UFC Fight Night 196 – October 23, 2021: Marvin Vettori vs Paulo Costa

Fight Study (10/16/21)


The UFC’s middleweight division brings together two top contenders when the division’s 5th ranked contender, Marvin Vettori, takes on the 2nd ranked contender, Paulo Costa, from Las Vegas on Saturday. Both fighters are looking to rebound after losses to the middleweight champ, Israel Adesanya, in their most recent fights. Vettori is the betting favorite in this matchup and he will carry the larger DFS salaries. He is available for $8,600 on DraftKings and $22 on Fanduel. Costa is priced at $7,600 and $15 respectively. As the Main Event, this fight is scheduled for 5 rounds in the octagon, however, current odds suggest this fight ends before reaching a decision as the fight is a -156 favorite to finish inside the distance.

Vettori has a career record of 17-4-1 with 2 wins by KO/TKO, 9 wins by submission, and 6 wins by decision. He lost his last fight to Adesanya, but he was on a 5 fight win streak going into that title fight. His loss prior to that win streak was to – Israel Adesanya (by split decision). Outside of his two losses to the world’s greatest middleweight, Vettori has defeated all of his opponents dating back to the start of 2017. He has high-level submission skills and will need to have his grappling against Costa. Although Vettori is 1-inch less in height than Costa, he will have a 2-inch advantage in reach on Saturday.

Costa’s record as a professional stands at 13-1-0 with his only loss coming at the hands of – Israel Adesanya. In his 13 wins, Costa has won 11 by KO/TKO, 1 by submission, and 1 by decision. His ability to score knockouts makes him a constant threat on his feet. Only Yoel Romero has gone the distance with him. He finished his first 4 UFC opponents – all inside of the first 2 rounds. Against Adesanya, he did not fare as well as Vettori did. Adesanya methodically beat him until the fight was stopped late in the second round. Vettori, however, does not possess the champ’s 80-inch reach. If Costa can keep this fight upright his chances will be good on Saturday.

In a kickboxing match, this figures to be a close fight. Vettori was able to go the distance with Adesanya twice (losing one of those fights in a split decision) while Costa was completely outmatched against the same opponent. For this reason, Vettori figures to have a slight edge in striking. Where Costa has a significant advantage is in his power. Going 5 rounds on his feet with Vettori will give him a good chance at the upset. However, if Vettori can secure takedowns the odds shift dramatically in his favor. The more time spent on the ground, the better Vettori’s chances will be.

In DFS contests, I will lean toward Vettori on both platforms and in all formats. He is the fighter with the superior technical ability in this bout. Costa cannot be counted out, however, as he is a finisher with a long history of knocking out his opponents. It will only take one well-placed strike for Costa to gain the advantage. For this reason, I will be reserving lineups for Costa in GPP contests due to his high ceiling (if not his strong win probability). Vettori will be looking to change levels in this fight and if he is able to assert his grappling advantage, Costa could be in for a rough go of things. This fight deserves a lot of exposure in GPP contests, as the winner is sure to put up a good score. It will be wise to play both sides of this fight in multi-entry contests with the greater number of lineups going to Vettori.

That’s all for this edition of Fight Study. Good luck with your lineups! For more advice on DFS contests for MMA, click HERE.

About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and the NFL. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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