We are finally here fight fans. The three event marathon is coming to a close with UFC 194 headlined by the biggest featherweight bout of all time with the champ Jose Aldo taking on the interim Conor Mcgregor and a co-main middleweight title bout with Luke Rockhold taking his shot at Chris Weidman’s belt. With those two huge fights the UFC could have easily gotten away with loading the card up with some lower name bouts but what they’ve done instead is absolutely stack the card from top to bottom. In addition to the title bouts, the main card houses what is likely a title eliminator between Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza and a grappling fan’s dream matchup between Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson, rounded out with Jeremy Stephens taking on Max Holloway. The prelims are also chock-full of exciting fights including bouts featuring Urijah Faber, Tecia Torres, Warlley Alves (taking on Colby Covington), and prospect Magomed Mustafaev. We’re in for a treat. To get you ready for the fights, we’ve got your regular Kountermove breakdown including one big tip for the event and two fighters I like. 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 so many potentially great picks for this event that picking which fighter should be a constant on your team is near impossible. That being said, in narrowing down my top pick for the night I was really trying to think of who will perform well with the least chance of getting beaten (For example I think McGregor and Rockhold make great KM picks, but also wouldn’t be shocked if they lost). Enter Magomed Mustafaev ($5,400). Everyone is trying to decide on who to pick from the top fights on this card but Mustafaev is a sneaky pick that will bolster your team before we even leave the Fight Pass prelims. He’s matched up with Joe Proctor in a bout that he should win violently. It’s also worth noting that Mustafaev has finished all 12 of his wins (with 7 coming in the first round). Joe Proctor tends to have some defensive deficiencies on the feet which is not at all a characteristic you want to be describe with when facing someone like Mustafaev. I think this fight starts off with an immediate and noticeable gap in how aggressive each fighter starts off, and ends shortly later with Proctor going to sleep. Mustafaev is expensive but he’s worth every penny. Proctor doesn’t provide the same threat as the opponents of the other big favorites on this card which is why the Russian finisher makes a great safe pick to start off your night.
2. I’m going to start off my cheap pick with a bit of a disclaimer in full disclosure. I’m a HUGE Yoel Romero fan so you’re going to have to take this prediction at face value but OH MY GOD how is Yoel Romero ($4,600) available for less than $5,000. That is an absolute steal folks. You don’t even need an explanation, just stash Romero away on your team and then reap the benefits at UFC 194. Jacare Souza is a terrific fighter and an absolute threat but this fight really comes down to where both fighters are in their career trajectories. While Souza is definitely one of the Middleweight division’s top fighters, I’m thinking that the Jacare we see now is peak Jacare. What I mean by that is that while he’s been dominant in his last few wins, he hasn’t necessarily been improving. Romero on the other hand has come off more impressive from fight to fight, making pretty sizeable jumps in ability between bouts. I think the Yoel we see at UFC 194 could be even better than the one who crushed Lyoto Machida’s soul back in June of this year. If he’s improved at all it’s going to be a rough night for the Brazilian submission specialist. I think Romero takes turns swapping from bombing Jacare on the feet and trucking him to the ground to keep unloading on him there. You’re really just going to have to take a leap of faith on this one and trust me (and the Soldier of God himself) and put Romero on your team. I think KM players are going to be shocked after watching this fight that Romero was only $4,600 and you really want to be on the inside track on this one. You’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit.
3. The fighter I’m going to be avoiding at UFC 194 is actually the middleweight champ himself, Chris Weidman ($5,400). I think this title defense against Luke Rockhold will be his closest yet and I’m actually part of the group who see the Middleweight belt actually changing hands at UFC 194. I think this fight comes down to a competitive decision more often than not with Rockhold just barely getting the better of the exchanges wherever the fight takes place. I think he’s got a combination of size, skill, and cardio that Weidman’s previous victims haven’t possessed. If there is a finish at any point during the fight, I actually see it coming from the challenger beating the champ on the feet before hurting him and locking in a submission which is why if you’re going to pick this fight I think it makes a lot more sense to take Luke Rockhold ($5,000). The situation I see happening least often is Weidman quickly finishing Rockhold, which is why I don’t think he’s worth his $5,400 price tag. There are some great picks on this card and you’re going to want to save your budget for either quick finishes or truly dominant decision wins.
Good luck this weekend!
Questions? Suggestions? Give me a shout on twitter @BlackEyeBowtie
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