UFC Fight Night 77 features the third meeting between MMA legends Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. Below are the studs and value plays for UFC Fight Night 77 to help fill out your DraftKings lineups:
Best Plays on the Card
Glover Teixeira ($11,000) vs. Patrick Cummins ($8,400)
Teixeira is the biggest favorite on the card. The reason for that is he holds an advantage in basically every area over Cummins.
Teixeira is a much better striker than Cummins. He attempts just under 10 strikes per minute and he showed excellent boxing in his win over Ovince St. Preux. If this fight stays standing, Teixeira will have a big edge over Cummins.
Cummins will try to prevent that from happening. Cummins attempts 7.16 takedowns and even though he’s only successful on 52 percent of those attempts, it’s his best path to victory. Teixeira has good takedown defense but the two fights where he was handled recently was against excellent wrestlers Jon Jones and Phil Davis.
If Teixeira can stuff Cummins’ takedown attempts early, he’ll control this fight similar to how he did against St. Preux. I expect Teixeira to keep the fight standing and get a finish over Cummins.
Thomas Almeida ($10,900) vs. Anthony Birchak ($8,500)
This should be a fun fight. Nineteen of Almeida’s 20 wins have come by stoppage and 10 of Birchak’s 12 wins also failed to reach the judge’s scorecards.
Both of these guys fight at a furious pace. Almeida lands 7.06 strikes per minute, while Birchak lands 7.48. Birchak does have an advantage when it comes to defense. Almeida absorbs 4.32 strikes per minute, while Birchak absorbs just 0.37.
Almeida has fought tougher competition and has gone undefeated in his UFC career. These two are going to get after each other and that style favors Almeida. He has 15 wins by knockout. This is an example of a style favoring a more talented fighter that has faced better opponents.
Look for this to be Almeida’s breakout performance. He’ll get another knockout on Saturday night in what should be an exciting fight.
Vitor Belfort ($10,800) vs. Dan Henderson ($8,600)
This is the third meeting between the two legends. Henderson won the first meeting back in 2006 by unanimous decision and Belfort the most recent meeting in 2013 by first-round knockout.
Henderson is now 45-years old and long past his prime. He’s coming off a first-round knockout over Tim Boetsch but that win was the worst thing to happen to Henderson. Now he’ll have to enter the Octagon one last time to take more punishment from Belfort before retiring.
Belfort is on the downside of his career as well but he still has plenty more left at this point than Hendo. Belfort is 6-3 since returning to the UFC but those three losses are to Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Chris Weidman.
Henderson is 2-5 in his last seven fights. Belfort disposed of him easily two years ago. Expect more of the same on Saturday night. Belfort is the easiest play on the card. Unless Hendo connects with a lucky big left hand early, Belfort will retire the legend with a knockout win.
Best Value Plays for the Price
Piotr Hallmann ($8,900) vs. Alex Oliveira ($10,500)
This is a pretty interesting fight and one on the card where taking the value in the underdog is worth a shot.
Oliveira will have the size advantage over Hallmann. Oliveira fought his last two bouts at welterweight but will be making his return to 155 against Hallmann. Oliveira is also an active grappler. He attempts 3.74 takedowns per round but has just a 38 percent success rate.
Where Hallmann has a big advantage in this fight is in the striking department. Hallmann lands 4.1 significant strikes per minute, compared to Oliveira’s 1.34. He’s also a more accurate striker. Hallmann is the better defensive fighter as well if this fight stays standing.
If the fight goes to the ground, Oliveira has a slight edge but Hallmann has a pretty significant advantage in the striking department. Given his low salary and considering how even this fight appears on paper, Hallmann is the top value play on the card.
Jimmie Rivera ($9,000) vs. Pedro Munhoz ($10,400)
This may be the most underrated fight on the card. Munhoz is 11-1-1. His last win was overturned because Munhoz tested positive for PEDs. Rivera is 17-1 and is coming off an annihilation of Marcus Brimage in his UFC debut.
Both of these fighters like to come forward and push the pace. Rivera changed his style and became a more aggressive fighter. Since then he’s won his last three fights by knockout. Munhoz is an excellent submission specialist. Six of his 11 wins have come by way of submission.
These fighters like to throw a lot of punches and control the pace. It should be a good fight but a finish is likely. Munhoz hasn’t fought in over a year because of his suspension. That could play a factor here. Either way, Rivera is worth a shot at his low salary.