This article is part of our The MMA Mashup series.
We have had a few fights fall out, resulting in at least one mid-week replacement, but what remains is an intriguing 12-fight card for the latest edition of the MMA Mashup. This week, we take a look at a favorite most feel is overhyped, as well as an underdog who has never lost a fight in the UFC. (One final note before we begin: all betting lines were taken from the various sportsbooks offered on the RotoWire Sports Betting section).
Without further ado, let's get to it.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Kevin Holland ($8,400)
Holland gets tied up in the clinch a bit too much, but his length and activity should allow him to score early and often on Derek Brunson, whose stiff posture and square stance get him hit hard, even in fights he wins. While we would prefer Holland to stay out of the clinch entirely, it should at least garner us some control time up until the moment he changes the course of the fight with a shot.
Montel Jackson ($9,400)
Jackson's length gives him leverage to do some real damage on the feet, but the 28-year-old is a wrestler by trade, having notched at least two takedowns in four of his five UFC fights. Jesse Strader is an agile fighter who does well to mix his targets, but the only two losses on Jackson's record have come against tireless grapplers who were able to outwork him (Ricky Simon and Brett Johns). That seems very unlikely here, as Strader will enter the Octagon on little more than a week's notice.
JP Buys ($8,400)
Bruno Silva seems to be at a strength disadvantage regardless of the weight class, and that should be the case again as he takes on the decorated wrestler in Buys. Silva does good work with low kicks and movement, but I expect Buys will be able to rack up plenty of takedowns and control time as both the physically stronger and more technical grappler in this matchup.
Max Griffin ($8,500)
Song Kenan is a fantastic boxer with heavy hands, but he had an awful lot of trouble dealing with the movement of Alex Morono during their fight in 2018, and Max Griffin has shown phenomenal footwork of late. It should also be noted that anyone who has tried has been able to take down Kenan at least once, which should give Griffin tremendous purchase as he looks to seamlessly fit together his wrestling and striking games.
Gregor Gillespie ($9,000)
Gillespie's price seems almost too good to be true when one considers that he has scored over 100 points (new scoring rubric) in all five of his wins inside the Octagon. A head kick from Kevin Lee may have derailed him momentarily, but it could be argued that the only thing that kept Brad Riddell from being swallowed up by the wrestling of Alex da Silva was the Brazilian's gas tank. This is an issue that Gillespie will not have to worry about, as he has notched as many as seven takedowns in a fight without slowing down.
Harry Hunsucker ($TBD)
The fight between Hunsucker and Tai Tuivasa doesn't exactly fit neatly in a DFS realm, but with no betting line to speak of yet, I am putting this in the "DraftKings" section because of potential clinch control time. It may surprise some to learn I am picking a fighter coming in on such short notice, but Hunsucker is fast, aggressive, and throws big, powerful shots in combination. This should be enough to outwork Tuivasa while hitting him with some hard punches in the process.
Plays to consider on FanDuel:
Adrian Yanez ($19)
The fast, powerful and slick hands of Yanez have drawn favorable comparisons to Jorge Masvidal, but one area in which Yanez seems far superior to Gamebread is in his ability to stop takedown attempts. Gustavo Lopez shot three times in the first round against Anthony Birchak, and will no doubt look to ground this fight as well due to Yanez's striking prowess. I expect the 27-year-old to stuff at least a few takedowns en route to stinging Lopez as he tries to crash the pocket.
Cheyanne Buys ($21)
Much of the discourse surrounding this fight has involved whether Buys deserves to be a (-300) favorite, but I do think she holds significant advantages over Montserrat Ruiz, who generally looks to rush forward and use head-in-arm throws to get her opponents to the mat. Buys is adept at landing counter shots as her opponents attempt to close the distance and should be able to thwart a takedown attempt or two simply by being the stronger party.
Bets to Consider:
Leonardo Santos (+184)
Grant Dawson and his team brilliantly added a knee up the middle to discourage Nad Narimani from lunging in with big shots when the two fought in July. The issue for him here is that Santos will come into this contest sporting height and reach advantages to go along with an 80 percent takedown defense rate. Add in the fact that Santos is a multiple-time BJJ champion, and it becomes hard to see the exact route Dawson can take to win this fight. While it's true that Santos gassed out in his last fight against Roman Bogatov, that occurred due to Santos going hard for a finish and I don't think Dawson will be able to create enough meaningful offense to replicate the result.
Plays to Consider on Monkey Knife Fight:
Macy Chiasson UNDER 62.5 strikes and Marion Reneau UNDER 51.5 Significant Strikes.
Chiasson likes to keep her opponents close despite her 72-inch reach, and Reneau has leaned on her wrestling a bit heavier as of late. This should leave us with two combatants who would rather grapple than stand in the center, allowing us to take advantage of two reasonably high totals here.
Plays to Consider on SuperDraft
Julija Stoliarenko – 2.4x multiplier
Stoliarenko was beaten with a very specific (and boring) game plan in her last fight, as Yana Kunitskaya simply used her physicality and frame to trap the 27-year-old against the fence for the majority of the fight. Julia Avila does not possess the same kind of physicality, which should allow the Lithuanian fighter to mix her fast-paced offense with scrambles on the ground. Stoliarenko may be seen as submission or bust, but she will create enough offense on the feet that she may be able to simply outwork Avila if she can't force a tap out.
Trevin Giles – 2.1x multiplier
Giles will have a pronounced speed advantage against Roman Dolidze, who is moving down from light heavyweight. While this should afford Dolidze a strength advantage, Giles has fought some big men at middleweight in his career, including Ryan Spann and Ike Villanueva outside the UFC. This should mean that Giles will be able to keep his feet and control where the fight takes place against a slow and deliberate striker in Dolidze.