UFC Fight Night 82 MMA DFS Picks
UFC Fight Night 82, formerly UFC 196, was supposed to be a great event, or the undercard if you will, leading up to Super Bowl 50. However, a bout between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum was postponed due to injury, a fight between Werdum and Stipe Miocic never got off the ground, and what was to be a pay-per-view event with plenty of eyeballs turned into a rather lackluster card and a FOX Sports 1 event for free.
However, no card is too small for DFS, and there are plenty of great Fantasy values and bouts to look forward to, although many figure to be rather lopsided if you trust the Vegas lines. In seven of the 12 bouts the favorite is -250 or higher, so that could mean plenty of uneven battles. Outside of the heavyweight matchup between Damian Grabowski and Derrick Lewis, and the featherweight tussle between Alex White and Artem Lobov, there aren’t a lot of coin-flip situations here.
The main event between Stephen Thompson and Johny Hendricks still figures to be very entertaining, but it could also be very one-sided if Hendricks fires out of the chute. Former University of Tennessee linebacker turned MMA fighter Ovince Saint Preux is always an exciting fighter to watch, too. Misha Cirkunov (-750) is almost certain to annihilate Alex Nicholson (+500) in light heavyweight action. If not, plenty of chalk eaters will be crying in their $12 beer at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
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Joseph Benavidez ($5,300 vs. Zach Makovsky): The southpaw Benavidez is on a roll since his setback against Demetrious Johnson at UFC on FOX 9 back on Dec. 14, 2013. The Team Alpha Male member has rattled off four straight wins, although only one bout did not go to the judges. Benavidez is more technically sound, and he’ll be looking to get the former Bellator champ Makovsky on the mat early and often. Makovsky has been submitted three times in his career, and he has lost two of his past three bouts via unanimous decision. ‘Fun Size’ won’t have much fun against Benavidez, who might not win pretty for DFS players, but he will win and rack up plenty of strikes landed along the way. If you’re not comfortable with Benavidez, Israel’s Noad Lahat ($5,300) also should cruise in his bout.
Ray Borg ($5,100 vs. Justin Scoggins): Borg (-290) is a heavy favorite to pick up his fourth straight victory. The go-to move for ‘The Tazmexican Devil’ is the rear-naked choke, and Scoggins is likely very aware. Will he be able to avoid it, however? Borg has nine career wins, with six coming via submission, and five by rear-naked choke. It’s a Borg thing. Borg is a top-notch grappler, and while Scoggins has won the war of Twitter leading up to this bout, he’ll fail miserably in the octagon.
Misha Cirkunov ($5,200 vs. Alex Nicholson): The Latvian Cirkunov certainly has had the Kevorka lately, winning five straight bouts, all ending in the first round either by KO/TKO or submission. He made his UFC debut Aug. 23 and needed just 4:45 to take care of Daniel Jolly. The good news is that Nicholson is iron tough and can take a pounding, so look for Cirkunov to load up on plenty of strikes landed for DFS points. He’ll also likely rack up a handful of submission attempts, also Fantasy points, as he tries to get him on the mat and make quick work of Nicholson. Whether it’s by knockout or submission, this one won’t end well for Nicholson, and looks to be a near-certain 100-plus Fantasy points for Cirkunov.
Josh Burkman ($4,500 vs. KJ Noons): At Kountermove you can use a high-low lineup strategy, picking three heavy favorites, and technically sound fighters, while picking a No. 4 and No. 5 fighter with plenty of upside. Burkman (-175) is favored to take care of KJ Noons, and the money has been flowing in on the lightweight. ‘The People’s Warrior’ hasn’t tasted victory since March 29, 2014, losing by KO/TKO to Patrick Cote last time out Aug. 23, 2015, and losing by arm triangle at UFC 187 against Dong Hyun Kim before that. Burkman is a grizzled veteran of 40 fights, but he drops down from welterweight to the lightweight division for the first time. Burkman is more powerful than Noons, and a better grappler. He is a solid value at this great price.
Sean Spencer ($4,800 vs. Mike Pyle): Spencer is looking for the bounce back after his controversial unanimous decision loss to Cathal Pendred at UFC Fight Night 59. The crowd, media and fans thought Spencer won that last bout, the judges saw it differently. It has been nearly 13 months since, but don’t expect Spencer to let the judges decide his fate in this one. Pyle will try to get Spencer on the ground, where he has proven to be not very good. However, Spencer has the power and a chip on his shoulder, and he should grind out a win against a very formidable Pyle.