The biggest favorite on tonight’s UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ card is Merab Dvalishvili over Gustavo Lopez, who just accepted this fight as a replacement four days ago. But is there fantasy value here?
Merab Dvalishvili: 9,200
Gustavo Lopez: $6,800
Dvalishvili is -770 on the money line, with Lopez the underdog at +500.
Normally this would seem to be a spot to take the free points on offer with the favorite, and hope it’s an overwhelming victory early. But Dvalishvili isn’t that kind of fighter: He’s 10-4 in his MMA career, but only three of those wins have been stoppages. His last five fights have gone the distance (two losses followed by three wins), and he’s never ended a fight early in the UFC.
Lopez appears to have stopping power with his 11-4 career record, but he’s also never faced someone of Dvalishvili’s caliber. He’s got five submission and five KO/TKO wins in his career, but he’s a 5-1 underdog for a reason.
If Dvalishvili can get back to his early KO ways (he does have a 15-second KO win via spinning backfist on his resume), then paying $900 over the average price would seem fine. But any other outcome could be a disaster, and the native of the Republic of Georgia got too many of those.
We’ll find value somewhere else.