Fight Study (4/24/21)
The feature fight of UFC 261’s Prelims pits Randy Brown against Alex Oliveira for a welterweight fight in Jacksonville. Both fighters took losses in their last trips to the octagon and both will be looking to find redemption on Saturday. Brown is the oddsmakers’ favorite and he will be the more expensive play in DFS contests. He is available for $8,700 on DraftKings and for $16 on Fanduel. Oliveira can be entered into lineups for $7,500 and $12 respectively. This fight has been set for three rounds of MMA action, but current odds make it a small -120 favorite to end before reaching a decision.
Brown lost by second round KO via Vicente Luque in his last fight back in August of last year. Overall, his record stands at 12-4 with 6 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission and 2 wins by decision. He began his career with 6 straight wins before entering the UFC. Since, he is 6-4 inside the octagon with 4 of those wins coming inside the distance. Brown is a very tall welterweight at 6’3″ and has a 4 inch height advantage in this fight as well as a 1.5 inch reach advantage. He will need to put his length to good use against Oliveira as his opponent is a dangerous fighter with 17 career finishes.
Oliveira has a career record of 22-9-1 with 2 no contest decisions since his first fight back in 2011. As already mentioned, he has 17 career finishes with 12 wins by KO/TKO and 5 wins by submission. He also has 5 decision victories to his credit. He lost in the first round of his last fight when Shavkat Rakhmonov submitted him in October of last year. He is just 2-4 over his last six fights with both his wins being decided by the judges’ scorecards. It has been over two and a half years since he finished an opponent. He is only 33-years-old, but with 34 fights under his belt in less than 10 years, he has a lot of wear for a fighter of his age. This matchup should prove quite telling as to the future of his career.
Given Brown’s massive height advantage, I will expect him to keep this fight at distance where Oliveira’s finishing potential will be diminished. If he does try to bull his way inside, Brown will be looking for the guillotine. Once inside, however, Oliveira’s compact frame should give him the advantage in close. Brown is not one to shy away from a brawl with his last 4 fights being decided without the need for the judges’ scorecards. Oliveira, on the other hand, has seen 4 of his last 5 decided by the judges. Against a much taller opponent, however, I expect Oliveira to be willing to trade in the pocket to determine the winner in this one. If Brown is able to keep this fight at a distance, his length should lead him to an easy victory. If not, this fight could explode quickly.
Brown is capable of winning this fight by submission, by KO/TKO or by decision. This gives him the better win potential and scoring potential in this fight. The differential in cost, however, makes these fighters fairly even for me in DFS contests. Still, neither fighter impresses me much, and I don’t suggest playing this fight too heavily. There are many potential outcomes to this fight, but a decision win for Brown is the path most likely. In GPP contests I will allot minimal exposure for both fighters, but in cash lineups I will likely limit my lineups to Brown on Fanduel where he is priced at the average as a favorite. Given Oliveira’s decline of late there is good reason to give Brown a lot of consideration in all formats, but I don’t have enough confidence to give him a lot of play.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 261 on April 24.
UFC 261: FIGHT #6, Brown vs Oliveira
For Fight Study on UFC 261: FIGHT #5, Crute vs Smith, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 261: FIGHT #7, Sekulic vs Grant, click HERE.