The MMA Mashup: UFC 265 Preview

The MMA Mashup: UFC 265 Preview

This article is part of our The MMA Mashup series.

In this edition of The MMA Mashup, we take a look at plays across five DFS platforms, including what looks to be a mispriced wrestler against a promotional debutante. We cover each of the 13 fights on the slate, including the interim title bout between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane.

Plays to Consider on DraftKings

Johnny Munoz ($9,100)

Jamey Simmons' short-notice debut against Giga Chikadze didn't exactly turn heads, as the 28-year-old struggled to get takedowns before being knocked out. Munoz isn't the same brand of striker as Giga but loves to smother his opponents while working a wrestling game of his own. While this should be better for Simmons in theory, we've seen nothing to suggest that "The Afro Samurai" is ready to compete at this level.

Victoria Leonardo ($7,400)

Leonardo simply couldn't compete with the size and ferocity of Manon Fiorot in her UFC debut, but Melissa Gatto is a rudimentary striker who throws big, looping shots before closing the distance to get her opponent to the ground. The issue here is Gatto tends to get muscled around in the cage, often inadvertently pulling her opponent on top of her while going for takedowns. It should be noted that the Brazilian is incredibly slick off of her back, so a submission from guard is always a possibility, but Leonardo will likely have control of this fight (whether from top position or standing) for as long as she wants it, making it difficult to pick the more expensive fighter.

Tecia Torres ($8,700)

Torres will never be known as an efficient takedown artist, but her relentless pressure and sneaky power striking have their way of breaking fighters in her path. The first bout between Torres and Angela Hill happened almost a decade ago, but not much has changed in the dynamic, with Hill being the Muay Thai striker and Torres looking to impose her will physically. As long as Torres doesn't give "Overkill" the space to get going, she should be able to overwhelm her on the feet before getting the fight to the mat.

Casey Kenney ($8,200)

We haven't seen Kenney do much wrestling of late, as he has opted to lean on his cardio and pressure striking to take over fights. He will likely want to get back to the old game against Yadong Song, however, who has been taken down at least twice in each of his last three fights. While Kenney has proven to be effective in the standup, he won't want to play around with the heavy-handed Song.

Plays to Consider on FanDuel

Vicente Luque ($15)

More so than at any other time in his career, Michael Chiesa's mission at welterweight seems to be to use his size and wrestling acumen to dominate fights. We saw this most recently in his bout against Neil Magny, wherein "Maverick" logged four takedowns and a whopping 15:21 of control time in a five-round main event. It needs to be noted, though, that Chiesa hasn't fought many big punchers in his career, which has left him free to work his way in close to opponents with suspect defense. He will have no such luxury against Luque, whose aggression and power have led to 11 career KO/TKO finishes. Chiesa has become an expert at working his grinding style, but we've never seen anyone control Luque on the ground for an extended period of time. Chiesa will also need to deal with a sharp BJJ game if and when he gets this fight where he wants it.

Rafael Fiziev ($22)

The lightning-fast, powerful striking of Fiziev leaves most opponents no choice but to try to get fights to the ground as quickly as possible. The problem is that they haven't had much luck, going a cool 0-for-16 on attempts in Fiziev's four UFC fights. Bobby Green has mixed in his wrestling well of late but should be relegated to taking rushed shots as an avenue to relieve the pressure in the cage. Green may be a slick striker in his own right, but his style of hanging back and countering seems like exactly the wrong way to beat someone as fast and accurate as Fiziev.

Alonzo Menifield ($21)

Menifield will have any number of advantages against Ed Herman for as long as this fight stays on the feet. Though he is always a candidate to stand and trade, Herman will likely recognize in short order that his only path to victory against the infinitely quicker, more powerful Menifield will be to ground him. This is unlikely to go well for "Short Fuse" as Menifield will enter the contest with an 85 percent takedown defense rate in seven UFC (and UFC-adjacent) fights.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz ($17)

Jessica Penne leaned more on her wrestling in her return bout against Lupita Godinez, and while she took home the victory, the former title challenger went just 1-for-7 on her shot attempts against the newcomer. Kowalkiewicz is in the midst of a four-fight losing skid but has maintained her suffocating pressure striking game throughout. This should be enough to outlast Penne, who doesn't respond well to being placed on her back foot.

Plays to Consider on Prize Picks

Ciryl Gane UNDER 1.5 Takedowns and Drako Rodriguez UNDER 1.0 Takedowns

Derrick Lewis is one of the most terrifying punchers in the sport, so it seems only natural that Gane would try to take him down. However, this would negate his greatest strengths in the matchup, as he will be the far faster, more technical striker. There is something to be said for the path of least resistance, but unless he feels threatened, I see Gane staying on the outside and picking apart his larger opponent.

Rodriguez opted for a more ground-heavy approach early in his career, but now mainly relies on slick kickboxing to get the best of his opponents. Vince Morales was flummoxed by the kicks and pressure of Jonathan Martinez in their fight, which makes me think that Rodriguez will want to keep this fight standing and press his advantage.

Plays to Consider on SuperDraft

Anderson dos Santos – 2.2X Multiplier

Miles Johns has made his bones as a wrestler with dynamite in his fists but tends to give ground in the Octagon and shell up when his opponents throw offense his way. Dos Santos seems to have found his footing after a lackluster debut, and now pushes an aggressive striking game before looking for takedowns of his own. Johns would try to stem the tide during tense moments with Kevin Natividad by grabbing a leg, but he will need to look out for the submission skills of Dos Santos here, which should limit his ability to close the distance recklessly.

Ode Osbourne – 2.2X Multiplier

Osbourne's 73-inch reach will be an issue for most fighters in this division, and Manel Kape is no different, as he will deal with a five-inch reach disadvantage. We have seen Kape get stuck out at range in fights before, and Osbourne should be able to lean on his jiu-jitsu if "Starboy" decides to take this one to the ground.

Plays to Consider on Monkey Knife Fight

Jose Aldo OVER 62.5 Significant Strikes and Pedro Munhoz UNDER 94.5 Significant Strikes

It's not often we see the underdog projected to best his opponent by more than 30 significant strikes, but the proof is in the pudding for Munhoz, who has logged at least 94 significant strikes in his last two three-round fights. While this has a chance to hit again, I think Aldo will be able to use his speed and defensive acumen to touch and not be touched, which should work to boost his totals while suppressing "The Young Punisher's."  

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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