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