UFC on FOX 18 MMA DFS Picks
The UFC moves to Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. for UFC on FOX 18, and it might be one of the better cards we see for a while as the UFC 196 card, now the Fight Night 82 card, continues to crumble due to several injuries, leaving Dana White to scramble to piece together a full card.
This free event, with prelims on FOX Sports 1 starting at 5 p.m. ET, and the main card starting at 8 p.m. on FOX, has several very intriguing matchups, and it is well worth the money.
Teen sensation Sage Northcutt continues on the fast track, as he faces Bryan Barberena in a welterweight tussle. The prospect is once again heavily favored at -315, in fact he is the biggest favorite on the card. A lot of money has come in on Matt Dwyer, once a heavy underdog, driving his price down to just +130. Somebody knows something about Dwyer, or something negative about Randy Brown. Either way, that’s an intriguing matchup. Levan Makashvili (-310) is also a heavy favorite in his bout with Damon Jackson, and the featherweight should have no trouble.
In a welterweight bout, Alexander Yakovlev and George Sullivan are essentially a pick ’em, and that should mean a long, drawn out war against two heavy hitters. Toss in the bantamweight bout between Jimmie Rivera and Iuri Alcantara, and this one will be very entertaining.
Play in Win $1,000 for minimal investment at Kountermove.com — If you’re feeling confident, for $5 you have a chance at $1,000 prize money. Build that bankroll up with minimal risk!
(Kountermove.com salaries in parentheses) (all times ET).
Sage Northcutt ($5,500 vs. Bryan Barberena): Northcutt has been everything as advertised in his brief UFC career, winning each of his two UFC bouts. In his debut, he won by KO/TKO in :57 of the very first round, and he topped Cody Pfister at UFC Fight Night Dec. 10 with a guillotine choke. Barberena is one of his biggest challenges yet. The southpaw Barberena was tripped up by Chad Laprise at UFC 186 in a unanimous decision. Northcutt will add to his woes with a submission win before the end of Round 2.
PLENTY OF UPSIDE
Olivier Aubin-Mercier ($5,000 vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira): ‘The Quebec Kid’ has picked up three victories since a setback against Chad Laprise at UFC – TUF Nations back on April 16, 2014. That loss to Laprise was as a welterweight, and he has been at 155 pounds as as lightweight in the UFC. Man, that name Laprise has come up quite a bit lately. Anyway, OAM picked up a decisive win against Tony Sims in his last bout Aug. 23, 2015, and he is a good grappler who will rack up plenty of significant strikes for his DFS owners.
Tony Martin ($5,000 vs. Felipe Olivieri): Olivieri is making his UFC debut, streaking in with three wins in a row. Facing Martin will be a huge step up in competition, however, as the veteran has nine wins and seven victories via submission. He is extremely strong, and a tremendous grappler. The only concern about Martin is his stamina, as he tends to show his best in the earlier rounds and runs out of steam quickly. If he doesn’t get the quick finish, then DFS owners are going to start getting a little nervous. However, Martin is a wily veteran who has the skills to put him down and end this before the first five minutes are up. Select him as a No. 3 fighter and hope that’s the case.
Matt Dwyer ($4,700 vs. Randy Brown): As mentioned above, the money has been flying in on Dwyer in the past few days. The Canadian has lost two of his past three bouts, but he is just two fights removed from a first-round KO/TKO against William Macario at UFC Fight Night Feb. 22, 2015. He enters this bout as the underdog to a relative unknown, Randy Brown, who makes his UFC debut. Brown is not much of a grappler, and Dwyer is a very powerful fighter and he’ll rack up the significant strikes. Don’t be nervous by the fact he has a lower price tag than Brown. Dwyer is the most experienced fighter and he’ll be quite the value as your No. 4 or 5.
Jake Ellenberger ($4,400 vs. Tarec Saffiedine): If you want to try and squeeze in Anthony Johnson ($5,800), you’re going to need to go to the opposite end of the salary spectrum to make him fit. Ellenberger is an experienced veteran who is capable of pulling off the upset in this one, as he is a good puncher who is in control and doesn’t waste a lot of energy. He is coming off an impressive choke out of Josh Koscheck Feb. 2015, and he has racked up 18 knockouts over his long and winding career. He is a heavy underdog in this one, but he has the skills to turn things around in a hurry and is your best bet if you absolutely have to have a little ‘Rumble’ in your lineup.
Rafael Natal ($4,800 vs. Kevin Casey): ‘Sapo’ enters on a three-bout win streak, including a split-decision win over Uriah Hall last time out at UFC 187. It seems like light years ago that Natal had a two-bout skid with a KO/TKO to Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight Night 31, and a unanimous decision loss to Ed Herman at UFC Fight Night 40. Natal has posted eight submission victories in his career, and if he can get Casey on the ground he has the chance to pick up the victory. This one is likely to go the distance, as Casey isn’t powerful enough for the knockout, and Natal isn’t an above-average striker.