The first UFC event of 2018 comes to us live and free on Fox Sports 1 with two hard-hitting action fighters Jeremy Stephens and Dooho Choi set to duke it out in the main event. The co-main event could even be a title-shot eliminator in the newly created women’s flyweight division. Emil Meek also seeks to derail Kamari Usman’s hype train, while Michael Johnson drops weight to take on the tough-as-nails Darren Elkins.
The main event starts at 10pm eastern on Fox Sports 1, while the pre-lim fights start on 8pm on the same channel. The Fight Pass early pre-lims begin at 6:30pm.
Now let’s get down to business.
- The above mentioned Darren Elkins ($7,600) is an incredibly live under-dog. Johnson is hands-down the more skilled fighter of the two, but his famous speed might not play the same as he is moving down a weight-class. Additionally, Johnson is the kind of fighter that easily loses focuses and throws his gameplan to the wind, and Elkins is just the kind of constant pressure, never phased, and never out kind of fighter that gets into Johnson’s head (see Justin Gaetjhe). Not only am I picking Elkins in DFS, but I’m rolling with him in straight pick ’ems as well.
- Marco Polo Reyes ($7,300) is a big underdog against Matt Frevola, and for legitimate reasons. Frevola fights out of the famed Serra-Longo camp, and has the wrestling chops to put Reyes on his back whenever he wants. However, Frevola has also shown a tendency to just throw-down, a style that fits snugly within Reyes’s wheelhouse. If Frevola sticks to a smart game-plan, he should have this in the bag. But if he decides to throw, Reyes will do what Reyes does and end his night with a KO.
- Darren Elkins is a value-pick, and on the flip-side, Michael Johnson ($8,600) is a fighter that I would avoid. Not only can he be frustratingly inactive at times, the match-up is a tough one for him. That cap space is better used elsewhere.
- Similar to how you should avoid Michael Johnson, I would also avoid Matt Frevola ($8,900). As I mentioned above, he certainly has the skills to make easy work of Reyes, but his in-fight strategy seems to be lacking frequently and he just wants to stand and bang, bro. Not a good strategy against Reyes, and hence I would avoid him at that price-tag.