On Wednesday morning, the UFC storms into the middle of the work week with another exciting Fight Island card. The 14-fight card boasts a welterweight contender clash between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny in the headlining position. The two men are both on three-fight win streaks and are looking to make a big statement as they inch closer to contention for Kamaru Usman’s belt.
The rest of the event will showcase lots of upcoming talent with a bevy of intriguing matchups that will satiate any fight fan’s hunger for good fights. From the prospect level to the upper rungs of the contender ladder, there’s something for everyone.
We’ve designed a handy guide to assist you in making your DraftKings fantasy lineups. Each category will feature the standout fighter for his/her achievements in said category. Let’s get started!
Mounir Lazzez, $9,000
Mounir Lazzez is an orthodox volume striker with the added benefit of very heavy hands. As a matter of fact, of his 10 wins, eight of them are via knockout, but his striking stats are what landed him in this category. With 6.53 strikes lander per minute, Lazzez sits at the top of the category. He does absorb 4.47 strikes per minute, demonstrating a willingness to take some to give some. I’d certainly like to see him become more defensively responsible, and even though his style has brought him this far without being stopped a single time, there’s always room for improvement.
Mounir has an accuracy rate of 55%, and with the power he carries, could very well end up stopping Warlley Alves ($7,200). I’m more of the opinion this fight goes the distance, though, as Alves has a fairly durable chin, suffering just a single knockout during his nearly 10 years of professional fighting. “The Sniper” is an excellent technical boxer with blinding hand speed and smooth footwork, facets of his overall game that were on display in his fight with Abdul Razak Alhassan. One last thing to note is that Lazzez has a seemingly endless gas tank.
Douglas Silva De Andrade, $7,000
Douglas Silva de Andrade is a heavy-handed striker who fights from the orthodox stance. The 35-year-old has 19 big wins via knockout across his 14-year career, and those knockouts come from a variety of methods—head kicks, accumulation, one-punch KOs. His strike selection and execution of them is one of his best attributes, but he does have the tendency to plant his feet and swing for the fences, consequences be darned. This tactic did serve him well in his fight with Marlon Vera, but against another bomb launcher like Lerone Murphy ($9,200), he’ll really need to mind his defense, which is about as porous as a sponge.
“D Silva” makes heavy use of three-punch combos, but those are often interspersed with more creative strikes like the spinning backfists he’s oh so fond of throwing. He has great appreciation for the fine art of body work, frequently sticking hard lefts to the liver. Andrade hasn’t logged a knockout in three years, so he’s primed for one, but will it be Lerone Murphy? We’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled on Wednesday.
Michael Chiesa, $7,900
Michael Chiesa tops our list for his outstanding ground work. With the submission chops to match a fantastic takedown game, he is one of the most, if not the most challenging fight Neil Magny ($8,300) has faced to date. Chiesa has made leaps and bounds towards improvement on his striking, but it’s hard to look past his ground skills. He averages 3.84 takedowns per 15-minute fight, with a 1.1 submission average. By comparison, Magny averages 2.63 takedowns with a 0.3 submission average. Magny does boast the better strength of schedule, but I still maintain that “Maverick” is going to prove a difficult matchup for him.
When it comes to specific techniques, Mike’s body triangle is simply marvelous. In his fight with Rafael dos Anjos, he made excellent use of it to control the Brazilian while working towards a rear-naked choke. Michael’s submission attempts are diverse, ranging from kimura attempts to guillotines and everything in between. He has the smoothest transitions and ends up in advantageous positions more often than not in the scrambles. He’ll have a monumental task in Magny, as Neil also has outstanding wrestling, but it’s his volume striking that may present the most significant problem for Michael.
A couple additional things to note:
- A statistic we should also make note of is that Chiesa has never lost a decision.
- Since moving to welterweight, Chiesa’s once suspect cardio now seems under control.
Ike Villanueva, $8,200
Villanueva is a longtime veteran who managed to make it into the UFC based off a pre-octagon career of knocking out low level competition. He’s not a natural athlete, with slow, plodding foot work and a very inconsistent work rate. His ground game is average, and his clinch work is used purely to tie up his opponents. This could be a boon to Vinicius Moreira ($8,000), who makes the most of the phone booth.
Ike’s defense is what destroys his cardio, though. He blocks punches with his face more often than not, and he wastes energy in positions he can’t control. He’s just as susceptible to submissions as he is to be knocked out, with stats showing he has been knocked out five times and submitted five times. Vinicius Moreira may not be the most well-rounded athlete, but he’s got the better end of the stick, stamina-wise. Look for “Hurricane Ike” to be huffing and puffing heading into the third round—if the fight makes it that far.
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