UFC travels to San Antonio to host an 11-fight card this Saturday. On the card are nine ranked contenders including main eventers Cory Sandhagen and Marlon “Chito” Vera. Also on the card is future HOF’er Holly Holm, maintaining the No. 3 contender spot as a 41-year-old in the Women’s Bantamweight division.
We have already had a short slate for DraftKings Reignmakers, with our highest favorite at only -280 across our 26 eligible fighters. With two fights being cancelled on Friday, even fewer options likely means that ownership will condense around some of the top plays. Let’s break down those plays for UFC San Antonio right now!
As always, our Reignmakers plays will be highlighted by the highest floor/ceiling combo fighters on the slate.
CJ Vergara, RARE Floor: $25
Vergara should be a very popular choice in DFS, but may go under owned in Reignmakers due to his price. At -240, Vergara is the third-highest favorite on the card, but is priced the highest due to the likelihood of him finishing his fight inside the distance. While two of Vergara’s last three fights have gone the distance, Daniel De Silva (Lacerda) has been finished in each of his three UFC fights. While certainly better than his record, De Silva may not be long for the UFC if he can’t pull out the upset against Vergara, which seems to be a tall task. De Silva has a negative six (SIX!!) striking differential, and doesn’t project to do well enough on the ground to stop Vergara from coming forward and handing him his fouth straight finish loss. I love CJ Vergara in this spot!
Tucker Lutz, RARE Floor: $20
Tucker Lutz is this card’s heaviest favorite, but comes in as the second-most expensive Reignmakers play in the Rare tier this week. At +120 to win by KO, Lutz looks to be a great value even at his expensive price. While strong on the feet, Lutz’s stats don’t back him up as a strong wrestler, which is a skill he might need against Daniel Pineda, who has three of his last four wins by submission. There’s a chance he’s the “trap” play against a wrestler, but on this short slate I’ll fire him up in Reignmakers without a second thought.
Main Event: Marlon “Chito” Vera ($10) vs Cory Sandhagen ($15)
It seems we’re always talking about bantamweights these days. With Merab Dvalishvili’s meteoric rise, the return of Henry Cejudo and “Suga” Sean O’Malley lurking in the shadows. It’s almost like this No. 3 vs No. 5 matchup is an afterthought when considering the Bantamweight Title implications here. While both Vera and Sandhagen have both hit the 30-year-old mark, they have a lot ahead of them in their careers, and could easily command a title shot following a win on Saturday.
“Chito” Vera is an exciting striker who’s not afraid to do some work on the ground. While possessing a negative striking differential, he has the innate ability to take over a fight and has earned two finishes during his current four fight win streak.
Cory Sandhagen enters as the favorite in this fight yet is only 3-3 in his past six fights. However, he’s earned a finish in each of his wins and has racked up quite a highlight reel in the process. His losses are to Yan, Dillashaw and Aljo, so it’s tough to be truly disappointed in his record. As exciting as Vera, he possesses a 3-inch advantage in height, and has advantages in striking differential and defense.
I don’t believe this fight really gets started until the third round. Both men are savvy veterans, and will likely take their time to get warmed up in this fight. I’ll call my shot with a fourth round finish, and I’ll lean on Cory Sandhagen to get it done in his typical spectacular fashion. On a short slate, if this fight gets into the fourth round both men are viable for Reignmakers, so don’t be afraid to pick up versions of both guys.
Let me know what you think! I’ll be watching live on Saturday, feel free to hit me up on Twitter with questions/comments/reactions — @JeffGailius.
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