The UFC heads to Stockholm, Sweden this weekend to provide fight-hungry fans with an early, Sunday morning card — European fans rejoice! The card is what you’d expect, lots of Euro fighters paired up in matches that are more designed for roster activity than moving up the rankings, but these are the ones that usually deliver plenty of fireworks.
As you all know, I’m here to provide some insight on the underdogs that can maximize points potential for your fantasy teams. The four athletes I’ve chosen represent the best bang for your upset buck. Let’s get started with the breakdowns:
Chris Camozzi $8,900 / Trevor Smith $7,300
Camozzi is a longtime staple of the UFC over the course of several different runs. He’s a durable, gritty fighter that isn’t a specialist in any one area but is more than capable across the board. He’s got seven knockouts under his belt, as well as seven submissions and 10 decisions, but he still has a problem with takedown defense.
Smith has seen mixed results in his UFC career, as has Camozzi, but he’s got great wrestling and a very good submission game. He’s not particularly powerful, but it’s doubtful that he chooses to stand with Camozzi, who clearly has the edge in striking.
Trevor Smith via DEC
Joaquim Silva $8,700 / Reza Madadi $7,500
Joaquim Silva is a 9-0 TUF alum from the “TUF: Brazil 4” season and this 155er has demonstrated plenty of power, evidenced by his five KOs, but all against soft competition. As a matter of fact, of his nine outings, only one made it out of the first round. While he has seen positive results with his grappling, he’s nowhere near the wrestler Madadi is.
Reza Madadi is in on less than two weeks notice, courtesy of a Mairbek Taisumov injury, but don’t let that deter you. Michael Bisping and Nate Diaz were under the same “less than two weeks notice” circumstances, and both of them upset the apple cart in a big way. Reza has a grindy style, a good submission game, and an iron chin, which should serve him well against the flashy striker that is Silva. Experience is another area that he’ll have the advantage in. It’ll be close, but I think Madadi will just be too much for Silva.
Reza Madadi via SUB
Nico Musoke $8,500 / Bojan Velickovic $7,700
I didn’t even know Musoke was still in the UFC. When he steps into the Octagon on Sunday, 28 months will have passed since his last bout. He is a very good fighter and took the currently surging Kelvin Gastelum to a very close decision. The problem with Musoke is his defense, of which there is very little.
Having next to no defense against a guy like Bojan will likely lead to a very rough night for Musoke. Velickovic is big welterweight with decent grappling and a great jab. He utilizes kicks very well in combination with his punches and is extremely durable.
This was a hard one for me to pick, but based on Musoke’s inactivity and questionable defense, I’m going with Velickovic.
Bojan Velickovic via DEC
Alexander Gustafsson $9,200 / Glover Teixeira $7,000
Gustafsson is on a nine-plus-month layoff after defeating the ultra-tough Jan Blachowicz late last Summer. Now, the new father will face yet another tough, durable opponent in Glover Teixeira. “The Mauler” has a 3-inch height and reach advantage over Teixeira, so distance management should be an area he easily controls; however, that is not always the case. He’s very susceptible to counters, and those willing to get inside and trade with him often find purchase.
Teixeira is a very aggressive fighter with devastating, one-punch knockout power. He works well in the clinch and has a very good ground game — not that I see much of this fight happening on the ground if any. When Gustafsson fought Blachowicz, Jan was able to get inside and blast him good with an uppercut. With Glover’s tendencies toward big battles in the clinch, Gus might just find himself counting the birds flying around his head. It was another tough call, but I’ve got Glover taking a very close decision.
Glover Teixeira via DEC
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is crooklyn949) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.