Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Jung vs. Ige card is a very low-key affair with just a small handful of ranked talent, but a good offering of prospect vs. prospect matchups that will still provide plenty of entertainment value. We would have seen Tim Means vs. Danny Roberts, but Roberts was pulled due to COVID-19 protocols. Will Khaos Williams be able to handle Matt Semelsberger? Will Roque Martinez finally get a win inside the octagon?
The main card offers more name value and a few ranked fighters hoping to take the next step closer to title contention. Marlon “Chito” Vera takes on Davey Grant in what is sure to be an electrifying fight and Serghei Spivac hopes to supplant Aleksei Oleinik’s No. 15 spot in the official rankings. Finally, in the headliner position, we get a phenomenal featherweight pairing between Dan Ige and Chan Sung Jung. The card might not be brimming with big names, but it’s certainly not short of talent.
We’ve put together a handy guide of facts and figures to help you when selecting your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups. Each category will feature the standout fighter for his/her achievements in said category. Let’s get started!
DraftKings is hosting a big UFC Fight Night fantasy MMA tournament that pays out $400K in guaranteed prizes, including $100,000 to first place. Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $400K Throwdown [$100K to 1st].
Matthew Semelsberger, $7,300
Matthew Semelsberger is a whirling dervish of activity inside the cage. “Semi the Jedi” is a switch fighter who averages an astounding 7.93 strikes landed per minute, but also absorbs a lot more punishment than he should with a rate of 5.31 strikes per minute. His opponent, Khaos Williams, has legitimate stopping power, so he’ll have to be a lot more defensively responsible than he’s shown in the past, or he’s going to be counting the ceiling lights in the APEX Center. Williams isn’t as active, but he stays busy, and absorbs less punishment. Semelsberger also has stopping power, but if I had to measure, I’d estimate that “Khaos” has more pop. This is a pick ‘em fight, but that isn’t reflected in the pricing, surprisingly. Williams has faced better competition, but when he took the next step up against Michel Pereira, we saw him take his first loss inside the octagon.
Bruno Silva, $8,800
Bruno Silva will be making his octagon debut this weekend, so there’s not much in the way of stats available on him, but his starched collar ratio speaks volumes, and with 16 wins by way of knockout, he leads the pack this weekend. The 31-year-old Brazilian has been fighting on the international circuit up to this point, but hasn’t had a bout in nearly three years, so cage rust might end up being a factor here. He faces fellow Brazilian Wellington Turman in what could end up being a “win or get cut” scenario, as Turman has logged just one win in his three-fight UFC tenure. Silva has the power advantage, but Turman has the decided ground advantage, and he frequently makes use of it. Considering that five of Silva’s six losses have come by submission, we may want to take another look at Turman here as a value asset for fantasy play. This is another great pairing, but once again, the odds could be a little closer, as each brings weapons to the table that present problems for the man that will be across the cage from him.
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Aleksei Oleinik, $7,000
Aleksei Oleinik is an incredible submission artist. Full stop. He has 46 submission victories in his career, and he is especially prolific with the rare Ezekiel choke, logging 13 of them. As a matter of fact, he’s prolific with chokes in general, with several variations including the also rare scarf hold. His chin isn’t exactly sturdy, by any means and with five of his six UFC losses coming by way of knockout, he has to do a better job protecting it. He faces a real challenge in Serghei Spivac, who has a very good wrestling base, and puts it to good use in every fight. As far as strength of schedule, they are very close, with each man struggling to get past middling competition. The real tale of this fight, though, is Oleinik’s age and conditioning. Over the last couple years, he’s trimmed down and gotten in better shape, unfortunately, it might’ve been too late for him, as his chin seems much more prone to suggestion, even from jabs. His cardio also didn’t benefit from slimming down either and we now see him pretty gassed by the end of the first round. In his fight with Derrick Lewis, he was huffing and puffing before the second, and just 21 seconds into that round, he was finished by the native Houstonite. Most recently he was finished in under two minutes by Chris Daukaus, a fighter that just two years ago, we might’ve seen him beat. Not saying Chris is bad, just that Aleksei was still handling entry and mid-level opponents back then, faltering only when he ventured inside the Top 10.
Aleksei Oleinik, $7,000
Sadly, at 43 years of age, Oleinik has probably already seen the best nights of his career, and with a rapidly eroding chin, his future seems bleak. Add in that his cardio has also started to ebb much quicker and you have a recipe for disaster. He may still pull off a wild submission, but against a much younger Serghei Spivac, one who also has ground chops, it’s very likely we see “The Boa Constrictor” take a third straight loss. As a big fan, I’m hoping he can pull off the upset. Who’s with me?
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