UFC on FOX 25: Weidman vs Gastelum- “There’s No Place Like Home”

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For a card that was built around New York-based MMA talent, the night could not have ended much better. The former Middleweight champion finally ended a losing streak that started with the loss of his title belt. We saw multiple underdogs come through and a couple of impressive debuts. Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong on Saturday night!

What Went Right
  • It was another gritty performance for Darren Elkins and quite honestly I wasn’t sure that he was going to go home with the win. He got the better of the wrestling which was surprising and held his own on the feet. Bermudez needed to pick up his pace earlier in the fight, but instead, he held back and it cost him.
  • This was a good fight that should have probably been billed as the co-main event. Jimmie Rivera nearly scored the early stoppage, but Almeida rallied to make it a much closer fight than the early action suggested. Rivera is on the cusp of a title shot and despite the loss, Almeida was still impressive.
  • Elizeu Zaleski do Santos took home the win and the Fight of the Night bonus. He landed the more impactful strikes and capitalized on Good possibly suffering from some ring rust from the layoff. Great scrap.
  • While he didn’t get the stoppage, Chase Sherman continued to show improvements and looked pretty decent over 3 rounds. Grabowski fared much better than his in his previous Octagon showings, but this could be the end of his UFC run. I am curious to see how Sherman looks in his next fight and who the UFC pairs him with.
  • The Canadian kid once again put together another solid performance. Jeremy Kennedy is still raw, but he has a lot of potential moving forward.
  • Speaking of potential, Marlon Vera is starting to show just how good he can be. His mat game is getting better and better and that will open up striking opportunities as he will have no fear of getting taken down.
  • From start to finish, Shane Burgos looked sharp and undeterred by the aggression of Pepey. I would have liked to have seen him push the pace a little more and look for the finish. Instead, he fought a solid fight and avoided unneeded risk.
  • Chris Wade simply got the better of the majority of the ground exchanges and improved to 2-0 versus Perez.
What Went Wrong
  • The size factor was simply too much for Kelvin Gastelum to overcome. We saw at the end of the opening round that he could hurt Weidman, but he simply didn’t get an opportunity to put his hands on him enough. Weidman fought a very intelligent fight and picked up a big victory in a must-win bout.
  • For the second straight fight, Cummins got rocked early but gutted it out and took home a hard fought decision. Gian Villante had him in trouble, but couldn’t finish. Villante wobbled him again n the final frame, but couldn’t put enough offense together to win the fight determining round.
  • Rafael Natal was unable to get his ground game involved in the fight and Anders got him out of there in a big way. The Brazilian’s Fight IQ cost him here, he needed to drag this fight into the 2nd half and was unable to do so. Tough loss.
  • The opening round played out as planned, but Oliveira put a stop to that in a hurry. “Cowboy” continues to impress while the loss for Ryan LaFlare is a massive setback.
  • There wasn’t a lot of tape on Albini and he only added a little under 3-minutes of UFC footage, but taking out Tim Johnson like that is impressive. Johnson’s success is centered around his durability, this was a big loss.
Final Thoughts

It is a big win for Weidman, but he still has some work to do to convince me that he is worthy of a shot at the title. Derek Brunson might be a good next opponent to help us determine that. The next most significant fight on the card was easily Rivera/Almeida and both guys increased their standing going forward. Rivera versus Cruz would be an interesting scrap.

I went 8-5 with a trio of solid upset picks. There were 6 dogs that came through on the card, so things could have been a lot worse. We move onto UFC 214 for next weekend which stands to be the biggest card of the year.

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Draftkings Line up

Fighter 1: Kelvin Gastelum $8400 
Fighter 2: Gian Villante $8100 
Fighter 3: Jimmie Rivera $8300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos $7700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Shane Burgos $8700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 6: Ryan LaFlare $8200 
Salary Remaining:
Fighter 1: Chase Sherman $8900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Darren Elkins $7500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: 
Fighter 4:  

Chris Weidman +150 vs Kelvin Gastelum -137 

The MMA world is divided here. Some feel that the size will lead Weidman to victory others feel that the speed and cardio of Gastelum will be the differnce. I’m in the latter camp. Weidman seems to have an unfortunate combo of diminish cardio and a below average ability to deal with pressure/damage. Gastelum might not get it done early, but he will take the fight over as they advance and either finish him or simply pull away. Big test at MW, but a Silver play.


Over 5 round Kelvin can pile up the damage and or score a finish. He is an ideal play at $8400 for your fantasy lineup. Add him.

Darren Elkins +180 vs Dennis Bermudez -198 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like the dog here. Elkins is more durable and his length will give Bermudez issues. I just can’t help but fade a fighter that gets hurt in almost any fight he takes part in. Elkins can do damage and if he can hang around with Bektic, he can hang around with Bermudez and eventually catch him. Tough fight, Bronze bet.


If you flip Elkins in for Dos Santos you free up enough money for Sherman to replace LaFlare. That’s a solid back up team.

Gian Villante -153 vs Patrick Cummins +148 

This line was much closer when it opened and the gap is growing. Cummins can win this fight if he gets through the first 5-7 minutes. He gets hit a lot and Villante can crack. Gian is a strong starter, but will fade. I have confidence in him to get the job done early, pile the damage up, and finish him. Bronze Play.


When Cummins loses, he gets finished. When Villante wins, he almost always does it by finish. I like that equation. Add him.

Jimmie Rivera -186 vs Thomas Almeida +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Good fight here, Almeida needs this one or we start to see where his ceiling is set. Rivera’s aggression and overall activity rate coupled with his improving power are the keys here. Almeida can be hurt and can be finished. Rivera will do just that. Gold Play.


Rivera never stops striking and he can add takedowns. I think he gets the finish here as well. Add him for a very reasonable $8300.

Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos +170 vs Lyman Good -177 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Solid underdog play here. Good is an auto fade after over 2 years out of action, especially when you consider how Dos Santos tends to get stronger the deeper the fight goes. I like the aggressive striking of Dos Santos to back him up and his use of subs to scramble out of TDs to slow Good down. Silver Play.


Dos Santos is a finisher and fights to do so. I love the way he comes out aggressive after getting taken down, looking to get back the points he gave up. I think he gets the stoppage here as Good fades. Play him.

Rafael Natal +108 vs Eryk Anders -115 

Natal is the dog here despite being a massive Fantasy favourite. I like that. Anders is a good athlete, but this is a big step up. He needs an early knockout. Natal should be able to take him down and this will slow him down as the fight progresses. A lot of people are on Anders because of his knockout power. I get it, but this is a tough spot for him on such short notice. Silver Play.


Natal is a pretty expensive Fantasy play. I will pass.

Ryan LaFlare -175 vs Alex Oliveira +165 

I have seen more people than expected backing Oliveira. I think LaFlare is his first real challenge at WW. The Means win was good, but Tim just never got it going and was overwhelmed on the mat. AO won’t have that luck here. The Brazilian has had issues when put on his back and that is LaFlare’s specialty. Look for Ryan to grind out a decision here with size and superior wrestling. Gold Play.


I’ve got LaFlare in my lineup. First I couldn’t afford anyone else that I wanted with my original picks. More importantly, I think he puts up points with his takedown game and top position strikes. Add him.

Damian Grabowski +215 vs Chase Sherman -233 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Sherman looked better in his last fight, but still flawed. Grabowski hasn’t looked good at all. Sherman’s size and speed will give him trouble and he should be able to land the better strikes as a result. Grabowski is simply too dependent on closing the distance and looking for takedowns. Sherman stops him with an accumulation of strikes. A Silver play.


As already mentioned, move Elkins in for Dos Santos allows you to move Sherman in for LaFlare. Act accordingly.

Kyle Bochniak +220 vs Jeremy Kennedy -235 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m going to pass here. Kennedy is still pretty raw and we don’t know a lot about either guy yet. Bet elsewhere.


Same scenario here, Kennedy could pile up the takedowns or control this fight in a clinch heavy battle. I will pass here as well.

Brian Kelleher -197 vs Marlon Vera +186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like Vera here. Kelleher wasn’t looking that great prior to getting the shocking sub. Vera is making strides now that he is in the states and has a lot to offer. He needs to stay vertical, but a good value grab here. Bronze Play.


Vera can finish, but I think I will opt to sit this one out.

Tim Johnson -223 vs Junior Albini +205 

This fight is going into my Gold section, but I would have no problems leaving it off altogether. We don’t know how Albini will response on the big stage. Johnson is effective, but far from flashy and really doesn’t have a plan B if his clinch/takedown attack doesn’t come through. This is odd, but Johnson wins and I like him in my top play, but you could easily opt to go with the other 3 picks I have and leave him off or downgrade him.


Takedowns could pile up here, but I expect to see more a clinch heavy fight and that can stunt the point accumulation. Pass.

Shane Burgos -333 vs Godofredo Pepey +330 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Burgos is a big fav, but short of Pepey catching something huge either a sub or flying knee of some kind- Shane beats him up on the feet. Even at this price, I will take a stab at Shane in my Gold section.


Burgos is one of my bigger buys, but he has the power and Pepey’s questionable durability suggests we won’t see a decision here. Add him.

Chris Wade -278 vs Frankie Perez +257 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This fight is a no go. Their first encounter was a split decision and I don’t think Wade should be this big of a fav. Simply not worth the play.




1. Shane Burgos -333 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Jimmie Rivera -186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Ryan LaFlare -175 

4. Tim Johnson -223 

5. Kelvin Gastelum -137 


6. Chris Wade -278 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Chase Sherman -233 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Jeremy Kennedy -235 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Rafael Natal +108 

10. Gian Villante -153 

11. Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos +170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Marlon Vera +186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

13. Darren Elkins +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos +170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Marlon Vera +186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Rafael Natal +108 

4. Darren Elkins +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Kelvin Gastelum -137 

1. N/A








Exclusive Bet Pack Content.

Prop Bets

Kelvin Gastelum to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +215 

Kelvin can really pile up the damage and over 5 rounds, he should connect with regularity. Weidman hasn’t looked the same in recent bouts and has lost a trio of knockouts- that ways on a fighter. Kelvin will weather the early storm and find a finish in the mid to late stages of the fight.

Gian Villante to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +150 

All 4 of Cummins’s defeats have come by knockout and 4 of Villante’s 5 wins have come by the same method. Cummins is hittable and wears that damage in a bad way. Gian is the better striker and will find success with his high kicks and punching combos leading to the finish.

Jimmie Rivera to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +310 

Rivera hits harder than his stats would suggest and he knows how to put it on his opponent. Almeida has been rocked in several of his UFC fights. Pickett dropped him, Birchak stumbled, even Morales had him backing up at times. We all know what Garbrandt was able to do once he found his mark. Almeida can be hit from either side. Rivera works around his guard and finishes him.

Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos/Lyman Good

See Betting Scenario Section.

Ryan LaFlare to Win by Decision -110 

LaFlare has gone the distance in all 7 of his UFC fights, winning 6. Oliveira hasn’t been put on his back a lot, but when he has been taken down he has struggled. LaFlare is a big Welterweight and he will grind Oliveira into the wall and score takedowns. Neither man has great cardio, but I favour the guy on top. I like Ryan on the cards.

Chase Sherman to Win by TKO/KO/DQ -125 

Grabowski has been stopped in both of his UFC fights. Sherman is coming off his best performance to date and he has the raw skills to continue the Polish fighters struggles. I considered the under, but Sherman might need a little more time to pile up the damage to put him away. Take the cushion.

Tim Johnson to Win by Decision +170 

Johnson is a grinder. He can overwhelm his opponent on the mat and showed that in the right position he can get a stoppage. Regardless, he has gone the distance in 4 straight bouts and with plus money on the line here, let’s take a shot against the newcomer holding up for 15-minutes.

Shane Burgos/Godofredo Pepey 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Chris Wade/Frankie Perez 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.