousasi ($5,100 vs. Yusuke Kasuya): I thought about taking Nick Hein ($5,200) at a similar price level, but I don’t like the fact all three of his UFC bouts have gone the distance. Mousasi, a.k.a. ‘The Dreamcatcher’, has a much better chance to knock out his opponent or end the bout by submission. In fact, that’s exactly have seven of his past 12 bouts have ended, needing the judges to decide just five times. Sure, he was on the losing end of one of those submissions by guillotine choke to Ronaldo Souza, but he doesn’t mess around. Mousasi’s bouts are action-packed. One worrisome thing about Mousasi is his SApM, or Strikes Absorbed per Minute, which ranks fourth in UFC at 1.26. He takes a beating, but manages to soldier on. I don’t think Kasuya makes much of a dent against him in this one, however, and I look for the bout to be over by the second round via submission.
PLENTY OF UPSIDE
Kajan Johnson ($5,200 vs. Naoyuki Kotani): The Canadian Johnson, aptly nicknamed ‘Ragin’, has dropped two of his past five bouts, including a KO/TKO loss to Tae Hyun Bang at UFC 174 in his debut. However, he is a confident fighter heading into Japan to fight a guy who is 33-12-7 overall, but 0-4 in the UFC. Johnson feels he is being tested by the powers that be to see if he has that killer instinct, or if he’ll just do enough and let the judges decide. Look for a motivated Johnson to fire out of the gate in Kotani’s native Japan and end this one before it goes to the judges.
Yasuke Kasuya ($4,400 vs. Nick Hein): As mentioned above, I considered Hein for one of my ‘big-money’ spots, but quickly got away from that. The German, a.k.a. ‘Sergeant’, has had a penchant of just hanging around. All three of his bouts since moving to UFC have ended up going the distance, and I just don’t like fighters like that for DFS purposes. As such, that makes the newcomer Kasuya a tremendous value with upside, as if he can hang around long enough, and use the good vibes from the crowd in his native land, he could make things very difficult for Hein, and possibly come away with a win by decision. Kasuya hasn’t lost since March 2012 at a Legend Fighting Championship event, although Hein is obviously a huge step up in competition.
Takeya Mizugaki ($4,800 vs. George Roop): Mizugaki is a very strong wrestler and a good technical boxer. It will serve him well in his bout with Roop, who lost to Rob Font last time out and has two setbacks in the past five bouts. Mizugaki is a brawler who mixes his strikes well, whether with hard punches to the head, tenderizing the opponent with knees and kicks or via takedown. He is a heady fighter and he’ll do enough to end this one before the bell in Round 3.