The UFC is back overseas this weekend with Fight Night 72 in Glasgow, Scotland. The European card means another daytime card here in North America which is quickly becoming one of my favorite occasional treats in UFC scheduling. The card is headlined by a fun fight between Michael Bisping and Thales Leites and is another card that has been plagued by injuries (Jake Matthews, Bec Rawlings, Ian Entwhistle, and Konstantin Erokhin were all on the card at one point). The event has a number of bouts showing off unproven talent, so the care definitely has the potential to surprise us with some fun fights. 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. This card differs from the typical event in that there aren’t as many obvious blowout matchups and that there are a good number of matches between fighters who haven’t yet proven themselves in the UFC. This makes finding the top picks unusually difficult, but saying that I’m going with Michael Bisping ($5,200) as my top pick for Scotland’s flagship event. Leites may have gotten the submission victory over Tim Boetsch back at UFC 183 but he was getting beat up on the feet before he was finally able to get the fight to the ground to take over. Bisping has the takedown defense to keep this fight standing. I think Bisping takes advantage of his high output and technical striking advantage to avoid Leites’ power until the former middleweight title challenger starts to tire out. Bisping has got the cardio to go five full rounds and I think he uses a high output late in the fight to force a stoppage. His striking output on the way to a late finish will make Bisping worth his spot on your team on a card where confident picks are hard to find.
2. This is another event where there isn’t necessarily a clear cheap pick to take advantage of, but I think Leonardo Mafra ($4,500) is your best option for a fighter who will give you some room in your budget. Steven Ray has the edge on the ground but if Mafra can keep the fight standing I think the fight will be extremely close. I think Mafra has a decent chance of finding an early finish in this fight and think that he’s fairly safe from getting finished himself. If Ray wins it will likely be an exciting decision where Mafra will rack up some points from the striking exchanges and from potentially taking a round. It’s a ‘finish or lose an exciting decision’ type of situation which isn’t a terrible option compared to most of the other cheap picks on this card.
3. If you’re going to be using your budget on any fighter in the +$5300 range, you’re probably going to need a cheap fighter to balance your team out. You might be tempted to pick Hans Stringer ($4,300) based on his high finish rate and Latifi’s recent KO loss to Jan Blachowicz but he’s a pick that I would definitely advise against this weekend. Stringer doesn’t have near the power or speed that Blanchowicz does and should get torn apart in this fight. I see Latifi hurting Stringer on the feet and finishing the fight on the ground or winning a one-sided decision. There aren’t a lot of good cheap KM picks on this card, but there are a good number of them that have more potential than Stringer.
Good luck this weekend!
Questions? Suggestions? Give me a shout on twitter @BlackEyeBowtie
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