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‘UFC Fight Night Saskatoon’ Kountermove Preview



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The UFC returns to Canada this weekend with Fight Night 74 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The card is headlined by a featherweight tilt between top contenders Max Holloway and Charles Oliveira. The card features some fun fights including main card fights with Erick Silva taking on late replacement Neil Magny and a welterweight bout between Patrick Cote and Josh Burkman. The main card is rounded out with a pair of fights featuring TUF: Nations finalists Chad Laprise and Olivier Aubin-Mercier and a women’s strawweight bout between Maryna Morox and Valerie Letourneau. To get you ready for the fights on Sunday, 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 Sunday:

1.   My top pick for the UFC’s Fight Night in Saskatoon this weekend is TUF: Nations runner-up Olivier Aubin-Mercier ($5,200). He was originally slated for what would have been a competitive fight with Chris Wade but late July Wade was pulled from the fight due to injury and replaced with Tony Sims. Sims is fresh off of a vicious knock out of Steve Montgomery but takes a significant step up in competition here against Aubin-Mercier. Sims is a definite threat with his power and boxing credentials, especially given that ‘The Quebec Kid’ has a limited striking skillset (being predominately a grappler), but I think he should be able to compete for long enough on the feet before being able to drag the fight to the mat. Even if Sims is able to get back up I see OAM being able to repeatedly take him down until he uses his grappling advantage to lock in a submission finish. It might take more than the first round, but I see Aubin-Mercier finishing the fight on the ground at some point during the second or third round. He’s one of the card’s better locks for a dominant win in my opinion and should rack up a good amount of points with takedowns, grappling exchanges, and a potential submission finish.

2.   Although I’m usually weary of fighters making their UFC debuts, my cheap pick for the fights this Sunday is going to be Misha Curkunov ($4,700). He’s making his debut against another UFC newcomer in Daniel Jolly who is a late replacement for Sean O’Connell. The O’Connell fight would have been a close call because of his UFC experience but I don’t see this bout with Jolly being extremely competitive. Daniel Jolly is well rounded but Cirkunov still has him beat wherever this fight takes place. Although both men are making their UFC debuts, Jolly is still at a disadvantage when it comes to experience and the level of competition faced (his five opponents leading in to this fight are a combined 25-36) and has had just under two weeks to prepare for this fight. I think Cirkunov beats him up on the feet before taking him to the ground and finding a finish however he wants to in the first round. The 100 point finishing bonus plus any points Cirkunov gets from the striking exchanges and possible takedowns will start your night off with the lead you want going in to a card with a lot of potential finishes.

3.   An expensive pick I’m going to be staying away from this weekend is Chris Beal ($5,400). Despite his flashy flying knee KO debut of Patrick Williams, Beal’s fights typically reach a decision and I think that that’s what we end up seeing from this fight. His opponent Chris Kelades is durable and well-rounded enough not to get caught and finished anywhere and will likely make this an extremely competitive fight. I think Kelades has the ability to take Beal down a few times over the course of the fight and will be able to grind out some time in top position. There are a number of fights on this card that are more often than not going to end with a finish but this isn’t one of them. For an expensive $5,400 Beal doesn’t carry the same likelihood of a finish as you would want from someone with that high of a price tag. I actually lean towards the Nova Scotia native to pick up the win here and if you need a cheap pick Chris Kelades ($4,200) could actually be worth a spot on your team.

Good luck this weekend!

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

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