Fight Night is once again upon us with UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Teixeira coming to us live from the APEX Center in Las Vegas this Saturday night. A potential No. 1 contender’s matchup is in the main event spot between heavy hitters Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira. We are likely to see the winner of this titanic contest face the winner of the superfight between Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz, so don’t underestimate the value of this main event. It is an important fight for the light heavyweight division.
The rest of the card looks to have plenty of potential for fireworks, starting with the very first bout of the event: Anthony Birchak vs. Gustavo Lopez. Raoni Barcelos vs. Khalid Taha is also a certified fresh fight, and any time there’s an opportunity to see more of Alexandr Romanov in the octagon, I’m there with bells on. I know it seems modest, but this card is really flying under the radar.
With so much fresh talent coming through from Dana White’s Contender Series and from the regional circuit, it can be difficult to know what to expect from such relative unknowns. That’s why we’ve done the preliminary research for you. This post will help you determine which fighters are the best values and which ones are worth their expensive pricing on DraftKings. Let’s get started.
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Tonight's fight between Ian Heinisch and Brendan Allen has been cancelled and neither fighter will accrue fantasy points. Please check your lineups accordingly!— DraftKings CX Team (@DK_Assist) November 7, 2020
Tanner Boser, $8,900
Tanner Boser is a hot prospect with a hot hand. He’s powerful and deceptively quick, and has a great standup game. He’s a low end volume striker, pumping out 4.54 strikes/minute, and defensively sound, as well, only absorbing 2.85 strikes/minute. A durable chin and plenty of experience (eight years) will aid him against the 41-year-old veteran, Andrei Arlovski ($7,300), also the wielder of insane power. Thanks to an eroding chin and much slower reaction time and loss of speed, Arlovski is on the wrong side of the odds here on DraftKings Sportsbook, and for the reasons noted above, it’s Boser’s fight to lose.
Alexandr Romanov, $9,000
Romanov has never been the distance. That is a perfect 12-0 record for the man built like a fire plug and equally unmovable. Marcos Rogerio de Lima ($7,200) will certainly be Romanov’s biggest test to date, but Romanov possesses the grappling chops to pose a real threat to players in the division, and he’s a very active volume striker, averaging 5.87 strikes/minute. “King Kong” is an aggressive submission hunter and looks to get the fight down to the canvas as fast as possible. De Lima is not exactly comfortable on the ground—to be honest, he’s just awful off his back—but his bread and butter is in his standup, and he has power, so Alexandr will still need to be cautious. Romanov seems like he’s poised for stardom, and I am here for it.
Giga Chikadze, $9,300
Giga Chikadze is getting a quick turnaround after defeating Omar Morales less than a month ago. Unblemished in the UFC, Chikadze has settled into the clothes of a very dynamic striker with an excellent fight IQ to complement his expanding skillset. He will carry some physical advantages into this fight with him, primarily a seven-inch height advantage over the 5’5” Simmons. Jamey Simmons ($6,900) is a regional circuit fighter hailing from Wisconsin and currently riding a three-fight win streak. Giga has progressed by leaps and bounds in a very brief time, shoring up holes in his defense and making noticeable strides in his wrestling. Simmons has shown wrestling aptitude, but it’s hard to pick against Chikadze, who is demonstrating career growth at an exponential rate.
Glover Teixeira, $7,400
I know Glover Teixeira is the “old man” these days, but boy is he an effective old man. With a four-fight win streak bolstering him, Teixeira has just the type of well-rounded skillset that could pose a serious threat to Thiago Santos’ ($8,800) chances of leaving the octagon with a win. Glover is heavy-handed (18 knockouts) and he’s incredibly well-versed on the ground (eight submissions). He’s aggressive and willing to stand and trade, but also has a good handle on when he needs to level change. He’s only been stopped three times in his 18-year career, and in recent fights, has been in some real danger after taking big shots, only to recover and come back to take the win. One can’t bank on that kind of recuperative ability to be there forever, but at 41, Glover’s recovery is pretty remarkable considering his chosen career. Thiago Santos will be actively trying to take his head off or pulverize his liver, so a win here would all but ensure that he gets next crack at the belt.
Khalid Taha, $7,100
They say that fortune favors the bold, and this pick is definitely a bold one. Khalid Taha is taking on a submission ace in Raoni Barcelos ($9,100), and I’ve no doubt that if this fight hits the ground, the scales will not be tipped in Taha’s favor. Barcelos is also good with his hands and has faced better competition, but I can’t help but think that if one of those haymakers that Taha throws happens to land, it will be lights out for Raoni. Khalid is quick and explosive, moving around the cage speedily, light on his feet and throwing violence and anger the entire time. He’s a brute, bullying his opponents around and becoming as unmovable as he can, clocking a respectable 63% takedown defense. There’s a very good chance he makes a rookie error and gets submitted. But, there’s also a very good chance one of his heat seekers finds its mark and turns off the lights. Just check out his highlight reel knockout of Boston Salmon and you’ll understand my boldness. Also, can we just acknowledge how absolutely stacked bantamweight has become, because it certainly has.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is crooklyn949) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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