The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale
UFC Fight Night 142: JDS vs TUIVASA
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury
MMA DFS, Boxing & Betting Program
Whats up fight crew?! As you can see, we have a weekend on deck stacked with fights on top of fights. Friday night kicks off with The Ultimate Fighter Finale live from the Palms in Las Vegas. The card will have thirteen matches sprinkled with up and comers from Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, The TUF Finale Heavyweight Final between Justin Frazier (10-2) and Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa (8-1), The TUF Finale Women’s Featherweight Final matching up Pannie Kianzad (10-3) and Macy Chiasson (2-0), and concluding with a killer main event with Kamaru Usman (13-1) taking on Rafael dos Anjos (28-10). This card will get lost in the mix with so much going on this weekend, but should definitely be worth the watch to get you warmed up for Saturday.
Speaking of Saturday, we head on down to Adelaide, Australia for UFC Fight Night 142: dos Santos vs Tuivasa, where former champ Junior dos Santos takes on the unbeaten Aussie Tai Tuivasa in a heavyweight scrap on Tuivasa’s home turf. The rest of the card is no let down. One of my all time fav’s, Mark Hunt, will be taking on Justin Willis in another heavyweight battle, which will undoubtedly be Hunt’s last UFC fight in his career. We also got us some Shogun Rua vs Tyson Pedro, Jake Matthews, Okami, Nguyen, Reis, and more, so get the Vegemite and Fosters on ice.
If that’s not enough, we also have one of the most anticipated heavyweight boxing matches over the past several years finally getting a go, as WBC champ Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) takes on the returning Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs). If you haven’t seen the build-up, there is some serious emotions running between the two and it will be fire in the ring Saturday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. If the boxing gods are in our corner, the winner of this one will take on the unified heavyweight king Anthony Joshua at some point next year.
For those playing MMA DFS this week, here’s how to watch:
Some quick DFS reminders:
As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for The Ultimate Fighter Finale. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are at in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual match-ups below.
The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale
*No Offensive Output Meter for this card with limited metrics from a handful of these fighters*
PREDICTIONS ON THE MATCH UPS:
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman
Prediction: Usman utilizes his grappling and controls his way to the victory.
Justin Frazier vs. Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa
Prediction: Win or lose, Frazier’s never been out of the first round. Espino fights smart and gasses the grizzly bear and wins the TUF heavyweight final inside the distance
Pannie Kianzad vs. Macy Chiasson
Prediction: Kianzad via Decision
Pedro Munhoz vs. Bryan Caraway
Prediction: Great scrap here. Should be a back and forth battle for control. Munhoz will walk Caraway down, but could get taken down by Caraway where he steals some rounds. Caraway opened at -275 and is now over +200 at some books. Right swing in my opinion. Munhoz via DEC.
Darren Stewart vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
Prediction: Stewart hands the fav Shahbazyan his first L. Fight most likely doesn’t make the final bell and one of the two most likely goes to sleep. They will throw.
Ji Yeon Kim vs. Antonina Shevchenko
Prediction: Shevchenko via DEC
Rick Glenn vs. Kevin Aguilar
Prediction: Give me the dog at + money to get it done. Glenn came in 2.5 lbs overweight, and is fined 20% of his purse, but the match is still a go. Take the 2.5 lbs out of the equation, he’s still the bigger, more offensive fighter of the two.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Alex Perez
Prediction: Tough one here. Joe B. looked horrible against Pettis in his last fight, while Perez looked outstanding as he completely dismantled Shorty Torres in one round. I expect Perez to come out with a very similar game plan and look to get in his face and pressure Joe B. immediately. I would say the only way Benevidez wins is if he can sneak a submission. I just see Perez either catching Benevidez or scoring enough for the judges to give him the nod.
Maurice Greene vs. Michel Batista
Prediction: Batista is a dangerous dude (check his fight against Russell Johnson) and could easily steal a KO, but I see Greene getting him in danger and quite possibly locking in a choke.
Leah Letson vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Prediction: Letson for me. The TKO prop is enticing.
Tim Means vs. Ricky Rainey
Prediction: After dropping two split decision losses in a row, “The Dirty Bird” gets back on track.
Roosevelt Roberts vs. Darrell Horcher
Prediction: As long as Roberts doesn’t hold his chin out there too much, he should be able to expose the lacking TD defense from Horcher. Roberts is hittable, so he’ll want to showcase some of his grappling and submission game, and stay out of danger on the feet.
Raoni Barcelos vs. Chris Gutierrez
Prediction: Barcelos will be the aggressor and will get the card rolling in exciting fashion. This possibly won’t even be a competitive match.
Worth a look on DFS:
STARS: Usman, Roberts, Barcelos, Espino, Letson
SCRUBS: Glenn, Stewart
Espino wins ITD +114
UFC Fight Night 142: JDS vs TUIVASA
Here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC Fight Night 142. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are at in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual match-ups below.
Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents, watch your points rack up quick. Here's my Offensive Output Meter for the card. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two, key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday night.
PREDICTIONS ON THE MATCH UPS:
Junior dos Santos vs Tai Tuivasa
Prediction: Crowd will be going nuts. Tuivasa the hometown up and coming prospect (yet to be beat) going against the former champ JDS. JDS has landed more strikes than anyone in the heavyweight division, but also has taken his fair share as well. JDS tends to open up easy and that coupled with Tuivasa all up in your face that entire first round to swing things his way right out of the shoots. Being that this is a five round main event, Tuivasa and his gas tank will be in check. We know that JDS can go all five already, so the game plan will obviously be to hurt JDS quickly, like Blagoy Ivanov couldn’t do. I’m going with the underdog Tai Tuivasa and a bonus shoey celebration to close the card.
Tyson Pedro vs Shogun Rua
Prediction: Very interesting fight. The legend Shogun is obviously on the back end of his amazing career, and he’s been sent over to Australia to take on Tyson Pedro, the exciting scrapper who will be fighting at home, just like Tuivasa. Both are huge fan favorites, especially in Australia, and a win over Shogun would be huge. Shogun got destroyed by a nasty elbow just about four months ago, so this may be too quick turnaround for anyone, let alone a guy like Shogun who’s taken some damage over the years. In his last few fights, he’s been wobbled or finished, and I have visions of what we saw with the Liddell/Ortiz fight last weekend. As much as I want take Shogun, and him landing something that KOs Pedro, I just don’t see it this far into his career. Pedro has never been finished by KO/TKO, and has only been finished once ever (by sub). Shogun only has one submission victory across 36 matches. This could be it for Shogun and either way, I don’t see this one making the final bell. Tyson Pedro wins.
Mark Hunt vs Justin Willis
Prediction: The legend Mark Hunt will be making his final walk as a UFC fighter Saturday night. Sad night for me as this is one of my all-time favorite fighters ever. When the UFC purchased PRIDE, it acquired Hunt’s contract. Right away, the UFC tried to buy out Hunts deal, basically looking to pay him off to not fight. Most fighters would easily take a cool half mil to not fight I would think but not this guy. Mark Hunt declined. Not only did he decline, but punched out four wins in a row and went on a tear collecting bonus money along the way. His decision to fight paid off big time. All that aside, he’s fought the best of the best throughout his career and has countless highlights for us with several walkoff KO’s. In steps the much younger Justin Willis. Willis is 7-1 and stylistically will most likely stand with the one guy you don’t want to stand with. Now Willis hasn’t lost since 2012, but his strength of schedule in my opinion are straight cans. This will absolutely be the biggest test of his career. War Mark Hunt. Pound a beer before and after this fight. It’s kind of a rule.
Jake Matthews vs Anthony Martin
Prediction: Matthews will have the hometown crowd in his corner which could make for some funny cards, but I think Martin can not only hang around, but could steal one as a dog.
Jim Crute vs Paul Craig
Prediction: Set up fight in my opinion for the Australian prospect Jim Crute. He’s 8-0 and has five fights via finish, and looked great on Dana’s Contender Series. Craig has been manhandled in his last three fights, losing to Pedro and Rountree, both by TKO, and actually ripped off a submission win with one second left in the last round against Ankalaev. Ankalaev absolutely dominated him and for some reason panicked, and didn’t hold one just one more second to get the unanimous nod. I like Crute.
Sodiq Yusuff vs Suman Mokhtarian
Prediction: Both guys are very aggressive and only have one loss between the two coming into this match. Speed and ability to close will put Yusuff in some great spots to possibly finish the fight.
Alexey Kunchenko vs Yushin Okami
Prediction: Kunchenko is 19-0 and will hopefully look better than his last outing against Thiago Alves. He did win by unanimous decision but many thought he’d run through the UFC vet. I see this as another chance to make that statement, but Okami could cause some issues. Kunchenko will have the speed advantage on the feet and will counter Okami along the way to a second consecutive win in the UFC.
Wilson Reis vs Ben Nguyen
Prediction: Good fight. Both have their backs on the wall coming off of losses and will look to validate their value at 125 (wherever they end up). I like Nguyen’s chances of landing some shots and dropping Reis, where we will see Reis wanting to scramble and pull guard in hopes of a submission. Nguyen for me.
Mizuto Hirota vs Christos Giagos
Prediction: Giagos is in his second stint with the UFC and will look to bounce back and prove his stay this go around. I think he has a winnable fight here against Hirota, who’s coming off of two losses back to back, most recently against Ross Pearson. Hirota is a strong cat, and will mix kicks and jabs, while Giagos will be one step ahead and controlling where this one goes. Most likely a decision outcome, leaning Giagos.
Elias Garcia vs Kai Kara-France
Prediction: Kai Kara-France with that Muay Thai mojo.
Keita Nakamura vs Salim Touahri
Prediction: Salim has only fought one time since 2016, and it was a decision loss to Warlley Alves. He has great one punch power, but doesn’t do much when the fight gets to the mat. Nakamura to me is somewhat the opposite. Not much KO power, but can grappler above par and has a great sub game. Nakamura for me.
Damir Ismagulov vs Alex Gorgees
Prediction: Both guys making their debut with the UFC, kicking off the card Saturday night. I don’t know much about Gorgees, and I believe he’s taking this one on short notice. Kind of a “who’s local and available to fill in quick” feel here. Ismagulov should be uber confident, as he’s won 11 in a row coming into this one. Gorgees strength of schedule is a mess too, fighting guys that are like 0-8, 0-1, etc. Damir ITD for me.
Worth a look on DFS:
STARS: Ismagulov, Yusuff, Crute, Kara-France, Pedro
SCRUBS: Hunt, Tuivasa, Martin
Hunt via TKO/KO +145 (if it’s my last chance to do it, I gotta do it)
Ismagulov via TKO/KO +145
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury
They heavyweights are about to throw down, and Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will have all eyes on them Saturday night, as they square off from the Staples Center, in one of the most anticipated match ups in many years. WBC title holder Deontay Wilder, and his powerful right hand takes on lineal champ, Tyson Fury, who’s style himself, always has his opponent frustrated, with constant pressure, movement, and jabs that wear you down.
So, looking at the pros, who’s siding with who?
After watching the buildup this week and the press tour, to me it’s clear that Fury has won the psychological warfare going into this fight. He’s been calm, composed, and pushing just the right buttons, causing Wilder to act erratically, even pulling race cards into his rebuttals. Though solid with the mental game, Fury hasn’t fought in two and a half years. He’s been inactive. He ballooned up and had to build himself back into fighting shape like he once was. All along, Wilder has been active, and he’s massive. He has extreme power in both hands and a style that is very unorthodox, to the point where Fury’s head movement will at some point get caught. Wilder has only not been able to stop one opponent in 40 fights. Most all of these challengers have been shorter, had lesser of a reach, and have not had the size Fury will bring. Fury will have two inches on Wilder (height and reach) and is expected to weight much heavier than Wilder for this contest.
This really is a true matchup between a boxer vs a power puncher. Fury will look to jab and score, taking it deep and most likely to the cards, while Wilder will look to land that one shot, and early. If Wilder can’t connect, he may become frustrated and begin throwing even more radically than he typically does, late in the fight. It’s worth noting too, that Wilder didn’t look his best in his last outing, and he survived a close call against Luis Ortiz. Ortiz ended up getting caught and finished in the 10th round.
I don’t see Fury getting all caught up/sucked in, whatever you want to call it, in a fire fight like Ortiz did. That could stretch this one out and into the later rounds. This is where the inactivity will be a factor. Early or late, I like Wilder landing the flashier shots and being faster all the way compared to Fury. Conditioning will be a key and at some point Wilder’s big shots will begin to land.
Wilder is currently at -140 and the line is tightening up. I like him at this price but will watch it as we close in on Saturday night.
Thanks for taking a few to read my take. Enjoy the weekend. Here’s to a great weekend of fights!!