The UFC returns to Sao Paulo, Brazil, this Saturday with UFC Fight Night 119. The card features a middleweight main event between former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and Derek Brunson, as well as a number of other intriguing matchups. The card is flying under the radar but is well worth your time to watch.
Here are my top 10 fighter rankings for UFC Fight Night 119.
1. Derek Brunson ($8,400)
The main event features Brunson against Machida in a five-round middleweight fight, and I favor Brunson to win. I always recommend taking a fighter in a five-round fight because of the potential for more points, and in this particular matchup, I believe Brunson will rack up strikes and takedowns before eventually stopping Machida. Considering the stylistic matchup, it’s hard to pass up Brunson at this price.
2. Niko Price ($7,700)
Price faces Vicente Luque in a battle of welterweight fighters, and I like Price to get the win. He has been flawless so far in his UFC career with three finishes in three fights (one overturned because of a marijuana suspension), and I believe he has a very good chance of finishing Luque. I love Price at this price.
3. Thiago Santos ($7,900)
Santos takes on Jack Hermansson in what should be an action-packed middleweight contest, but I favor Santos to get the win. Both guys have finishing power, but Santos is the better striker, and eventually, I believe he’ll catch Hermansson and knock him out. I like Santos a lot at this cheap price.
4. Marcelo Golm ($8,800)
A heavyweight bout pits Marcelo Golm against Christian Colombo, and I like Golm to win this fight. The undefeated Brazilian is just 25, and Colombo is 37. Golm hasn’t taken much damage in the UFC compared to Colombo, who hasn’t fared well so far. I believe Golm will mash Colombo in this fight and likely knock him out early in the contest.
5. Colby Covington ($8,200)
The co-main event has Covington taking on Demian Maia in a battle of welterweight contenders, and I like the American to get the win over the Brazilian. Covington is on a nice win streak right now, and his confidence is at an all-time high. The pace he pushes and his ferocious takedowns are elite in the division, and while Maia is one of the most successful submission artists in the UFC, he’s now 39 and has to hit a decline phase soon. I believe Covington will beat Maia here, though Maia might be tough enough to survive until a decision.
6. John Lineker ($9,400)
You have to like Lineker against Marlon Vera in this bantamweight bout, but the price tag doesn’t make him my top pick. There’s no doubt Lineker has massive punching power, and I fully expect him to win this fight, but Vera is a tough competitor and might be able to survive three rounds. But even if Lineker survives, I still see him landing a ton of strikes and racking up fantasy points, so he’s a solid fit on anyone’s team.
7. Antonio Carlos Junior ($9,200)
Antonio Carlos Junior will take on Jack Marshman in a middleweight bout, and there’s a high chance there will be a finish in this fight. I believe Junior’s ground game ultimately will be too much for Marshman to overcome, and Junior likely will win by submission. However, the high price and the chance for Marshman landing a KO leads to Junior being placed further down this list.
8. Pedro Munhoz ($7,500)
Another bantamweight contest on the card features Munhoz against Rob Font, and this should be a fun fight. Both guys have very impressive UFC records and are improving despite both being in their early 30s. Still, I favor Munhoz here. I like his overall game a bit better, and I like the fact this fight is in Brazil. His cheap price makes him easy to fit into any type of lineup.
9. Jim Miller ($7,600)
Another low-salary fighter that I like is Miller, who will take on Francisco Trinaldo in a lightweight contest. Both guys are veterans who have been successful in the octagon, but Miller is five years younger and has been fighting better competition. I believe it will be a close fight, but Miller eventually will get the win, and he might even do so via late submission.
10. Deiveson Figueiredo ($7,300)
Another contrarian pick I like is Figueiredo, who will fight Jarred Brooks in a flyweight bout. Both guys are very solid prospects, but for whatever reason, Brooks is the one getting all the hype. Figueiredo hasn’t received much despite an impressive undefeated record featuring a ton of finishes, including a TKO win in his UFC debut. I like the Brazilian at this cheap price to round out a lineup.
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