UFC Fight Night 77 MMA DFS Picks
The UFC is back, and they’re down at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil for UFC Fight Night 77, a week before we get UFC 193 and Ronda Rousey back in the octagon. After a lull, UFC is picking back up with cards in each of the next four weekends, and seven events leading up to UFC on FOX Dec. 19.
We get a much-anticipated third helping of Dan Henderson vs. Vitor Belfort in a middleweight bout. These veterans first met at PRIDE 32: The Real Deal back on Oct. 21, 2006, with Henderson winning by unanimous decision. Fast forward to UFC Fight Night 32 where Belfort exacted revenge with a KO/TKO in the very first round after just 77 seconds. That’s kinda the way things have been going for Henderson lately, as he has dropped five of his past seven matches since Nov. 2011. This could be the 45-year-old Henderson’s swan song after a long and distinguished career.
Henderson-Belfort 3 is certainly not the only bout on the card worth watching. In fact, it might be one of the worst. The light heavyweight bout featuring Brazil’s Glover Teixeira and Patrick Cummins is certain to be a war, and the lightweight bout between Piotr Hallmann and Alex Oliveira should be a very good bout, too. A lot of the talk after this card could be about the Rashid Magomedov-Gilbert Burns lightweight scrap, too, as the two combatants have just one loss between them. Toss in a bout featuring Gleison Tibau, as well as a fight featuring Thiago Tavares and this has the makings of a very good card.
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Vitor Belfort ($5,500 vs. Dan Henderson): ‘The Phenom’ is entering the twilight of his career, but he is still seven years younger than Henderson. Yes, he has lost to Henderson once in his career, but that was nine years ago when ‘Hendo’ was much more spry. He has dropped five of his past seven bouts, and Belfort will finally put him out to pasture in this swan song fight in Belfort’s native Brazil. If this one lasts past the first bell I’d be surprised. Belfort will not only be fighting in his native land, but he is back in the octagon after losing a title bout to Chris Weidman last time out at UFC 187. He’ll be very determined to get the quick knockout and get on track toward another title shot. In his previous match against Henderson he won by knockout in 77 seconds. Look for more of the same, making him a near-certain 100-point DFS option.
Johnny Case ($5,300 vs. Yan Cabral): The lightweight Case is a heavy favorite, as much as -300 at some Vegas shops. ‘Hollywood’ comes into this event on an impressive 11-bout win streak dating back to Oct. 22, 2010. Case is a no-nonsense fighter who will be looking for the quick knockout. Cabral will need to be on his best defense to avoid getting caught. In fact, win or lose, only two of Case’s 25 career bouts have gone to the judge’s card. That’s impressive, so look for a submission or knockout in this one.
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Rashid Magomedov ($4,900 vs. Gilbert Burns): Burns is a solid grappler, so this one won’t be easy for Magomedov. He is 3-0 since making his UFC debut, but this will be his toughest opponent by far. Magomedov, a.k.a. ‘The Brazilian Killer’, will certainly not be a fan favorite in Sao Paulo, and the ‘Me against the World’ situation should suit him rather nicely. Magomedov has a lot more quickness, and he isn’t as deliberate as Burns, who will be working to try and get him on the ground. Magomedov has great footwork which should keep him off the mat. If he can stay upright and use his power in deafening strikes, this one will go his way via knockout.
Gleison Tibau ($4,800 vs. Abel Trujillo): The veteran Tibau was choked out last time out at UFC 184 by Tony Ferguson. He looks to get back on track against Abel ‘Killa’ Trujillo in front of his home nation Brazil. Tibau hasn’t lost back-to-back bouts since 2008, and he is a slight favorite (-130) in this one. Honestly, you cannot load up on a ton of favorites and have to go with a few ‘coin-flip’ DFS fighters, and this is your best bet since Tibau is fighting in Brazil and will have the crowd behind him. That kind of home advantage, for some fighters, cannot be denied. He’ll feed off the energy and use it in his strikes against Trujillo, who was also choked out by Ferguson in his most recent bout Dec. 6, 2014. Trujillo has been sidelined for nearly a year due to a broken arm, so rust could also be a factor.
Gasan Ulamatov ($4,500 vs. Viscardi Andrade): Ulamatov has emerged as a slight favorite (-130) in this bout with Andrade. Ulamatov, a.k.a. ‘Cobra’, has been snakebitten in three of his past five bouts. But losses to Cathal Pendred and Neil Magny in his past two are certainly nothing to be ashamed about. The Brazilian Andrade will have the home crowd on his side in this one, but it is just his third UFC match, and Ulamatov represents his biggest challenge. Andrade has won seven times in the past eight bouts, but this is where fight history doesn’t tell the complete story. Ulamatov is more accomplished, he is battle tested and he has the power in his punches to make this a very quick night as long as Andrade does not catch him off guard with a strike off of his own. Defense is the biggest concern for Ulamatov.