Fight Study – September 12, 2020
The women’s strawweight division takes center stage as the Main Event on Saturday will feature a bout between Angela Hill and Michelle Waterson. Both fighters are coming off of losses and both will be determined to get things right again. This is a closely handicapped fight with Hill be a very small favorite. She will be the more expensive fighter on both DraftKings and Fanduel with salaries of $8,200 and $20 respectively. Waterson is available for $8,000 on DraftKings and $17 on Fanduel. The fight is scheduled for five rounds giving these fighters additional rounds of scoring. Current odds make this fight a significant favorite to go the distance as a -265 favorite to reach a decision.
Hill lost her last time out in a split decision loss to Claudia Gadelha. Prior to that loss she had won three straight. She has an overall record of 12-8 with five wins by KO/TKO and seven wins by decision. In the UFC she is 7-8 with two wins by KO/TKO and five wins by decision. In losses, six have come by decision and two have come by submission. She has never been knocked out. She is a solid kickboxer with good submission defense, but she lacks the finishing potential to promote good fantasy scoring. She has an average of 59.93 and in 15 UFC fights she has scored 65.5 points (DraftKings scoring) or less in 10 of them. She has only eclipsed the century mark once. She will have an additional two rounds of scoring this time, however, and in a win her floor should be respectable.
Waterson is the more reliable fantasy option of the two. She has a record of 17-8 and is 5-4 in the UFC. She finishes at a much higher rate than her opponent with three wins by KO/TKO and nine wins by submission. Her submission skills figure to be her biggest edge against Hill although she has just one submission against a UFC opponent. She is coming off of two consecutive losses, but to date her only losses in the UFC were against top level fighters. Her four UFC losses have come at the hands of Carla Esparza, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Tecia Torres and Rose Namajunas. Waterson will give up height and reach, but her karate skills should give her an edge when striking from distance. Waterson also has the edge in scoring and in her victories she is averaging 87.8 FPPF (DraftKings).
The key for Hill will be to play this fight out in the pocket where Waterson won’t be able to score kicks from distance. On the ground, she risks being submitted as Waterson is the better grappler. Conversely, Waterson must keep Hill at distance with her kicks and look to initiate takedowns when Hill closes the distance. These fighters are fairly evenly matched, but Waterson figures to have the better chance of a finish. Current odds reflect this as Waterson is +345 to win inside the distance compared to Hill at +635. Hill will be fighting to win a decision while Waterson has the much higher potential for a finish. Given the additional rounds of fighting, both fighters have increased opportunity for scoring.
In DFS contests, Waterson makes the better play as she has the better history of scoring. She is more likely to get a finish and has never scored less than 74.0 points in a victory. Give the additional rounds of scoring her floor in a win figures to be 80+ points. For Hill, however, her floor is lower in victory. She is less likely to finish and has a history of low scoring totals in wins. She has a higher than usual floor given the extra rounds scheduled, but she also will cost more in salary. Additionally, Hill is virtually unplayable on Fanduel where she has the second highest salary on the card. Both fighters are priced much better on DraftKings and will have better value on that platform. I like Waterson much better overall and think she will get the minor upset in this fight. Given her lower salary and higher scoring average in victory, Waterson should get much higher play between these two fighters on Saturday.