Fight Study (2/13/21)
UFC 258’s preliminary fights will feature a strawweight bout between Mallory Martin and Polyana Viana from The Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday. Both fighters are coming off of wins and will be looking to extend their streaks. Martin is the betting favorite in this matchup and she will carry the larger price tag in DFS contests. She is available on DraftKings for $8,600 and on Fanduel for $18. Viana has the price tags of $7,600 and $13 respectively. This fight is scheduled for three rounds and the betting lines indicate a strong possibility this fight will go the distance as a -195 favorite to reach a decision.
In her last trip to the octagon, Martin evened up her UFC record at 1-1 with a second round submission of Hannah Cifers in August of last year. She had the misfortune of making her debut against one of the division’s best in Virna Jandiroba and started off her UFC career with a loss. As a professional Martin has a record of 7-3 with 2 wins by KO/TKO, 2 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. Since losing to Maycee Barber in her third professional fight back in 2017, Martin has only lost to Jandiroba going 6-1 over her last 7 fights. She will need to overcome her 4 inch reach deficit on Saturday to put together a new winning streak. She can draw confidence in the knowledge that she does have the upper hand against Viana when it comes to common opponents. Her win over Cifers came 17 months after Cifers defeated Viana in 2019.
Viana has a career record of 11-4 with 4 wins by KO/TKO and 7 wins by submission. She has yet to win in a fight that has gone the distance, and in 15 professional fights Viana has only gone past the first round in four of them. She is 2-3 in the UFC and after winning her UFC debut by first round submission over Maia Stevenson she went on to lose three straight. She did win in her most recent fight, scoring another first round submission win in her bout against Emily Whitmire in August of 2020. In that win, she managed to tally her fifth career win by armbar. She is a finisher by nature and will go all out to secure a submission in this fight. Although she has 4 wins by KO/TKO to her credit, none have come since 2015.
This fight promises to be an exciting one and I think the chances of an early conclusion are better than the odds indicate. Since 2014, Viana has gone to decision only twice and Martin has yet to go the distance in her short UFC career. Viana has never been knocked out, however, and if there is a finish in this fight, I would expect it to be a submission win for Viana. Martin would be wise to do her best to keep this fight upright as all of Viana’s victories over the past five years have come by submission. Of course, that means playing into her reach disadvantage, but she will fare better there than rolling with a grappler of Viana’s abilities. If she stays on her feet, Martin’s chances in a decision are good.
When it comes to fantasy scoring, Viana has the higher ceiling. Martin must fight cautiously in this one and will most likely need to rely on the judges for a win. Viana goes full steam in her hunt for submissions and has the much better chance at scoring a finish. In fact, I like Viana to get the minor upset in this fight and to win by submission. That is all speculation, however, and rostering either one of these fighters is going to be a risky play. Still, at the lower salary, Viana is going to get the vast majority of the exposure between these two for my money. I like her as a cash play and I will give her play in GPP contests as well. Martin should get some consideration in 150-max contests, but she is only worthy of a minimal number of lineups.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 258 on February 13.
UFC 258: FIGHT #8, Martin vs Viana
For Fight Study on UFC 258: FIGHT #7, Lima vs Muhammad, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 258: FIGHT #9, Gutierrez vs Ewell, click HERE.