One more slate before a week off, and this slate is scary, to say the least. We have so many fights on this slate that could go either way and many that could do so with incredibly high scores. The variance should be off the charts with this one, so finding the best spots to play will be very difficult and very important.
UFC Vegas 73 on paper is a bit lackluster, but the excitement level once the event gets underway should maintain a fairly decent high due to the amount of potential finishes that we will likely experience. So let’s jump into finding those spots where we believe the finishing will flow and translate into monster scores for our FanDuel lineups.
Below you will see my recommended fights to target on the FanDuel slate for UFC Vegas 73. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to tweet @WeWantPicks on Twitter and they will definitely get back to you ASAP.
FIGHT #1 TO TARGET (-250 FDNGTD)
JOAQUIN BUCKLEY ($20) vs. ANDRE FIAHLO ($9)
This is the fight that I personally expect to be the most exciting of the slate. Both of these fighters have the power to end fights, and both of them are a bit chiny so if they get caught, it is probably over. That dynamic alone makes the fight very exciting from the opening second.
Joaquin Buckley has been somewhat of a mythical fighter since his highlight knockout of Impa Kasanganay early in his UFC career, and while he hasn’t truly lived up to that hype yet, it has been fun to watch him add to his skillset and become a more well-rounded fighter. Buckley has become a much more well-rounded fighter over the years as well, adding a bit of wrestling to the mix here and there, and showing that he can pace himself to make it to the scorecards.
Andre Fiahlo has similar power in his hands, but falls a bit short in the wrestling department and has shown the opposite of the ability to pace himself, instead opting to empty the tank early and then fade as the fight goes on. While this may not put him in the best position to win most of the time, it certainly makes his fights worth watching.
For me, the cardio issues from Fiahlo make it a clear-cut pick for Buckely, but you can’t ignore the potential Fiahlo has for a knockout himself. For single entry, I would go with Buckley without question, but for large field tournaments and multiple-entry contests, you can’t go wrong targeting either side of this fight.
FIGHT #2 TO TARGET (-250 FDNGTD)
THEMBA GORIMBO ($16) vs. TAKASHI SATO ($15)
This marks three weeks in a row with the LOTW being in the fights to target write-up, and while Johnny Walker did not score the way we hoped he would last week, the LOTW is winning these matchups. That could be the case again here as the LOTW, Themba Gorimbo, takes on Takashi Sato at UFC Vegas 73.
Themba Gorimbo is a well-rounded fighter that was submitted by a very solid wrestler in his UFC debut. He shouldn’t run into that issue here, and in fact, should have the wrestling and grappling advantage. Couple that with him being about even on the stand-up with his opponent and the paths to victory here are endless. That could be why Jacob made him his LOTW.
Takashi Sato is mostly a striker, with very little wrestling or grappling to speak of. The unfortunate truth is that Sato can be taken down fairly easily and that should present him some with obstacles to overcome in this matchup. If Sato can manage to keep this standing, however, he might have a slight edge – debatable – in the striking and could use that to find his way to victory.
The LOTW is currently on a five-fight win streak, and I personally think it extends to six this week. That being said, you might benefit from a bit of a sprinkle of Sato in your lineups just in case the read is completely off. For me, the prediction is Gorimbo by sub though, and he will be in my lineups.
FIGHT #3 TO TARGET (-225 FDNGTD)
ANTHONY HERNANDEZ ($21) vs. EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN ($9)
Fluffy fights just hit different. The energy and passion he brings into the cage make all of his appearances exciting, even when they end in defeat. Across the cage from him this time around is accomplished striker Edmen Shahbazyan who will look to continue the momentum from his knockout win over Dalcha Lungiambula.
Neither of these guys has the best takedown defense, and both of them like to mix in takedowns. So whoever can get those early takedowns is going to come out on top in my opinion. Either Fluffy gets those takedowns and finds a submission, or Edmen gets them and wears down the suspect cardio of Fluffy to hopefully find the late finish. Either way, the score should be impressive and make a great addition to your FanDuel tournament lineup.
GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND
Good look to all heading into this event. If you are watching it at home, follow along with @WeWantPicks on YouTube for live bets on the fight companion. Also, make sure to tweet your winning lineups at us and we will do our best to recognize your greatness.
Enjoy the event, and make sure to keep it locked on We Want Picks for tons of great MMA content.