UFC 247 Preview: Which Fighters Should You Bet On?

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

What’s up fight crew! The NFL season is a wrap, but one thing is for sure: we've got fights year-round! It’s a 52-week season for us fight fam. 

Saturday night, the UFC heads to Houston, Texas for UFC 247: Jones vs Reyes, where UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will attempt to add that next ruby to his title belt as he takes on undefeated challenger Dominick Reyes in the main event.

The card as a whole is scheduled for 12 matches, with a handful of hometown fighters from the area getting the crowd amped. It includes the likes of Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis, Juan Adams, Trevin Giles, and four or five others. This should be a fun fight night for those in attendance.

As we look forward to Saturday night’s event, all fighters successfully made weight. However, Antonio Arroyo, who was set to face Trevin Giles, experienced post weigh-in cramping and UFC doctors pulled him from the bout. This is where James Krause steps in. 

Krause was already in Houston to corner Youssef Zalal and volunteered to step in on very short notice and the match was signed. Krause weighed in at 183.5 pounds, cleared his medicals by the commission and will now fight at 185 for the first time in his UFC career. Win or lose, Krause is, in fact, a gangster.

So let’s dive into this card!

SATURDAY 02/08/20 at 10PM ET
BROADCAST
: Pay Per View – PRELIMS: ESPN
VENUE: Toyota Center
LOCATION: Houston, Texas
MATCHES: 12

MAIN CARD:

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 205LBS

C JON JONES 25-1 (-450) VS #4 DOMINICK REYES 12-0 (+360)

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

C VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO 18-3 (-1000) VS #10 KATYN CHOOKAGIAN 13-2 (+650)

HEAVYWEIGHT 265LBS

JUAN ADAMS 5-2 (-250) VS JUSTINN TAFA 3-1 (+210)

FEATHERWEIGHT 145LBS

#14 MIRSAD BEKTIC 13-2 (-135) VS DAN IGE 12-2 (+115)

HEAVYWEIGHT 265LBS

#6 DERRICK LEWIS 22-7 (-225) VS #12 ILIR LATIFI 14-7 (+185)

PRELIMS:

MIDDLEWEIGHT 185LBS

TREVIN GILES 11-2 (NA) VS JAMES KRAUSE 27-7 (NA)

WELTERWEIGHT 170LBS

ALEX MORONO 17-5 (-325) VS KALINN WILLIAMS 9-1 (+265)

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

#7 LAUREN MURPHY 11-4 (+300) VS #8 ANDREA LEE 11-3 (-360)

BANTEMWEIGHT 135LBS

MILES JOHNS 10-0 (-130) VS MARIO BAUTISTA 7-1 (+110)

BANTAMWEIGHT 135LBS

DOMINGO PILARTE 8-2 (-130) VS JOURNEY NEWSON 9-2 (+110)

BANTAMWEIGHT 135LBS

ANDRE EWELL 15-6 (-120) VS JONAHAN MARTINEZ 11-2 (+100)

FEATHERWEIGHT 145LBS

AUSTIN LINGO 7-0 (-190) VS YOUSSEF ZALAL 7-2 (+165)

MATCHUPS TO TARGET:

C JON JONES 25-1 (-450) VS #4 DOMINICK REYES 12-0 (+360)

I’ve seen some Reyes plays out there early on this week. Some people think this just might be the guy to finally dethrone the champ. I’ve also seen the narrative that Jones has clearly beat black belts, Olympic medalists and such, and Reyes has only played baseball in his past. Pretty disrespectful to guys like Chris Weidman, Ovince Saint Preux, and Jared Cannonier if you ask me. Reyes is game, but Jon Jones will absolutely be his toughest test to date. 

Jones has struggled with taller opponents and southpaws (if you call it that), but he should be able to handle Reyes. Reyes is somewhat one-dimensional, and Jones will be watching for that left hand. But even on the feet Jones will control the distance and mix in kicks and pick Reyes apart with five rounds to work. If/when they get into the clinch, I expect Jones to take Reyes down at will, controlling from the top. 

Jones has proven he can land some serious shots from the ground and really wear down his opponents, and we should see some of this. Jones has gone to the decision in his last two fights, but I think there is some value in the -125 ITD line in this spot.

Prediction: Jon Jones

#7 LAUREN MURPHY 11-4 (+300) VS #8 ANDREA LEE 11-3 (-360)

Lee is looking to get back on track after dropping a split decision over in Abu Dhabi to Joanne Calderwood last September. Before that she had strung together seven wins in a row, three of which were under the UFC banner. 

Born in Texas, and typically donning her signature cowboy hat, Lee will have the crowd behind her as she faces a very durable Murphy, who’s never been finished in her MMA career. Lee will have the range and speed against Murphy on the feet. 

If you look at the output meter below in this article, statistically, Lee should outland Murphy to the point of forcing some takedowns. At this point, Lee should also have the strength advantage, and even if taken down, should be able to reverse and get the fight back in her control and score. Andrea Lee via decision at -177 looks great to me.

Prediction: Andrea Lee

OTHER PREDICTIONS:

JON JONES defeats DOMINICK REYES

VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO defeats KATYN CHOOKAGIAN

JUAN ADAMS defeats JUSTINN TAFA

DAN IGE defeats MIRSAD BEKTIC

DERRICK LEWIS defeats ILIR LATIFI

JAMES KRAUSE defeats TREVIN GILES

ALEX MORONO defeats KALINN WILLIAMS

ANDREA LEE defeats LAUREN MURPHY

MARIO BAUTISTA defeats MILES JOHNS

DOMINGO PILARTE defeats JOURNEY NEWSON

JONAHAN MARTINEZ defeats ANDRE EWELL

AUSTIN LINGO defeats YOUSSEF ZALAL 

Fight card prediction record: 112-54-6

DFS NOTES:

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 and 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

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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.

Casey’s tips and strategy to consider when playing MMA DFS:

  • Choose active fighters. Coupling an active fighter on his or her way to an unanimous decision will give you key points for your team. Just like any other DFS traditional sport, you want the active, offensive player that 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 finishes inside the distance.
  • Try to always include the main event or title fights. Five-round fights mean more time to rack up points if you pick the right fighter. In some cases, even if you have the loser, the points can be 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 = HOT, BLUE = 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 stats, consider sample size. Some fighters have limited fights compared to their opponents when looking at metrics. Stats could be exaggerated. Do your research. Watch for spots with debuting fighters as well. 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 for the matchups. 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 247. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on odds to finish the fight. 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 matchups below.

Screen Shot 2020-02-08 at 11.13.29 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2020-02-08 at 11.14.39 AM
Screen Shot 2020-02-08 at 11.15.00 AM

Worth a look on DFS:

STARS: Jones, Lewis, Shevchenko

SCRUBS: Ige, Pilarte

Kick some tail this weekend!