I did manage to go three for three on the fights to target picks last week, but sadly Zac Pauga didn’t do a thing to help anyone’s fantasy score last week. He won decisively but in one of the most boring fights I have witnessed in quite a while. This week, for UFC Vegas 70, we likely will not have that problem.
The UFC Vegas 70 slate is loaded with exciting matchups, and filled with live dogs in many of the matchups. The fights to target this week are pretty straight forward, there shouldn’t be too many surprises. If you end up on the right side of the fights to target this week, you should score very well and be in the hunt to be in the green when it comes to your tournament contests.
Below you will see my recommended fights to target on the FanDuel slate for UFC Vegas 70. 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 (-900 FDNGTD)
NIKITA KRYLOV ($19) vs. RYAN SPANN ($15)
Everyone has been on Ryan Spann’s jock since his announcement that he is “taking it serious” and actually training for his fights now. The counter point here is that he is fighting Nikita Krylov who is a seasoned veteran that is capable of being either the hammer or the nail, and sometimes both in the same matchup.
In a break from tradition I am going to be breaking down the underdog first. Ryan Spann’s announcement wasn’t as well received by me as it seems to have been by most. I translated his statement to mean, “I haven’t been taking this too seriously. I really don’t care about my own success, and I care even less about your money.” I personally have a hard time backing a guy like that, it gives me Derrick Lewis vibes. Spann is a dangerous guy for sure. He is capable of achieving a knockout or a submission in every fight he is in. His massive size sure doesn’t hurt either in most of his matchups.
Nikita Krylov, who is the favorite in this fight, should have the advantage everywhere if he can survive the early level of danger being thrown his way by Spann. He has a bit of wrestling upside, and if he can get this fight to the ground he could find his own finish. The durability of Krylov is also a big asset in this fight from my perspective due to Ryan Spann having only seen limited success outside of the first round.
For me the pick is Krylov all the way, but the threat of an early finish and big score from Ryan Spann cannot be understated. The threat is there, it is real, and at his price tag the score would be immense. Whichever side you pick on this one, the fight shouldn’t last too very long, probably finishing within the first two or three rounds. My suggestion for those playing multiple entries is to have about an equal mix of Spann and Krylov.
FIGHT #2 TO TARGET (-650 FDNGTD)
TREVOR PEEK ($20) vs. ERICK GONZALEZ ($11)
Here we have a fight between a UFC newcomer and an established loser within the promotion. These are always the most difficult fights to predict in my opinion. Neither of these guys have a ton to go on, and you almost can’t ignore that the UFC match makers are almost surely trying to push Peek with this fight. The marketing aspect of these fights is always something that you should at the very least consider.
Trevor Peek is coming off of a DWCS appearance that ended in his favor by knockout in round two. Prior to the knockout however, he didn’t look great if we are being honest with ourselves. He was taken down four times, and was being outstruck by his opponent. The bright side is that Peek did return to his feet quickly after being taken down and his power and aggression make up for any deficiencies in his striking as long as his chin doesn’t fail him.
Erick Gonzalez has seen two fights in the UFC so far, one against Jim Miller and another against Terrance McKinney. Both of those fights resulted in Erick being finished, once by knockout and once by submission. Gonzalez can strike moderately well, but just isn’t super dangerous, and I think he has two potential paths to victory here. The first is to catch Peek slipping while Peek is loading up or exposing himself, and the second would be to utilize more wrestling and win the fight on the ground. Unfortunately the second option, while it would be smart due to Peek’s miserable takedown defense, isn’t really the Ghost Pepper style.
This is a fight that I would have specifically avoided on DraftKings, but on FanDuel I believe that it becomes a bit more important because it will almost surely end early. As much as I think Peek does in fact win this fight, it is really hard to overlook the potential value of Gonzalez if he is able to get it done. In a small field single entry I might just take the ride with Gonzalez, but in almost any other contest type I would choose to be more heavily exposed to Peek.
FIGHT #3 TO TARGET (-350 FDNGTD)
MIKE MALOTT ($21) vs. YOHAN LAINESSE ($10)
This fight is most likely shaping up to be a banger. On one side you have an incredibly well rounded Canadian who hasn’t really been tested at the UFC level, and on the other you have a powerhouse Canadian with a touch of cardio issues. It could end early, or it could end late, but the chances of it ending are very solid.
Mike Malott is the hype side here. He is a well rounded fighter coming off of a UFC debut win against a career jobber in Mickey Gall. We truthfully haven’t seen much from Malott against a high level of competition, but we do know that he is very well rounded. In fact he has competed in multiple disciplines at a professional or amateur level. For some reason there is a narrative in the MMA community that Malott is a very skilled wrestler and grappler. It just isn’t completely accurate. While he does appear to be a very solid offensive wrestler, he seems to have holes in his defensive wrestling. Malott is solid on the ground however, while only being a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, he has managed to win 4 no Gi tournaments and be the silver medalist in the Atlantic Canadian Advanced Gi Division. Malott’s biggest asset in this matchup however is his technical striking, but he will almost certainly be at a power disadvantage, which means he needs to maintain that technical level for as long as the fight lasts.
Yohan Lainesse, while not a very good technical striker, has the power that you covet when a fighter on the slate has a salary this low. It is also worth remembering that he took Gabe Green down twice in his matchup with him, so his wrestling could be an asset here against a fighter in Malott that doesn’t defend takedowns that well at times. Lainesse trains at a jiu-jitsu gym and while it is unlikely for him to hunt for a submission against Malott, he should be savy enough to stay safe should this fight find its way to the ground. Of course all of that could change outside of the first round when Yohan starts to get tired.
My expectation for this fight is that it stays standing, unless Yohan brings it down to the ground, and it becomes a war of power versus cardio. You should definitely have exposure to both sides here, but if I had to pick a side I suppose it would be Malott due to the looping nature of Yohan’s striking and his cardio troubles.
GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND
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