Fight Study (7/31/21)
The middleweight division will be showcased when the 11th ranked contender, Sean Strickland, takes on the 8th ranked contender, Uriah Hall, from the UFC’s Apex in Las Vegas. Both men are looking to continue impressive win streaks and Strickland is the betting favorite to do so. He is also the more expensive DFS fighter on both platforms. Strickland is available for $9,300 on DraftKings and $22 on Fanduel. Hall can be rostered for $6,900 and $16 respectively. As the Main Event on Saturday, this fight has been scheduled for 5 rounds of MMA action, however, current odds suggest this will end before the final bell as a -168 favorite to end before reaching a decision.
Strickland is 23-3 as a professional with 10 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission and 9 wins by decision. He is currently on a 4 fight win streak and most recently won a unanimous decision over Krzysztof Jotko in May of this year. Undefeated before joining the UFC, Strickland has fared well inside the octagon with his only losses coming at the hands of some of the UFC’s elite – Santiago Ponzinibbio, Elizeu dos Santos, and current welterweight champ, Karamu Usman. With a win on Saturday, he should find himself in the top ten in the middleweight division and on a path toward a title fight.
Hall is also on a 4 fight win streak with a first round finish of Chris Weidman in his most recent fight in April of this year. It was his third finish during that win streak. Overall, his record stands at 17-9 with 13 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by submission and 3 wins by decision. At age 36, his window to contend for the belt is a small one, and to earn a title fight this fight is a must win for him. He is fighting at this best right now with wins in 5 of his last 6 trips to the octagon. To win on Saturday, he will need to leverage his reach advantage which is 3.5 inches greater than Strickland’s despite giving up an inch in height.
The oddsmakers have made Hall the underdog in this fight, however, he is a live dog in this contest. Strickland is a great fighter and he clearly deserves to be the favorite in this bout, but neither fighter should be counted on in this one. Hall has shown his ability to compete in this division. In nearly 5 years, he has lost only to Paulo Costa and has an 80% finish rate over that span. Strickland will have to penetrate Hall’s reach to do damage and Hall is very capable of doing damage at range. Strickland has the better overall game and is the better grappler without question, but Hall is going to make this a good fight as long as it stays upright.
In DFS contests, Hall’s price tag on DraftKings is very low and does not reflect his potential in this fight. For this reason, I like him in all formats on DraftKings due to his upside potential at a cost that presents minimal risk. On Fanduel, his value is much less, however, and only cautious use of him is recommended in GPP contests. Strickland, on the other hand, is priced very high and he will struggle to bring a lot of value to his salary. He has demonstrated the ability to put up big scores in DFS contests, but he will need to score at the top of his range in order to be worth his price. For this reason, I recommend a limited use of him in GPP contests. In cash play, he is worth a great deal of consideration wherever his cost permits. Ultimately, I expect him to get the finish, but wouldn’t count on a big fantasy point total.
That’s all for this edition of Fight Study. For more advice on DFS contests for MMA, click HERE.