Fight Study (2/13/21)
The prelims of UFC 258 will conclude with a middleweight fight between Anthony Hernandez and Rodolfo Vieira in Las Vegas on Saturday. Vieira is the heavy favorite in this matchup and will carry the highest salary on both DFS platforms. He is available for $9,300 on DraftKings and $23 on Fanduel. Hernandez is going for the low salaries of $6,900 and $9 respectively. This fight has been scheduled for three rounds, but the current odds give little hope of a final bell as this bout is a -490 favorite to end inside the distance.
Hernandez earned his shot in the UFC with a dominant victory over Jordan Wright in the Contender Series. He knocked Wright out inside of the first minute, but the decision was overturned due to Hernandez testing positive for marijuana. Still, he got his shot at UFC glory and made his debut two years ago against Markus Perez where he was submitted in the second round. Hernandez is 7-2 with 1 no contest as a professional, but is just 1-2 in the UFC. Not including his KO of Wright, Hernandez has 1 win by KO/TKO, 5 wins by submission and 1 win by decision. Hernandez rarely sees the third round with 6 finishes to his credit with 5 of those coming in the first round and 1 in the second. He has just once gone past round two with a 5 round decision victory over Brendan Allen three years ago.
Vieira is also a high level finisher. He has a perfect record of 7-0 with a perfect finishing rate including 1 win by KO/TKO and 6 wins by submission. He is a former jiu-jitsu world champion and his grappling is world class. He too has only gone beyond the second round once in his career. His stand up game is still evolving and he obviously prefers to contend his fights on the ground. Since joining the UFC, he is 2-0 with submission wins in both fights to date. He has the best odds to finish an opponent of any fighter in this event as a -240 favorite to win inside the distance. To do this, he must bring this fight to the ground as Hernandez is capable of punishing him on his feet and also has a 2 inch reach advantage over Vieira.
Despite his history of submissions, Hernandez must keep this fight upright if he is to have a chance at winning. If this fight goes to the ground with time for Vieira to work, it will end in a submission. Hernandez must have solid footwork and disrupt Vieira’s game plan with strikes from distance. No fighter has been able to do this successfully against Vieira, however, and Hernandez’s chances are clearly thin. Look for Hernandez to stick and move early in rounds, waiting for the final 30 seconds or so before he closes this distance. If he can wear Vieira down and avoid going to the ground early, he may find some success in this fight. If Vieira is able to get a hold of him, however, this fight will not last very long.
In DFS contests, Vieira must be used with caution due to his nosebleed salaries on both DraftKings and Fanduel. To bring value to his salary, he must get a first round finish. With 5 first round finishes to his credit, this is quite possible, but DFS players must recognize this risk and avoid overplaying Vieira at top dollar. He certainly is worthy of a fair number of lineups in multi-entry contests and he should figure into most GPP strategies, but his value in cash lineups is unquestionable. As an extremely cheap option, Hernandez presents minimal risk and therefore he should get some GPP lineups given his finishing rate at a bargain price. Be careful, however, as he is most likely a bust although he has the power to score a knockout if he gets the chance.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 258 on February 13.
UFC 258: FIGHT #6, Hernandez vs Vieira
For Fight Study on UFC 258: FIGHT #5, Marquez vs Pitolo, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 258: FIGHT #7, Lima vs Muhammad, click HERE.