Main Event of The Weekend (prelims)
Back for the rest of the UFC 203 card, this time the prelims and as I said earlier, there’s a few diamonds in the rough here I feel, so without any further ado, in the famous words of “Big” John McCarthy, “Let’s get it on!”
Jessica Eye 10.1k v. Bethe Correia 9.3k
WEIGHT: Women’s Bantamweight 135 lbs
STRENGTH: 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve thought pretty hard about this fight, and I really cannot tell you why Jessica Eye is favored here. We’re talking about a fighter who has only really won 1 fight her entire UFC career, and while Pitbull’s resume leaves a bit to be desired with UFC wins against only Kedzler, Jessamin Duke and Shana Baszler, it’s still miles ahead IMO of Eye’s who has only beaten Leslie Smith (a doctors stoppage yes, but still a win) and then the NC against Sarah Kaufman. That’s it. Otherwise she’s lost in quite unimpressive fashion to Alexis Davis, former champ Miesha Tate, Jessica Pena and most recently in one of the worst female “fights” in recent memory, if you can even call it that to Sara McMann. Seriously, they landed a combined 32 significant strikes. Correia packs a serious punch with her strikes and she is a high output striker as well (5.7 SS per minute). All of this in my mind adds up to a really strong formula for Pitbull to not only win this fight but quite possibly find a finish as well. Even if the finish doesn’t come, I have no problem paying a modest 9.3k for a high volume striker that will land 70-80+ if not more SS in a decision win. If the late stoppage does come though, it could easily push Correia’s FPS over 100, and I do think she will be under owned like most female fighters are, and I think that’s a big mistake here. Correia needs this win to get her UFC career back on track after losses to Ronda and a decision loss to Rocky (even still she landed 66 SS!) Eye does have a route to victory, but I find it hard to believe she is going to get close enough to find a submission, especially since she has never won a fight by submission in her UFC career. I do see a decision the most likely scenario here but like I said, there is definitely a chance that Pitbull can find a late stoppage. Combine that with her estimated 70-80+ SS count, and estimated somewhat low ownership, and I really think Correia is going to be one of my more targeted fighters this weekend.
PREDICTION: Bethe Correia by KO/TKO in Rd 3
Brad Tavares 9.8k v. Caio Magalhaes 9.6k
WEIGHT: Middleweight 185 lbs
STRENGTH: 1 out of 5 stars
This is just one of those fights I will most likely be avoiding on Saturday. Tavares’ only finishes have been against him, and although he’s coming off losses against pretty solid opponents in Robert Whittaker, Tim Boetsch, and Yoel Romero, he does have a couple decision wins in there, but one of them was Nate Marquardt. How he beat Lorenz Larkin…I do not know. Sidenote, Larkin looks like a monster at 170 now. In the opposing corner, Magalhaes actually has shown quick KO ability, but he’s only been able to demonstrate it thus far against highly inferior opponents (Smith, Zachrich). He also hasn’t fought in almost 2 years now, excluding the Samman fight which lasted only a couple minutes. Simply put, Brad Tavares is going to be Magalhaes biggest test of his career, and when you throw in that both these guys are just not high output strikers in any respect (Tavares 3.12SS/min, Magalhaes 2.46) and I’m just not interested in this fight at all from a DFS perspective. I think the most likely outcome is that Tavares grinds out another decision win, and probably only earns 40-50 FPS in the process. There is a possibility that Magalhaes comes out and catches him early but if Yoel Romero and Larenz Larkin couldn’t finish Tavares, I just don’t see Magalhaes being able to either, though I’ve been wrong before. Granted I’m not the most knowledgeable about either fighter admittedly, but I do not expect this fight to be in my fight cards Saturday.
PREDICTION: Brad Tavares by decision
Nik Lentz 10.2k v. Michael McBride 9.2k
WEIGHT: Lightweight 155lbs
STRENGTH: 2 out of 5 stars
Michael McBride is 8-1 making his UFC debut against an MMA and UFC journeyman in Nik Lentz. Lentz has 3 FOTN bonuses but they’ve all come in losses (Charles Oliveira 2x, and Evan Dunham). He seems to do alright against mediocre and bottom of the barrell fighters so to speak but anytime the competition level rises, Lentz struggles. Losses to Mendes, Dunham, and Oliveira with his most notable wins coming in decisions against Hacran Dias and Manny Gamburian. Another relatively low output fighter, which again doesn’t bode well for DFS purposes. Throw in that he’s only earned 2 finishes his entire UFC career and I’m already much more interested in the underdog here making his octagon debut. What else interests me is that McBride has a very clear preferred route to victory. Submission. In particular the choke, which I am assuming is RNC. Now I know it’s not UFC or the highest level by any stretch, but at some point on this card we’re going to have to take shots and a 9.2k McBride might not be the worst spot. At 8-1 in his career, 8, yes all 8 wins have come via submission. 6 of those in the first round. McBride has a 5” height advantage, and an 8” reach advantage, and Lentz only boasts a sub 50% take down defense. Although he’s only been submitted once in his career (3rd rd v Oliveira), it’s pretty clear what McBride is going to look to do. At some point you’re just going to have to go for it, and I think I may do just that here with McBride.
PREDICTION: Michael McBride by Submission in Rd 2
CB Dollaway 10.9k v. Francimar Barroso 8.5k
WEIGHT: Light Heavyweight 205 lbs
STRENGTH: 2 out of 5 stars
My gut tells me that this is where a lot of people are going to try and save in order to fit the likes of Werdum and Gall in their cards. It’s certainly not the worst idea in the world. CB Dollaway is seemingly on the decline, losing 4 of his last 6, however some of those have been against really top tier fighters. And Nate Marquardt. Decision losses against current MW champ Michael Bisping, Tim Boetsch, and a 1st rd KO/TKO at the “hands” of Lyoto Machida before losing in the 2nd to Marquardt have sent Dollaway somewhat reeling and now he finds himself in the octagon against a very hungry Francimar Barroso. Barroso does have wins against a few quality opponents in Mutapcic and RIP Ryan Jimmo. Even still, once again neither of these guys are high output strikers (sensing a theme here??) 2.71SS/min for CB and only 2.82SS/min for Barroso, that said a decision win coupled with a few SS and take downs here and there could be enough for Barroso to pay off that low price tag. Also, there is no way in hell I am paying almost 11k for CB Dollaway. Not here, not ever. If you’re going to slot one of these guys into your cards, Barroso is the one, but buyer beware because I think CB does win this fight. Although it’s probably not going to be pretty. Will 50-55 FPS be enough in GPPs if Barroso does win? I think that all depends on the other potential value in this card, most notably Michael McBride and Bethe Correia.
PREDICTION: CB Dollaway by Decision
Yancy Medeiros 10.5k v. Sean Spencer 8.9k
WEIGHT: Welterweight 170 lbs
STRENGTH: 2 out of 5 stars
I honestly think this fight could be a toss up. Medeiros has shown the ability to be knocked out by almost anyone, but Spencer isn’t exactly fond of winning fights. So there’s that. You tell me that Yancy Medeiros gave up 117 SS to Fransisco Trinaldo, and that is a major concern, FOTN or not. Trinaldo is NOT a high output striker by any means. In fact, before the fight with Medeiros, his top SS output was 66 followed by 55. So I’m kind of scratching my head here. Not saying Trinaldo isn’t a solid fighter, because he is, but he just does not land that many strikes in his fights. Mike Pyle knocked Spencer out but other than that no one’s been able to. In fact, most of Spencer’s fights go to a decision. Medeiros does have some stoppages on his resume on both sides of the W/L column but I am just not sold that Sean Spencer can earn a finish here. If a finish comes, Medeiros will be the one getting his hand raised, but his finishes have come in POTN fights against Joe Proctor and Damon Jackson. Both these guys are strikers, and they both have a decent SS/min output. Not great but decent (4.1 and 4.32). Spencer isn’t exactly a big fan of take downs or advances and Yancy Medeiros might not even know how to take a fight to the ground. As much as I want to (because I really need to at this point), I don’t see much here from a DFS perspective. And 10.5k seems like it’s too much to pay for Medeiros. If you want to take Spencer at 8.9k hoping he catches Yancy early, I won’t talk you out of it, but tether your expectations.
PREDICTION: Yancy Medeiros by decision
Drew Dober 11.2k v. Jason Gonzalez 8.2k
WEIGHT: Lightweight 155 lbs
STRENGTH: 2 out of 5 stars
Once again we have a new UFC prospect boasting an impressive record 10-2 making his debut in the octagon. Guess what? Once again all of his wins have come from finishes. 6 submissions, 4 KO/TKO’s, and a lot of Rd 1 stoppages. So what does that equate to in a UFC debut? Well Drew Dober is certainly no walkover, but he doesn’t exactly fare well against UFC competition either. Does Jason Gonzalez qualify as UFC opposition? Probably not just yet, but I think he will soon. Gonzalez has a pretty substantial height and reach advantage much like McBride, although slightly even more than McBride has. 6” height advantage, 4” reach, and 8” in the leg reach. I don’t really think Dober is going to allow himself to be finished early here, and I might sound foolish for saying this, especially at such an odds discrepancy, but a Gonzalez win here would not absolutely shock me, but it does seem it would shock Vegas, which makes me hesitate. If you want to go even further, Gonzalez was a member of Team Faber in TUF 22, and Faber is obviously on this card. I’m not exactly thrilled saying this, but I’m probably going to have a share or 2 of Jason Gonzalez here. Even at the obvious price discrepancy, it’s a pretty good deal on an obvious up and coming prospect.
PREDICTION: Drew Dober by Decision or KO/TKO in Rd 3
With the McCall/Borg fight already called off (Sorry Uncle Creepy, gotta wait yet again!) that’s gonna put a wrap on things for UFC 203. Good luck in all your GPP’s and cash games, and here’s hoping that finally, just maybe I can put it all together on one card and qualify for that freakin Gotham Main Event. Thanks again for reading, and feel free to and please comment below!