Fight Study (1/23/21)
The flyweights take center stage as the 7th ranked contender, Joanne Calderwood, squares off against the 6th ranked contender, Jessica Eye, on UFC 257’s main card. These two fighters have very similar metrics with both women being 34 years of age, standing 5’6″ and separated by just a half inch in reach. They are also very narrowly handicapped with Calderwood being the slight favorite. She is priced a bit higher on DraftKings with a salary of $8,400 compared to Eye at $7,800. Both fighters are priced at $15 on Fanduel. This fight has been set for three rounds and at -320 to go to a decision, it figures to go the full fifteen minutes.
Calderwood has a professional record of 14-5 with 5 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission and 8 wins by decision. She is the higher scoring fantasy fighter in this matchup with an average of 69.8 FPPF (DraftKings scoring). She is coming off a loss to Jennifer Maia after being submitted in the first round. Prior to that fight she had won 3 out of 4 and she averaged 87.9 FPPF over that span. She scores very well in victories with an average of 105.1 FPPF in fights she wins. She is a high volume striker and leads all fighters in this event in both strikes thrown per round (64.3) and strikes landed per round (30.9). She has a record of 6-5 in the UFC.
Eye is 15-8 overall with 3 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission and 11 wins by decision. She also lost her last time out losing a unanimous decision to Cynthia Calvillo. She is 5-7 with 1 no contest ruling in the UFC where she has an average of 44.7 FPPF. She has won 4 of her last 6 with each of her wins coming by decision. She does not score on the same level as Calderwood with an average of 80.1 FPPF in victories. She has just once surpassed the century mark in fantasy scoring in a fight dating back to 2014.
This fight looks to be a stand-up affair with both fighters averaging 50+ strikes thrown per round. I wouldn’t expect this fight to go to the ground, but given a good opportunity, Calderwood will shoot for takedowns. Ultimately this fight will be decided by the judges and given that Calderwood is the higher volume striker, I believe she will have the upper hand in this fight. Eye is a solid opponent, but she doesn’t have the pace of Calderwood and she doesn’t apply the same pressure on her opponents. As both are top ten contenders, this fight is significant in the flyweight division as the winner is likely to get within a fight of a title shot. Expect both women to be motivated and to come out strong.
This fight is fairly predictable and both fighters bring solid games to the table. Calderwood just brings a little bit more. She averages more strikes thrown, more strikes landed, and more takedowns. She has a better win rate and higher fantasy average. For this reason, I believe Calderwood will win this fight and has the higher scoring potential. I don’t expect a finish in this fight but I do believe Calderwood’s volume is enough to make her a good cash play and a decent GPP play as well. I don’t believe Eye’s ceiling is high enough to consider her in tournament play, but her floor is high enough to consider her in cash lineups. For my money, however, Calderwood is the play and she makes a particularly good play on Fanduel where her salary is below average. She is a very solid cash play, but I would also give her a small number of lineups in multi-entry tournament formats.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 257 on January 23.
UFC 257: FIGHT #3, Calderwood vs Eye
For Fight Study on UFC 257: FIGHT #2, Chandler vs Hooker, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 257: FIGHT #4, Muradov vs Sanchez, click HERE.