The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale features an exciting featherweight battle between Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes. Below are the studs and value plays for TUF 22 Finale to help fill out your DraftKings lineups:
Best Plays on the Card
Tony Ferguson ($10,300) vs. Edson Barboza
I like Barboza but I see this being a bad matchup for him.
Barboza really likes to control the pace and keep his distance. He hammers his opponents with that vicious leg kick of his and waits for an opening. If Barboza gets it, he goes in for the finish. If he doesn’t, Barboza is more than happy to keep picking his opponent apart.
This strategy is going to be tough to employ against Ferguson. Ferguson puts a lot of pressure on his opponents and doesn’t let them get comfortable. Barboza’s losses were against Michael Johnson, Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner. All three of those guys came after Barboza. Cerrone and Varner each finished him in Round 1.
Ferguson has won six fights in a row. He’s finished 15 of 19 opponents. Barboza is a very good fighter but I think it’s just a bad matchup. I like Ferguson to win and win impressively.
Frankie Edgar ($9,900) vs. Chad Mendes
This promises to be an entertaining fight that should produce a ton of fantasy points for both guys.
I can’t really see Edgar or Mendes being finished early. It’s ironic this fight is the night before McGregor/Aldo because on paper it has all the ingredients to be Fight of the Year.
Both Edgar and Mendes fight at a fast pace and each are excellent wrestlers. Mendes is always linked to being a world class wrestler but Edgar is also an elite grappler in his own right. Because both guys are so strong on the ground, their wrestling will likely cancel each other out. This should lead to an exciting standup war.
Mendes has more power but Edgar is a better boxer. I see him being more effective if this fight goes deep into the fourth and fifth rounds. Mendes is always a threat to control a fight with his wrestling but I just can’t see Edgar getting dominated on his back.
Edgar may not finish this fight but he should rack up plenty of fantasy points even in a decision win. I see Edgar’s boxing and endurance being the difference in the later rounds.
Best Value Plays for the Price
Joe Lauzon ($8,900) vs. Evan Dunham
Lauzon is an intriguing play Friday night given his low salary.
Lauzon has been in a ton of wars and that eventually takes its toll on a fighter. He’s been in the UFC since 2006. However, Lauzon has won three of his last four fights, so it’s hard to say he’s slowing down.
Dunham has won two in a row after a three-fight losing streak. Dunham lost to all good fighters in Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone and Barboza during that streak.
Dunham has struggled when facing strikers that put pressure on him. Lauzon isn’t going to be in a boring fight. He’s coming forward and taking shots. What makes this fight interesting for Lauzon is Dunham isn’t a big puncher. He only has three knockouts in 22 career fights.
I see this being a close, entertaining fight. Dunham is a little overvalued because of his dominating performance against Ross Pearson but Pearson is a declining fighter. If Lauzon can handle Dunham’s power and not get rocked early, I like his chances.