TAKING A LOOK AT THE HEAVYWEIGHTS IN THIS WEEK’S DFS CONTESTS
UFC Fight Night in Wichita has an intriguing lineup of fights, highlighted by three heavyweight bouts. Heavyweights bring powerful punching and often high fantasy scoring into the octagon. Not all fights are the same though. This week in FC Insights we will explore these heavyweight fights and look at the potential for scoring in DFS contests.
In 46 professional fights, Ben Rothwell has only gone to a decision seven times. He has 20 wins by KO/TKO and 13 wins by submission. Blagoy Ivanov has gone to a decision five times out of eighteen fights with six wins by KO/TKO and six wins by submission. Both are coming off losses to the same fighter, Junior dos Santos, who will fight in Saturday’s Main Event. Rothwell, however, lost in April of 2016 and hasn’t been in the octagon since. Rothwell’s conditioning will be in question as the 37 year-old takes on the 32 year-old Ivanov. Rothwell does have a significant height advantage, however, standing five inches taller than his opponent. This fight should be a brawl with Ivanov trying to close the distance on Rothwell to take away his length. He will do so at his own risk against a fighter with 20 KO/TKO’s in his career.
Caveman’s advice: At their salaries, both fighters present good potential for scoring and will bring value if they win. This fight can go both ways. Rothwell hasn’t fought in nearly three years and this is cause for concern. For this reason I make Ivanov the better play, but I would recommend using both fighters in MME contests. Due to the high potential for an early finish, give this fight plenty of play with a 70/30 split in favor of Ivanov.
(At the time of this writing, Blagoy Ivanov is -130 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 59.18 on Fantasy Cruncher. Ben Rothwell is +104 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 52.71 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
With a combined weight of 518.5 lbs, the reasonable assumption for most fight fans is to think that the Hughes/Greene fight will be heavy hitting and prime for a quick finish. This is not necessarily the case, however. These two fighters squared up in an LFA bout back in April of last year and the fight went to a decision after five full rounds. Greene has managed a fair number of first round finishes though. In his last five fights (other than the loss by decision he had to Hughes), Greene has won by first round finish. In Hughes’ last five wins, four were by the way of decision. This will be Jeff Hughes’ UFC debut.
Caveman’s advice: When spending $9,300 on a fighter, you need for that fighter to put up a big score. I don’t see that Hughes is that big score kind of fighter. Again, when these two matched up last year, the fight went five full rounds and the fight Saturday is only scheduled for three. At bargain salary, Greene is a decent play in MME contests considering he has the ability to finish fights early. Hughes doesn’t have a strong potential for scoring and should be played cautiously. I would give this fight low to moderate exposure and would give Greene slightly more play based on value alone. I’d make it a 60/40 split favoring the bargain salaried Greene.
(At the time of this writing, Jeff Hughes is -219 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 68.89 on Fantasy Cruncher. Maurice Greene is +177 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 42.19 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Dos Santos is carrying the highest salary on Saturday and will need to put up a big score to justify it. Given that this fight is scheduled for five rounds, I like his chances to do just that. Derrick Lewis has knockout power, and will need an early finish to score. Dos Santos has fought the best and should be up to task against Lewis. Dos Santos has ample experience in five round fights with six of his last seven fights being scheduled for five rounds. Lewis on the other hand has only been past the third round twice. With 18 wins by KO/TKO, expect Lewis to look for an early finish rather than try to keep up with Junior for five rounds. Dos Santos will do his best to fade the onslaught and clean up in later rounds once Lewis is on empty.
Caveman’s advice: Much like his last fight against Tuivasa, look for Dos Santos to tally points until Lewis’ conditioning begins to fail. Lewis does have a chance here, though, and should get some exposure for KO potential at the lowest salary on the night. This fight should play often in MME contests. Dos Santos salary is limiting, however. I would use this fight in 50-60% of MME lineups with an 80/20 split in favor of Dos Santos.
(At the time of this writing, Junior dos Santos is -209 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 85.10 on Fantasy Cruncher. Derrick Lewis is +170 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 53.75 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!