UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor Beat Down Part 1

FINALLY! WE’VE MADE IT!

No injuries, no more waiting, UFC 194 is here!

This is going to be one of the best cards of the year to watch and it’s a great one to play in DFS. DraftKings is offering a 46k person GPP that features a $200k prize pool, including $20k to the winner, so make sure to get some action in.

I’ll have a main card breakdown out soon, but if you want a full video breakdown, check out the most recent episode The Daily Fantasy MMA Podcast.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter at BrettAppley and at DailyFanMMA for the best Daily Fantasy MMA content on the web.

Onto the fights!

UNDERCARD

Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Saenz

Fight Odds: Faber -750, Saenz +525
Odds to finish: -110
Salaries: Faber 11k, Saenz 8.4k
Weight Class: 135

Urijah Faber is the heaviest favorite on the card and carries the highest price tag off 11k against Frankie Saenz. I actually like Saenz is certain matchups because he brings a fast pace and has an excellent wrestling and grinding style. But I’m not going to favor him against Faber.

Faber has been in the sport for many, many years, and he’s capable of beating nearly everyone in the division, which includes Saenz. Faber still has speed, wrestling, submission grappling, striking and a good Fight IQ to help him win, and although Saenz is a tough competitor, I’m just not sure where he can beat Faber.

The main problem with this fight is Faber’s price tag, and I don’t think it’s worth paying up for when the chances of a finish aren’t super likely. I think that Faber can pull off a random submission victory like he’s done many times, but I don’t see it coming quickly and I don’t think he’ll land enough significant strikes to beat out everyone priced below him.

Saenz has little to no chance of finishing the fight and he’s unlikely to score big in a decision victory either so I don’t think there’s much reason to target this fight.

Fight Prediction: Faber by Decision

Tecia Torres vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger

Fight Odds: Torres -300, Jones-Lybarger +250
Odds to finish: +180
Salaries: Torres 10.7k, Jones-Lybarger 8.7k
Weight Class: 115

Even though many women’s fights in the 115 lb. division offer excellent DFS value, I don’t think this is one to target. Tecia Torres and Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger are both tough fighters in this division and have beaten some top competitors.

Torres has wins over Paige VanZant AND Rose Namajunas, and I think she’s the clear favorite in this fight, although I expect Jones-Lybarger to put up a battle.

Torres is very well-rounded and can mix it up on the feet, as well as take it to the mat, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this fight took place in both areas. I just don’t expect Jones-Lybarger to outclass a fighter in Torres who could be fighting for the title soon, but I also don’t think there’s enough finishing potential here to warrant heavy exposure on either side.

Fight Prediction: Torres by Decision

Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington

Fight Odds: Covington -120, Alves +100
Odds to finish: +100
Salaries: Alves 9.8k, Covington 9.6k
Weight Class: 185

Warlley Alves is one of my favorite GPP plays on the slate – watch the first minute of Avles vs. Jouban and you’ll understand why. Alves is a TUF Brazil winner who’s an ultra-aggressive fighter with knockout power and submission grappling skills, and he looks for the kill when his opponent is hurt.

The reason he’s not favored in this fight is because he’s taking on another hot prospect in Colby Covington, who’s a two-time All-American wrestler. Covington is capable of getting the fight to the ground, which I think he’ll have to do in order to Alves.

From a DFS perspective, it’s all Alves for me. He has one of the highest upsides on the night, which is the potential to finish inside the first round, and I think he’s capable of doing so. Covington won’t be able to keep up on the feet and I think he might even have trouble avoiding Alves’ submissions on the ground, but has no other choice.

If Covington wins this fight, it’s because he gets Alves to the ground and holds him there, and I don’t see him accumulating many points. Alves has a low floor because of that same reason, but his upside is too high to ignore.

Fight Prediction: Alves by TKO, RD 1

Kevin Lee vs. Leonardo Santos

Fight Odds: Lee -700, Santos +500
Odds to finish: +110
Salaries: Lee 10.8k, Santos 8.6k
Weight Class: 155

This is a very tough stylistic matchup for Leonardo Santos, who’s taking on an exciting prospect in Kevin Lee. Santos is an elite competitor on the ground, but he’s limited on the feet, and it’s going to be a tough task to get Lee on the mat.

Lee is fast and athletic and although his striking still needs improvement, I think it will be enough to beat Santos on the feet. And his speciality is his submission grappling, as he’s won five of his 11 fights by submission. I just don’t think Santos can keep up with the athleticism of Lee for three rounds to win this fight, and even if he gets it to the ground, I think a finish is unlikely.

Lee is a huge favorite but he carries a high price tag and I don’t think it’s worth paying up for. There are plenty of fights to target in the mid-range that carry a better chance to finish. I won’t have much, if any exposure to this fight on Saturday.

Fight Prediction: Lee by Decision

Joe Proctor vs. Magomed Mustafaev

Fight Odds: Mustafa -365, Proctor +305
Odds to finish: -110
Salaries: Mustafaev 10.6k, Proctor 8.8k
Weight Class: 155

Joe Proctor vs. Magomed Mustafaev is a very tough fight to predict because I can see it playing out in a number of ways. Mustafaev is a highly touted prospect who won by TKO in his UFC debut over Piotr Hallmann, but that was a deceiving victory as Hallmann was winning the fight before a cut stopped him in round two.

Still, we got to see the impressive striking technique from Mustafaev before he was taken to the ground, and we witnessed his quality submission skills from his back. Because of that, and because I don’t think Proctor is a major threat anywhere, it seems warranted that Mustafaev should be a moderate favorite. I’m just not super confident in him, and I think Proctor is tough enough to make this competitive.

From a DFS perspective, I think targeting Mustafaev in GPPs is the way to go because he clearly has the higher finishing potential, and I think a TKO or submission is plausible.

Fight Prediction: Mustafaev by Decision

John Makdessi vs. Yancy Medeiros

Fight Odds: Makdessi -165, Medeiros +145
Odds to finish: -175
Salaries: Makdessi 10.3k, Medeiros 9.1k
Weight Class: 155

I’m very high on targeting the mid-range in tournament this week and I think both John Makdessi and Yancy Medeiros are worth looks in large field GPPS.

Makdessi is coming off a TKO loss to Donald Cerrone in which his jaw was broken and he had to signal time out during the fight, and it’s tough to say whether that will be in the back of his mind in this fight.

Medeiros is also coming off a TKO loss to Dustin Poirier and he really didn’t look strong in that performance, but Poirier is on a mission so it’s tough to discredit him too much.

Medieros will have a large reach advantage in this fight, which would be great for him if he could keep the fight at range, but I doubt that’s likely to happen. Makdessi recently fought Shane Campbell who had a massive length advantage, but Makdessi was able to wade inside, land damaging strikes and get the knockout. And I think this fight may play out in a similar manner.

I definitely give the technical and power striking advantage to Makdessi in this fight and I think he’s capable of quick finish, which is what I like to target in GPPs. Medeiros’ striking is similar to the Diaz brothers in which it doesn’t pack a ton of punch but is tough to withstand in volume. I actually think Medeiros’ best chance to win this fight is on the ground because he’s a very solid submission grappler, and if he gets the fight on the mat, I think a finish is possible for him.

I’m taking Makdessi to win this fight and I think he’s a strong tournament play, but I’ll have exposure to Medeiros as well.

Fight Prediction: Makdessi by TKO, RD 2

Court McGee vs. Marcio Alexandre

Fight Odds: McGee -185, Alexandre +160
Odds to finish: +125
Salaries: McGee 10.4k, Alexandre 9k
Weight Class: 170

There are certainly a lot of risks for Court McGee in this fight against Marcio “Lyoto” Alexandre. For one, McGee hasn’t fought since December 2013, and it’s tough too say whether he’ll have ring rust coming back into the Octagon.

He’s also been injured a ridiculous amount of times and has upward of 10 surgeries in his career, and I can’t say for sure how healthy his body will be this time around.

Matchup wise, I think this is a very good stylistic matchup for McGee, who’s landed 5.62 significant strikes per minute in his UFC career, which is tremendous. Alexandre, who fights like his nickname suggests, is very much a karate-style counter striker who’s capable of landing damaging strikes. But he strikes at such a limited volume, it’s going to be very difficult for him to win if he can’t earn a knockout.

From a DFS perspective, I think there are too many risks in this fight to target in cash, but I think both make decent GPP plays. Alexandre has the power to earn a KO, which can’t be said for most underdogs on this card. McGee may not have the best chance of finishing for a favorite, be his ownership should be low, and he’s capable of scoring 80 points in a decision, which puts him slightly on my radar.

It won’t be my favorite fight to target but I think it’s worth a look.

Fight Prediction: McGee by Decision

About the Author

  • Brett Appley (bbbomb)

  • One of the top MMA minds in the DFS industry, Brett Appley a.k.a bbbomb has been writing his weekly “Beat Down” article for RotoGrinders since the sport launched on DraftKings in 2015. Brett has earned multiple Top 10 rankings in MMA since that time and has taken down a handful of tournaments as well.

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