UFC Singapore Preview: Which Fighters Should You Bet on?

Author:
Publish date:
ufc-singapore-demian-maia

Saturday 10/26/2019 at 5:00 a.m. ET

Broadcast: ESPN+

Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium

Location: Kallang, Singapore

Matches: 11

The card:

Welterweight

#10 Demian Maia 27-9 vs #11 Ben Askren 19-1

Lightweight

Michael Johnson 19-14 vs Stevie Ray 22-9

Lightweight

Frank Camacho 22-7 vs Beneil Dariush 16-4-1

Heavyweight

Ciryl Gane 4-0 vs Don’tale Mayes 7-2

Welterweight

Muslim Salikhov 15-2 vs Laureano Staropoli 9-1

Women’s strawweight

Randa Markos 9-7-1 vs Ashley Yoder 7-4

Lightweight

Alex White 13-5 vs Rafael Fiziev 6-1

Featherweight

Enrique Barzola 16-4-1 vs Movsar Evloev 11-0

Heavyweight

#13 Maurice Greene 8-2 vs #14 Sergei Pavlovich 13-1

Women’s strawweight

Loma Lookboonmee 3-1 vs Alexandra Albu 3-1

Heavyweight

Raphael Pessoa Nunes 9-1 vs Jeff Hughes 10-2

Some quick MMA DFS reminders:

HOW MMA DFS SCORING WORKS:

Lineup Requirements:

Lineups will consist of 6 Fighters.

In salary cap contests, participants will create a lineup by selecting players listed in the player pool. Each player listed has an assigned salary. A valid lineup must not exceed the salary cap of $50,000.

Contest results will be determined by the total points accumulated by each individual lineup entry.

Scoring:

Moves:

Significant Strikes: +0.5 Pts

Advance: +3 Pts

Takedown: +5 Pts

Reversal/Sweep: +5 Pts

Knockdown: +10 Pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses:

1st Round Win: +90 Pts

2nd Round Win: +70 Pts

3rd Round Win: +45 Pts

4th Round Win: +40 Pts

5th Round Win: +40 Pts

Decision Win: +30 Pts

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
  • Advances include: To Half Guard, To Side Control, To Mount, To Back Control.
  • A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.

MMA DFS Tips & Strategy

  • Choose active fighters - Coupling an active fighter on his or her way to a unanimous decision will give you key points for your team. Just like any other DFS traditional sport, you want the active, offensive player who scores. Key metrics here are SLpM and TD AVG/15min.
  • Play the heavyweights - The approximate overall finish rate in the UFC is 54%. Most of the weight divisions range from 40%-60%, while the heavyweights push a 75% finish-rate. You will receive bonus points for picking a fighter who finishes the fight before the final round is over.
  • Try to always include the main event or title fights - Five-round fights mean that there is more time to rack up points (than the typical three-round fights) if you pick the right fighter. In some cases, even if you have the loser, the points can equate to more than a three-round winner.
  • Always look for value at the top of my MMA DFS Heat Chart - Using fight-odds data and stacking the fighter lineup via Odds to Finish in comparison to DFS salary price can find you some spots. Red is hot, blue is cold. The chart also provides finish percentages, which validate odds even more if the matchup and past opponents’ strengths support the provided stats.
  • Don’t get excited and rush a pick based on only stats, consider the sample size - Some fighters have had limited fights compared to their opponents when looking at metrics. Similarly to other sports, small sample sizes often do not mean a lot in terms of long-term production. Stats can be misleading. Do your research. Also watch for debuting fighters. Always check the records of the opponents they faced on their way to the UFC. Always pull fight tape as well. You’d be surprised at what you will find.
  • Review methods of victory - I supply the finish-rates via the Heat Chart, and as you dive in even more, you can compare method of victory to method of loss in each matchup. For example, you can find matchups where Fighter A has a high % of submission victories matched up with Fighter B, with a high % of submission losses.

As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC Singapore. 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 slate, and we will break down the individual matchups below. 

ufc1

Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. When your fighters get off on their opponents, you will see your points rack up quickly. 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.

ufc2
ufc3

Matchup Predictions

MAIN EVENT:

WELTERWEIGHT

#10 DEMIAN MAIA 27-9 VS #11 BEN ASKREN 19-1

Here we go! Ben Askren is back after suffering the first defeat of his career, and as the world has seen, it was via a devastating knee. And oh, it was about four seconds into the fight. Askren has been all class in defeat, and handled it quite well, considering it is now the fastest finish in UFC history.

Many fans have always wanted to see what would happen if he faced Demian Maia at some point in his career, and Saturday, we get to see just that. Maia is almost 42 years old, but actually has looked ageless recently, looking to improve his 2019 record to 3-0 after schooling a couple of young bucks in Anthony Rocco Martin and Lyman Good.

Askren has fought twice in the UFC, and has yet to land a single strike, while absorbing 8.49 per minute himself. It’s easy to say Maia will be the better striker, and he will look to land from the distance, keeping Askren as far away as possible to prevent potential takedowns. If Askren gets Maia down, he will control from the top and land some ground shots when he’s not looking to maintain the position. Maia though, will be the bigger guy in this fight, and should be able to pose some challenges, even if Askren gets him down on the ground.

It’s crazy to question whether Askren will get him down, right? As we look back at his career, Maia faced three top-tier wrestlers in a row in Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Tyron Woodly. None of them landed a takedown on Maia. In fact, none of them attempted a takedown, as its well known Maia is a fourth-degree black belt in BJJ, and has won gold at the ADCC Worlds. Maia’s three previous wrestling foes all had the better striking though, which led to three consecutive losses at that point of his career. If Askren isn’t able to land a takedown either, the stand-up striking advantage clearly goes to Maia. The last opponent to take Maia down was Gunnar Nelson, four years ago in a match where Nelson was outclassed 30-25, 30-25, 30-26. That said, if Askren is able to take Maia down and control him across five rounds, it will be something that nobody has done since Chris Weidman in 2012. I believe this line should be closer to a pick em’ and I can’t wait to see what and who goes down.

Prediction: Demian Maia

CO-MAIN EVENT:

LIGHTWEIGHT

MICHAEL JOHNSON 19-14 VS STEVIE RAY 22-9

Michael Johnson gets it done. He was on his way to three straight victories back in August, as he was clearly beating Josh Emmett, until he got clipped and knocked out in the last minute of the third round. Against Ray, Johnson should be the faster of the two, and be able to pick Ray apart at will, even more than he was against Emmett. Ray is 1-3 in his last 4 matches, losing two of those via KO. Johnson, don’t get clipped!

Prediction: Michael Johnson

REST OF CARD:

LIGHTWEIGHT

FRANK CAMACHO 22-7 VS BENEIL DARIUSH 16-4-1

Dariush should be better everywhere here, and has some speed, but Camacho is a live dog for me. Camacho usually brings a ton of output on the feet, and can take some shots, and will too land his own. The difference maker will be who controls the distance. Dariush will have more technique and most likely will look better early on, but Camacho at some point, could corner him and cause some issues. I can’t look past the fact that Camacho has 17 KO/TKO victories and the ability to swing the momentum of the fight at any given moment with his striking. As long as he avoids the grappling and submission attempts, he’s live.

Prediction: Frank Camacho

HEAVYWEIGHT

CIRYL GANE 4-0 VS DON’TALE MAYES 7-2

Gane had a decent debut and has been hyped up straight out of the gates, partially because he’s training partners with former title contender Francis Ngannou. Most expected his debut to end via TKO/KO against Raphael Pessoa back in August, but he surprised a ton of critics, as he sunk in an arm-triangle choke in just one round. Dontale Mayes comes in with a 7-2 record, after fighting three times on Dana White’s Contender Series, eventually catching some eyes with his TKO finish back in July. Gane should cause Mayes some trouble though, and I see all aspects of where this fight could go in his favor. Another possible quick finish for Gane here.

Prediction: Ciryl Gane

WELTERWEIGHT

MUSLIM SALIKHOV 15-2 VS LAUREANO STAROPOLI 9-1

Salikhov is legit on the feet, and although he typically doesn’t throw at volume, he is very accurate and very powerful. As I mentioned last time he fought, he has 199 kickboxing matches on record, going 185-13-1 with 76 wins via knockout. He has over 100 knockouts when you combine his kickboxing, Wusha Sanda, and MMA records to date. Staropoli has looked good in the UFC himself, going 2-0 to begin his career. He cruised to unanimous decision victories against Hector Aldana and Thiago Alves. Staropoli was booked to fight in August, but pulled out due to injury, where he was set to face 20-1 Alexey Kunchenko. I’d say this rebook is actually a tougher test, although Salikhov is ranked lower that Kunchenko. This should be an exciting fight, as both will stand and throw, but I see Salikhov’s defense and top-tier striking being the difference maker when it’s all said and done.

Prediction: Muslim Salikhov

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT

RANDA MARKOS 9-7-1 VS ASHLEY YODER 7-4

Yoder will be the better fighter on the mat, and will look to catch a submission, as these two will grapple at some point. I do like Markos to get the better of Yoder on the feet, and actually score as she looks to work her way inside, and land takedowns to top control. This has the making of a close fight, as long as Markos doesn’t leave her arm out there. If she fights smart, she should be able to get back on track here with a victory.

Quick note: Yoder is known for her submission skills, yet hasn’t won via submission since joining the UFC 3 years ago. She’s actually gone 2-3, with all fights going the distance.

Prediction: Randa Markos

LIGHTWEIGHT

ALEX WHITE 13-5 VS RAFAEL FIZIEV 6-1

Fiziev got caught in his UFC debut against Magomed Mustafaev via a spinning back kick, followed by some punches, in a fight where he never really had a chance to get going. With some time off since that April fight, he’s up against a fairly durable Alex White. Remember, this is the guy that drank gasoline as a kid. White can be dangerous, but has gone 3-5 in his last eight matchups, and has only defeated low-level opponents during that span. I’m not even sure if any are still in the organization. As long as Fiziev’s chin holds up, he will definitely have the muay thai skillset to pick White apart, possibly finishing him.

Prediction: Rafael Fiziev

FEATHERWEIGHT

ENRIQUE BARZOLA 16-4-1 VS MOVSAR EVLOEV 11-0

Evloev has some serious grappling skills. We typically see him look to get the fight on the mat as much as possible, ala Khabib. Evloev has solid cardio and has finished seven of his 11 victories, four of which were via rear-naked choke. Barzola is not a bad wrestler himself, and can mix in some stand-up fighting, typically scoring on his way to the takedown. He’s taken down pretty much every opponent he’s faced and only been taken down once himself. The problem here though is that he’s matched up against a better wrestler. Evloev should be able to neutralize Barzola’s typical strength in past matches.

Prediction: Movsar Evloev

HEAVYWEIGHT

#13 MAURICE GREENE 8-2 VS #14 SERGEI PAVLOVICH 13-1

Interesting fight in the heavyweight division here. Maurice Greene, 6’7, actually comes in with a reach disadvantage against Sergey Pavlovich, who’s looking to make it two in a row after finishing Marcelo Golm in April. Greene is undefeated in the UFC, going 3-0 since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter 28. Both guys are solid standing up, but Greene is a tad more wild at times. Pavlovich is a bit more polished. Green’s tenaciousness and wildness can leave him open at times, which Pavlovich should be able to take advantage of.

Prediction: Sergei Pavlovich

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT

LOMA LOOKBOONMEE 3-1 VS ALEXANDRA ALBU 3-1

Lookboonmee is making her UFC debut after bringing her record to 3-1, with her latest unanimous decision victory over back in June. Albu is looking to rebound after her quick submission loss to Emily Whitmire, where Whitmire took her down and got her back for the rear-naked choke in just over a minute. Lookboonmee is moving up a weight class for this fight, but she brings some serious muay thai skills, validated by her new nine-time world muay thai champ. I haven’t been impressed with Albu, and although she can take some shots, I suspect Lookboonmee has more to offer on the feet, which could be the difference between a win and a loss.

Prediction: Loma Lookboonmee

HEAVYWEIGHT

RAPHAEL PESSOA NUNES 9-1 VS JEFF HUGHES 10-2

Hughes will fight after the quick turnaround following the No Contest against Todd Duffee. Duffee was looking for a way out after getting poked in the eye. Hughes was coming on strong and landing up until that point. He’s not a bad boxer, but takes some shots when planning his next punch. Pessoa got finished in his UFC debut against Ciryl Gane back in August via choke, and didn’t look good at all. He clearly wasn’t having it while his back was on the mat. That said, Hughes has to look for the takedowns and to grind from the top. I’ll also point out that Hughes trains with Stipe Miocic, who happens to be the same height and weight as Pessoa, which should help with preparation a bit here.

Prediction: Jeff Hughes

Worth a look on DFS:

STARS: Gane, Fiziev, Salikhov

SCRUBS: Camacho, Maia, Lookboonmee

Betting Plays:

Maia +150

Gane via TKO/KO -150

Salikhov -160

Markos -140

Lookboonmee -125