Another UFC card is upon us, this time from Hamburg, Germany, and it’s in “real time,” kicking off during the morning hours this Saturday. The 93rd installment of the Fight Night series features a heavyweight battle between two legendary fighters, Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett in the main event. It’s a fight that has 36 years of history between the two, but if we’re being very honest, it’s a fight that would have been absolutely fantastic if it could’ve happened five or six years ago.
However, this fight still has plenty of entertainment value. There are plenty of familiar names on the card, and a pretty interesting bout between Ryan Bader and the closest thing we’ll ever get to a centaur, Ilir Latifi.
Looking at this card, there are some match-ups that look ripe for an upset, so we’re going to look a little closer at those. I’ve chosen four contests that have that underdog aura emanating from them. These are the athletes that I feel present the best opportunity to jettison your fantasy team into the stratosphere via a points windfall. Let’s get started.
Jack Hermansson $9,800 / Scott Askham $9,600
This is an exciting Sweden vs. England middleweight bout. Both men are what you’d refer to as high level regional athletes, with plenty of entertainment upswing. Askham is a tall kickboxer, who uses his reach and length well, working kicks from the outside and controlling distance. He’s capable in the clinch, and has a very active guard.
Hermansson has a workmanlike style that starts with a very effective jab and works its way toward some pretty good offensive wrestling. He’s a jack of all trades, master of none, and that’s proven to be a problem against specialists. His two losses came in Bellator, back-to-back, against relative unknowns.
This is tough fight to predict, but I’d give the slight edge to Askham, based on his effective distance management and just by being a better athlete.
Scott Askham via Decision
Jarjis Danho $10,400 / Christian Colombo $9,000
If you go back into your mind palace, you will remember that Danho’s UFC debut was against Daniel Omielanczuk, and ended with a technical decision loss for him after he sustained a low blow.
Colombo is on a six-fight hot streak, with his only loss at the hands of Viktor Pesta. Both are big, lumbering giants with the power that all lumbering giants carry in their big, meaty paws. Colombo is slightly more technical, and packs a little more heat in those gloves.
Christian Colombo via Technical Knockout
Jessin Ayari $10,100 / Jim Wallhead $9,300
Judo Jim Wallhead has been around for over a decade and earned some recognition competing in Bellator’s old tournament format. He’s the seasoned veteran and is sly, crafty and well-rounded. He packs a solid jab and manages distance well with leg kicks. On the ground, he’s no slouch, and actually has a great top game. Jim is on a 4-fight win streak currently.
Ayari is the young bull on a 6-fight win streak over regional level competition. He’s a big striker and packs heat. He’s capable on the ground, but against a seasoned vet like Judo Jim, I think he’ll end up on the wrong side of a decision.
Jim Wallhead via DEC
Ryan Bader $10,300 / Ilir Latifi $9,100
Ryan Bader is a powerhouse wrestler with plenty of TNT in his hands. He mostly uses his great standup these days, going back to his wrestling more as an equalizer than a main weapon of choice. He’s got a great jab and he uses it with authority. He’s not big on volume punching, and often headhunts. A good striker can beat him with efficient counter striking. Bader’s wrestling is where he really shines, and his top game is amazing.
If a fireplug came to life and took human form, Ilir Latifi would be that form. At 5’8’, he is at a 6-inch height disadvantage. Don’t underestimate him, though. He packs amazing power in that compact body. He’s a methodical fighter, and is an opportunist, always seeking any opening to land big punches. He fights best in a phone booth, and lands clean shots on the break. He’s also got excellent wrestling, so if this goes to the ground, don’t expect some big blowout.
The key factor here is power, and I think the Swede packs a bigger punch. If he can land early, which I think he will, he’ll end up singing Bader a lullaby.
Ilir Latifi via TKO
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.