The UFC heads to the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany for Fight Night 93. The highlight of the card will be the heavyweight battle between Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski, but the light heavyweight battle featuring Jan Blachowicz and Alexander Gustafsson should be a very entertaining battle, too. The light heavyweight fight between Ryan Bader and Ilir Latifi will also be a war between two very successful fighters despite a six-inch height differential between the two.
Many casual fans might overlook the welterweight tussle between Nicholas Dalby and Peter Sobotta. The bantamweight battle between Leandro Issa and Taylor Lapilus is also one to watch with two 135-pound fighters evenly matched. A lot of people might not tune into the lightweight bout featuring Rustam Khabilov and Leandro Silva, but that’s their loss and your gain if you manage to tune in for the entire card.
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Ryan Bader ($10,300 vs. Ilir Latifi): If it is a battle of nicknames, ‘Darth’ Bader has the slight advantage over ‘The Sledgehammer’ Latifi. The more experienced Bader is an above-average wrestler who ranks seventh in Takedown Accuracy at 41.8 percent, and he manages to keep opponents at a distance, absorbing just 1.49 strikes per minute, second-best in the Light Heavyweight class. That’s important against a stand-up guy like Latifi, who would like to tire him with a series of heavy punches. Bader is the wily veteran up against a powerful, but less polished Latifi. Look for Bader to be a fabulous anchor for your DFS squad.
Nicolas Dalby ($11,000 vs. Peter Sobotta): Denmark’s Dalby, a.k.a. Sharpshooter, is tough as nails and a top-notch wrestler. If he is able to get Sobotta down to the mat and assume top position, it’s over. Dalby (-180) is a heavy favorite, and rightly so, as he is a solid striker in addition to his prowess on the canvas. Dalby is looking to bounce back after suffering his first career setback against Zak Cummings in a unanimous decision in a Fight Night back on April 10. Look for an angry Dalby to fire out of the box and end this one early.
Rustam Khabilov ($10,200 vs. Leandro Silva): Khabilov enters this bout as a heavy favorite (-450), and he’ll be a popular selection in DFS at a rather affordable price. He ranks fourth in the Lightweight class in Takedown Accuracy (52.0 percent), and will be looking to get Silva down to the mat early and often. Silva steps in for Reza Madadi, who was pulled from this fight for undisclosed reasons back in late July. Taking a bout on short notice against the likes of a dangerous Khabilov will not bode well for Silva. Khabilov is powerful, and all of Silva’s victories have come against guys no longer on the UFC roster. This has the makings of a rather lopsided affair.
Tae Hyun Bang ($8,900 vs. Nick Hein): The only drawback from selecting Bang is that southpaw Hein will have the home crowd on his side, as ‘Sergeant’ comes from nearby Cologne in Germany. After a unanimous decision setback to James Vick at UFC Night Night 57, Hein has rebounded with a pair of tough decision wins against Yusuke Kasuya and Lukasz Sajewski. The reason to avoid Hein for DFS purposes is that nine of his past 11 bouts have gone to the judge’s card.
The fact that Bang is 2-2 in the UFC, but he has never been knocked out, bodes well for a lengthy bout. He showed his toughness in a loss to Mairbek Taisumov, as Bang is the only fighter who hasn’t been knocked out by the Austrian back in UFC Fight Night 44. Hein will look to work on Bang’s stamina, which has been an issue in the past. However, if Bang can avoid going to the mat and use his power advantage, he could record a nice early-round KO to pay off handsomely for his DFS owners.
Christian Colombo ($9,000 vs. Jarjis Danho): Combat Sports Academy’s Colombo enters this bout as a short dog (+115) despite entering on a six-bout win streak. He recorded a TKO againt Tom Sasaki at RFC: Real Fight Championship 3, and is ready to make his debut against Jarjis ‘Man Mountain’ Danho. The Syrian Danho dropped his UFC debut Feb. 27 againt Daniel Omielanzcuk by majority decision, and will be hard-pressed to bounce back against Colombo. Neither has much in the way of speed, but Colombo is adequate with his kicks and he is powerful. In addition, he holds a two-inch height advantage. Look for Colombo to pull what would technically be a slight upset, winning as your No. 5 DFS option.