This Saturday night will mark the UFC’s 19th outing on the FOX network. Unfortunately, the card has been torn from pillar to post with a slew of injuries and a recent USADA violation that forced one of the fights to be canceled (Machida vs Henderson), shortening the card, as the organization opted not to have a fill-in bout.
Despite the cancellations on what many consider to be a snakebitten card, there are some underdogs that can potentially score some big points for your DraftKings team. With several very intriguing match-ups that have “of the night” accolades just waiting to be awarded, a game fantasy player can make buckets of duckets (or ducats, if you prefer the formal spelling).
Michael Graves has a pretty diverse skillset with capable wrestling and striking. His durability is right out of a cartoon. You basically have to drop an ACME safe on this guy to slow him down. He trains out of ATT with a bunch of killers, and is undefeated, both in his amateur and professional outings.
Randy Brown is also undefeated professionally, but does hold two losses on his amateur record. He’s only been the distance once, but I have a sneaky feeling Graves will be able to outwrestle him here for the victory.
Michael Graves via Decision
Beneil Dariush is a very skilled grappler under the excellent guidance of Rafael Cordeiro out at King’s MMA. He’s got slick moves, but doesn’t pack a lot of power in his punches. Add to that the fact he is coming off a very controversial split decision victory over Michael Johnson, and you have the makings of a possible upset here.
Chiesa is also a very slick grappler, winning the majority of his fights inside the distance via submission. He and his team have obviously been working on his standup, which has improved visibly over the last couple fights he’s had. Combine that with a decent height/reach advantage, and you have the makings for a dynamic fight that is sure to be chock full of exciting exchanges and scrambles.
Chiesa via Decision
Rose Namajunas has improved dramatically since her time on TUF and since her Invicta days. She’s extremely aggressive and not afraid to take risks. She’s great everywhere, and really shines on the ground. The thing is, her best moments of late are against Angela Hill and Paige VanZant, fighters that have arguably not fully filled out their skill sets.
Tecia Torres is also aggressive, and her ability to get in the pocket and do serious work on the inside is very impressive. She’s also quick, and we all know, speed kills. She holds a win over Namajunas from their Invicta days, and if you saw that fight, you’ll know why this girl is a very live dog. One other note here, she has never tasted defeat in her professional or amateur outings. Confidence is king.
Torres via Decision
This is a fight that would have been great 5-6 years ago, but because of Glover’s visa issues at the time, we missed out on what would have been both these guys at the very top of their primes. In any event, we’re still getting a fight with a lot of potential, so I shan’t complain.
Glover is a great fighter, and he’s very well-rounded. He can take you off your feet with a KO finish, or a sweep to gain position and choke you into your most vivid dreams. He’s on a two-fight streak, but only one of his opponents from those two is a Top 10 guy, Ovince St. Preux. The other factor here is that Glover has looked increasingly shopworn after his fights with Jones and Davis (both losses).
Evans is also starting to show some wear and tear around those once shiny edges, and while coming off a loss, it was a grinder of a fight with Ryan Bader, and after a 2 year layoff. The ring rust factor was likely a real phenomenon in that fight, but the time off before it likely preserved his career a bit longer due to not having his body put through rigorous training camps. Rashad will also have the advantage of this fight being in his backyard–zero travel, zero jetlag.
Evans via Decision