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UFC 188 Kountermove Preview



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The UFC makes a return trip to Mexico this weekend with UFC 188 and the Heavyweight championship fight between the champ Cain Velasquez and the interim title holder Fabricio Werdum. This fight was originally intended for the UFC’s first trip to Mexico back at UFC 180 but an knee injury forced Velasquez off the card and created an Werdum won the interim title by finishing Mark Hunt. There are a number of other fun fights on the card including a much anticipated lightweight bout between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez and Kelvin Gastelum’s return to middleweight. 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.

How it works


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.   My top pick for this event has got to be Albert Tumenov ($5,400) for a large number of reasons. Before even looking at his opponent, it’s worth noting that 10 of his 15 wins are in the form of TKO and all ten of then have come within the first round. His opponent Andrew Todhunter is coming in to this fight with eight days notice (A late replacement for Hector Urbina, who would have also likely have gotten trashed in this fight) and is cutting down to welterweight for the first time in his career. Todhunter is an exciting prospect having finished all seven of his fights by submission and will could eventually be a good addition to the UFC but Tumenov is way too much, way too soon. Todhunter seems to be taking the route of losing his first short-notice replacement fight against a tough opponent to get future fights in the UFC which will likely work (see Cummins, Stallings, Latifi, etc.) but won’t do him too many favors Saturday night. I think Tumenov will be able to keep this fight standing which will be a nightmare for the submission specialist Todhunter. He’ll batter ‘The Sniper’ before putting him down for the fight midway through the opening round. He’s a pricey pick but is well worth the points he should be able to get you. 

EDIT: Scratch that. As many of you have probably already heard, the Tumenov/Todhunter fight was pulled when Todhunter was deemed unable to fight after passing out during his weight cut. My replacement must-have pick for UFC 188 is Charles Rosa ($5,300). I was thinking the UFC would want to give Yair Rodriguez a few favorable fights being the TUF Latin America champ but they seemed to be doing the exact opposite against Rosa. ‘Boston Strong’ has done nothing but impress so far in his two-fight UFC career by dropping his debut in an extremely competitive with an experienced vet in Dennis Siver and then coming back with a brabo choke victory against Sean Soriano. I don’t think this fight is that close and see Rosa ending this fight however he wants to and see the finish coming earlier rather than later in the fight. He comes in at $100 less than Tumenov and is worth the high price tag if you’ve got the space on your team.

2.   I’m one of the small group who’s picking an upset in this weekend’s Heavyweight main event and think that Fabricio Werdum ($4,400) makes an excellent cheap pick for UFC 188. It’s important to realize that Velasquez has been out for 20 months with injuries and hasn’t fought anyone not named JDS or Bigfoot since 2010. Werdum is a completely different beast and arguably the most complete fighter that Velasquez has ever faced. Werdum’s striking has come along in a big way lately and while not as powerful as the current champ he will likely be the more technical striker. I think Werdum’s striking will surprise people early in this fight before Velasquez starts hunting for the takedown. It’s impossible to tell how the champ’s injuries will impede his ability to complete the takedown and keep Werdum down if he’s successful. It’s a risky play but I think Werdum will be able to out grapple Velasquez and even potentially find a finish once the fight has hit the mat. You’re going to need a cheap pick to afford some of the pricier fighters on this card and for $4,400 I think Werdum makes a great underdog pick. I could see him winning a close decision or even finsing a finish at some point during the fight.

3.   An expensive fighter who I’m staying away from Saturday night is going to be Tecia Torres ($5,400). Torres is a great fighter and is rightfully the favorite heading in to this fight but she’s by no means a finisher and is in for more of a competitive fight than most people are predicting. If Angela Hill can keep this fight standing or at the very least minimize her time being controlled on the ground she could easily make this a close fight. If Torres wins it will more than likely be by decision, and there are so many potential finishers on your team that her score won’t be worth the amount of your budget that she requires.

Good luck this weekend!

Questions? Suggestions? Give me a shout on twitter @BlackEyeBowtie

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