This weekend’s card feels like a throw-back of sorts as UFC 218 packs compelling match-ups from start to finish despite the lack of any “money” fight. Featherweight champion Max Holloway re-matches with the former champ Jose Aldo in the main event, while the co-main pits heavyweight contenders and KO artists Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou against each other.
And let’s not forget about Eddie Alverez and Justin Gaethje. I’m getting all tingly just writing this.
The main card starts at 10:00pm eastern on pay-per-view, while the prelims begin at 8:00pm on Fox Sports 1. The early prelims kick off at 6:15pm on Fight Pass.
Now let’s get down to business.
It would be hard to write a legitimate DFS article without picking Justin Gaethje ($8,700). His price-tag is purely a result of the quality of competition, but make no mistake, “The Highlight” will rack up points whether he wins or loses (and I just so happen to think he wins dramatically here). Gaethje’s combination of toughness and aggressiveness is built for a daily fantasy lineup, so build it accordingly.
Two finishers collide in last fight on the FS1 prelims as Paul Felder takes on Charles Oliveira ($7,700). That price tag on Oliveira makes no sense to me. I understand that he occasionally has mental lapses in the cage, but he also looks like a world-beater at times. Felder could definitely win this fight, but I doubt that he’ll be able to keep this fight on the feet forever and Oliveira submits him for the victory.
And because there are two “Oliveiras” fighting on the card this Saturday, I am going to make it easy by picking both. Alex Oliveira ($8,900) takes on flashy striker Yancy Medeiros and will most likely capitalize on the Hawaiian’s defensive deficiencies. “Cowboy” Oliveira is fight finisher, and Medeiros leaves himself open far too often.
Felice Herrig has been on a nice run in the UFC, but Cortney Casey ($7,900) is here to say enough is enough. Casey is the bigger and stronger fighter, and has a fighting style that utilizes those strengths to bully her opponents. She will come out blazing against Herrig and not allow her opponent to get into any groove whatsoever.
Dominick Reyes ($9,400) is the most expensive fighter on a card full of finishers for a reason. He is fighting someone who should be a weight class below him, and his own size and length compliment his kickboxing skills extremely well. I am expecting a highlight head kick KO as soon as Reyes wants it.
OK, so I spent a lot of money on my lineup so far and need a cheap fighter. Enter Allen Crowder ($7,400), who is coming off of an upset victory in Dana’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. That fight showed Crowder to be an aggressive fighter pushing a fairly fast pace for a heavyweight, and his record is full of first round finishes (against non-UFC talent, to be fair). His opponent, Justin Willis, is also a wrestler, but does not seem to be able to put up the same output as Crowder. This is heavyweight, so anything can happen, but the price tag makes Crowder intriguing.