This article is part of our The MMA Mashup series.
A diplomatic person might tell you that Saturday's 10-fight card isn't the best we've ever seen in terms of fan interest, but there are still plenty of opportunities to make money. We'll go through a few of them in this week's edition of The MMA Mashup, as we take our usual stroll down the slate across five platforms. All lines are taken from the William Hill online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Without further ado, let's get to it
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Ramazan Emeev ($9,100)
Emeev may be the largest beneficiary of the new DraftKings scoring system, as the one-time afterthought has been catapulted to the heights of a potential cash-game play. While he is a fantastic control grappler and wrestler, he is frequently the heavy favorite in his bouts and doesn't do enough to justify a large salary. I expect the Dagestani fighter to enjoy another dominant performance against a slick boxer in Danny Roberts, but unless he is able to find a finish, Emeev's takedowns and ground control will be best utilized in Head-2-Head and 50/50 lineups.
Jim Miller ($8,800)
Miller hasn't always looked like the most agile fighter in the latter half of his career, but the veteran still possesses a strong top game, as we saw before he gassed out in his last fight with Joe Solecki. The suspect gas tank could have some gravitating towards Erick Gonzalez on principle, but there wasn't much I saw on the regional scene that makes me think he is ready for this level. While he is quick and long for the weight class, Gonzalez tends to cede ground in the cage, can be taken down with relative ease, and doesn't have the best reactions when getting hit by strikes. This should allow Miller to get a big enough lead to take a round off if he needs it, as it remains to be seen if Gonzalez can be a finisher against quality competition.
Norma Dumont ($7,800)
I generally try to keep my analysis in the cage, but it's almost impossible to talk about this fight without discussing the fact that Aspen Ladd is back just a week after having a bout canceled due to a failed weight cut that had her looking unsteady and depleted on the scale. It's hard to imagine this wouldn't affect her performance against someone like Dumont, who is big for the weight class and has shown a penchant for grinding and wrestling her opponents. Ladd is likely to still be sharp in the early going, but Dumont should begin to take over if this fight enters the tenth minute and beyond.
Lupita Godinez ($9,000)
Godinez was also scheduled for last week's card, though her bout with Silvana Gomez Juarez was over almost before it began, as "Loopy" took complete control from the opening bell and emerged with a first-round stoppage. This allowed the 28-year-old to take the short-notice opportunity against Luana Carolina. Carolina will be the naturally bigger fighter at flyweight, but Godinez should be able to take the center of the cage and work her combination punching. Carolina may have a 90 percent takedown defense rate, but she has yet to fight a committed wrestler and spent the entire first round on her back after getting taken down in her bout with Poliana Botelho in May.
Plays to Consider on FanDuel
Bruno Silva ($18)
Andrew Sanchez came into the UFC as a credentialed wrestler, but that part of his game seems to have vanished in recent years, as he is just 2-for-19 in takedown attempts over his last five fights. It was expected that Wellington Turman would take advantage of the lack of wrestling defense that Silva showed on the regional scene, but "Bllindado" stuffed all 10 of his opponent's attempts before knocking him out in the first round of his UFC debut. Silva has logged 17 of his 20 wins by KO/TKO, which makes me think this fight could take on a similar formula.
Istela Nunes ($14)
Nunes enters fights hoping to use her pressure and length against opponents, and this should be no different, as the Brazilian fighter will take a six-inch reach advantage into the contest. Ariane Carnelossi is strong for the division, but her takedown attempts don't rely on much else besides power, and Nunes has done a decent job of staying on her feet under such threats. "Sorriso" will likely look to get on the inside as quickly as possible in this one, which should give Nunes plenty of opportunities to log points with her defense.
Plays to Consider on SuperDraft
Mayra Bueno Silva – 2.25 x Multiplier
Manon Fiorot has looked like a world-beater in her first two UFC bouts, but she had a physicality advantage in those fights she won't enjoy against Silva, who will enter the cage with just one-inch disadvantages in height and reach. Silva has realized success by wearing opponents down in the clinch, which makes one wonder who will be able to implement that game plan successfully. Fiorot may be riding high, but I need to see her succeed against better competition before I buy in completely.
Bets to Consider
Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe Goes to Decision (-187)
This is another one of those plays that test the limit of our rule, but I can't help but find value here, as Felipe has yet to finish a victory in the Octagon, and Arlovski has gone to decision in each of his last seven wins. While both men have fast hands and hit reasonably hard, they work slowly, often not adding much in the way of combinations. I expect this to be a fairly competitive kickboxing match throughout, but I see nothing in their recent performances that tells me either fighter will have a short night.
Danaa Batgerel wins by KO/TKO/DQ (+300)
We close the betting section with a bit of a spicy meatball, as Brandon Davis has never been finished by strikes in 22 professional fights, but I would argue he's never faced a puncher as big as Batgerel, either. Davis isn't the most defensively responsible fighter, and the way he lunges into the pocket should provide ample opportunity for Batgerel to collect his third KO/TKO finish in a row. The odds are long for a reason, but there are just too many things to like about this play to not take a shot.
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
L'udovit Klein OVER 8.5 Minutes of Fight Time
This bout is a bit trickier, as Klein has been a dedicated finisher, but he is a counter striker by nature, which means he is often waiting for his opponent to provide the opening. This could be accommodated by the all-action style of Nate Landwehr, but we should point out that Landwher has only been finished by KO/TKO twice in his 18-fight career. This includes his loss to Julian Erosa, which looked to be an early stoppage by the referee.