Fight Study (4/24/21)
UFC 261 will bring together Stefan Sekulic and Dwight Grant for a welterweight bout from Jacksonville on Saturday. Both fighters are looking to rebound from losses and Grant is the oddsmakers’ favorite in this contest. He will carry the higher DFS salaries on both platforms. He can be rostered for $9,200 on DraftKings and for $20 on Fanduel. Sekulic comes in at a much lower price point and will carry salaries of $7,000 on DraftKings and $9 on Fanduel. This fight is scheduled for three rounds, but an earlier conclusion has been projected as the fight is a -165 favorite to end before reaching the final bell.
Sekulic lost his UFC debut back in September of 2018 by unanimous decision to Ramazan Emeev. That was his last fight and he returns to the octagon 19 months later for Saturday’s contest. He is 12-3 overall with 3 wins by KO/TKO, 6 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. He is 8-2 over his last 10 fight with 6 finishes over that span. He has a solid submission game and his favorite submission is his guillotine choke (with 4 of his 6 career submissions coming via guillotine). He cannot expect Grant to shoot for takedowns, however, and securing chokes will not come easily in this matchup.
Grant is 10-3 overall with 7 wins by KO/TKO and 3 wins by decision. He has never won by submission nor has he lost by submission. He will be content to stand and strike with Sekulic. It will be in his best interest to avoid changing levels and shooting for takedowns which would play into Sekulic’s guillotine choke. Instead, he will look to box with Sekulic and keep this fight from reaching the ground. In a pure kickboxing fight, he will win easily. Grant did lose by first round KO to Daniel Rodriguez in his last visit to the octagon in August of last year, but Sekulic is not anywhere near as good on his feet as Rodriguez. As long as Grant can fight his fight, he is in the driver’s seat for this one.
I expect Grant to come out quickly and bring the fight to Sekulic. Grant will not try to change levels in this fight, and Sekulic cannot hope to secure a chokehold without bringing the grappling to his opponent. This will be no easy task as Grant has an 83% takedown defense rate over his 4 fight UFC career. To have a chance in this fight, Sekulic must make this fight a grappling affair. This will require absorbing punishment to initiate takedowns and clinches. Grant will have the upper hand in striking and with each round beginning upright he should maintain the upper hand throughout this fight.
Sekulic has very little chance in this fight. Grant, however, is a great deal more expensive to put into lineups and it will not be easy to bring value to his price tag. Still, of all fighters in UFC 261, only Ariane Carnelossi has better odds to finish than Grant, and I believe his scoring potential is very high. For this reason, I am willing to spend on Grant in GPP contests and will do my best to fit his salary into cash lineups as well. His salary is limiting, but I think his scoring potential may allow him to realize value. Sekulic is going to get a pass for my money as his chances of securing a win here is just not significant enough to make my lineups and I would be surprised to see him score much even if the fight were to go the distance.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 261 on April 24.
UFC 261: FIGHT #7, Sekulic vs Grant
For Fight Study on UFC 261: FIGHT #6, Brown vs Oliveira, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 261: FIGHT #8, Allen vs Roberson, click HERE.