Fight Study (5/15/21)
The UFC’s flyweight division pits the 7th ranked contender, Viviane Araujo, against the 2nd ranked contender, Katlyn Chookagian, on Saturday in Houston. Chookagian is the higher ranked fighter and she is the betting favorite as well. She will carry the higher DFS salaries between the two and is priced at $8,800 on DraftKings and $19 on Fanduel. Araujo is priced at $7,400 and $12 on the respective platforms. This fight is scheduled for three rounds, and as a -390 favorite to go the distance this bout is expected to be decided by the judges.
Araujo is 10-2 with 3 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. She is coming off of consecutive and impressive wins over Montana De La Rosa and Roxanne Modafferi both by unanimous decision. She is 4-1 in the UFC with her only loss coming from Jessica Eye. Unfortunately, if she can’t beat Eye I don’t have a lot of hope for her to beat Chookagian. She had a lot of finishes early in her career, but as she moves up the ladder to stronger competition her finishing abilities don’t appear to have translated.
Chookagian is 15-4 with 2 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission and 12 wins by decision. She doesn’t have a lot of power, but she is one of the best technical strikers in the division. In her last fight, she dominated Cynthia Calvillo with her sharp combinations as she landed her jab at will. She has a 5 inch height advantage which will allow her to more easily target her opponent’s head. Her takedown defense rate is only 50%, but it has improved as evidenced by her outstanding defense against Calvillo. With a win on Saturday, she will be in prime position to challenge for the flyweight belt.
Neither fighter presents a lot of potential to finish the other in this fight, and I expect a technical kickboxing bout from this one. That plays neatly into the hands of Chookagian who throws combinations with true expertise. Chookagian is the superior defensive fighter as well and this will make it difficult for Araujo to do any real damage. Chookagian will do the bulk of the striking in this contest and should outscore her opponent for the better part of the fight. Araujo must land power shots and/or takedowns to be successful in this fight, but I don’t believe she will have much success with that.
Chookagian’s price is very limiting although I expect she will win this one with relative ease. She will make a solid cash play, but her ceiling isn’t high enough to warrant much tournament play. In GPP contests I will give her limited exposure. Araujo doesn’t have much potential in this fight and outside of a fluke result, I’m not counting on her in DFS contests. This has the makings of a very clear decision victory for Chookagian. She is fighting better than ever at this point in her career.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 262 on May 15.
UFC 262: FIGHT #3, Araujo vs Chookagian
For Fight Study on UFC 262: FIGHT #2, Dariush vs Ferguson, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 262: FIGHT #4, Barboza vs Burgos, click HERE.