Fantasy Fight Analysis- UFN 84
Gambling has been a vocation of mine since my father first took me to the racetrack at 6-years of age. Over the course of the years I have placed wagers on all major sports, horse & dog racing and once even at an indoor track meet! While not a full-time “professional gambler”, it has been a vocation that has absorbed a fair amount of my discretionary time with momentary pauses for life events. Like many gamblers, I have had “peaks & valleys”. From having to light my race program on fire to thaw out a frozen key hole on my car after leaving a harness track at midnight in the middle of winter to looking for change under my car seat to pay a highway toll after getting “busted up” at a dog track (while in college). On the other side, winning $8k on Felix Trinidad @ +110 against Oscar De La Hoya to hitting a Pick 4 @ Belmont for $12k and the following week @ Del Mar for $8k. I have learned that the public is not always right and it is OK to have a strong opinion on an underdog. My love of MMA is an extension from my love of boxing. I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of major fights in Las Vegas. It is hard to describe the energy of a Las Vegas fight crowd. The advent of Daily Fantasy (DFS) and the ability to apply to MMA, pushed me over the edge from that of a casual fan, to a vocation that surpassed the NFL as my sport of choice. I first played DFS MMA on a card held during the summer of 2015. I turned a modest $36 investment into +$400 in cash and tickets. In particular, I have had a good amount of success over the course of the last 3-months. Following up on winning a *contest on Draft Kings, which included an all expenses trip to the UFC on Fox Event in Orlando (including dinner and sitting ring side with Frank Mir), there were 2-UFC Events that yielded me a net profit of $10k (per card). While I have not yet won the top prize in the small buy-in/multiple entrants contests, I have won a number of contests with buy-ins ranging from $50-$1,060.
*Using a line-up provided by Kamikaze OverdriveUFC Fight Night 84 – Relative Value Play of the Card Recapping UFC Fight Night 83:
On a side note. Apparently, I have been spending more than enough on Draft Kings, as I was sent an email and given access to a “VIP” email address!
I am know breathing in “rarefied air” relative to my DFS MMA career, in that this event culminated in the first time that I have experienced “significant losses in back to back UFC Events.
Faszholz $8,500 (38-points)- I love how this fight started. Crisp punches in combinations and knees against the cage. Round 1: I had her up 10-9. Towards the end of the 2nd Round, Kelly started to tire (working 12-hours a day and training on top of a short notice fight). Here is where Brett and I have differences of opinion. I would have liked to see Kelly shoot for a take down at the early stages of the 2nd round. My thought being that she could use her superior submission skills. Oh well. On most cards, I would generally be OK with 38-points for $8,500, though this card had a plethora of 1st round stoppages/100-point performances
Hamilton $9,600 (20-points) – This was an absolute “killer”. I did a write up on this fight and stated that I didn’t like either guy. I let myself back in based on the price point and the fact that I had a superior level of distaste for Shamil. I also got somewhat suckered in by Hamilton training at Jackson/Wink and felt he could improve his fight IQ
Reneau $10,300 (28.5-points) – God awful decision. I am not sure whether the additional 25-points would have mattered that much for DFS, though it killed a number of my 5Dimes playsUFC Fight Night 84:
The short turn time from FN 83 and the 12:45 PM EST start time, have me hustling. Kudos to Scott for his work on the Bet Pack. I am not above trading a cut of the proceeds for some line-up assistance from my European counterparts.
One fight that did jump out at me:Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) DK- $11,000/5D -320 v Thales Leites (25-5) DK – $8,400/5D +260
Thales Leites is 34-years old and is 5-1 in his last 6-fights in the UFC (including 2 “Performance of the Night” awards). The only loss on his record since 10/2010 is a SD loss last year to Michael Bisping that some thought he might have won. Over the recent streak there were wins against: Ed Herman, Trevor Smith & Tim Boetch. Under a prior tenure with the UFC, Thales took a Decision loss from Anderson Silva (2009). 14 of his wins have come by Submission
Gegard Mousasi is only 30-years old, has had whopping 45-MMA Fights to going along with 13-amateur boxing bouts and 8-kick boxing matches. That seems to me like a good deal of mileage on someone so young? Gegard is 5-months removed from a brutal KO by spinning back kick courtesy of Uriah Hall. Perhaps because of Gegard’s reputation, it was a slow stoppage where he took an additional 10-shots of “ground & pound” from Hall. Over his last 6-fights in the UFC, Gegard has a record of 3-3. In addition to Hall, he sports losses to Lyoto Machida & Ronaldo Souza. His wins have come against Mark Munoz (whose skill sets have diminished faster than Paris Hilton’s popularity), 43-year old Dan Henderson and a UD win against the now retired Costas Philippou. Looking 2-fights further back, he submitted an over matched Mike Pyle and was given all he could handle in a UD victory from short notice replacement Illir Latifi
Why I like Thales Leites:
- I see Leites recent body of work as impressive as Gegard’s and he could just as easily be coming into this fight on 9-fight win streak
- Gegard is coming off of a brutal KO and has participated in a large number of fights considering his age
- I see Leites as have the better submission game and Gegard as having better striking
- The numbers have the fight going over 2 ½ rounds @ -155
- Leites is the 2nd cheapest fighter on the DK board
@$8,400 Leites will be the low cost lynch pin in my DK line-ups. Also, at over a 2 ½ – 1 underdog, I may take a flyer on 5D, as I do feel that he can win the fight. Even if you are not playing Leites in your DK line-ups, @$11,000 (2nd highest) Gegard is almost a must fade, as there is so much better value available at the higher end of the price range.
Good luck everyone and check out the “Bet Pack”!
UFC Fight Night 83 – “Fight Pass” Prelims Analysis with Wagering/DFS Relative Values
UFC Fight Night 83:
This event as gone through more changes than a bride-to- be looking for her wedding dress! I honestly believe that The UFC should euthanize the entire event. Yes, there is just a touch of personal bitterness here, as I purchased tickets under the auspices of seeing a 14-fight card, headlined by “Cowboy” Cerrone versus “The Dirty Bird” Means. I was also looking forward to John Lineker taking on Paige Van Zant’s ex and watching Brandon Thatch fight.
Means fails a drug test, so now we got another “Cowboy” in Oliveira, who is also stepping up in weight. Well at least we still get to see Lineker & Thatch, right? Wrong! The Thatch fight was moved to UFC 196 and Lineker forgets to spray on the “OFF” and comes down with Dengue Fever! PVZ’s ex is now matched up with Augusto Mendes, who remember was signed as a replacement for the Boston event and promptly got injured and had to be replaced! As a result, this went from being an exciting striking match to one where Mendes will need to launch a take down during the introductions, at the risk of not lasting 60-seconds standing! But wait, there is more! Sarah Moras pulled out of her fight with Lauren Murphy, so unless the UFC can find a replacement in an admittedly shallow talent pool, the fight will have to be pulled. To the rescue comes new signee Kelly Faszholz, who is taking the fight on 6-days’ notice. Ms. Faszholz is 3-0 and most recently fought at 145 in Prize FC. She is the number one ranked pound for pound female fighter in the State of Colorado! I almost forgot, Trevor Smith hurt his hand and is being replaced by Anthony Smith (6-days’ notice). This may be the only positive shift, as Trevor Smith versus one of the worst Brazilian fighters in the weight class, had snooze fest written all over it. Now there is at least a chance that an aggressive Anthony Smith can take out Leonardo Guimarães, who not only fights boring, but has the fight IQ of Steven Segal on a buffet line! So I ask you, is this a card worth spending 12-14 hours in a car to see?
I suppose that it is good news that we are back up to 3-bouts. Also, as a direct result of the “scorched earth” acquisition of Kountermove (KM) by Draft Kings (DK), I will only be supplying “Player Salaries” courtesy of DK and betting lines courtesy of 5Dimes.
HW: Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton (14-4) DK = $9,600/5D = -105 versus Shamil Abdurahimov (15-3) DK = $9,800/5D = -115
Even for a “Fight Pass” bout, I still have extremely low expectations for this contest to climb out of the “below average” categorization. I have watched film on both these fighters and to phrase my reaction in one word, I was “underwhelmed”.
“Freight Train” Hamilton is 35-years old and holds a 2-2 record in the UFC, winning the fights that he was supposed to win against Ruan Potts (2nd round KO) and most recently Daniel Omielanczuk (UD) and losing against submission specialist Oleksiy Oliynyk (1st round submission) and one time prospect Todd Duffee (33-second in 1st round KO).
“Freight Train” trains at Jackson/Wink. However, despite the great camp, it doesn’t seem to have done much to improve his fight IQ. He frequently sticks out his neck and if either of the guys he beat in the UFC had submission skills, it would have been an early night. Against Duffee, he decided that blindly charging the far more technical striker was a great idea.
“Freight Train” likely avoided a 3rd loss in the UFC by getting swapped out of fight with Derrick Lewis by Viktor Pesta in October, 2015. He was rescheduled to fight “Cro Cop” in November, 2015, when “Crop Cop” pulled out and ultimately retired. He last fought in April, 2015
Shamil 34-years old, is a Dagestan fighter and is a micro chasm on the lack of depth in the HW division, which is the only reason why I can think of that the UFC signed him. True, he did decision perennial gate keeper Kenny Garner in his last fight before gaining entry to the UFC. His prior resume also includes being submitted by 37-year old (at the time) journeyman Tony Lopez. His UFC debut was memorable in that as a nearly 3-1 favorite, he was KO’d by Timothy Johnson in the 1st round. Shamil has also not been the most active of fighters, as from March 2011 he has only fought a total of 5-times
What to do here? Low fight IQ “Freight Train” Hamilton or Shamil, who does show some submission skills, albeit going back to his time competing in the Ukrainian Regional Circuit. Shamil does not seem to be of the same mold as those great fighters that seem to sprout up in Dagestan. I have a feeling that this is going to be an ugly low output grappling fight. “Freight Train” has a 2-inch height advantage and reach is equal at 76-inches. While this is not a highly confident pick, I am going to count on Shamil not regaining his submission skills and Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton winning an ugly decision with the possibility of a late KO. Betting lines have this as a close fight and I am somewhat surprised that Shamil is a slight favorite. My initial inclination was to not use either fighter in my DK line-ups. However, @ $9,600 “Freight Train” may offer some value as a number 4 or number 5 line up filler
BW: Marion “The Bruiser” Reneau (6-2) DK= $10,300/5D = -175 versus Ashlee Evans-Smith (3-1) DK= $9,100/5D = +155
Let’s get this right out of the way. For reasons I will go into more detail on below, I am a huge fan of Reneau
Reneau is 38-years old and holds a 2-1 record in the UFC. Reneau has been nearly a 2-1 or greater underdog in all 3 of her fights in the UFC. Reneau was welcomed to the UFC by taller, bigger and over a decade younger Alexis “The Sneaky Zebra” Dufresne and as a 2-1 underdog won a UD. Next up is a trip to Brazil to fight much younger and much more experienced hometown girl Jéssica Andrade. As nearly a 3-1 underdog Reneau chokes out Andrade in the 1st round, winning Performance of the Night honors. Next up Holly Holm and once again, Reneau is a 2-1 underdog and is fighting a taller, bigger and more experienced (body of work in combat sports) Holm’s. A gritty Reneau could not break Holm’s guard while being out struck 3-1 and lost a UD.
Ashlee Evans-Smith is 28-years old and is 0-1 in the UFC. As a 2-1 favorite AES was literally choked unconscious by Raquel “Rocky” Pennington. AES did not fight in all of 2015 following her loss.
While it is not I, the “fan boy” speaking here, in case I do have to state the obvious, I LOVE Reneau here. I will anchor Reneau in many of my DK line ups. 5Dimes does not have props up yet for this fight, though I do like the “Under” 2 ½ Rounds @ -115. I am looking for a submission in the 1st or 2nd round. Once props are posted I will be looking at the following: Reneau “Inside the Distance” & Reneau “By Submission” and maybe even take a flyer on Reneau “Wins in the 1st Round”
BW: Lauren Murphy (8-2) DK = $10,900/5D -330 versus Kelly Faszholz DK = $8,500/5D +270
Call me crazy and KO may not invite me back, though I am fading Lauren Murphy and like Kelly Faszholz as a live dog! I am going to make this contingent on how Faszholz looks at the weigh in, as her last fight was at 145, she is taking this fight on 6-days’ notice and I have not a clue on what her walking around weight or her training schedule. Lots of caveats, yes, but also incredible potential value, as the 3rd lowest price on DK and +270 on DK
Lauren Murphy is 32-years old and is 0-2 in the UFC (losing to both McCann & Carmouche by Decision) since coming over from Invicta, where she was the BW Champion. She is 5’8. Her strong favoritism is likely supported by her competition and that she was the Invicta BW Champion. The film I watched on Murphy was indicative of a quasi- grinder who while might have outworked both McCann & Carmouche, doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of power in her hand and never seemed to hurt either fighter. Also, I didn’t see any submission skills of note. Going back to the fight that won her the title against Miriam Nakamoto. Murphy was losing the fight till Nakamoto had a serious knee injury in the 3rd and had to withdraw early in the 4th round. Prior to the Nakamoto fight, Murphy had 2-decision wins. Murphy has not actually KO’d anyone with strikes since 2013
Kelly Faszholz is 31-years old and holds a 3-0 professional record with all victories coming by submission. She is 5’8. The limited film that I watched on Faszholz was impressive. She is a technical striker that has power in her hands and puts her purple belt in BJJ to good use when the fight hits the ground by looking to improve position and score a submission.
Here is why I am fading Murphy. She is the 3rd most expensive fighter on DK. Looking at her last 5-fights, while a respectable 3-2, she has lost her last and was losing the 3rd fight back before her opponent had to withdraw. Fights 4 & 5 were UD wins against unspectacular opposition.
Here is why I am considering including Faszholz as a live dog in my DK line ups and taking a flyer with a win wager @ +270 and a deep flyer on Faszholz by Submission. Of Murphy’s last 3-opponents, while experienced, none were prone to look for a submission. Murphy can be taken down and Faszholz has shown an affinity for finding submissions. As referenced, given that Faszholz’s last fight was at 145 and she is taking the fight on 6-days’ notice, I will be paying close attention at the weigh in before I hit “done”.
Best of luck to everyone with the Pittsburgh card! There are currently some slots available in DK Tournaments that I bought into @ $109, $215 & $1,060 (under SunTszu) so here is an opportunity to fade my plays J
One more thing, Scott @ KO puts an incredible amount of time and effort into the Bet Pack. At $10 (Canadian) it is an incredible value for a single event card with discounts available for a multiple card subscription. For first time subscribers, I would like to cover the cost for the Bet Pack for UFC Fight Night 83. Be one of the first 3 that emails: firstname.lastname@example.org . Place SunTszu in Subject Header and the cost of the Bet Pack is on me!