I missed you guys last week! Unfortunately I was busy with real life stuff, but this week we are back for yet another exciting PPV slate. In fact, when this little run is all said and done we will have had three PPV events inside of a roughly 30 day period.
UFC 286 is not quite as exciting as 285 was on paper in my humble opinion, but it certainly has the fights that you want to see on a PPV card, so while maybe slightly less exciting on paper, in practice I don’t believe that any of us will be let down.
Below you will see my recommended fights to target on the FanDuel slate for UFC 286. 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 (-360 FDNGTD)
CHRISTIAN DUNCAN ($18) vs. DUSKO TORDOROVIC ($13)
This fight isn’t being talked about enough if we are being honest with ourselves. It does have the most favored inside the distance line on the slate though, so it will likely still draw plenty of ownership regardless. We have two powerful guys here that are both capable of ending the fight early.
Christian Duncan is making his UFC debut coming off of a very impressive regional resume. He is a powerful striker that strikes with an unorthodox level of flash that is difficult to prepare for. Everything he throws is with bad intentions, and if those shots connect they will generally put his opponent out. Duncan has compiled six finishes in seven fights, and his opponent is in a similar situation as well, so this one should not leave the viewers in anything but a state of being impressed.
Dusko Todorovic is a striker as well, and probably is a bit more technically sound than Duncan. He also does not lack power himself however. Dusko has had five of his seven UFC fights end in a finish from strikes, with him being on the winning side of three of those five. Dusko’s path here would be to stay at distance and connect with straight shots while Duncan loads up and gets flashy.
No matter which way this one goes the score should be pretty solid. These guys both will come out and either win in spectacular fashion or go out on their shield. I don’t even have a firm feeling on which side should be the right side, but I suppose for a single entry I would be more likely to use Duncan. When it comes to multiple entries though, an almost even split between these two would likely be my suggestion.
FIGHT #2 TO TARGET (-250 FDNGTD)
CHRIS DUNCAN ($15) vs. OMAR MORALES ($15)
Another Chris Duncan is fighting on this slate as well, and again this guy is dangerous. His opponent in this fight is UFC veteran Omar Morales. Make no mistake, the reason that this fight is favored to end inside the distance is because of Duncan however.
Chris Duncan is making his official UFC debut after two separate appearances on Dana White’s Contender Series. Duncan lost his first appearance by knockout and then won his second appearance by knockout. This follows suit with his regional resume that includes only one fight making it the distance. Duncan has enormous power and is never quite out of fight, but this is actually where the concern comes in. Even in the DWCS fight that he won, he was rocked and then had to come back from the depths of despair to secure the victory.
Morales on the other hand, is not nearly as dangerous. What Omar lacks in dangerousness he makes up for in how well rounded he is. Morales should have the advantage everywhere here except the power, and then of course the youth – which is always a concern when it comes to combat sports like MMA.
When it comes to big tournaments you will definitely need to take a shot on Duncan just in case he ends this fight early in spectacular fashion, but for me, the side is definitely Morales. I just don’t believe that Duncan is that good, and Morales should be a significant step up in competition for him. The unfortunate truth is that Morales is probably not the better scoring side in a win however, so do what you will with that information.
FIGHT #3 TO TARGET (-175 FDNGTD)
JUSTIN GAETHJE ($12) vs. RAFAEL FIZIEV ($18)
This fight is going to be a banger. Really any fight with Justin Gaethje becomes a banger, and then to add Rafael Fiziev into the mix just makes it that much more appealing. Both of these guys are very impressive strikers, and while that is the normal course of action for both, Gaethje is a very accomplished wrestler and Fiziev has proven capable in the rare instances of him being grounded.
Justin Gaethje is the definition of the term “warrior” and performs as such each and every time he steps into the cage. Gaethje’s striking is a bit more on the wild side, but also has a beauty to it that would make you believe it is the most technical display possible. The biggest question for Gaethje in my opinion is how his chin will handle what comes back his way. He has been in some amazing wars, and those fights have to be starting to take their toll on his chin. We have seen him wobbled on more than one instance, but that never stops him from throwing back and staying in the fight.
Rafael Fiziev is probably one of the most technical strikers in the UFC, and is also the striking coach at one of the most prestigious striking gyms in the world – Tiger Muay Thai, in Phuket, Thailand. Fiziev doesn’t lack power either, which is what makes his striking particularly dangerous. Then add in that he has some of the most impressive takedown defense in the division as well, so even if Justin did decide to wrestle (he won’t) it shouldn’t hinder the performance of Fiziev.
For me this is a Fiziev play all the way. I just believe Gaethje’s time is over – but if I was playing multiple entry contests I would certainly consider exposure to Gaethje on par with the field. He is just too dangerous to ignore. The nice thing about this fight is that it should score well even if there isn’t a finish with two active strikers and FanDuel’s scoring rubric.
GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND
Good look to all heading into this event. If you are watching it at home make sure to follow along with @WeWantPicks on YouTube for live bets. 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.