Fight Study – November 21, 2020
The women’s flyweight division is on display for UFC 255 with four of the top five fighters in the division squaring off on Saturday. Cynthia Calvillo is the fourth ranked contender and she will match up with the division’s second ranked contender, Katlyn Chookagian. Calvillo is a significant favorite in this fight and will carry the higher fantasy salaries on all platforms. She is priced at $8,700 on DraftKings and $19 on Fanduel. Chookagian is priced at $7,500 and $11 respectively. This fight is scheduled for three rounds and it is a heavy favorite to go the full fifteen minutes at -350 to reach a decision.
Calvillo is a big favorite due largely to her 9-1-1 record with her only loss coming at the hands of the division’s best wrestler, Carla Esparza. She is 6-1-1 in the UFC and in addition has wins over current UFC contenders, Montana De La Rosa and Gillian Robertson, prior to entering the UFC. In 9 career victories she has 2 wins by KO/TKO, 3 wins by submission and 4 wins by decision. All three of her submission victories have come at the UFC level. Although she does not throw at the same pace as Chookagian (she averages 44.7 strikes thrown per round compared to Chookagian at 59.7) she lands at a higher rate with an average of 21.1 significant strikes landed per round (compared to Chookagian at 20.9). She is also the much more accomplished grappler of the two.
Chookagian is 14-4 overall with 2 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission and 11 wins by decision. She is 7-4 in the UFC with notable wins over Lauren Murphy, Irene Aldana, Joanne Calderwood and Jennifer Maia. She will have significant height and reach advantages over Calvillo who gives up five inches in height and four inches in reach. If she can consistently touch up Calvillo for three rounds, she stands a good chance of getting her 12th win by decision. She will be at a significant disadvantage in grappling, however, and she will do her best to keep this a kickboxing affair. She is 3-3 over her last six fights having lost to the division’s elite in Jessica Eye, Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade during that span.
This fight should be expected to play out primarily on their feet with Chookagian doing her best to maintain distance. If she can keep Calvillo from stepping into the pocket she will have the chance to leverage her height and reach advantages. Calvillo will try to step inside Chookagian’s range where she can trade strikes on more equal footing. Calvillo averages 0.66 takedowns per round and will want to improve on that in order to assert her grappling superiority. If she can successfully execute 3 takedowns in this fight, her odds of winning will go even higher. If this fight ends before the final bell, it is more likely that Calvillo will have her arm raised in this one.
Calvillo is not only the better all around fighter in this matchup, but she has the much better scoring potential. With 5 finishes in 9 victories, her chances at an early conclusion bonus are much higher than Chookagian who has just 3 finishes in 14 wins. In fact, Chookagian has never finished a UFC opponent in 11 trips to the octagon. Calvillo has the higher fantasy average, higher significant strikes per round average and the better finishing record. For all these reasons, Calvillo make the better DFS play for all formats and on all platforms Saturday. I will limit her exposure in GPP contests as the scoring potential isn’t very high for this fight, but in cash lineups I like her a lot. She has a solid floor, high win expectancy and still maintains potential for a finish. I will be fading Chookagian entirely.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 255 on November 21.
UFC 255: FIGHT #4, Calvillo vs Chookagian
For Fight Study on UFC 255: FIGHT #3, Means vs Perry, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 255: FIGHT #5, Craig vs Rua, click HERE.