Fight Study (3/27/21)
The featherweight division will take center stage when Omar Morales squares off against Shane Young for a bout at 145 lb. in Las Vegas on Saturday. Both fighters are looking to rebound off of losses their last times out, and it is Morales who has the favor of the oddsmakers in this one. He is the more expensive fantasy play as well with a salary of $8,700 on DraftKings and $18 on Fanduel. Young is available for $7,500 and $10 respectively. This fight has been scheduled for three rounds of MMA action and current odds make it a -170 favorite to go the distance.
Morales took his first ever loss by decision against Giga Chikadze in his last fight back in October of last year. Prior to that he had won his first 10 fights. Overall, he is 10-1 with 2 wins by KO/TKO, 5 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. He is 2-1 in the UFC with both wins coming via the judges’ scorecards. He has 6 first round finishes to his credit and won by second round TKO in his Contender Series fight in 2019. He has a 3 inch height advantage over his opponent on Saturday and has a slight half inch reach advantage as well. Although he began his career with 5 submissions over his first 6 fights, as the skill level of his competition has increased, he has become primarily a striker with no submissions in more than 5 years.
Young is 8 years younger than Morales but has fought more fights as a professional. He is 13-5 with 6 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. He is 2-2 in the UFC and was finished for the first time in his career in his most recent fight in September of 2020. In that fight, he was finished just 76 seconds in after taking a brutal head kick from Ludovit Klein. His only other loss in the UFC came at the hands of the current featherweight champ, Alexander Volkanovski, in his octagon debut. This matchup with Morales should go a long way toward showing his potential in the UFC’s featherweight division. He has solid all around skills and has wins over solid opponents in Austin Arnett and Rolando Dy.
Morales is a big enough threat on the ground to make Young wary of taking this fight to the ground and vice versa. This fight figures to play out upright and this plays into Morales’ hands. If Young finds himself behind in the scorecards, look for him to revert to his grappling as a last ditch effort. If it comes to that point, it would likely be in the final round and submissions that late are difficult to secure after fighters becomes sweaty and therefore more difficult to hold. Morales is the better striker for my money and I believe that he will do enough to get a decision in this one, but I don’t expect to see a finish in this one. I haven’t seen enough from Young to believe he can get the best of Morales. He has yet to defeat a fighter with the skills of his opponent on Saturday.
I prefer Morales over Young in DFS contests on both platforms and in all formats. I like him primarily as a cash play as I believe he has a very strong chance of winning, but I do not foresee a big score coming out of this fight. To date in the UFC, his average in victories is a disappointing 65.8 FPPF on DraftKings and 59.0 FPPF on Fanduel. A small number of lineups in 150-max is reasonable, but neither fighter is going to get much exposure for me. Young does have a solid grappling and a win by submission can’t be ruled out, but outside of a few lineups in mass multi-entry contests I would consider fading Young here. All things considered, this fight is one that doesn’t present great upside, but given the 10-fight slate on Saturday, DFS players may still be compelled to give these fighters exposure.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 260 on March 27.
UFC 260: FIGHT #9, Morales vs Young
For Fight Study on UFC 260: FIGHT #8, Oleksiejczuk vs Bukauskas, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 260: FIGHT #10, Azaitar vs Barriault, click HERE.