UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor Beat Down Part 2

It’s been a long journey. Three days. Three fight cards.

So. Much. Content.

But we end with the best of the best, the main card for UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor. Hope you all enjoy, and at the very least, take some time and watch on Saturday because MMA doesn’t get any better than this.

For a full video breakdown, here’s the UFC 194 episode of The Daily Fantasy MMA Podcast

And here’s a written breakdown of the preliminary fights for UFC 194, click here

Please follow me on Twitter at BrettAppley and at DailyFanMMA. Thanks!

Onto the fights!


Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor

Fight Odds: McGregor -110, Aldo +100
Odds to finish: -260
Salaries: McGregor 9.9k, Aldo 9.5k
Weight Class: 145

It’s been nearly a year since this fight was announced and in that span, we’ve heard it broken down over and over again. I’ll give you my short take on the fight but here’s the condensed version, I really don’t know who’s going to win.

From a DFS standpoint, I’m advising players to stack this fight in cash games and anchor tournament teams with one or the other. This fight is extremely close, and there will be tons of lineups from the general public with just one of the two, and I think we’ll make our money in cash letting others pick incorrectly.

How McGregor Wins: Conor McGregor has proven himself worthy of a title shot and he has all the skills to hold the UFC belt. His striking is powerful and accurate, and he brings a style of movement and rythym that nobody else has.

He also has the heart of a champion, and he’s shown a strong chin and willpower to come back from adverse situations. He’ll need to be the aggressor in this fight and back Jose Aldo toward the cage where he can use his striking to land the more damaging blows. He’ll also need to keep this fight standing, which I think is possible.

How Jose Aldo Wins: Jose Aldo is one of the pound for pound best in the sport and he’s a proven champion. He has elite Muay-Thai skills and a powerful kicking game, and he’ll need to use than in conjunction with his speed to land more strikes. He’s shown a questionable chin at times and he’ll need to avoid the big shots from McGregor when they come.

I also think he’ll have a moderate grappling advantage and he may have to get the fight to the ground at some point. I honestly don’t know if he’ll even attempt takedowns but I think it would be a smart gameplan.

The bottom line is both fighters have an opportunity to win, but I’m too biased toward McGregor not to officially pick him. What can I say, I love chaos.

Fight Prediction: McGregor by TKO, RD 3

Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold

Fight Odds: Weidman -125, Rockhold +115
Odds to finish: -145
Salaries: Weidman 10k, Rockhold 9.4k
Weight Class: 185

In the second title fight of the night, Chris Weidman looks to defend his belt against Luke Rockhold in another match that’s extremely close in the Vegas lines.

From a DFS perspective, I think it’s smart to have exposure to both sides.

What’s interesting about this fight compared to other Weidman fights is that he won’t have as big of a grappling advantage, which is often the key to his gameplan. Rockhold is a veteran of the sport and he trains with elite grapplers in Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez, but I think this fight gets neutralized on the mat regardless.

I still favor Weidman in all areas of this fight, even if they aren’t prodound. If anyone holds top position, I expect it to be Weidman, but with that said, I think we see many rounds of standup action.

My biggest concern for Weidman here is ability to take damage. We’ve seen him take some shots but his defense isn’t the greatest and I expect Rockhold to land some shots. I also expect Weidman to land his shots, and it basically comes down to who lands them more.

I think if anyone is to control the center of the Octagon and control the pace of this fight, it’s going to be Weidman. I still expect a close fight and it wouldn’t even surprise me to see a 48-47 scorecards, but my pick is Weidman to win.

Fight Prediction: Weidman by Decision

Jacare Souza vs. Yoel Romero

Fight Odds: Souza -135, Romero +125
Odds to finish: -165
Salaries: Souza 10.2k, Romero 9.2k
Weight Class: 185

As an appetizer to the main and co-main event, we have a no. 1 contender fight between Jacare Souza and Yoel Romero. This is one of my favorite fights to target in GPPs outside of the championship fights, and it should be a fun one to watch as well.

Jacare is an elite submission grappler and he’ll be looking to take this fight to the ground, where is undoubtedly the better fighter and if he can do that, I think a submission stoppage is likely.

Yoel Romero is a former olympic wrestler with sticks of dynamite in his fists, and he’ll need to keep this fight standing if he has any shot of winning. Even though he has the wrestling credentials, his MMA takedown defense has looked poor at times and I expect Jacare to test it.

If it does hold up, Romero will have the opportunity to land the big shots needed to put Jacare away, which I also consider a possibility. The biggest concern for me with Romero is that he often doesn’t strike in volume, and he relies too much on the power shots. Jacare isn’t a slouch on the feet, and I think he can be at least competive in the stand up, if not outstrike Romero with volume.

For those reasons I have to favor Jacare, but I’d still like to see him get this fight to the ground to showcase some of those BJJ skills.

Fight Prediction: Jacare by RNC, RD 2

Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson

Fight Odds: Maia -110, Nelson +100
Odds to finish: +135
Salaries: Maia 10.1k, Nelson 9.3k
Weight Class: 170

Finally, a fight on the main card that doesn’t warrant massive DFS exposure. Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson is a fight that I’ve been excited to see for a while. I’m a huge fan of jiu-jitsu and these are two of the best submission grapplers in the UFC.

Maia has been around for a long time but he’s proven he still has the chops to be great fighters in the UFC. But he has little to no appeal for me in this fight. He’s great at doing what he does, which is getting the fight to the ground and using suffocating top control to pass and work for submission. He almost never lands ground and pound and if he doesn’t get a sub, he won’t score high.

Even though Gunny has come out with poor performances in the past, I definitely don’t see him getting subbed by Maia. That’s not to say Maia can’t out grapple him to a decision, but he won’t get the finish.

Similarly, it’s hard for me to say that Nelson can completely outgrapple Maia and I think his best and most likely way of winning is on the feet. Nelson is good at creating space in the standup and I think he can score the more damaging blows. I even give him a chance of winning by knockout, but I think the most likely outcome is a decision either way.

Fight Prediction: Nelson by Decision

Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens

Fight Odds: Holloway -515, Stephens +445
Odds to finish: -105
Salaries: Holloway 10.9k, Stephens 8.5k
Weight Class: 145

We open the main card with a fighter in Max Holloway who I’ve come to really, really enjoy watching. I strongly think he’s one of the best in the division, even if he may be a tier below McGregor/Aldo/Mendes.

Holloway has developed some of the best boxing and accurate striking in the sport and he’s still a young kid. Jeremy Stephens has been around the sport for a long time but I don’t think he has the skills to beat Holloway.

Holloway lands at over 5.5 significant strikes per minute and Stephens doesn’t have the defensive technique or offensive output to match that. His biggest asset is his power and I think we’ll see people target him for his knockout capability, but I won’t be one of them.

Yes he has power and he’s earned some finishes, but we targeted him against guys like Dennis Bermudez because Bermudez is known to have a shaky chin. Holloway isn’t known for that.

I think the very clear, most likely outcome is that Holloway out works Stephens for three rounds and earns a decision, and I do think he has the upside to finish. I think Holloway is a great target, especially in cash games if you’re paying up.

Fight Prediction: Holloway 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.


  • EricF

    I am so pumped for this card! I am playing it safe and rolling with 4 GPP lineups.

  • bbbomb

    • Blogger of the Month

    Me too! Good luck man.

  • elicopterboy

    Good stuff bbbomb ! Really like the Daily Fantasy MMA Podcast on Youtube. I listened both this week, great stuff in there. Still not sold to the stacks in MMA tho, it didn’t work Thursday, hope it’s gone work for you guys tonight !

  • afcangelo

    Really like Holloway tonight. Seen him fight more than a few times now, and each fight it just seems like he “has it”. Whatever “it” is exactly, I can’t totally articulate, almost like whatever Frankie Edgar has shown actually. Max is the real deal though, and judging by the line (-500+) I’m not the only one that sees it.

    QQ though, is Max too pricey to target in GPPs at 10.9k if he doesn’t go out and get the finish?? Curious to hear your take on that BB.

    Also do you put any stock in Weidman saying he’s gonna come out and try to finish Luke early on? Not exactly sure if he can, but he’s stated it multiple times now. Longer this fight goes you’d think the more Luke’s gonna be able to come into his own.

    As far as Souza/Romero goes, I really liked Romero to start the week (past bias/fandom) but the more and more I look, this fight shapes up very well for Jacare. Souza should be able to dodge the big shots that Yoel will throw in the early goings, and sooner rather than later be able to get him to the ground, despite his elite wrestling credentials, they just haven’t translated completely to the Octogon and I think once that happens Jacare earns the finish here, and at 10.2 in the words of Fat Man Tom “it’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s sale of the f**** century…”


  • afcangelo

    How can I forget to mention the fight of the year?! Sorry Holly and Ronda super fans, (and I love both!) but this is 150% the fight of the year. Eager in anticipation doesn’t even begin to cover it, and I still maintain that Conor has never seen anything like Aldo ever before. I think that shows too from the early goings of this one, and with each brutal leg kick, and any kick really, Conor’s tank will deplete that much more. Even though he’s not known for his feet attacking wise, he’ll still very much need them to stand and move and no one takes away their opponents movement better than the Champion Jose Aldo. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Jose back in the Octogon, and now imo we have to assume he’s 100% healthy. If not 100% then at least 90-95.

    Aldo doesn’t have the elite grappling and takedowns that Chad has, but you can almost guarantee he’s been working on it in camp. Anyone who saw the McGregor/Mendes fight knows the route to victory against Conor is on the ground and suffocating him from very close range. Obviously Conor is elite and world class with his hands, but Jose is smart enough, and seasoned enough, at least imo to avoid the big one.

    In fact the only reason Chad got caught with it late 2nd round, was because he sloppily and frantically tried to lock in the guillotine when he needed just a few more seconds to properly set it up. Now I’m as big a Conor McGregor fan as they come, and he’s a MASSIVE favorite against anyone else in this division, along with a few others but against the fighting specimen that is Jose Aldo….I just can’t see it.

    Not to mention the longer this fight goes the more the advantage goes to Aldo. At a very reasonable 9.5k, it’s going to be VERY, VERY difficult for me not to take the Champion tonight.

  • bbbomb

    • Blogger of the Month

    @elicopterboy said...

    Good stuff bbbomb ! Really like the Daily Fantasy MMA Podcast on Youtube. I listened both this week, great stuff in there. Still not sold to the stacks in MMA tho, it didn’t work Thursday, hope it’s gone work for you guys tonight !

    Thanks, appreciate that! Stacks are something I’ve employed in cash games very successfully but everyone is different. Good luck.

  • bbbomb

    • Blogger of the Month

    @afcangelo said...

    QQ though, is Max too pricey to target in GPPs at 10.9k if he doesn’t go out and get the finish?? Curious to hear your take on that BB.

    Also do you put any stock in Weidman saying he’s gonna come out and try to finish Luke early on? Not exactly sure if he can, but he’s stated it multiple times now. Longer this fight goes you’d think the more Luke’s gonna be able to come into his own.

    As we saw last night, some fighters can score in the 90s-100s even without a finish. I don’t think Max is too pricey. With that said, there probably will be fighters lower priced who score higher and I think fading him is fine.

    Meh, it’s hard to put too much stake in things like that. Of course every fighter would finish early if they could..

  • bbbomb

    • Blogger of the Month

    Join $5, 30-man Tournament tonight! https://www.draftkings.com/contest/draftteam/17285509

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