UFC on FOX 21 MMA DFS Picks
The UFC moves north of the border to Rogers Centre in Vancouver, B.C. for UFC on FOX 21. It isn’t a great card, but the welterweight battle between Carlos Condit and Demian Maia should be extremely entertaining, as well as the featherweight tussle between Charles Oliveira and Anthony Pettis. And the women’s strawweight fight between Paige VanZant and Bec Rawlings figures to be a rather uneven match, but it’s always worth watching when the beautiful VanZant is in the octagon.
The two biggest favorites kick off the action with Canadian Chad Laprise (-290) facing Thibault Gouti, while Alessio Di Chirico (-275) faces Garreth McLellan in a middleweight match. The rest of the card is rather underwhelming, although Sam Alvey vs. Kevin Casey and Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon could make the event more watchable.
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Sam Alvey ($10,200 vs. Kevin Casey): Alvey was on quite the ascension until back-to-back losses Aug. 8, 2015 to Derek Brunson by KO/TKO and then a unanimous decision setback to Elias Theodorou back on June 18. He quickly returned less than a month later to choke out Eric Spicely July 13 to get back on track. He is hoping the quick return is key, back in six weeks to take on Casey. He enters this bout as a rather heavy favorite, three inches taller than his opponent. Alvey will want to draw in Casey close and keep him upright, working him over with heavy punches to tire out his opponent. Casey is a tomato can, and Alvey should post his 18th knockout and 28th career victory, perhaps as early as the first round.
Paige VanZant ($10,800 vs. Bec Rawlings): VanZant is way more than a pretty face, and the wise guys have her installed as a rather moderate favorite (-235). VanZant is a ball of energy who comes out and tries to confuse and tire her opponents. Rawlings will need to be on her toes – literally. If she has any hope of pulling the upset she’ll need to avoid going down to the canvas where her wrestling game leaves something to be desired. If VanZant can get top position it’s over. VanZant has one of the highest price tags on the card, but she is worth it. With a Round 1 win she’ll more than pay for herself.
Kyle Bochniak ($9,300 vs. Enrique Barzola): Bochniak is an above-average wrestler who showed well even in a unanimous decision loss against Charles Rosa last time out. The public is fading Barzola big time, as Bochniak is up to as high as -185 in some shops. If he is able to get Barzola down to the mat, watch out for the rear-naked choke. That seems to be the grappler’s move of choice, and if he can get Barzola into trouble on the mat an early-finish is likely. At this price as a No. 5 fighter he is a great value.
Jeremy Kennedy ($9,800 vs. Alessandro Ricci): Ricci steps in for the injured Josh Emmett, making his UFC debut. It’s a much more favorable matchup for Kennedy, as Emmett was unbeaten in 10 bouts, while Ricci has tasted defeat three times in 13 professional fights. It’s an all-Canadian matchup, so no one has the home crowd advantage here. Kennedy moves up from featherweight, looking to add to his impressive record. He has five stoppages in eight career wins, and Ricci will want to be very mindful to avoid being taken to the mat. This one will end in a submission win for Kennedy, who is a great buy at this price level.
Chad Laprise ($9,900 vs. Thibault Gouti): The Canadian Laprise appeared to be on the fast track, as the lightweight started his career 10-0. However, a KO/TKO loss to Francisco Trinaldo Aug. 23, 2015, and then a split-decision loss to Ross Pearson March 19 certainly leaves a little bit of doubt for DFS players. However, Laprise is a considerable favorite (-290) in this battle against the Frenchman Gouti, who enters on a two-bout losing streak of his own. He is the victim of a rear-naked choke in back-to-back bouts against Teemu Packalen and Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and ‘The Disciple’ will make it three in a row by knocking Gouti by the end of Round 2.