Last week’s UFC 295 PPV card turned out to be one of the best cards of the year. We had near nonstop action from the first early prelim of the night all the way through the main event.
This week we head back to the UFC Apex for UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig. There have been a couple late changes to matchups, but for the most part this card has held itself together. Let’s take a better look at a few standout fights to consider targeting from a DFS perspective.
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FIGHT #1 TO TARGET (-800 FDNGTD)
BRENDAN ALLEN ($23) vs. PAUL CRAIG ($14)
Brendan Allen comes into the fight on a five-fight winning streak, demonstrating a well-rounded skill set with improvements in striking and wrestling to complement his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background. His recent victory over Bruno Silva demonstrated this evolution. Paul Craig, on the other hand, is known for his exceptional grappling and dramatic comeback abilities, but he has a less effective striking and takedown game. His performance at middleweight, particularly against Andre Muniz, demonstrated his adaptability, but facing an all-rounder like Allen presents new challenges.
Allen is expected to use his superior striking and wrestling to control the fight, attempting to keep Craig at bay with a blend of precise striking and occasional takedowns. Craig's ground threats should be mitigated by his grappling abilities. Craig's best chance for victory is in his ground game, which requires him to get past Allen's defense and engage in grappling, where he excels. Despite his striking limitations, Craig's demonstrated ability to secure submissions under duress keeps him in contention.
Allen is a good pick for DFS players because of his ability to score points using a variety of offensive strategies. Craig, while a riskier choice due to his striking and takedown limitations, provides high-reward opportunities in grappling situations. Brendan Allen gets the nod of being the favorite in the fight because his all-around approach is well-suited to counter Craig's grappling-centric style. However, Craig's low salary mixed with his knack for securing unexpected victories, particularly on the ground make this a fight worth looking at from both sides.
FIGHT #2 TO TARGET (-300 FDNGTD)
MICHAEL PARKIN ($20) vs. CAIO MACHADO ($10)
Michael Parkin emerges as the technically superior fighter in a heavyweight clash that offers volatility, making him a preferred choice as an outright winner. Parkin's methodical style and ability to control the tempo of the fight, as demonstrated in his UFC debut victory over Jamal Pogues, distinguish him in this matchup. However, Caio Machado remains in contention due to the heavyweight division's inherent risk, which is characterized by the potential for sudden, fight-ending strikes. Volume, footwork, and a well-rounded skill set distinguish Machado from Parkin's more deliberate approach. Parkin is heavily favored (-350), reflecting a perception of his technical edge, but these odds appear disproportionate given the unpredictable nature of heavyweight bouts and Parkin's relatively untested record at higher competition levels.
Machado, who represents the new generation of active heavyweights, brings a dynamic pace to the fight. His striking, clinch work, and underrated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills make him a formidable opponent. Parkin, while not the fastest, compensates with his wrestling prowess and control over the fight's pace. This fight pits Parkin's technical finesse and strategic control against Machado's power and volume.
Given the unknowns and the possibility of an abrupt finish, the fight presents a high-risk, high-reward scenario. For DFS players, a balanced exposure to both fighters could be crucial, recognizing Parkin's technical advantage while also respecting Machado's ability to deliver a surprise knockout or submission. This heavyweight bout necessitates a cautious yet opportunistic approach from DFS players (and bettors alike).
FIGHT #3 TO TARGET (-260 FDNGTD)
PAYTON TALBOTT ($22) vs. NICK AGUIRRE ($8)
Payton Talbott enters this matchup as a -700 favorite, highlighting his striking and dynamic agility. Talbott, known for his one-two punch combinations and knockout power, combines aggression and strategy to achieve quick dominance. His height and reach advantage in the division enhances his striking effectiveness, making him a formidable opponent. Despite this, his grappling defense, as demonstrated by his near-defeat against Christhian Rivas, suggests a weakness. His strong takedown defense and quick recovery when grounded, on the other hand, reinforce his toughness.
Nick Aguirre, who recently lost a decision to Argueta, is a stark contrast in style. His record, which includes first-round submissions against inexperienced opponents, demonstrates his ability to end fights quickly. Aguirre is a wrestler and grappler who excels at double-leg takedowns and controlling the ground game with consistent striking and positional shifts. While his striking remains underdeveloped, a full training camp could improve this aspect of his fighting, increasing the matchup's unpredictability. Aguirre, priced at $8, emerges as a valuable underdog with a solid path to victory through wrestling and grappling, potentially making him a strategic pick for optimal lineups in DFS strategy.
This fight presents a classic striker versus grappler challenge for DFS players. Talbott will try to keep the fight standing with his striking advantage, while Aguirre will try to take it to the mat with his grappling expertise. If the fight goes to the ground, Talbott's grappling vulnerability and Aguirre's BJJ skills could be decisive. In DFS, balancing risk and reward is critical. Talbott has knockout potential but comes at a high price and with a high level of ownership risk, making him a high-reward but risky option. As a low-cost underdog, Aguirre has the potential to cause a significant upset with his grappling and submissions. This volatile yet rewarding matchup necessitates strategic hedging in DFS lineups, balancing Talbott's striking prowess and Aguirre's grappling dominance.
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, tweet your winning lineups at us and we will do our best to recognize your greatness.
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