UFC Fight Night 87 MMA DFS Picks
UFC Fight Night 87 takes place in the octagon at Ahoy Sports Palace in Rotterdam, Netherlands Sunday afternoon. The highlight of the card will be two Dutch heavyweights, Alistair Overeem and Stefan Struve fighting in back-to-back bouts in front of a raucous crowd full of their countrymen.
Welterweight Albert Tumenov is also back in action, putting his 17-2 record on the line against Gunnar Nelson. The light heavyweight affair between Francimar Barroso and Nikita Krylov should be very entertaining, as will be the lightweight battle featuring Rustam Khabilov and Chris Wade. There are a few moments, especially early in the card, when you can tune out and check out NBA and NHL playoffs, but the later the card goes, you won’t want to turn that dial and leave the sofa. It is an action-packed offering, and the Dutch fans are in for a treat on Mother’s Day.
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Rustam Khabilov ($10,400 vs. Chris Wade): As part of my extremely thought ‘OV’ strategy, as in drafting every fighter with a ‘OV’ in his name, Khabilov leads the charge. Actually, it’s just coincidence and it worked out this way. Khabilov enters this bout as a moderate favorite (-190), and he should dominate this lightweight matchup. He is 18-3, although he tends to grind it out and will not get the quick finish DFS owners seek while spending a five-figure salary. Still, he’ll roll up plenty of significant strikes and takedowns. He ranks third among all lightweights with a 48.8 takedown accuracy percentage, and he’ll rack up plenty of DFS points even if those one last the entire three rounds.
Nikita Krylov ($10,100 vs. Francimar Barroso): Krylov enters this fight on a three-bout win streak, and all three victories have come in the first round. DFS players love that kind of return. His last victory was via submission (rear naked choke) at UFC Fight Night Aug. 23 against Marcos Rogerio de Lima. The Ukrainian, nicknamed ‘Al Capone’, has built his career upon fear (that’s an Al Capone quote). The 24-year-old is dangerous with his quick hands, and he is a strong wrestler. He’ll be much quicker than the aging Barroso, and this one should be over before the end of Round 2. The only drama is whether it will be by KO/TKO or submission.
Albert Tumenov ($10,500 vs. Gunnar Nelson): This bout figures to be a war, with plenty of fists being thrown on both sides. Tumenov has won five straight bouts, including three via KO/TKO. His last time out he needed to grind out a split decision against Lorenz Larkin at UFC 195, but going to the judges is not a frequent occurrence. In fact, he has happened just three times in the past 13 bouts dating back to June 2012. Tumenov is a top-notch striker, and that will be the difference in this one.
Andrei Arlovski ($9,100 vs. Alistair Overeem): Arlovski has been trending upward lately, posting two TKO/KO victories against Travis Browne and Antonio Silva over his past four fights, and a victory over Frank Mir at UFC 191. He was tripped up in 54 seconds on a KO/TKO by Stipe Miocic at UFC 195, as he was caught by surprising hit. Arlovski will look to turn the tables and disappoint Overeem in front of his adoring fans using his overpowering right hand. He’ll be able to get the slight upset if he can avoid Overeem’s best assets, which are his kicks and tenderizing knees. As long as Arlovski can avoid getting pinned to the fence with Overeem working him over with debilitating knees to the quads, he will be just fine in this one.
Stefan Struve ($9,900 vs. Antonio Silva): Struve is hard to miss. Even the most casual fan has cast an eye to the television set at the sports bar, and said, “Wow, look at that dude who should be playing basketball.” Struve almost looks like he is going to tip over. He is muscular, but still looks lanky because of his tremendous height. He is a powerful puncher, and he is like part octopus and part boa constrictor when he gets another fighter on the mat. It’s not where you want to be. Silva has lost three of his past four bouts via KO/TKO, and each setback came in the first round. Bigfoot just hasn’t been the same guy as early in his career, and Struve will add to his woes.