UFC Fight Night 89 MMA DFS Picks
The UFC heads north of the border to TD Palace Arena in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for Fight Night 89.
It’s a pretty exciting card, with the welterweight battle between Canada’s Patrick Cote ($9,200) and Donald Cerrone ($10,200) as the highlight. The welterweight tussle between Canada’s Rory MacDonald ($9,600) and Stephen Thompson ($9,800) will also be one to watch. The Canadian fans will also be boisterous when Olivier Aubin-Mercier ($11,000) steps into the octagon against Frenchman Thibault Gouti ($8,400). The women’s Flyweight battle between Canada’s Valerie Letourneau ($10,100) and Joanne Calderwood ($9,300) will also be a fight worth paying close attention.
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Donald Cerrone ($10,200 vs. Patrick Cote): ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone heads into Cote’s homeland looking to stay on the winning track after pushing aside Alex Oliveira last time out in late February. The 33-year-old wants to keep winning in an attempt to get another title shot after his loss to Rafael dos Anjos in December. Cowboy will need to defend the big kick while using his speed to deaden Cote’s legs with knees and kicks. Cerrone ranks seventh among lightweights in total strikes landed at 952, and he’ll significantly add to that total Saturday night. He is also fourth in significant strike accuracy, which makes him a great DFS option.
Misha Cirkunov ($10,900 vs. Ion Cutelaba): The Latvian Cirkunov, fighting out of Toronto, will look to keep Cutelaba at arm’s length. Cirkunov is on a six-bout win streak, winning all six by either submission or KO/TKO. The Moldovan doesn’t figure to put the brakes on Cirkunov’s hot streak. Seven of his past eight bouts have ended in the first round, with only the last time out, a submission neck crank win against Alex Nicholson, needing to go into Round 2. The Lativan has the ‘kavorka’, and needs to be part of lineups for both orthodox and unorthodox DFS players.
Sam Alvey ($9,100 vs. Elias Theodorou): Alvey looks to avenge a loss to Derek Brunson last August, and it won’t be easy facing the Canadian Theodorou on his home turf. Plus, Alvey might have a little bit of rust after missing the past 10 months due to a knee injury and broken jaw. Alvey has yet to lose back-to-back bouts in his career, and nine of his past 10 victories have come via KO/TKO. You can expect plenty of speed to confuse Theodorou, and then a devastating right hand to end this bout before it goes to the judges. Alvey’s fights average just 4 minutes, 48 seconds, fourth-shortest in the UFC among active fighters.
Rory MacDonald ($9,600 vs. Stephen Thompson): MacDonald-Thompson will be a war, and the best fight on the card. While Thompson has stepped up his ground game, MacDonald will want to get Thompson on the ground early and often. The Canadian ranks seventh in takedown accuracy among welterweights. MacDonald is a solid all-around fighter with a solid kicking game, and there will be plenty of punishing blows to Thompson’s legs to help get him down to the mat. As long as MacDonald keeps his distance, and avoids a knockout, he will win in front of a boisterous home crowd spurring him on. Thompson is a sexy pick among many experts, but go with the better all-around fighter.
Jason Saggo ($9,900 vs. Leandro Silva): Saggo is a top-notch grappler and he’ll be able to record plenty of takedowns. Silva is a boring fighter, and he won’t be as quick as the Canadian, who again will be a fighter to feed off the home crowd. Saggo posted a KO/TKO in Round 1 at UFC 196, successfully returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He’ll keep it rolling against the slow-footed Silva, avoiding a decision by the judges with a rear-naked choke in Round 2.