Despite their best efforts, the UFC seems to have cobbled together a decent Fight Night card in North Carolina, including several matchups we can take advantage of for DFS and betting purposes. We'll take a look at every bout on the 12-fight card, including a pair of old veterans who always opt for violence, and a heavyweight trying to derail a hype train. Our betting line this week comes from William Hill and is accurate to the post date of this article.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Natan Levy ($9,100)
One attempting to gauge the talent level of Pete Rodriguez would have to concede he is somewhere in between his vicious knockout of Mike Jackson and the systematic beating he suffered before being finished by Jack Della Maddalena in his UFC debut. Levy is nowhere near the level of striker as the latter, but it's unlikely that Rodriguez has encountered the strength or relentlessness in grappling he will face from the Israeli fighter during his four professional MMA bouts prior to entering the organization. While Rodriguez's boxing can look sharp in spots, I will need to see him pass this test before I can pick him in this sort of matchup.
Jessica-Rose Clark ($8,400)
Clark may not be a prototypical wrestler, but the overwhelming majority of her wins in the Octagon have come when she is able to control her opponent on the ground. Tainara Lisboa stands so stationary as a decorated Muay Thai competitor that Clark should be able to get in on her hips without having to worry about submission threats. Though she may never be a title contender, experience alone should be enough to get Clark a victory here, which could result in a surprising point total at this price.
Karl Williams ($9,400)
Williams has been a massive favorite each time this fight has been booked. In every instance, I have expressed how lost Chase Sherman has looked on his back in his UFC career. I've also emphasized Sherman's penchant for getting tired late in fights, particularly in comparison to Williams' ability to fight and get takedowns when gassed. At this point, it seems the only thing DFS players need to fear is whether the fight actually happens or not, as Williams feels like the exact wrong opponent for Sherman to have success against.
Matt Brown ($7,500)
All of Court McGee's most recent wins have come when he is able to lean on his wrestling, but Brown has an active takedown game in his own right and is a much more active submission grappler. The latter is why this fight reminds me far more of McGee's 2020 bout against Carlos Condit than any of his successes, as Brown will stand at range and pick "The Crusher" apart without fear of what will happen when the bout hits the mat.
Tim Means ($7,400)
Alex Morono hasn't fought many dedicated wrestlers lately but tends to get taken to the ground rather easily when the opponent applies himself, as he was taken down a combined seven times in fights against Jordan Mein and Max Griffin. Means (like Matt Brown) has worked more wrestling into his game of late and should be able to get ahead on the judges' scorecards in the face of the flat-footed "Great White."
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
Carlos Ulberg OVER 6.5 Minutes of Fight Time, Johnny Walker OVER 6.5 Minutes of Fight Time, and Ian Garry over 14.75 Minutes of Fight Time
Ulberg may have worked quickly in his last two appearances, but I'm not ready to anoint him a finisher at this level, as it was only last year that he let Fabio Cherant see the final bell despite having every advantage imaginable. Ihor Potieria is hittable but undeniably tough. I can see Ulberg being hesitant to engage after "Duelist" takes his best shots and keeps coming.
After years with the company, Walker is still that guy who is going to finish or get finished spectacularly. What lies in between is a low-volume slog, which is what we might get in the late rounds against Anthony Smith. While he has dealt with a host of issues and injuries of late, Smith has never been someone who gets flash KOed. I expect that this will make Walker revert to the (T)echnical kind of fight we have seen from him since joining the SBG gym.
This is easier to say when one of the competitors is undefeated, however, it is still the case that neither Garry nor Daniel Rodriguez has been stopped by strikes in 31 professional MMA fights. While Rodriguez showed a vulnerability to submission grappling in his last bout with Neil Magny, it's important to note that only one of Garry's 11 wins has come by submission. The end result of this should be a back-and-fourth kickboxing match that sees the judges' scorecards.
Plays to Consider on SuperDraft
Bryan Battle - 1.95 X Multiplier
Green's defeat at the hands of Ian Garry can be summed up in the time it takes to announce the tale of the tape. "Gifted" simply couldn't get past the height disparity presented to him in that matchup, and will be at a similar loss against Battle, who is five inches taller than the 30-year-old. Battle should also have the strength advantage here, which won't allow Green to pick up a victory just by setting an incredible pace.
Douglas Silva de Andrade – 2.05 X Multiplier
For all his meat-and-potatoes wrestle-boxing, Cody Stamann has never really shown an ability to beat someone who can match his strength and hand speed. De Andrade should be able to do this and more, relying on his 69 percent takedown defense rate and his superior footwork to win the day.
Ji Yeon Kim – 1.75 X Multiplier
Any multiplier above the minimum should be seen as a gift here, as Kim is likely to swarm the plodding Mandy Bohm with strikes until the final Bell. Bohm can be a handful if she is able to keep range, but Victoria Leonardo ended up having success on the feet by not allowing Bohm to breathe. This is a feat Kim should be able to replicate in spades.
Bets to Consider
Jair Rozenstruik wins via KO/TKO or disqualification (+440)
The first thing to note is we get a pretty sizable increase when placing our bet here as opposed to the money line, so anyone planning on taking a shot on "Biggi Boi" should maximize their potential profit with the most likely path to victory. Jailton Almeida has been absolutely dominant in the UFC, but takedowns that come from halfway across the cage have done nothing to show me he's relying on anything else but pure athleticism. Rozenstruik is a sniper who has yet to be held on his back for long stretches of time in the UFC, which leaves me wondering how "Malhadinho" will fare if he needs to stand across from Jair for more than a few minutes.
Sports betting is officially live in the state of Massachusetts, just in time for March Madness. To get the most bang for your buck when selecting a sportsbook as a new customer, check out these Massachusetts Sports Betting Promos.