Fight Study (2/13/21)
In one of the most closely handicapped fights of the entire event, the 15th ranked contender in the flyweight division, Alexa Grasso, will face the 10th ranked contender, Maycee Barber, in the Co-Main Event of UFC 258. Grasso is the narrow favorite and will have the slightly higher price tag in DFS contests on Saturday. She is priced at $8,300 on DraftKings and at $16 on Fanduel. Barber is priced at $7,900 and $15 respectively. These flyweights are scheduled for three rounds and the oddsmakers have made this fight a -215 favorite to go the distance.
Grasso is the more experienced fighter in this matchup with 15 professional fights under her belt. She is 12-3 overall with 4 wins by KO/TKO and 8 wins by decision. Since joining the UFC, she has not repeated a result yet and after alternating wins and losses she has a record of 4-3 in the octagon. She will be looking to put together her first win streak in the UFC after defeating Ji Yeon Kim by unanimous decision in her most recent fight back in August of last year. She is a high volume striker, but she lacks power having gone without a KO/TKO in over 6 years. She has only been finished once in her career. She is capable of scoring in fantasy contests given the sheer number of strikes she thows, but her finishing potential is very small as evidenced by her +675 odds to win inside the distance.
Barber on the other hand is +260 to win inside the distance despite being a small underdog to win. She has a career record of 8-1 with 5 wins by KO/TKO, 2 wins by submission and 1 win by decision. She did lose her last time out when she took her only loss in a unanimous decision to Roxanne Modafferi in January of last year. Prior to that, she had five consecutive wins by KO/TKO including her first three fights in the UFC. She is the more powerful striker in this matchup, but will have to contend with Grasso’s technical abilities and fast hand speed. At age 22, she is improving every time she enters the octagon and she will present a real threat to Grasso on Saturday. Although she is not quite ready to contend with the top fighters in the division, her future in the UFC is very bright.
Grasso is a solid striker, but is no real threat to finish her opponents. She has no ground game to speak of and she has no power in her hands. Her lack of a threat will make things easier for Barber. Without the ability to inflict much damage with her strikes and with no concern of being brought down (Grasso has just two takedowns in 7 UFC fights), Barber can let her hands fly with impunity. Barber has some of the best power in the division and she is capable of finishing opponents when she can land her shot. It will be interesting to see if she is able to out box Grasso, but there is little question if she will be able to inflict more damage. I expect she will start slowly, but it will just be a matter of time before she hurts Grasso.
In DFS contests, Barber is going to be my recommended play in this fight. Although Grasso does throw a lot of strikes, she will have bombs coming back at her in this fight. Additionally, Barber has the better submission numbers and can threaten to change levels if needed. I believe that Barber will get the best of Grasso in this fight and I have high hopes of a finish for Barber. For this reason, I think Barber’s ceiling is much higher in this fight and can’t find good enough reason to use Grasso at all. I will not be shocked to see Grasso get a narrow win by decision, but even in victory Grasso’s scoring isn’t likely to impress. Barber presents too much of a challenge for Grasso to accumulate much scoring. I like Barber in both cash lineups and in GPP contests on Saturday.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 258 on February 13.
UFC 258: FIGHT #2, Grasso vs Barber
For Fight Study on UFC 258: FIGHT #1, Burns vs Usman, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 258: FIGHT #3, Heinisch vs Gastelum, click HERE.