UFC on FOX 17 MMA DFS Picks
Season’s beatings, everyone! On the final weekend before Christmas and FOX has a gift under your tree with free mixed martial arts on the television. And it isn’t a bad card, either. In fact, it’s pretty good.
The lightweight bout between Donald Cerrone ($4,900) and Rafael dos Anjos ($5,600), the second fight between these two, will be for a belt. The heavyweight battle between Alistair Overeem ($4,400) and Junior dos Santos ($5,200) also figures to be an entertaining event. Michael Johnson will also be in action fighting Nate Diaz in a lightweight tilt, while the middleweight tussle between veterans CB Dolloway and Nate Marquardt also figures to be a clash worth watching. I’m also looking forward to the middleweight fight between Tamdan McCrory ($4,700) and Josh Samman ($4,900)
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Rafael dos Anjos ($5,600 vs. Donald Cerrone): Dos Anjos hits the octagon looking to keep the belt he snagged from Anthony Pettis. The Brazilian wants to prove that win was not a fluke, but DFS owners expecting a quick match will be disappointed. Seven of his past nine bouts have been decided by the judges, with all but one landing favorably in his favor by unanimous decision. Cerrone enters on an eight-bout win streak, and ‘Cowboy’ has three KO/TKOs and two chokeouts for win during the span, so dos Anjos will need to be very careful to keep both fighters upright. At UFC Fight Night 27 it was dos Anjos winning by unanimous decision, and he should be able to hold off Cerrone again to keep his belt.
Junior dos Santos ($5,200 vs. Alistair Overeem): Dos Santos has the potential to make this one a quick fight. Both fights would like to go toe-to-toe, but that might not be great news for Overeem. Dos Santos is tied for sixth in the UFC in knockdowns (10). However, the good news for Overeem is that he ranks third in UFC in strike accuracy at 79.2 percent. If dos Santos can avoided being tenderized with those punishing kicks and knees to his lower extremities he will be just fine. Seven of dos Santos’ fights have ended via knockout, and that’s why he is an intriguing DFS option. But it won’t be easy against the veteran Overeem who has seen it all. Go with the heavy favorite (-275) to claim victory by Round 4 as long as he can keep his legs protected.
PLENTY OF UPSIDE
Michael Johnson ($4,700 vs. Nate Diaz): Johnson (-450) is an overwhelming favorite in this match, as the sharps expect plenty of rust from Diaz. He hasn’t fought in over a year since a setback to dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 13. Diaz has dropped three of his past five bouts, including a knockout loss against Josh Thomson. Johnson sits 16-9 overall, which doesn’t appear that great on the surface, but he has been heads and tails better since joining the Blackzilians. He has won four of his past five bouts, including impressive wins over Edson Barboza, Joe Lauzon and Gleison Tibau. His last time out was a setback to Beneil Dariush, but that’s nothing to be ashamed about. Look for Johnson to use his striking ability to punch out a win, although he will need to be careful to avoid spending too much energy too quickly.
Josh Samman ($4,900 vs. Tamdan McCrory): Samman enters the bout with a 12-2 record, but he has been even more impressive than that. He has tremendous striking, and he is an above-average wrestler. Five of his past six fights have ended early via either submission or KO/TKO, and this one will not be any different. It’s amazing that Samman is able to be selected at this mid-tier DFS price, so take advantage. McCrory has two Bellator wins in his comeback attempt after a five-year layoff, but the competition has been nowhere near the level of Samman. This one will end very, very quickly.
CB Dolloway ($4,300 vs. Nate Marquardt): Dolloway is tied for ninth in the UFC in reversals (9). ‘The Doberman’ enters on a two-bout losing streak, but he is an above average wrestler who can put Marquardt’s lights out if he can get him on the mat early and often. If Marquardt can keep Dolloway upright, he has the chance to pull off the upset. Dolloway (-390) is a decisive favorite due to his takedown ability and skill on the mat, and the sharps expect him to do just that.