UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov Quick Picks

Welcome to another edition of the UFC Quick Picks! I’m coming off one of my best MMA DFS weeks ever, and looking to follow it up with a strong card here. It’s not the most exciting UFC card of the year, it’s arguably one of the worst, but we have a couple weeks off after this one to prepare for UFC 211, which is the best card of the year to date.

If you want to read my full breakdown of my winning GPP lineup from last week, as well as FULL BREAKDOWNS of every single fight on this card, projections, rankings and more, you can find that in the Premium Section here. I’ll be releasing breakdowns after we finish the Grinders Live MMA show Thursday night.

Make sure to hop in the Premium Chat Saturday as well to hang out and watch fights with us!

Onto the fights!

Cash Game Plays

1. Cub Swanson, $9,800

The main event this week is one of the oddest I’ve seen in the past few years, with Cub Swanson taking on Artem Lobov. Lobov is only 13-12 in his career and 2-2 in the UFC, with wins over Chris Avila and Teruto Ishihara.

He did look good against Ishihara, but this is quite a big step up to take on Swanson. Since 2009, Swanson has only lost to Max Holloway, Frankie Edgar, Ricardo Lamas, Chad Mendes, and Jose Aldo, the elites of the division.

Lobov isn’t an elite, he’s arguably a bottom-tier UFC fighter, so that’s why the odds are heavily skewed in Swanson’s favor. He comes in at -750 with a -170 line to win inside the distance, and a price tag of 9.8k. Unless he gets caught and knocked out, Swanson should win this fight. Even if it goes to decision, I think he’ll score a comfortable amount of points over five rounds, and I’m willing to pay the price on him in cash games.

2. Scott Holtzman, $9,300

My next cash game play is Scott Holtzman, who costs 9.3k on DraftKings. That’s expensive, but this is a pretty good matchup for him against Michael McBride.

Holtzman is a -360 favorite over McBride, who has only fought once in the UFC, a short notice loss to Nik Lentz in which he was out grappled and TKO’d in the second round. McBride is a decent submission grappler, but that’s about it. I don’t think he has the wrestling to get Holtzman down and control him, and his striking is very stiff.

Holtzman has shown enough overall skill in his UFC fights that I believe he can take this fight wherever he wants it. He’ll have the potential to land takedowns and control McBride, or do some damage on the feet. For the odds and his potential to score points both on the ground and on the feet, I’m fine with targeting him in cash games.

Tournament Plays

1. Ovince Saint Preux, $8,700

OSP has looked pretty bad as of late, losing his last three fights including most recently to Volkan Oezdemir. It’s not a good look to lose to an opponent like that in his debut, but this matchup is arguably a step down from that.

He’s fighting Marcos Rogerio de Lima, a fighter who wins or loses in the first round in all of his fights. Only one of his six UFC fights have lasted past the first two and a half minutes. He’s a big guy with powerful striking, so he’s going to rush at OSP and try to get the knockout. If he can’t, quickly, I think he loses and gets finished.

OSP still has powerful striking of his own, and a better wrestling/grappling game than Lima, so I think he probably gets the takedown and eventually wins by submission or ground-and-pound. Sure there is risk to this fight, but I think it’s one you HAVE to target in tournaments. OSP is my preferred play in this fight, and I think he’s a good bet for a 100 point score.

2. Dustin Ortiz, $8,600

We saw another grappler dominate tournaments at UFC Kansas City, as Tim Elliot scored 175 points in a decision. That’s more or less what I’m looking to target here, Dustin Ortiz isn’t a finisher and I don’t expect him to win inside the distance, but he can grapple.

He’s fighting the popular Brandon Moreno, and this should be a close fight, but I think Ortiz has the wrestling edge. It’s not so big of an edge that he’ll get Moreno down and hold him there, but it could lead to five takedowns with a handful of passes, and that’s a good recipe for high scores in tournaments.

People still refuse to target grapplers over finishers in tournaments, so the ownership won’t be super high on Ortiz, but for 8.6k, I think he has enough grappling upside to target.

Fade of the Week

1. Bryan Barberena, $9,100

I don’t have too strong of an opinion here, there’s plenty of guys at the top you could fade based on price, but probably the fighter I’m least fearful of is Bryan Barberena, He’s not the biggest finisher, and his opponent Joe Proctor is generally a tough guy.

Barberena is a high output, high paced fighter but he’s never landed more than one takedown in a UFC fight. If this is going to be a striking match, I’m not too concerned with Barberena scoring 100 points. He’ll need a finish, and that still might not get it done.

There’s a handful of other fighters I like more than Barberena in his range, and I don’t like to spread my exposure out to everyone, so Barberena is a guy I’m cutting from the list.

Weak Chin of the Week

1. Jake Ellenberger

There aren’t too many chin issues on this card, but one I am concerned with is Jake Ellenberger. He’s been TKOd in three of his past seven fights, and rocked several times, and now he gets a really heavy hitter in Mike Perry.

I expect Perry to be popular, but potentially for good reason, I think he’s relatively likely to get a knockout in this spot. He’s already finished two of his three UFC opponents by knockout, and Ellenberger has a worse chin than both, so feel free to target Perry in tournaments.

About the Author

  • Brett Appley (bbbomb)

  • One of the top MMA minds in the DFS industry, Brett Appley aka bbbomb has been writing the weekly MMA “BeatDown” article for RotoGrinders since the beginning of 2015. Outside of his DFS MMA expertise, Brett manages official athletic websites and lives in beautiful San Diego, California. He can be found on twitter at username BrettAppley.


  • NewMike

    One of Ellenberger’s TKO’s was by the fence though and the 2 others were to killers. Good write-up though

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