With events happening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night hosted by MMA’s top three promotions we’ve got an entire weekend of pretty great fights. The action starts tonight with Bellator 132 with Patricio Freire’s first title defense in a rematch with Daniel Straus. Saturday night we’ve got WSOF 17’s welterweight title eliminator between Jake Shields and Brian Foster. This is all followed by UFC Fight Night 59 Sunday night in Boston where Dennis Siver is taking on Conor McGregor in hopes of derailing the hype train behind one of the promotions most marketable fighters.
The only thing that could make the weekend even better is winning a boatload of cash just for watching the fights. Well you’re in luck, because we’ve got a Kountermove breakdown for each card with three tips in an effort to put you in the money and a FN 59 freeroll from the good people of KM. Before we get too far, here`s a little reminder from the founders of the site on how KM works and how fights are scored:
“About Kountermove. Kountermove, Inc. is currently the world’s leading Fantasy MMA community. Kountermove is like fantasy football or baseball, but for MMA. Our founders, Aaron Ard and Brian Knapp, are Jiu-jitsu black belts and IBJJF competitors.
Pick your team of 5 fighters. You are given a “salary cap” of $25,000 in fantasy money to spend on drafting your team of fighters you expect to perform well/win.
Each fighter is assigned a price that is reflective of his or her respective odds. For example, in UFC 167: GSP cost $6,000, while Johny Hendricks cost $5,000. Since Hendricks is the underdog, he cost less than GSP.
Score Points and Win. Once the fight card begins, you accumulate points based on how well your picks performed.
Winners are determined by the most points earned – points are awarded: strikes landed, submission attempts, knockdowns, dominant positions, rounds won, and knockout or submission bonuses.
Fight statistics are provided by FightMetric LLC, the UFC’s official stats provider.”
Here are a few extra links to get you accustomed to how the site works and how performances are scored.
Remember this is fantasy sports, so you’re not only trying to pick a winner but someone you think will finish the fight or rack up a ton of points on their way to a decision.
Here are 3 tips for each event that will hopefully help you make some cash this weekend:
1. An expensive fighter I like for tonight`s Bellator 132 card is Derek Anderson ($5,400). He`s got advantages wherever the fight take place and has finished 10 of his 11 fights, split almost evenly between TKO/KO and submissions. His only fight to ever go the distance was his win over Patricky Freire, and his only loss is a submission to Marcin Held, which isn’t completely unforgivable. There is also a pretty sizeable gap between the levels of competition both fighters have faced, with Anderson’s opponent fighting most of his recent fights in Gladiator Challenge (which doesn’t make me any more confident in him). All of this leads me to side with ‘The Barbaric’ as one of my more confident KM picks for tonight’s Bellator event. He should get you a good amount of points with the finish, or at least a one-sided decision.
2. Cheap pick for this card is definitely going to be Everett Cummings ($4,500). This was a pretty easy pick when comparing Cummings to the other cheap picks on the card. He’s finished seven of his eight fights, while his opponent Jason Glaza was finished in his only loss. Jason Glaza’s two wins have come over opposition who are now a combined 17-32 which also doesn’t help inspire my confidence that he’ll fare well especially as a late replacement after Hector Carillo withdrew from the bout. Cummings is a dirt cheap finisher who you’ll need if you want to afford some pricier picks like Freire or Anderson, and one who’ll likely find success in his Bellator debut, netting you a decent amount of points.
3. A fight I’m staying away from is the rematch between Houston Alexander ($4,800) and Virgil Zwicker ($4,800). Even though these are two of the most proven finishers on the card, I’m just not confident enough in the outcome of the fight to warrant placing any trust in either of these guys. There could be a quick finish but it could just as easily come from either fighter, or the fight could end up being a slow, drawn out decision where both guys would ruin your KM team. I’d lean Zwicker now that he’s got a full camp to train for the fight (Being a late replacement the first time they met) but I’m not as confident he’ll get the finish as I am for a few other fighters on the card. Save your money and just watch this one, there’s more KM value elsewhere on the card.
1. The only must-play fighter I can see for Saturday`s WSOF card is Jake Shields ($5,600). He had a reputation in the UFC for a lackluster, grinding style but that was when he was regularly facing guys like Hector Lombard, Demian Maia, and Tyron Woodley. Shields showed his WSOF debut that he can thrive against this level of competition, submitting Ryan Ford in the opening round. I expect to see more of the same here, especially with his opponent Brian Foster (sub info). Shields is a proven fighters and likely gets you a ton of points with an early sub, and is well worth the highest price tag you’ll find for WSOF 17.
2. To balance out the high price tag of Shields or a few other WSOF fighters, you’re going to need some sub-5000 guys to balance your team’s budget, and I’m going with Jordan Rinaldi ($4,900) as a cheaper pick for the card. Half of his 8 wins are by submission, including a first round sub of Dennis Bermudez, which gives him a nice advantage over his opponent Soslan Abanokov who has been submitted in two of his three losses. Although he’s only just barely under the average price tag, Rinaldi should come through with a finish this weekend, racking you up some nice KM points in the meantime while not taking up too much of your budget.
3. A fighter I’m staying away from at WSOF 17 is without a doubt Krasmir Mladenov ($5,300). This is one of those win-by-decision, lose-by-something-violent type of situations. Mladenov is aptly nicknamed “The Wrestler” and from what I’ve seen tends to rely pretty heavily on normally having a significant wrestling advantage against his opponents, which he uses to grind out decisions. His opponent Brendan Kornberger prefers the finish, with four of his five wins occurring inside the distance. For $5,300 I want a finish, short and sweet. I’d also settle for a demolishing decision (à la Patrick Cummins & Kyle Kingsbury). Neither of those two outcomes seem overly plausible for Mladenov, which is why I’m just not confident he`s is worth the price tag when compared to other fighters who are more likely score you more points.
UFC Fight Night 59
1. I might have mentioned this in a previous article but as long as he’s fighting, Conor McGregor ($6,200) will almost find a way on to these articles. If you can find a way to afford having him on your team, do it. I think there’s going to be a noticeable speed difference once he steps in to the cage with Siver. I don’t know if it will be inside of two minutes like Conor has been predicting, but I definitely see a potential first round finish for the Irishman. Whenever KM offers a price tag as cheap as they have with Dennis Siver ($3,800) I’m almost always interested in the possibility of taking the cheap fighter and stacking the rest of my team with pricier options. In this case this tip is two-fold, because I’m also going to advise against taking the risk on Siver. There are enough mid-level priced fighters on this card who are good options that you don’t have to pick a fighter as cheap as Siver to make a good team. Unless of course you’re trying to afford McGregor, in which case picking both of them would be counterproductive. If you’re looking to go really cheap to allow yourself to pick up ‘Notorious’, I’d roll the dice on Ron Stallings ($4,000) before Siver.
2. The other fighter I’m confident will get the finish and the KM points that accompany it is McGregor’s SBG teammate Patrick Holohan ($5,200). I think he’s going to be looking to make a statement after his surprise upset loss to Chris Kelades and I think Shane Howell is the perfect opponent to oblige him. Howell has won seven of his 13 fights by submission and won’t likely be afraid of being taken down; in fact he might even go in to the fight wanting to go to the ground. Downside to that gameplan is that Holohan has finished 8 of his 10 wins by submission and Howell’s been submitted in five of his eight losses. I think the more likely scenario is Paddy hurting Howell on the feet and following him to the ground to lock in a sub when he’s rocked. Either way, Holohan’s aggressive output and finishing instincts will likely rack you up a nice number of KM points this weekend.
3. A fight I’m staying away from at FN 59 is going to be the bout between Gleison Tibau ($4,700) and Norman Parke ($4,600). I think this is a great piece of matchmaking and will likely be a very close fighter between a fighter who is looking for a signature name win in Parke against a tough veteran gatekeeper in Tibau. Both men have shown finishing ability but I think this fight goes to decision more times than not, and something about the fight has split decision written all over it. It will be a fun fight, just not one where I really see either guy getting more than 50 or 60 points at the most.
Joining the freeroll is as simple as following the link below. If you don’t already have an account don’t panic, it only takes a valid email address and about 30 seconds of your time. Good luck this weekend!
Questions? Suggestions? Give me a shout on twitter @BlackEyeBowtie
Cover Image by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
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