Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets me more motivated for a UFC event than when the main event is virtually guaranteed violence. This week at UFC Vegas 65 we have the pleasure of watching The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis, matchup against The Polar Bear, Serghei Spivac. This fight is about as guaranteed to end inside the distance as a fight can get and I am beyond pleased to be able to watch it this weekend.
Beyond that fight however, this event has numerous other fights that likely end in a finish as well. In this article we will take a look at some of them through a FanDuel lens to increase our chances of making some great single entry tournament lineups.
Below you will see my recommended fights to target on the FanDuel slate for UFC Vegas 65. 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 (-750 FDGTD)
DERRICK LEWIS ($13) vs. SERGHEI SPIVAC ($23)
I am fairly positive it is a surprise to no one that this fight is in the top spot. This fight will likely have 100% exposure for everyone. The tricky part is which side to play. Obviously Spivac is a big favorite, and for pretty good reason, but Derrick Lewis is hard to ever count out with the power he holds in his right hand.
From a mixed martial arts perspective, Spivac is the much more well rounded fighter with a significant advantage in the wrestling and grappling areas of the fight. Neither man is exactly a wizard with their striking skills. Both of them possess power in their hands, however Spivac is probably at a big disadvantage in the power department. For Spivac to win this fight, he will need to pressure Lewis to the breaking point, take him to the ground and beat the will out of Derrick Lewis. Spivac's path almost surely ends in a ground and pound TKO or some kind of submission.
On the other side of the cage is The Black Beast, Derrick Lewis. From a skill perspective Lewis is lacking in many areas compared to his opponent. What he isn’t lacking in however is the power he has in just one right hand. Make no mistake, that is Lewis’ ONLY path in this fight. He will not out wrestle, out grapple, or out cardio Spivac. He needs to connect big in a fight changing way to win this contest.
From a single entry perspective, which is my favorite type of contest, Serghei Spivac is the side to play in this one. For multiple entries however, you cannot ignore either side of this fight. I would still suggest having your exposure more heavily slanted in favor of Spivac.
FIGHT #2 TO TARGET (-360 FDGTD)
JACK DELLA MADDALENA ($22) vs. DANNY ROBERTS ($8)
This fight includes the most heavily favored fighter on the slate in Jack Della Maddalena. Thankfully however he is still a dollar savings over the most expensive fighter on the slate, Serghei Spivac. His opponent is Danny Roberts who is the cheapest fighter on the slate. So regardless of which side wins, the winning side is likely to pay off very well in your lineups.
Jack Della Maddalena has provided a string of striking clinics since entering the UFC, with both of his two official UFC bouts ending in knockout. Maddalena puts on a great pace and has power when he connects. Currently he is averaging over 8 significant strikes per minute, and has an amazing 65% striking defense. That puts him at about a 2:1 ratio when it comes to striking differential. The one area where he has shown some struggle has been in takedown defense, but that is unlikely to play a role in this fight.
Danny Roberts is a UFC veteran who has been fighting in the UFC since 2015 and in professional MMA since 2010. Roberts is a striker that is much more low volume than his opponent, and unfortunately for him, much more hittable. He doesn’t look to wrestle often, and has only recorded two takedowns in twelve UFC fights. He does have knockout wins on his record, but none of them came against a striker as effective as Maddalena, and all of them were against fighters that require a Tapology look up to remember who they were.
The only saving grace for being on the Roberts side on this one would be his salary of only $8. If he can manage to survive the fight he would be a decent punt in single entry contests, and if he was able to pull out a decision even would be a massive value. Personally I don’t see that scenario happening however and will be on Maddalena. There could potentially be some value in being under the field on Maddalena however in multiple entry contests as his ownership is likely going to be through the roof.
FIGHT #3 TO TARGET (-250 FDGTD)
CHASE SHERMAN ($9) vs. WALDO CORTES-ACOSTA ($21)
The Kennedy Nzechukwu and Ion Cutelaba fight had a more favorable line to end inside the distance than this fight, so take that for what it is worth. Personally I think this fight is safer to target because while Nzechukwu has the reputation for having power, he hasn’t knocked out a single opponent in the UFC. On the other side, Cutelaba’s path to victory isn’t exactly a big scorer on FanDuel. Meanwhile this fight has greater knockout potential and both guys want to strike.
Chase Sherman is the guy that just won’t go away. He is like the heavyweight division’s very own case of herpes. He just keeps coming back. That being said, he does seem to have some power as long as he can manage to not have his chin touched in the process of delivering it. The unfortunate truth however is that he is being hit more than 6 times per minute, so the outlook is not amazing for his chin to avoid all of those shots.
Waldo Cortes-Acosta just fought two weeks ago, and squeaked out a decision win over Jared Vanderaa (who Sherman knocked out in his last fight – MMA math). In that fight, which was his first official UFC bout, Cortes-Acosta looked pretty average to be generous. His power did not look as advertised, and he ate a ton of leg kicks from Vanderaa. To gain some insight into the positives however, he did look very athletic and fast with his hands for the division. A big question is his leg according to the WWP analysts, as his lead leg was struck 39 times on 41 attempts. Could there be some residual damage there from just two weeks ago?
Either way this one goes you are getting two guys that want to stand and bang so that should make for an entertaining fight. The safer side of this one is definitely Cortes-Acosta, but Sherman is likely to draw decent dog ownership and would score well in a win.
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 Twitter 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.