The UFC returns this weekend with one of the more anticipated cards in recent history with UFC 187. The card is headlined by two huge title fights with Daniel Cormier filling in as replacement for Jon Jones against Anthony Johnson for the Light Heavyweight belt and Chris Weidman making his third Middleweight title defense against Vitor Belfort. The rest of the card is stacked with big names and exciting fights and should be one of the better cards of the year once everything is said and done. To get you ready for the fights on Saturday, we’ve got your regular Kountermove breakdown including two picks I like and a fighter I’m staying away from. Before we get down to business, here’s a reminder from the founders of the site on how KM works and how fights are scored for anyone who’s new to the game:
“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. Don’t have a Kountermove account? All it takes is about 30 seconds and an email address so don’t panic, you’ve still got time before the fights start.
Here are three quick tips for the event that will hopefully help you make some cash on Saturday:
1. There are a bunch of potentially great picks on this card but my star pick is going to be Travis Browne ($5,200). His last five fights have consisted of four first round finishes against top level competition and a decision loss to the current interim champ Werdum. Despite having somewhat of a career resurgence as of late, Arlovski has proven to have a questionable chin with seven of his ten losses coming by way of KO/TKO, five of those losses coming in the first round. I think Browne unloads something violent early and ruins Arlovski’s recent win streak. I think he’s your best bet for a first round finish and more than likely 110+ pts.
2. An unfortunate late injury has opened up a pretty great opportunity for value in Donald Cerrone ($4,500). He was originally facing Khabib Nurmagomedov who was priced at $5,100 in a fight that I thought he was going to lose. He instead pulls John Makdessi who is coming in without a full camp and who will likely give Cerrone the kind of striking match that he will excel in. He’s also got a considerable grappling advantage and could easily end the fight with a wide array of submissions should the fight hit the ground. Cerrone has started off slow in some of his latest fights but Makdessi will more than likely push the pace early and force Cerrone to engage him. I think Cowboy uses his size and skill advantages to beat Makdessi to the punch for the first round before finding a finish early in the second. For $4,500 you could do much worse than Cerrone. He’s one of the better picks on the entire card regardless of price and leaves you with some extra room in your budget for more expensive fighters.
3. A pricey pick that just isn’t worth it for me at UFC 187 is Daniel Cormier ($5,400). I think his best strategy to win this fight is going to be grinding out Anthony Johnson over the course of five rounds and to spend as little time as possible stuck at striking range. For the high price that isn’t the type of game plan that will do your KM team any favors, even if he pulls it off perfectly. On the other hand, I could also see Rumble stuffing the first few takedowns and shellacking Cormier on the feet. There are a number of great picks at around the same price so I’d stay away from spending so much on DC. If you want to go for the riskier pick Anthony Johnson ($4,800) has the higher potential for a finish and might be worth the low price.
Good luck this weekend!
Questions? Suggestions? Give me a shout on twitter @BlackEyeBowtie
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