UFC Fight Night 83 MMA DFS Picks
It’s been a couple of weeks, but the UFC is back with a Sunday fight from the Steel City, headlined by Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone taking on Alex Oliveira. But that’s just one of many fights on an action-packed card, which will help to make you forget the disaster that was UFC Fight Night 82 during Super Bowl weekend.
The middleweight bout between Roan Carneiro and Derek Brunson figures to be a good one despite the fact Brunson (-350) is a clear-cut favorite according to Vegas. Dennis Bermudez puts his sparkling record on the line against Tatsuya Kawajiri in a featherweight battle which should be entertaining, and Cody Garbrandt (-320) is now heavily favored after an opponent change. He’ll face Augusto Mendes, who will be making his UFC debut on short notice. That one could be a good opportunity for DFS to fatten up their point totals. However, with the fighter change Garbrandt’s salary ($11,000) is among the highest of all fighters on the card.
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(DraftKings.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET).
Dennis Bermudez ($10,800 vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri): Bermudez enters on a two-bout losing streak after being submitted by Ricardo Lamas at UFC 180, and being KO’d by Jeremy Stephens at UFC 189. He cannot afford a third consecutive setback if he wants to stay at the top of the sport. Expect ‘The Menace’ to come out with a purpose in this one, although he is facing a very tough opponent. Bermudez needs to avoid the takedown, as Kawajiri has made it to the UFC due to a dominating top game as a lightweight. He drops down to featherweight and experience might be a factor. Look for Bermudez to avoid the debilitating third straight loss with a power-packed KO/TKO by the end of Round 2.
Marion Reneau ($10,300 vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith): Reneau is an attractive DFS option, as she should be able to end this bout very early against the rusty Evans-Smith who fights for the first time in 14 months after a drug suspension. Reneau was dumped by Holly Holm in an unanimous decision July 15, but that’s nothing to be ashamed about certainly. That was her first loss in five bouts, and three of her previous four wins were finished in the first round. She has plenty of power, and she is solid on the ground. Evans-Smith will not be able to contend with Reneau’s quickness and power and will either be knocked out or submitted rather quickly.
Daniel Sarafian ($10,400 vs. Oluwale Bamgbose): Sarafian was originally expected to face Sam Alvey, but he had to bow out with a broken jaw. Enter Oluwale Bamgbose, which makes Sarafian a moderate favorite (-200) in the eyes of Vegas. Sarafian had an injury of his own which forced him out for more than a year, so it might be a blessing in disguise to face a slightly lesser opponent in Bamgbose rather than a veteran in Alvey. Sarafian is strong on the ground, and seven of his eight career victories have come via submission. As long as Sarafian can get the takedown and avoid Bamgbose’s powerful punches, this one has the chance to be over rather quickly for the favorite.
Anthony Hamilton ($9,600 vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov): Hamilton is a good value, especially if he can get Abdurakhimov on the mat early and often. After a 33-second knockout at the hands of Todd Duffee at UFC 181, Hamilton got untracked with a unanimous decision against Daniel Omielanczuk to boost his confidence April 11. Hamilton will continue to ascend if he gets Abdurakhimov into a wrestling match, something the Russian has proven he has very little interest in the past.
Joe Riggs ($8,900 vs. Chris Camozzi): If you’re going to be able to afford three five-figure fighters, you’ll need to take a chance on one of the lower-priced guys. Riggs is a decisive underdog in his bout against Camozzi, but Riggs has the opportunity to pull off a big upset and work his way back up the ranks. He is a solid toe-to-toe guy, who he can deliver hurtful kicks, too. If Camozzi can get him on the ground, that is where Riggs is at his most vulnerable. If he can use his power and kicks to tire Camozzi, Riggs has a chance to make DFS owners very happy with their No. 5 fighter.