UFC San Antonio
Welcome back this week for UFC San Antonio. Much like last week there are quite a few fights that should go the distance so I don’t love the prelims for this card but the main should make up for it. This card is on ESPN so it’s free and that’s always a plus for those that want to #GrowTheGame . I’m excited for this week so let’s get into it!
9.4K Domingo Pilarte vs 6.8K Felipe Colares
Pilarte earned a UFC contract after his submission win against Vince Morales on the Contender Series last July. Morales had him rocked in the first round and beat him up pretty good before Pilarte jumped on his back and put him to sleep early in the second round. He will be making his UFC debut against Felipe Colares. Colares is coming off his first ever professional loss back in February at UFC Brasil versus Geraldo De Freitas Jr. He is a BJJ black belt and the better grappler of the two with five of his professional wins coming via submission. Despite being a black belt though, I’m not too impressed with his game. He doesn’t have much wrestling and isn’t a great striker which makes me favor Pilarte who at least has some good kicking skills and decent power as well. Pilarte is also a purple belt in BJJ so he should be able to hold his own on the mat. Lastly, he has the reach advantage as he’s very tall for this division at six feet. The Pilarte ITD line at (+140) backs that up as well so he’s my pick in this one although I think the line is a bit wide and hes overpriced on DraftKings.
7.1K Mario Bautista vs 9.1K Jin Soo Son
This is an interesting matchup here at the Bantamweight division. Both fighters are coming off a loss against legitimate up and comers in Cory Sandhagen and Petr Yan. Bautista showed a lot of heart in that fight against Sandhagen before being finished but Cory Sandhagen is an animal so it’s no surprise how that ended. On the flip side, Son went the distance with Yan and even had some moments. Many people, myself included, were impressed with him during his UFC debut in that fight. He has never been finished in his career and is the rightful favorite in this one. The problem is he is the third most expensive fighter on the card and his ITD odds are only (+200) which makes this one mostly a stay away for me. Son by decision is my official pick but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did drop Bautista either.
9.3K Ray Borg vs 6.9K Gabriel Silva
Ray Borg came off a long layoff to fight Casey Kenney back in March. You could tell there was a little bit of ring rust but overall I thought he looked good. He landed seven takedowns in that fight and I thought he clearly did enough to win a decision but the judges thought otherwise. He is now coming in as a sizable favorite against the undefeated Silva making his UFC debut. I really don’t know much about Silva but I honestly feel that Borg should have his way with him. Expect him to land takedowns and control the pace while coasting to a decision win. The problem is that he is the second most expensive fighter on the slate so he will either need to finish or land multiple advances with those takedowns in order to pay off the price. He’s got the ceiling but a low floor for someone priced that high. Borg by decision is my official pick.
8K Roxanne Modafferi vs 8.2K Jennifer Maia
I always like when I’m able to get some conviction in a women’s fight because they are typically lower owned than they should be. We had Brianna Van Buren at under 10% last week in the $44 on DraftKings and although she didn’t get the finish, she scored reasonable especially for a card with so many decisions. At 8K, I’m leaning towards a decent amount of exposure to Roxanne Modafferi which is kind of scary but I just think she is better than Maia wherever this fight goes. She is more tested, more aggressive and willing to go for takedowns which I expect to see in this one. The fight as a whole is (-300) to go to decision but I think she could do enough to pay off the price. Modafferi by decision for me in this one.
7.6K Sam Alvey vs 8.6K Klidson Abreu
I’ll start this off by saying I hate Sam Alvey fights. I think his fighting style is boring and it usually outcomes in a low scoring affair for DraftKings unless someone gets knocked out and that’s the same story here. Alvey is coming off two straight KO losses and Abreu is the clear favorite with a (+155) ITD line. Basically, if he knocks out Alvey he should put up a strong score for his price but if he doesn’t get the knockout then he will likely bust even if he wins a decision. For that reason I’ll have a few shares of him for the upside but far too risky for a core play. I want no part of Alvey as his only hope is to get backed up against the cage and land a heavy left. That is possible but not something I will be putting my money on this week especially with other viable fighters under 8K. Abreu by knockout but I’m not super confident in it so just remember that it comes with significant risk.
7.8K Raquel Pennington vs 8.4K Irene Aldana
This is yet another fight that comes down more to DraftKings scoring for me than it does to fighting skill. Even when Pennington wins, she is likely to score 60 or so points which just doesn’t do it for me even with her sub 8K price tag. Aldana, on the other hand, has scored 80+ multiple times and is clearly the more aggressive striker of the two. For those reasons, I have to favor her in this spot considering it is likely to go to a decision. Pennington has the big name and has been tested against the likes of Amanda Nunes and GDR but she just doesn’t impress me. It’s been over three years since her last win in the octagon and Aldana is likely to just out point her in what should be a striking match. I expect Pennington to try to close the distance but I doubt she is able to hold Aldana down or threaten a submission. I want no part of Pennington but will have some exposure to Aldana for the price. Aldana by decision is my official pick in this one.
8.8K Alex Caceres vs 7.4K Steven Peterson
This should be a fun fight because I don’t think Peterson has ever been in a boring one. He’s coming in as a slight underdog here so you are getting some odds value on the cheap DraftKings price. Additionally, Peterson also has a relatively high floor because of his ability to land multiple takedowns. In both of his UFC losses he scored over 40 points which certainly wouldn’t kill you. He’s a fan favorite fighting in his home state and with this fight likely to go to decision, I want the fighter that is going to be more aggressive here which is clearly Peterson. He has been known to get a little crazy and try a flying knee off the opening bell or jump on a guillotine and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried something like that this week to put on a show for the fans. He is active enough to pay off the cheap price even in a decision win and I think he does have potential for a finish here despite what the odds say. Keep in mind these are lower level fighters so anything can happen but I’m leaning towards Peterson being my favorite underdog this week.
7.2K Andrei Arlovski vs 9K Ben Rothwell
Here we have yet another fight where the favorite is too overpriced on DraftKings in my opinion. Ben Rothwell is coming off a decision loss after making his return from the two year suspension from USADA. Arlovski is coming in on a four fight losing streak if you count the no contest against Walt Harris so it is reasonable that he is an underdog in this matchup. That being said, any heavyweight fight can go either way and I actually like Arlovski in this matchup. These two fought back in 2008 many moons ago which I don’t put that much weight into how it ended but I could see this one playing out in a similar fashion. Arlovski is the smaller and quicker fighter here and I expect him to land leg kicks at range and clinch up to try to tire out Rothwell and minimize his power. As long as he avoids the big knockout punch then he should be able to outlast Rothwell in a decision win with the better cardio. I don’t like either fighter for DraftKings as this fight is pretty much a pick em to go to decision which isn’t good for heavyweight and Rothwell only has an ITD line of (+160) which doesn’t cut it for 9K. Arlovski by a low scoring decision is my pick and I don’t hate using him because he’s cheap but there are other underdogs with higher upside this week.
8.9K Alexander Hernandez vs 7.3K Francisco Trinaldo
This should be an exciting leightweight matchup as Alexander the Great is never lacking confidence and swagger. He comes into this matchup as a two to one favorite here with an ITD line of (+169). As with many favorites on this card, I think the price on DraftKings is a little steep but not as bad as others so I’m willing to get a decent amount of exposure here. I wouldn’t shy away from getting some Trinaldo shares as well though as he has shown some knockout power in the past although I don’t think that happens here. If playing 10 lineups, I would go eight Hernandez and two Trinaldo just because I do think the winner of this fight scores pretty well and Hernandez isn’t a lock. I do think he has the better gas tank though and more power so I have to favor him in this matchup especially looking to avenge the loss against Cowboy Cerrone. Hernandez by TKO is my official pick.
7.7K James Vick vs 8.5K Dan Hooker
We have another fun matchup at leightweight as the Texecutioner, James Vick squares off against Dan Hooker. Vick has been humbled lately as he comes into this fight on a two fight losing streak after getting sparked by Justin Gaethje and losing a decision to Paul Felder. He will look to right the ship here in his home state but it will be no easy task against the hard hitting Dan Hooker. This fight as a whole is (-155) not to go to decision so it is one that we should be targeting. Despite being three inches taller, Vick has just a one inch reach advantage but I would give him the advantage on the feet as the more polished striker with his boxing background. That being said, Hooker has more power and could end this fight quickly as he owns multiple round one knockouts to his record and Vick has been chinny at times in the past. Neither fighter will take this to the ground and I expect them to stand and bang until one of them drops. Because both fighters have a decent price on DraftKings, I think the winner has a decent chance at being on the optimal lineup and for that reason I will target both fighters with a small lean towards Hooker who has an ITD line of (+154). Don’t count Vick out though, especially in front of his home crowd. Hooker by TKO but I’m not confident in this and I expect it to be a fun close fight.
8.1K Greg Hardy vs 8.1K Juan Adams
This fight is a pick em in every sense of the word. We have two huge fighters that swing with power and struggle with cardio. This fight is (-435) not to go to decision so I would be stunned if someone didn’t get knocked out here. I wish I could say I have a strong lean in this one but I don’t see an advantage by either fighter. It is going to come down to who lands the heavy blow or who can keep up the pace longer before someone drops. Both fighters are 8.1K and I will be hedging it as I fully expect the winner to land on the optimal lineup with that price. I know it’s a cop out but I would suggest duplicating all your entries and swapping these guys in each of them. Hardy by TKO is my pick but could easily be wrong in this one. Don’t blink!
7.5K Aleksei Oleinik vs 8.7K Walt Harris
In our third heavyweight bout for the main card, we have a stylistic matchup between a submission specialist and a power striker. Oleinik is coming off a knockout loss to Overeem and Walt Harris is coming off a knockout win back in May. Basically, this fight comes down to Walt Harris knocking him out or getting submitted. This fight as a whole is (-610) to finish inside the distance which is one of the highest I’ve ever seen, even for heavyweights. But if you look closer at this matchup, what does Oleinik struggle with – it’s power strikers. His last two losses came against Overeem and Curtis Blaydes and I would put Walt Harris in that same category as far as power goes. I expect Oleinik to try to take this to the ground where he can work his submission game but I’m sure that is all Harris has been working on in camp and as long as he prevents putting himself in a bad position then I expect him to knockout Oleinik and probably early. Harris by TKO is my pick in this one and his price on DraftKings is very enticing considering his (-110) ITD line.
7.9K Rafael Dos Anjos vs 8.3K Leon Edwards
This main card has some big implications at the Welterweight division and I’m very excited to watch this one. Dos Anjos looked phenomenal like he hasn’t lost a step in his last fight against Lee where he won in the fourth round. However, Leon Edwards has been making a case for himself with a seven fight win streak although many people don’t love his fighting style. He has wins over Donald Cerrone and Vincente Luque in that span. He typically doesn’t score well for DraftKings but the price is cheap enough where he should be able to pay it off with a win. If you favor Edwards in this spot, I get it but give me all the Dos Anjos here. Edwards has gone five rounds and won before but five rounds is the norm for Dos Anjos and he has excellent cardio to keep the pace up even in the last two rounds. He is the more aggressive striker of the two and if Edwards tries to clinch up, I think Dos Anjos has the advantage there as well. Add in the fact that he has a price under 8K on DraftKings and it is too juicy for me to pass up. Dos Anjos by decision is my official pick.
My DraftKings core:
Rafael Dos Anjos
My favorite bets:
Harris ITD (-110)
Hooker ITD (+154)
Dos Anjos by decision (+226)
Peterson ITD (+375)
As always, I will post any Vegas line updates or changes in anyting on Twitter @JonKelly22 so feel free to follow me there. Also, if you enjoy reading this, do me a favor and click the thumbs up on this post! Best of luck to everyone playing and enjoy UFC San Antonio!