Geek’s Picks – UFC Fortaleza Fight Night 106 Predictions and Draftkings Strategy

 

In MMA DFS, the way to win a GPP is to nail the perfect lineup. If we attack a GPP with the intention of winning, it’s important to acknowledge the volatile nature of the sport. In layman’s terms that means trying to figure out where to hedge and where to go all in. I’m basing this breakdown on a combination of the Vegas Odds for wins and the Vegas finish props. I’m combining that with my knowledge of each fighters style and their likelihood to score high or low totals regardless if they win or lost.

 

MMA Cards are always tricky. This week, in particular, there are some fights that look like locks to finish early and score big at the top end of the salary scale. Gastelum and Means come to mind. Both should win and get early finishes. Borrachina could also be considered in that category. All three of those guys are 9000 or above which means we will need to find salary relief elsewhere. I like to look at these MMA cards from the bottom of the salary scale and up so the following is a look at all the fights on the card with a focus on whether we should consider the dogs or favorites in each fight or hedge with both.

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Belfort (6600) +340 vs Gastelum (9500) -425

Finish Prop: Under 1.5 Rounds -150

I give Belfort virtually zero chance in this spot. I suppose he has a punchers chance but that’s about it. To make matters worse, Vitor is not and active fighter and outside of a miracle early finish he shouldn’t score almost anything in a loss. This is an all in on Gastelum situation for me.

Geek’s Take: This is an all in on Gastelum situation for me.

Mclennan (7100) +250 vs Borrachina (9100) -300

Finish Prop: Under 1.5 Rounds -140

It’s interesting that this fight is very similar on paper to the Gastelum fight. Similar finish prop. I expect this one to be much lower owned simply because no one knows anything about Borrachina. We do know about his opponent, though. Mclennan just sucks. I can’t understand how he’s actually in the UFC.  Borrachina is 9-0 and has been a finisher through his career.

Geek’s Take: I’ll have heavy exposure to Borrachina in cash and GPP’s.

 

Tim Means (9000) -230 vs Cowboy Olivera (7100) +190

Finish Prop: Under 1.5 Rounds -145

Next is Olivera (7100) in a rematch of a fight he lost a few months ago. Can’t have much confidence there. Mean’s KO’ed Olivera with an illegal strike the last time these two fought. I don’t see why this fight will go differently. That said, with all the sketchy fighters in the sub 7500 group and with Means being incredibly chalky (I expect 50% ownership), it may not be a bad GPP move to grab a couple of Olivera shares just in case.

Geek’s Take: I’m all in on Means

Josh Burkman (7300) +235 vs Michel Prazeres (8800) -255

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -235

Let’s start with the basics. Vegas is looking for a decision win for Prazeres. Burkman hasn’t won a fight in ages. He’s a loser in that sense. That said, he is a tough guy and could actually pull off a win here. The best thing going for Burkman is that he’s fighting a guy that doesn’t finish fights. I give Burkman the best shot of putting up a decent number, even in a loss, of all the sub 7500 fighters.

Geek’s Take: This is a dog or pass fight for me. I’ll have exposure to Burkman in GPP’s and even in cash. 

Davi Ramos (7400) +205 vs Sergio Moraes (8800) -245

Finish Prop Over 2.5 Rounds -165

Vegas is projecting a decision here. Both of these guys are BJJ grapplers. Davi is a newcomer to the UFC and known as a jiu-jitsu specialist. He’s fighting againstJui Jitsu guy in Moraes. Not sure how that will work out. I don’t like trusting fighters in their UFC debut and that fight seems destined to be a low-scoring decision one way or the other. Moraes probably edges out a decision here but I can’t see him justifying his hefty price tag.

Geek’s Take: Avoid this fight in cash and very very light GPP exposure.  

It gets more interesting in the 7500 and up punt group:

Dariush (7500) +120 VS Barboza (8800) -140 

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -195

Benny Dariush should be the most popular punt play on this card. He’s a really good all around fighter with an excellent trainer and camp. He’s facing a guy in Barboza that is mainly a striker. He’s one of the best strikers in the division but he’s somewhat one dimensional. IMO Dariush is the chalk punt. Barboza was submitted by Cowboy Cerrone and Tony Ferguson. Those are two of the best fighters in the division and in MMA as a whole. So it can happen and that’s the path to a Dariush win. He would need to utilize his grappling to either get a sub or top control on Barboza. The +120 win odds for a 7500 fighter also point to one of the best values on the card.

Geek’s Take: Dariush will probably be the highest owned dog on the card. I’ll definitely have GPP exposure to him but I think I’ll wind up slightly underweight for game theory purposes. Vegas expects this one to go to a decision. A fighter like Barboza, that doesn’t utilize takedowns, generally, will not score a ton of points in a decision victory. I’ll grab a few shares just in case he gets the KO but for the most part, this fight is dog or pass for me.

Soto (7600) +160 vs Yaya (8400) -190

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -270

Soto vs Yaya is a tossup for me. This is another grappler vs grappler matchup that could be quite boring to watch. I expect a low-scoring decision win one way or the other. The oddsmakers agree with their -270 over 2.5 rounds prop.

Geek’s Take: It’s dog or pass for me in this type of fight. I’ll have Soto exposure but little to no Yaya.
Villante (7700) +120 vs Rua (8500) -140 

Finish Prop: Under 1.5 Rounds -160 

Villante is basically a meathead striker. Rua is a much more technical striker and generally better in all facets as compared to Villante. The equalizer is the one punch KO. Rua is old and has been chinny in recent years. He’s having a bit of a resurgence right now but it’s hard to ignore his early KO losses to Henderson and OSP in recent years.

Geek’s Take: I fully expect Rua to win and KO Villante but I do give Villante a punchers chance here. It’s hard to ignore how close Vegas sees this fight. I’m going Rua in cash lines but in GPP’s you need exposure to Villante for the one punch KO possibility.
Borg (7800) -115  v Jussier (8400) -105

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -265

This one is simple. Both of these guys are strictly BJJ grapplers. Neither throws many strikes. Jussier basically never finishes anyone. His last win vs Ortiz featured just 8 sig strikes over a 3 round decision. It was all about grappling. Super boring to watch. That’s how most of Jussier’s fights go. Boring grappling with no action. Fuck this guy. Borg isn’t all that different. I see him as a smidge more active. He had a decision win a few fights back where he was credited with 3 takedowns and 19 position advances. That earned him a 119 on DK even though it was a decision. This is the ultimate dog or pass situation for me. I think these guys will cancel each other out and wind up in a very low scoring fight. I can accept that from a sub 8000 fighter but not from a favorite.

Geek’s Take: This is the ultimate dog or pass situation for me. I think these guys will cancel each other out and wind up in a very low scoring fight. I can accept that from a sub 8000 fighter but not from a favorite. It’s worth noting that Borg is currently a slight favorite even though his salary significantly cheaper then Jussier. Borg will be one of my higher owned punts.
Trinaldo (7900) +140 vs Lee (8300) -160his is the toughest fight to call on paper. Both of these guys are #reallygood

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -200

This is the toughest fight to call on paper. Both of these guys are #reallygood. I don’t have a great read on this fight at all. If Lee gets his wrestling going he should have an advantage there. Trinaldo isn’t an easy guy to take down or keep down. That could work in Lee’s favor from a DK points perspective. It could wind up as one of those fights that feature 10 takedowns – Khabib style. I could also see this going the opposite where Trinaldo stops the TD’s and it becomes a striking match. Either guy has a shot to win this one. I’m avoiding this one in cash – and splitting exposure down the middle in GPP’s

Geek’s Take: Either guy has a shot to win this one. I’m avoiding this fight in cash and splitting exposure down the middle in GPP’s
Kennedy (8100) -115 vs Jason (8100)-105

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -145

The touts really like Kennedy here. He is considered by some to be the top Canadian MMA prospect right now. Kennedy’s one UFC fight was a decision win against Alessandro Ricci. Ricci is the guy that literally quit in the ring due to an ass whooping by Felder a few weeks back. He’s pure crap (I lost money on that Felder fight) and the fact that Kennedy didn’t finish him is concerning. The positive is that Kennedy dominated Ricci from top position for most of the fight. Rony Jason is an ok fighter that brings heat early in his fights. His wins have been early finishes against middling competition. If Kennedy can survive the onslaught and take Jason down he should be able to lay and pray for the win. If Jason wins I suspect it will be an early finish.

Geek’s Take: This fight is fascinating from a DFS POV because I think Jason will be much lower owned even though he’s more likely to get the high scoring finish. I’ll have exposure to both of them in GPP’s and probably avoid it in cash.

 

Correia (8000) +100 vs Reneau (8200) -120

Finish Prop: Over 2.5 Rounds -260

Correa is a high output striker with a middling skill set. Looking at her recent fights, she rarely gets a takedown or a finish. She’s a Brazillian fighter, in Brazil, in a fight that is likely to go to decision. That alone is the reason to consider using her in some lineups. The caveat is that she’s unlikely to score many points even with a win. Reneau is a little more well-rounded as compared to Correia. She has some grappling chops and has some but not many takedowns to her name.

Geek’s Take: I really don’t have much of a read on this fight. It smells like a close and low scoring decision. In neutral territory, I’d give a slight edge to Reneau. In Brazil, I could see where the judges give a bit of a home team edge to Correia. Either way, this is not a fight I want much exposure to.