Fight Study (4/24/21)
The UFC brings together two veteran middleweights when the 11th ranked contender, Chris Weidman, faces the division’s 9th ranked contender, Uriah Hall, on the Main Card of UFC 261. Both fighters are coming off of wins and this fight is narrowly handicapped with Hall being the slightest of favorites. Hall will carry the bigger salaries on both platforms. He is priced at $8,300 on DraftKings and at $15 on Fanduel. Weidman has been priced at $7,900 and $14 respectively. This fight is scheduled for three rounds on Saturday and the oddsmakers have made it a narrow -130 favorite to reach an end before going to a decision.
Weidman was victorious in his last trip to the octagon with a decision victory over Omari Akhmedov in August of last year. He has a career record of 15-5 with 6 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission and 5 wins by decision. All 5 of his losses have come over his past 7 fights, however, leading to speculation that his career is winding down. He began his career with 13 straight wins spanning from February of 2009 to May of 2015 including a first round TKO of Uriah Hall back in 2010. Over the next 5 years, Weidman has won just twice and has not strung together consecutive wins since. He is no longer the fighter who defeated Hall 11 years ago.
Hall has a career record of 16-9 with 12 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission and 3 wins by decision. He is currently on a 3 fight win streak and over his last 10 fights he has won 6 with 5 finishes over that span. He will give up 2 inches in height to Weidman, but maintains a 1.5 inch reach advantage as well. Hall is 44 days younger than Weidman, but it seems he has not begun to fade as much as Weidman has. Weidman did reach higher peaks, however, and had more of a fall back to earth. Still, he has lost only to Paulo Costa in nearly 4 1/2 years. He seems to be aging better than Weidman, and looks much closer to his prime than Weidman as well.
In his prime, Weidman was a very dangerous fighter and his zenith reached higher than Hall’s ever did. Unfortunately for Weidman, he is not the same fighter in 2021. I am a bit surprised to see this fight is handicapped this closely given the obvious decline Weidman has shown over the past 5+ years. Hall may have slipped a bit, but he is much closer to his prime than Weidman. For this reason, I have a hard time seeing how this fight will go Weidman’s way. Anything is possible and I do expect a somewhat close matchup, but fully expect Hall to get the better of the rematch.
In DFS contests, I don’t expect his fight to end up being very high scoring, but if a fighter puts up a big number, I expect it to be Hall. Given his moderate salaries, Hall is worth some GPP lineups and I like him a lot in cash lineups, especially on Fanduel where he is priced below the average. I wouldn’t completely discount Weidman’s chances, but I would keep his exposure to a bare minimum. Neither fighter excites me much, however, as both have disappointing averages in fantasy scoring over the past few years. Since the start of 2018 Hall has averaged 63.4 FPPF while Weidman has averaged just 42.3 FPPF.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 261 on April 24.
UFC 261: FIGHT #4, Weidman vs Hall
For Fight Study on UFC 261: FIGHT #3, Andrade vs Shevchenko, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 261: FIGHT #5, Crute vs Smith, click HERE.