UFC 255 Breakdown
Sasha Palatnikov vs Louis Cosce
Louis Cosce is coming off a TKO win in DWCS and is 7-0 in the UFC with all his wins coming by finish. From what I have seen he is a well-rounded fighter, as he has had 5 KOs and 2 submissions in his 7 victories and fights out of a Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu gym. I did notice in a couple spots he put himself in situations where he could have gotten subbed, but he wasn’t fighting anyone who had the caliber to pull it off. He really hasn’t seen much competition at all up to this point, as I don’t think his DWCS opponent was any good. Sasha Palatnikov is 5-2 in his MMA career with both losses coming by finish. 2 of his wins have come by way of KO and the other 3 have come by decision. Sasha throws in volume but leaves his head out when he throws and isn’t good at keeping his distance. He hasn’t shown any want to shoot for takedowns and from what I’ve seen has bad TD defense. Cosce by KO is my pick, as I see no real routes for Sasha to win this fight. $9300 is a high price to pay for Cosce, as I still believe these are both low level fighters, but he has a high chance of finishing, so he is in play. Most likely fading Sasha.
Kyle Daukaus vs Dustin Stoltzfus
Kyle Daukaus is coming off his UFC debut, where he lost to Brendan Allen by decision. Kyle showed good grappling skill in his debut, as he got out of multiple bad situations. He found his way into a few good spots to submit Allen, but Allen has proved to be a challenging fighter to submit. Kyle Daukaus was 9-0 until entering the UFC, with 8 wins coming by way of submission. Dustin Stoltzfus is coming off a victory in DWCS where he slammed his opponent down and dislocated his elbow. Before that he was taken down rather easily. Daukaus looks to dodge punches then go for takedowns. Soltzfus doesn’t march his opponents down hardly at all so this will most likely be a low volume fight on the feet. Daukaus is most likely going to be patient until Dustin whiffs on a punch to take him down or catch one of his many leg kicks and take him down that route. I will have shares of both guys in this fight, as I think the winner will win by submission and score well. Daukaus by submission is the pick, and he will score well on DraftKings in a win.
Alan Jouban vs Jared Gooden
Alan Jouban is 7-5 since joining the UFC, with 4 of those wins coming by KO. He hasn’t fought since April of 2019, in a loss to Dwight Grant by decision. Over his career he has landed 4.85 significant strikes/min and has .59 TD/15mins. Jouban is going to look to keep this fight standing, as that is where he is best. His opponent, Jared Gooden, is making his UFC debut and he is one confident guy to say the least. He is decent on the feet as he likes to march the opponent down and throws combinations in bulk. He has decent TD def from what I can tell, but I don’t think he will need to use it much in this fight. This fight is going to be fast paced, as both opponents are going to try to march down the other and throw in volume. I’m interested to see how Gooden does against a veteran who is going to have a very similar game plan to him. I lean Jouban here, and he will score well in a win on DraftKings. I will have some shares of Gooden though, as I think either fighter will score well in a win here.
Nicolas Dalby vs Daniel Rodriguez
Nicolas Dalby is coming off a submission loss to Jesse Ronson back in July. Dalby doesn’t throw in much volume, landing 3.17 SS/min, and shoots for TDs at a rate of 1.74/15mins. Rodriguez throws at an impressive 8.46 SS/min and also shoots for TDs at 1.83/15mins. This has fight of the night promise, as both fighters will be exchanging, that is unless Rodriguez knocks Dalby out early. I don’t think Dalby has the power to knock out Rodriguez, and Rodriguez has shown he has the ability to get stunned and get out of it. Rodriguez has shown question in his cardio so Dalby might be able to grind him down as the fight goes on. I think Rodriguez knocks him out in the first or second round, as Dalby has had a lot of damage done in his previous few fights and has never seen power like that of Rodriguez. This is going to be an exciting fight, and I think Rodriguez wins by Knockout. I will have a few shares of Dalby but nothing too much because there’s a good chance he gets KO’d early.
Antonina Shevchenko vs Ariane Lipski
Antonina Shevchenko is coming off a decision loss to Kaitlyn Cookhagian back in May. She throws at 4.09 SS/min and doesn’t usually shoot for TDs. Her opponent, Ariane Lipski, was on the last Figueiredo card in July where she subbed Luana Carolina by kneebar. Lipski throws at 3.34 SS/min and doesn’t really shoot for TDs either. I do think that for Lipski to win this fight she’s going to have to take it to the ground at some point. She is outmatched on the feet, but when it goes to the ground I give the nod to Lipski. Neither fighter has enough power to knockout the other one in my opinion. I think either Shevchenko wins by decision, or Lipski wins by sub/decision. I really don’t think either of these fighters will be optimal, and I will most likely be fading it on Draftkings, with possibly a couple shares of Lipski because of the underdog price. The fight is -260 to go the distance.
Joaquin Buckley vs Jordan Wright
Joaquin Buckley is coming off the knockout of the year against Impa Kasanganay a little over a month ago. That fight was a slugfest before the knockout, where Buckley seemed to stun his opponent a few times. Jordan Wright is coming off a win against Ike Villanueva who I don’t think is very good at all. The win there was because Wright caught him with a knee early and cut him, which resulted in a doctor’s stoppage. Prior to that fight he got KO’d in the first 40 seconds in the DWCS (fight ended up being a NC). I don’t think Wright is any good, but he does throw some semi-dangerous spinning kicks, and has shown to pull submissions out of nowhere. I think Buckley dominates here and knocks him out in the first round. Buckley is in play on Draftkings, as I think he will pay off his price in a win. I’m probably fading, or playing very little Jordan Wright, because I think his chances of winning are very slim, and his ownership may be a little high because of his score in his last bout.
Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval
Brandon Moreno has won 2 striaght, both coming by way of decision. He shoots for TDs at 1.75/15mins and lands 3 SS/min. He is good at defending against TD attempts as we saw in his last fight against Formiga. Royval is an exciting guy to watch. He marches his opponent down on the feet, throws in decent volume (3.9 SS/min), and is actively attempting submissions on the ground. This fight is very tough to call as I think both guys are live for a finish whether it be by KO or sub. Moreno’s defense on the feet is slightly better than Royval’s, but I wouldn’t put it past Royval to land some serious shots on Moreno. Moreno has a snapping jab that if it connects can stun Royval as well. On the ground is where it gets interesting… if it goes here. Royval is going to be the more active fighter, but Moreno is very tough to submit. I think this fight has a high chance of going the distance, because I don’t think either fighter will have enough power to knock the other one out, and Moreno isn’t going to be as easy to submit as France was in Royval’s last win. I don’t think Moreno lands in enough volume to pay off his price without a finish here so I will likely not play much of him. I will have some Royval because even if he wins in a decision, he will most likely pay off his price, and if he does pull of a finish, he will probably be optimal. I think Moreno wins by decision.
Mauricio Rua vs Paul Craig
This fight is a rematch from their first fight which ended in a draw. The first fight was pretty low paced, but I thought Paul Craig deserved the victory. Craig is going to be actively looking for submissions, as he is very good from his back. He is constantly looking to secure triangles from his back, and if he gets this fight to the ground that’s likely where he will be. He submitted Antigulov from his back in his last fight on the Whittaker vs Till card. I don’t think Rua is any good anymore, he’s lost the power in his hands and isn’t throwing in as much volume as he used to. Paul Craig is good enough on the feet to not get knocked out and he will submit him if he gets enough ground time, he is just far better there. If he doesn’t get a finish I don’t think he will score great because he isn’t that active of a striker, and he will likely be racking up ground control looking for submissions which doesn’t score points on Draftkings. My pick is Craig by decision, but he is live for a submission. I will have shares of Craig in case he gets that submission, but I’m going to have hardly any Rua as I see little chance he wins here outside a knockout, which I see unlikely.
Kaitlyn Chookagian vs Cynthia Calvillo
Chookagian is coming off a loss to Jessica Andrade where she got hurt on a strike to her body. She has been talking about retirement for some time now so it’s tough to think her head is 100% into this fight. Cynthia Calvillo is going to look to take this fight to the ground, and it is likely she will be successful as Chookagian doesn’t defend TDs very well. Calvillo looked great in her last fight against Jessica Eye, and had a great game plan which she executed perfectly. She looked good on the feet and stood and exchanged quite a bit with Eye, where she looked good. Chookagian is outmatched here, but is also tough to finish. I don’t think Calvillo gets a finish here, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I lean towards other people in this price range but will have some shares of her because it feels like safer points than others. I will have very few Chookagian shares, if any.
Mike Perry vs Tim Means
Tim Means is coming off a decision win vs Laureano Staropoli in August and looked strong. He is a seasoned fighter, but he is aging and has seemed to be somewhat losing power in his punches. He is still an active striker and does have the power to knock someone out if he catches them right. I would back Perry in this fight as I think he has a better chance of finishing, but after watching weigh-ins and everything leading up to him not making weight, I don’t think he has been training much for this fight. Missing weight by that much after joking about how he can eat anything leads me to think he’s not prepared for this fight. I try not to read into weight cuts too much but missing weight by 5+ pounds along with everything else that comes with Perry, he’s tough to back. Tim Means is still going to fight him and looks good. Perry still has power and will be happy to stand and throw against his opponent, but without proper training and no real cornermen it’s hard to know how he will fare. Perry is always live for a KO so I will have shares of him, but Tim Means is likely going to close as a favorite, but will be priced as an underdog on Draftkings so I will definitely have more of him. This fight will score well on Draftkings regardless of who wins and is at an affordable price. I will be heavy on this fight. My pick is Means ITD.
Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia
Valentina Shevchenko is near unstoppable, and by near I mean the only person that can beat her is Amanda Nunes. Shevchenko has rolled through every other opponent, with Impressive wins over Chookagian, Eye, Jedrzejczyk, Holm, and the list goes on. Jennifer Maia is no joke but she’s going to run into a brick wall here. Maia has shown to be tough but if her game plan is to stand up and box with Shevchenko she’s going to get lit up. Maia is the cheapest fighter on the slate and isn’t a terrible play if you think she can go the distance, as she will likely land enough SS to score about 30-40 points in a decision loss. Shevchenko is a -1600 favorite, and deservedly so. She will roll through this matchup, but as the most expensive fighter on the slate it’s going to be tough for her to pay the price off. I won’t have a ton of her because I’m finding it tough to build with her, but she is in play. I think Shevchenko wins by knockout, but since Maia has proven to be tough there is definitely a chance Shevchenko just rolls to a decision victory.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Alex Perez
Figueiredo is coming off back to back wins against Joseph Benavidez. In their first fight I didn’t like his lack of discipline defensively as he left his head out there after multiple shots instead of moving out of the way after landing. This allowed Benavidez to land a few heavy strikes that could’ve knocked him out. Figueiredo has proven to have a strong chin, and eventually knocked out his opponent in this fight, but Perez is a much better striker than Benavidez. In their next fight he looked a lot better defensively, absorbing nearly no shots that seemed to hurt him. In both fights he failed to secure submissions early that he seemed to have in. Benavidez is one of the best in the UFC at defending against submissions, but both fights could’ve been over in the first couple minutes. The reason it worries me that Figueiredo was unable to lock up submissions early against Benavidez is that if he gives Perez enough opportunities, he’s going to have a tough time. Figueiredo was however able to sub Tim Elliot on his first try in October 2019. Perez is coming off a TKO by leg kicks win over Formiga. He is an active fighter both on the feet and on the ground, and he has legitimate power that comes with it. Perez has looked better and better each fight and is an output machine. He showed a strong jaw as well against Formiga, so he isn’t going to be an easy knockdown (like Benavidez was for Figueiredo). Perez has a good chance at victory here, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he does. At his price, if he wins, he is a lock for the optimal. His output matched with his finishing ability makes him a very juicy underdog both in betting markets and on Draftkings. He will be my most owned underdog. I will have 100% of this fight as the winner will most likely be optimal. I lean Figueiredo here to win ITD, but with the price difference on Draftkings and the upside that Perez brings, I will be heavy on both.