UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Ige - MMA Betting and Daily Fantasy Breakdown

A featherweight matchup between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige is tops on the card for this mid-week UFC Fight Night. SI's MMA expert Casey Olson runs down his best bets as well as his top DFS plays.
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Though the mid-week card doesn’t have quite the buzz that last Saturday’s card brought, we at Sports Illustrated are here to help you stay hot after going 11-1 with recommended plays across the last three cards.

Looking back to last Saturday, sources reported UFC 251 soared well beyond 1 million pay-per-view buys, the most since 2018. Capitalizing on the demand, they’re set to pump out two more cards this week, starting with UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Ige this Wednesday night, live from Fight Island!

The card’s main event features two featherweight machines, as No. 6 Calvin Kattar (21-4) looks to impress yet again after KO’ing Jeremy Stephens back in May. He’ll face No. 10 Dan Ige (14-2), who’s rattled off six wins in a row, most recently edging out the always dangerous Edson Barboza.

The card features 12 fights in total, and all will be available live on ESPN in its entirety, with the prelims kicking off at 7pm ET, followed up with the main card at 10pm ET.

UFC Fight Night: Katter vs Ige Details

BROADCAST: ESPN

VENUE: UFC Fight Island

LOCATION: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

MATCHES: 12

UFC Fight Night Full Card Details:

MAIN CARD:

FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS

#6 CALVIN KATTAR 21-4 VS #10 DAN IGE 14-2

FLYWEIGHT BOUT 125 LBS

#12 TIM ELLIOTT 15-11-1 VS RYAN BENOIT 10-6

FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS

#9 JIMMY RIVERA 22-4 VS #10 CODY STAMANN 19-2-1

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT BOUT 125 LBS

#15 MOLLY MCCANN 10-2 VS TAILA SANTOS 15-1

WELTERWEIGHT BOUT 170 LBS

ABDUL RAZAK ALHASSAN 10-1 VS MOUNIR LAZZEZ 9-1

PRELIMS:

MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT 185 LBS

JOHN PHILLIPS 22-9 VS KHAMZAT CHIMAEV 6-0

FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS

RICARDO RAMOS 14-2 VS LERONE MURPHY 8-0-1

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205 LBS

MODESTAS BUKAUSKAS 10-2 VS ANDREAS MICHAELIDIS 12-3

FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS

JARED GORDON 15-4 VS CHRIS FISHGOLD 18-3-1

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT BOUT 125 LBS

DIANA BELBITA 13-5 VS LIANA JOJUA 7-3

BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135 LBS

JACK SHORE 12-0 VS AARON PHILLIPS 12-3

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205 LBS

JORGE GONZALEZ 16-4 VS KENNETH BERGH 8-0

Kattar vs Ige

All eyes will be on Featherweights Calvin Kattar (No. 6, 21-4) and Dan Ige (No. 10, 14-2) as they look to impress as the main event Wednesday night. You won’t want to miss this one. Kattar and Ige will look to make a statement and continue their run to title talk as they both make their five round main event debuts.

Both fighters are coming off what just could be the biggest wins of their careers, and on somewhat quick turnaround as they both fought two months ago.

Those matches saw Kattar finish a very durable Jeremy Stephens with a nasty elbow, and Dan Ige edging out Edson Barboza. In this match up, Kattar will have a significant striking and power advantage, and will look to avoid the grinding takedowns from Ige. If Ige can implement some leg kicks, just as Carneiro and Zabit did in Kattar’s only two losses in his last 15 fights, he could steal some rounds.

Kattar has more ways to win. He should be able to neutralize the takedown attempts (77% TD defense) and keep this one in his wheelhouse, standing and picking him apart with his 5.29 SLpM. If you consider recent performance, Kattar has won via TKO/KO in his last four victories against some top guys (Stephens, Lamas, Fishgold, Burgos).

In his most recent loss, Zabit won via decision in a very rare three round main event in a fight Kattar was taking over and probably would have won with the championship rounds. It’s hard to look past that.

On the other side, Ige has edged out split decisions in his last two, and many thought Barboza actually won; dropping him twice and landing the bigger shots.

At the end of the day, Kattar should be able to keep this one upright, and though he’s known for taking shots, he will eventually take more rounds and quite possibly secure a TKO.

The line really should be tighter on this fight, as Ige is being disrespected as a +250 underdog. In 16 fights, he’s never been finished and has only dropped two decisions, one by split. He’s proven he can hang in the fight with his durability, and find ways to take rounds. I just don’t see him trying to stand and trade in the fashion Stephens did. We also have the bigger cage here, to get on the bike, and get out of trouble if need be.

Ige has found a way to land at least one takedown in all of his UFC fights, and he’ll have to do the same here. It's gotta be in his gameplan, and it has me only finding value in the O2.5 rounds at -149.

PREDICTION: KATTAR/IGE O2.5 ROUNDS -149

Additional Wagers

#9 JIMMY RIVERA (22-4) VS #10 CODY STAMANN (19-2-1)

Cody Stamann’s wrestling just might be null and void here, as Jimmy Rivera holds an impressive 95% takedown defense in his career. Couple that with a four inch reach advantage and some tighter foot work and striking, and we have a side here I like in Rivera. 

Rivera has dropped three of his last four, but those were to Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling, and new champ Petr Yan. Both fighters rarely finish as of late, as Rivera has gone the distance in seven of his last eight, and Stamann six of his last seven. This is new territory for Stamann too, as he has never fought outside of the United States in his career.

PREDICTION: JIMMY RIVERA -137 (VIA DEC +125 WORTH A LOOK)

#15 MOLLY MCCANN (10-2) VS TAILA SANTOS (15-1)

I must be really missing something here. They got “Meatball” at almost a pick 'em against Taila Santos. No disrespect, but Santos’ strength of schedule is absurd. Her resume boasts and amazing 15-1 record, but she hasn’t fought anyone.

Check this out. In her last 10 victories, Santos has only faced two fighters with winning records. The other eight:

  • 0-10
  • 0-2
  • 0-2
  • 0-5
  • 0-4
  • 0-1
  • 0-2
  • 0-1

PREDICTION: MOLLY MCCANN -110

JACK SHORE (12-0) VS AARON PHILLIPS (12-3)

Jack Shore is the biggest favorite on the card and rightfully so. He’s a very smart, technical fighter, and is dangerous all over. He brings a 12-0 record, and was also 12-0 as an amateur, with 19 total fights via finish.

Aaron Phillips is back for his second stint in the UFC, and booked right out of the shoots against a very tough test. It has been six years since his last effort in the organization, and went 0-3 before getting cut and earning his way back. Not only is this a tough spot for Phillips, he’s also fighting for the first time out of the US. Leveraging Phillip’s lackluster 35% takedown defense, Shore should be able to eventually take his back and lock in a rear naked choke for the tap. I’m not big on betting props, but with this -700 money line, I’ll take a stab here.

PREDICTION: JACK SHORE VIA SUB (+100)

JORGE GONZALEZ (16-4) VS KENNETH BERGH (8-0)

Jorge Gonzalez just fought 12 days ago, and is stepping up on very short notice and making his debut against Kenneth Bergh who is also making his first walk in the UFC.

When I saw the O/U released, I immediately sent a tweet out and within an hour the U1.5 rounds moved from -105 to -150. This looks way too easy but you have to consider the sample here. Not only has either fighter ever gone the distance, but in a combined 29 fights, there has been only one fight that has gone over 1.5 rounds. 27 of their 29 fights have finished in less than a round. Two finishers, both making their debuts, and mistakes will be made.

PREDICTION: GONZALEZ/BERGH U1.5 ROUNDS -105

Notes & Predictions

CALVIN KATTAR defeats DAN IGE

TIM ELLIOTT defeats RYAN BENOIT

JIMMY RIVERA defeats CODY STAMANN

MOLLY MCCANN defeats TAILA SANTOS

ABDUL RAZAK ALHASSAN defeats MOUNIR LAZZEZ

PRELIMS:

KHAMZAT CHIMAEV defeats JOHN PHILLIPS

LERONE MURPHY defeats RICARDO RAMOS

MODESTAS BUKAUSKAS defeats ANDREAS MICHAELIDIS

JARED GORDON defeats CHRIS FISHGOLD

DIANA BELBITA defeats LIANA JOJUA

JACK SHORE defeats AARON PHILLIPS

JORGE GONZALEZ defeats KENNETH BERGH

UFC Fight Night Bet Summary

  • KATTAR/IGE - O2.5 ROUNDS -149
  • JIMMY RIVERA -137 (VIA DEC +125 WORTH A LOOK)
  • MOLLY MCCANN -110
  • JACK SHORE VIA SUB +100
  • GONZALEZ/BERGH U1.5 ROUNDS -105

Last event prediction recap: 9-4

Last event wagers recap: 5-1

Fight card predictions overall: 204-109-6 (65%)

Targeted matchups (wagers): 76-30-2 (72%) Avg. odds -108

UFC Fight Night DFS Plays & DFS Strategies:

  • Choose active fighters. Coupling an active fighter on his/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 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 always to 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.
  • 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 within this article, 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 percentage of submission victories matched with Fighter B, with a high percentage of submission losses.

As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for this week’s UFC Fight Night. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual match-ups below.

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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 2020-07-14 at 8.51.13 PM
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Some recommendations:

  • Fighters that typically press the action, land takedowns, and/or high finish rates matched up against those that get finished, roster. (see my charts above)
  • Take a look at the main event with the 5 rounds to work.
  • Top Tier fighters to build around include Shore, Kattar
  • Mid Tier fighter considerations are Gordon, Rivera, Belbita, McCann
  • Live Dogs are Gonzalez, Murphy, Benoit