UFC Fight Night 85 features a heavyweight showdown between Mark Hunt and Frank Mir. Below are the studs and value plays for UFC Fight Night 85 to help fill out your DraftKings lineups:
This is my favorite play on the board for Saturday night. I usually don’t like going against world class grapplers because they can control a fight but Carlos Junior has such a big edge in every other area and he can at least negate Kelly’s wrestling that it’s worth paying the high price tag.
Carlos Junior is 12 years younger than Kelly and the much more dangerous striker. Carlos Junior will have a five inch reach advantage in this matchup. He’ll be able to use that to pick the hittable Kelly apart. Kelly absorbs more strikes than he lands. If he can’t take Carlos Junior down, Kelly will get eaten alive.
Kelly is 3-1 in the UFC but his level of competition hasn’t been strong. Carlos Junior will be by far the toughest fighter he’s faced in the Octagon. Kelly went to the Olympics for Judo, so he’s obviously a nightmare on the ground. The problem Kelly faces though is this is a terrible matchup for him. Carlos Junior is strong on the ground himself. Four of his five wins in the UFC have come by submission. Carlos Junior has the reach, the striking and ground game to offset Kelly’s Judo.
Kelly is 38 and he does have seven finishes in 11 career fights. This is just a bad spot for him. I like Carlos Junior to dominate the stand up and win impressively.
Mark Hunt ($10,300)
Mir breathed some life back into his career after consecutive first-round knockout wins over Antonio Silva and Todd Duffee. However, Mir looked every bit 36-years-old in his last fight against Andrei Arlovski. Mir has been a great UFC fighter but there’s that time when you see the end of the line. That fight versus Arlovski looked like it might be the end for Mir.
Hunt has a chance to retire Mir with a quick finish Saturday. Hunt is 11-10-1 in his career but his losses in the UFC have all come to elite heavyweights. Hunt is the kind of fighter that gives Mir problems. Mir takes too many shots and against big punchers like Hunt, he runs into trouble. In his 10 career losses, seven have come by knockout.
Mir is always a threat to finish a fight with his jiu-jitsu and Hunt has been submitted six times. Mir’s path to victory is to take Hunt down and submit him. It very well could happen because Hunt is like a turtle on his back. I don’t see it going it that way though. Too often Mir gets sucked into a slugfest early on in fights and if that’s the case against Hunt, he’ll be in trouble.
Hunt has a very good chin. It’s highly unlikely Mir is going to be able to finish him early like he did Silva and Duffee. Expect Hunt to pressure Mir right from the start and Mir exchanging with him. That spells doom for Mir. I don’t see him getting out of the first round.
I covered Lombard in his early days with Bellator. To be honest, I thought he was going to be an even bigger star than he is at the moment. I feel his career is at a crossroads and while I don’t like taking fighters off long layoffs, I’m going with Lombard to take this one.
I’m a Magny fan as well and I think I’ve taken him in every one of his fights since I’ve been at DraftKings. When Lombard is on he can beat almost anyone in the welterweight division. The question is will he be on after serving his suspension for PEDs? I’ll take a shot at his $9,600 salary that the answer is yes.
Lombard is now 38-years-old and he’s only fought once in the last two years. Magny, on the other hand, has 10 fights in the last two years. So why do I like Lombard? Because while Lombard is known for finishing 26 of his 38 opponents, one of his most underrated skills is his Judo. Lombard is a fourth degree black belt and former Olympian in Judo. He doesn’t have to use it much in MMA because of all of his finishes.
In the fights Magny has lost he’s struggled with opponents taking him down and controlling him. I don’t see Magny being able to hurt Lombard. Instead, look for Lombard to take Magny down and punish him with ground and pound.
This fight will come down to Lombard’s conditioning. If he’s in shape, he’ll win. If he gasses out, Magny will take a decision. Either way, I like rolling the dice with Lombard and his reasonable salary.