UFC Fight Night 84 features a middleweight matchup between former pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping. Below are the studs and value plays for UFC Fight Night 84 to help fill out your DraftKings lineups.
Best Plays on the Card
Anderson Silva ($10,800) vs. Michael Bisping
Silva is no longer the elite pound-for-pound king who dominated the welterweight division for close to a decade but he should still have the skills to take out Bisping.
Silva was defeated twice by Chris Weidman and had his unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz overturned because he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Silva was suspended and will be fighting for the first time in over a year. Amazingly, Silva hasn’t officially won a fight in the UFC since 2012.
Bisping has gone 3-1 over his last four fights but the one time he stepped up in class Bisping was submitted easily by Luke Rockhold. Bisping has always been one of those guys like Ryan Bader who can beat opponents of a certain level but when asked to step up in class, he’s failed.
Silva is now 40 and coming off a long layoff. If he was fighting an opponent with more power I would be weary. However, Bisping is one of the few fighters where I’ll side with Silva. Bisping has little power to threaten the aging Brazilian. Unless Silva is just done at this point in his career, he has one more finish in what I believe is a perfect matchup for him to exploit.
Tom Breese ($11,400) vs. Keita Nakamura
Breese is an impressive prospect who is a perfect 9-0 so far in his MMA career. Breese is 2-0 in the UFC with first-round stoppage wins over Cathal Pendred and Luiz Dutra.
Breese’s first two UFC opponents are tomato cans but he did what he was supposed to do and dismantled them both. Nakamura is in his second stint with the UFC. After going 0-3 he defeated Li Jingliang by submission in September.
Breese’s salary is absurd. It’s a Ronda Rousey salary before she got her face kicked in by Holly Holm. Still, on an uninspiring card it’s hard not to recommend Breese as a play, especially if you submit multiple lineups. Nakamura is on a five fight winning-streak but he’s been competing in Japan. Even his UFC win was in Japan. Breese is a different animal.
Breese lands over five significant strikes per minute, while Nakamura absorbs almost four strikes per minute. This is a complete mismatch on paper that will likely end in a first-round stoppage win for Breese. Don’t be afraid to play a lineup with Breese and some lower-salary options.
Best Value Plays for the Price
Brad Pickett ($9,000) vs. Francisco Rivera
One fighter I recommend taking a shot on in a lineup with Breese is Pickett.
This should be an exciting fight between two guys desperate for a win. Rivera is 1-3 in his last four fights, while Pickett has lost three in a row. Pickett did perform well though in his last bout before being knocked out by impressive prospect Thomas Almeida.
Both of these fighters like to strike and each absorb too many shots. Rivera absorbs 3.18 significant strikes per minute. Pickett takes even more punishment at 4.51 strikes per minute. However, Pickett has only been knocked out twice in his 11 career losses, so he has a heck of a chin. One of those knockouts was by that devastating flying knee from Almeida.
Pickett has more trouble getting submitted but Rivera doesn’t have a submission win in 17 career fights.
Rivera will strike with Pickett but his standup game can be sloppy at times. That will present some openings for the veteran Pickett. I think this has a chance to be Fight of the Night. I like Pickett at his low salary to have a great chance of pulling the upset.