The UFC is back on PPV this weekend with UFC 192 headlined by an intriguing Light Heavyweight title defense pitting the champ Daniel Cormier against former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. The card is one of my favourites in recent history and has a number of bouts showcasing some great matchmaking. The original co-main of Hendricks/Woodley had to be scrapped due to Hendricks’ weight cutting issues but the card has a suitable co=main replacement light heavyweight matchup between Rashad Evans and Ryan Bader. The card is packed with fun fights top to bottom and should end up being a great event. To get you ready for the fights, 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. My top pick for the event is going to be one half of my pick for fight of the night in Albert Tumenov ($4,800). He’s taking on Alan Jouban in what should be an absolute barn burner of a fight. Tumenov is the smaller fighter in this fight but has enough power in his striking arsenal to kill a rhino, which should more than negate the slight size disadvantage. A combination of Tumenov’s first-rate takedown defense and a limited interest on either fighter’s part to take the fight to the ground means that we’re probably in for a stand up fight for however long this fight lasts. Jouban is the less technical of the two strikers who tends to leave himself open when he’s forced which I see being his downfall against Tumenov. I think the first round is going to be fireworks, with both guys getting some good shots in. towards the end of the first round it will become apparent that Tumenov is racking up more damage, and he should find a finish sometime in the second or third round. If Jouban does end up making it the full 15 minutes, ‘Einstein’ should have racked up enough points to be worth his weight on your team. Tumenov comes in just under the average $5K price tag, which is one more reason why he should definitely have a spot on your team this weekend.
2. There are a few great cheap picks on this card but my top budget saving pick of this weekend’s fights is UFC newcomer Sage Northcutt ($4,700). I’m usually more wary about picking hyped prospects making their UFC debuts but there are too many factors working in Northcutt’s favor to ignore here. Trevino is a durable fighter who has just enough ability to seem like a challenge without actually posing much risk. Trevino won’t threaten with too much of an offensive output at any point during the fight, which should let the 19-year-old prospect get in to a rhythm. Northcutt is also a huge physical contrast to Trevino, being bigger man and in better shape than ‘Sitkayan’, who came in overweight having to surrender part of his purse rather than cut the rest of the weight. I think Northcutt blows the doors off of Trevino and makes a huge statement in his UFC debut. He’s another great fighter for under $5K and is someone you will want on your team regardless of if you are trying to save up for a more expensive fighter.
3. Stay away from: A fighter I’m going to be staying away from this weekend is Julianna Pena ($4,600) in her matchup with Jessica Eye. Pena is a pretty sizeable favourite coming in to this fight and has a lot of hype behind her but I just don’t see it. Eye may have lost an unfortunately one-sided decision to Miesha Tate her last time out but there’s a pretty big drop off in skill level going from Tate to Pena. ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ has looked dominant in the UFC so far but she’s still only one fight removed from being sidelined with an intense knee injury and people are ignoring the fact that her two UFC wins have come against Jessica Rakoczy and Milana Dudieva. She hasn’t exactly been fighting the top of the division. Or even the middle. Jessica Eye on the other hand, has only recently lost to Alexis Davis and the aforementioned Tate, who are both close to the top of the rankings. I think this is a close fight, and one that likely goes to decision. There are some great picks for cheap elsewhere on the card, and Pena won’t likely come with the type of domination you want when drafting a KM team.
Good luck this weekend!
Questions? Suggestions? Give me a shout on twitter @BlackEyeBowtie
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