Update 6:05 p.m.: Kevin Natividad has been replaced as a precaution due to the outbreak of Covid-19 around this event. Ray Rodriguez, a Dana White’s Contender Series alum, will step in as his replacement.
A replacement fighter new to the UFC fills in as a replacement on ESPN 9 this Saturday when Brian Kelleher faces Kevin Natividad on the preliminary card.
Kelleher was to fight Ricky Simon, but a member of Simon’s team tested positive for the virus, so Natividad stepped in to take the bout.
Kelleher is 21-11 as a cage fighter, and 5-4 in the UFC. He lost his last outing via unanimous decision to Cody Stamann at UFC 250 on June 6th. He brings plenty of activity with 4.48 significant strikes per minute and 1.21 takedowns per 15 in the octagon. At age 34 he fights out of Maxum BJJ in New York City.
Natividad makes his UFC debut with a 9-1 record. He’s won his last five in a row, including the Legacy Fighting Alliance. He KO’d Kyle Estrada in the second round for his sixth career stoppage on July 17th, and fights out of Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe. “Quicksand” is 27 years old, and has fought as low as 135 lbs. before, but will be at 145 on short notice here.
Here are the betting odds at at DraftKings Sportsbook for Brian Kelleher vs. Kevin Natividad at UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas on September 5th:
Brian Kelleher: -225 (91% of action, 90% of bets)
Kevin Natividad: +175 (9% of action, 10% of bets)
Here are the DraftKings DFS salaries for Brian Kelleher vs. Kevin Natividad tonight:
Brian Kelleher: $9,200
Kevin Natividad: $7,000
Natividad, based on his money line price of +175, should give plenty of value as the cheapest fighter by DFS pricing on the card. Having Ricky Simon pull out of this bout due to Covid-19 will affect the pricing, but Natividad might have some value with six career stoppages in nine wins. It’s certainly a risk, but there’s no better way to save salary cap on this card than with the UFC rookie.
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