What to Expect:
We are back at it again on Fight Island for another night of competition. For our main event, we have a rematch of the Flyweight title fight that technically did happen in February, but because Figueiredo came in five pounds overweight, the win he earned means nothing. As far as this card as a whole is concerned, there should be plenty of decisions, which will make it a much more eventful night than Wednesday was. And I hope to see a much more competitive fight for the flyweight title then we saw in February. Of course, all of my bets can be found here.
Carlos Felipe vs. Serghei Spivac
This is a tale of two different fighting styles, considering Spivac loves to go for takedowns, and Felipe has been considered a striker throughout his MMA career up to his UFC debut. Looking at the numbers, It doesn’t seem as if Spivac has faced many high output strikers. Seeing that he’s only absorbing 3.37 significant strikes per minute, but only has a strike defense percentage of 55. Although Felipe has not competed and well-known MMA promotions, he still has shown that he is a very high output striker and a powerful one at that. The Vegas total suggests that this one will end inside the distance, but I do think that there’s a strong chance of a decision being the outcome here.
Felipe by Decision
Davi Ramos vs. Arman Tsarukyan
I have to say, this fight has the potential to be disastrous for Fantasy purposes. Neither fighter has a ton of output, even if they were to win the fight. I don’t see this ending inside the distance often, but should be glorious if it does (check bets above) and it should be a long laborious battle for 15 minutes. All of this considered I do think that Tsarukyan has the edge here, being the better fighter at avoiding getting struck by his opponents. Though there is something to be said about the wrestling edge that Ramos has. Submitting three of his opponents in the UFC. Ramos has the ability to finish here, but I think that Tsarukyan does win more often, whether by decision or finish.
Tsarukyan by Decision
Malcolm Gordon vs. Amir Albazi
Both fighters are making their UFC debuts, so we’re relying on the information from much lesser competition in lower promotions to make our decisions here. Both have knocked out their respective opponents four times, Well Albazi has seven submission victories and Gordon has six. It’s also worth mentioning that all three of Gordon’s losses have been by knockout, while Albazi’s lone loss was by the decision. If anything else, this fight is much closer than even the Vegas lines would suggest. Although I think I can give Gordon the edge here given that I believe he is a more powerful Striker and has the ability to end this fight in a quick fashion if he chooses to do so.
Gordon by Finish (TKO)
Brett Johns vs. Montel Jackson
This fight should be one of the more exciting ones of the night because both Brett Johns and Montel Jackson are very exciting fighters in their own right. I consider both of them equal wrestlers although I might have to give Jackson The Edge there because he’s more efficient in his takedowns. When it comes to striking, I also believe that Jackson has the advantage, landing 4.16 significant strikes per minute versus only 3.3 for Brett Johns. Jackson is also absorbing far fewer strikes and only 1.51 whereas Johns is allowing 4.27 to be landed on him for a minute. Of course, Brett Johns can always submit Jackson, but I think more times than not Jackson wins this fight and I think that can happen by a finish.
Jackson by Finish (TKO)
Joe Duffy vs. Joel Alvarez
When I first started researching this fight, I had a thought that Alvarez could be competitive in this one. Just by looking at the numbers, they’re both seemingly even when it comes to striking, and Duffy might have a slight advantage in the wrestling if there is any at all. But just looking at the competition these two have faced, it doesn’t seem to be very close. You can make the argument that Duffy is washed up, and that’s a fine case to have. But Joel Alvarez has never been a good MMA fighter in his time in the UFC. From a betting perspective, I’m not sure I want to lay -335 on Duffy, but I don’t want to lay 250 on Alvarez either. For betting, you should probably avoid this one. For fantasy, I would have exposure to Duffy, but don’t make it too extreme.
Duffy by Decision
Grant Dawson vs. Nad Narimani
I consider these Fighters even when it comes to striking, as you may be able to see in the numbers. Both are landing around the same amount of significant strikes per minute while absorbing similar volume as well. Where Dawson gets the advantage is in the wrestling department, where he is landing over five takedowns per fight. The only thing that concerns me about using Dawson in Fantasy is that Noragami does have a 75% takedown defense percentage. Although with the volume that Dawson attempts takedowns at, I’m not sure if this is going to matter all that much. I think he’s one of the safer options in fantasy but doesn’t have a ton of value on the board as of now when it comes to betting.
Dawson by Finish (Submission)
Khadis Ibragimov vs. Roman Dolidze
Ibragimov, despite losing in his first two UFC appearances, has shown that he can put out a ton of volume. But the downside is that he also absorbs a ton of volume as well. He is landing 5.23 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6. Meanwhile, while this is Dolidze’s UFC debut, he should be looked at as one of the guys on this card with high upside for fantasy. He has finished all of his opponents to this point by KO in MMA. Not that it was against great competition, but should be noted none the less. All of this considered, I actually like the upset here, knowing that Ibragimov at least has a wrestling game to differentiate himself with.
Ibragimov by Finish (TKO)
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Askar Askarov
I can see this potentially being a competitive fight for Askarov, but should not be good for him the majority of the time. It’s important to realize that Pantoja is much more experienced and has faced much tougher competition. For example, Pantoja was able to stay competitive with Figueiredo, who will compete for the title later in the night. Even looking at all the Striking and grappling numbers, Pantoja has all of the advantages over Askarov. Which is why I think he is by far the more likely fighter to win here.
Pantoja by Decision
Ariane Lipski vs. Luana Carolina
I think it was just a mistake by both the fantasy sites and the sportsbooks that Carolina was ever considered an underdog in this fight. The only way I see Caroline and not being the favorite is because of the grappling advantage that Lipski has, which is extremely tiny given that she hardly attempts takedowns. Also, Carolina has yet to be taken down in the UFC. Albeit she has only competed once. In her solo UFC appearance, Carolina was able to average 6.53 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 3.83. It also seems like she’s able to go for submissions, attempting two in that fight as well. I have a lot of strong positions on her on this card, so I’m definitely hoping that she wins, and even more so inside the distance. Although more often than not, I expect us to end in a decision victory for Carolina.
Carolina by Decision
Rafael Fiziev vs. Marc Diakiese
Honestly speaking, unless someone wins by finish, this is not going to be a fight that I recommend rostering either fighter from for Fantasy purposes. Both are relatively low output Strikers and don’t attempt much in terms of grappling and takedown attempts. Although when it comes to betting, I do think that there is value on Fiziev to win this fight. Although he has competed in fewer UFC events, he has shown that he can be the higher output Striker and has yet to be taken down in two appearances. Something that Diakiese needs in order to get decisions to go his way. To me, there is value in betting on Fiziev to win outright, and by decision.
Fiziev by Decision
Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum
As far as Vegas is concerned, and my model as well, they should be by far the closest fight that we see on the night. Although I’m not exactly convinced as to why this is the case. To be fair, my model does give the edge to Jack Hermanson. But here’s why that’s the case. Hermansson is landing far more volume striking wise at 5.13 significant strikes per minute, and absorbing last said only 2.56. He’s also averaging four more takedowns and has much better takedown defense. I honestly have no idea why Vegas would suggest that this fight is that close at all. Hermansson clearly has an advantage in all aspects of the fight.
Hermansson by Decision
Joespeh Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
As far as the flyweight title fight is concerned, Figueiredo seems to have the advantage in my mind, but of course, it can go either way. The Striking actually goes to the advantage of Benavidez, who is landing 3.53 significant strikes per minute while defending 63% of all strikes against him. However, the grappling and overall wrestling is to the advantage of Figueiredo. Landing more takedowns per fight, and averaging 2.4 submission attempts per contest. Although because there is no longer a distinct weight difference between the two, I think that this one could be much closer than before assuming that there’s no head but that bashes anyone’s head open. Although of course this is mixed martial arts so that I can always happen.
Figueiredo by Finish (Submission)