UFC on Fox 19 has been snake bitten with injuries but the card still features some intriguing matchups. Below are the studs and value plays for UFC on Fox 19 to help fill out your DraftKings lineups:
Best Plays on the Card
Khabib Nurmagomedov ($11,400) vs. Darrell Horcher
Nurmagomedov has the highest salary of any fighter on the card, and for good reason. He’s the easiest play. Nurmagomedov was originally scheduled to face Tony Ferguson in a much anticipated fight, but Ferguson had to pull out because of injury. Nurmagomedov decided to remain on the card to stay active, so Horcher is basically being thrown to the wolves Saturday night.
Nurmagomedov is a perfect 22-0 in his career with 14 finishes. However, four of his six fights in the UFC have gone to a decision. That may not sound promising for a fighter with Nurmagomedov’s price tag, but he’s shown the ability to quickly finish any fighter who makes a mistake against him. Nurmagomedov has 11 first-round stoppages in his career.
Horcher has won five fights in a row, but he’ll be making his UFC debut. Horcher’s only loss was a unanimous decision defeat to Phillipe Nover in Bellator. He’s a good fighter but making your UFC debut on short notice against one of the top lightweight fighters in the world is a tall order for anyone.
Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought since 2014 so he’s looking for an impressive performance on a national stage. How good is he? Nurmagomedov’s last fight was a unanimous decision win over current Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos.
This fight will be fought at a catchweight of 160 pounds. It won’t matter. Expect Nurmagomedov to make short work of Horcher.
John Dodson ($11,200) vs. Manvel Gamburyan
Other than the Nurmagomedov/Horcher mismatch, Dodson is my favorite play on the card.
The Magician is 6-2 in the UFC with both losses coming at the hands of flyweight king Demetrious Johnson. Dodson has shown to be one of the few flyweights with consistent knockout power. Four of his six UFC wins have ended in stoppages and Dodson has eight knockouts in 24 career fights.
Gamburyan has won two fights in a row, but they were over Cody Gibson and the struggling Scott Jorgensen. Gamburyan is 3-3-1 in the UFC with a loss to Dennis Siver overturned after Siver tested positive for a banned substance. Gamburyan has beaten inferior fighters but come up short when stepping up in class. Dodson is the best fighter Gamburyan will face to date in the Octagon.
The numbers in this fight are pretty even. Dodson lands one more significant strike per minute and he has more power than Gamburyan. That will be the difference in this matchup. Unless Dodson is dealing with a hangover from the Johnson loss, I expect his speed and power to be too much for Gamburyan.
Gamburyan has only been knocked out twice in his career, but few flyweights pack the punch of Dodson. I like Dodson by stoppage.
Best Value Plays for the Price
Tecia Torres ($9,200) vs. Rose Namajunas
Namajunas is coming off an impressive submission victory over the highly touted Paige VanZant. She’s now 2-1 in the UFC, but I think Namajunas is a little overvalued coming into this fight with Torres.
VanZant is a bit over-hyped right now. Not taking anything away from Namajunas, but this fight could go either way, so I’ll gladly take the value with Torres and her low salary. Torres is 7-0. She’s 3-0 in the UFC with all three of those wins coming by decision.
Namajunas has a dangerous submission game, and she continues to improve from her time on The Ultimate Fighter. Namajunas averages over four takedowns per 15 minutes, and she has a takedown accuracy rate of 71 percent. If the fight goes to the ground, Namajunas will have a big edge.
Torres is a kickboxer who lands 4.56 significant strikes per minute on average. If she can control the fight with her striking and keep Namajunas standing, I like Torres’ chances to win.
Namajunas is a talented fighter, but she’s still evolving. Torres is in a good spot to frustrate Namajunas with her stand up and possibly get a finish. Torres is a strong value play at her favorable salary.