Welcome to another edition of Get in the Cage for DFS Datalytics. The UFC will head to England this weekend for another stacked fight card. There are a lot of intriguing match-ups on this card, including the main event. Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson will duke it out to see who will move up the rankings even farther and possibly be just one fight away from securing a title shot. Both are ranked in the top 10, so this should be an epic main event in the light heavyweight division. Let’s Get in the Cage!
Lina Lansberg (6-1) vs. Lucie Pudilova (6-1) – Women’s Bantamweight (135 lbs)
DK Salaries: Lansberg – $9,100 / Pudilova – $7,100
Vegas Odds: Lansberg -290 / Pudilova +245
Odds to Finish: -240 (o 2 ½)
Lina Lansberg will be making her second UFC appearance this week. It can only get better from here it seems for her. She fought the destroyer known as Cris Cyborg in her debut and got knocked out in round two. If it means anything, she did have a decent showing for facing Cyborg. She landed a few solid shots and was accurate when she was able to throw. The main aspect to take from that fight was the heart of Lansberg, She showed that she can take a punch from the most dominant woman in MMA history. Lansberg currently owns a victory over her opponent this weekend as well.
Lucie Pudilova will be making her UFC debut this weekend in London. Pudilova has finished four of her six professional victories to date. This includes two submissions as well as two TKO victories. She has won her last two via submission. As mentioned before. Pudilova was previously defeated by Lansberg when they fought back in 2015. Lansberg won the unanimous decision. She certainly has the ability to do so again. Lansberg has much more quality experience than does Pudilova. I foresee another decision victory for her here.
Fight Prediction: Lansberg – Unanimous Decision
Bradley Scott (11-4) vs. Scott Askham (14-3) – Middleweight (185 lbs)
DK Salaries: Scott – $7,600 / Askham – $8,600
Vegas Odds: Scott +135 / Askham -155
Odds to Finish: -150 (o 2 ½)
Bradley Scott has won two of his first five fights since entering the UFC. He initially lost in the finals of the Ultimate Fighter. He finished both of those fights via the guillotine choke. He has finished all 10 of his professional victories (5 KO/5 Sub). Scott is for the most part a stand-up fighter whom favors the dirty boxing style up against the cage. It is where he is most effective. He tends to stand very heavily on his lead left leg, which could leave him subject to leg kicks. One of Scott’s main faults is his output inside the cage. This will be his first fight in over a year this weekend. He really doesn’t throw with malicious intent either, like you see in other fighters.
Scott Askham has not been able to get on a roll yet in the UFC. He has yet to win consecutive bouts. Much like his opponent, he too is a stand-up fighter, so the majority of this fight, I would think will remain on the feet. It will come down to who is the better overall striker. Askham has pulled off two first round finishes due to strikes in his time inside the octagon. I believe Askham here, is the better overall striker. He will need to watch out for the take down, however. He has lost two of his fights in the UFC due to being taken down, henceforth limiting his striking output. I believe Scott will be the one pressuring Askham and corning him, which could limit his output as well. Scott can certainly win this fight if he is able to do just that. Askham is the favorite, but I will side with Scott here to win by decision. He has the better all-around game in my opinion.
Fight Prediction: Scott – Unanimous Decision
Ian Entwistle (9-3) vs. Brett Johns (13-0) – Bantamweight (135 lbs)
DK Salaries: Entwistle – $6,900 / Johns – $9,300
Vegas Odds: Entwistle +330 / Johns -410
Odds to Finish: -185 (u 1 ½)
Ian Entwistle will enter the octagon for the forth time this weekend. Neither of his three fights have left the first round. Unfortunately for Entwistle, he has been on the losing side of two of these results. He was now been TKO’d twice in the first round. He submitted his opponent in his lone win in the UFC. Entwistle is a leg lock specialist and you will likely see him go for heel hook attempts multiple times this weekend. He has three victories via the heel hook and seven submissions overall. Entwistle has proven two things thus far in the octagon: he is an elite submission artist and must be taken seriously, but also that he can not take too many shots before being finished. It will be interesting to see how this fight plays out on Saturday.
Brett Johns is an undefeated fighter who will be making just his second UFC appearance. Johns too, is a submission practitioner, however not as elite as his opponent. He is much more talented in terms of his wrestling and grappling. He has just finished six of his 13 professional victories. Johns’ style allows him go to decision quite often. He has excellent conditioning and has gone all five rounds multiple times inside the cage prior to entering the company. He landed 11 take downs and transitioned three times in his debut fight, which resulted in a score of 118.5 on Draft Kings.
I predict it could be another high scoring affair for Johns here. He is excellent with his weight distribution, which helps him remain on top of his opponents. Expect a lot of take downs and grinding in this one with Johns winning by utilizing his ground and pound. If you are in need of a really cheap option, Entwistle could honestly pull a heel hook out of nowhere at any time. However, Johns in is the much better option overall.
Fight Prediction: Johns – Rd 2 TKO
Leon Edwards (12-3) vs. Vicente Luque (11-5-1) – Welterweight (170 lbs)
DK Salaries: Edwards – $7,500 / Luque – $8,700
Vegas Odds: Edwards +145 / Luque -165
Odds to Finish: -175 (o 2 ½)
Leon Edwards is an impressive 4-2 since he arrived in the UFC back in 2014. Edwards is primarily known for his striking ability. He only has one knockout since his debut, however that was one of the quickest finishes in UFC history. He showed solid take down and grappling prowess in his last bout against Albert Tumenov. Edwards striking output leads little to be desired. He has never landed more than 36 significant strikes in a given fight inside the octagon. I believe he will be at a bit of a disadvantage here in terms of striking against his opponent.
Vicente Luque is fresh off of his brutal knockout victory over Belel Muhammad back at UFC 205, which sent him out on a stretcher. Luque is the more accurate striker of the two and will also land more per minute. Luque has been outrageously impressive in his last four bouts. They have all resulted in finishes (2 KO/2 Sub). He packs a tremendous amount of power behind his right hand, which has finishes his last two opponents in less than two minutes. He switches stances with ease, which makes him a much tougher target for his opponents. Luque improves each time he is in the cage. He applies a lot of pressure and is always the aggressor. Look for him to finish off Edwards in the later rounds.
Fight Prediction: Luque – Rd 3 Submission
Tom Breese (10-1) vs. Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2) – Welterweight (170 lbs)
DK Salaries: Breese – $9,000 / Bamgbose – $7,200
Vegas Odds: Breese -270 / Bamgbose +230
Odds to Finish: -105 (o 1 ½)
Tom Breese is a finisher and has managed to end nine of his 10 professional victories. Breese has six submissions and three KO/TKO finishes on his resume thus far. Breese last fought in July, where he suffered his first loss of his career. He lost a split decision, where he simply was not active enough to get all the judges to side with him. Breese is a tall fighter for the welterweight division and will have a four inch height advantage. He has relied souly on his striking since he came into the UFC and is without a take down attempt. Breese looks very comfortable on the feet, but will need to connect more in order to get the victory this weekend.
Oluwale Bamgbose is a fighter who possesses serious punching power and explosiveness. He has significant power in his kicks as well and will absolutely swarm his opponents if he senses they are in danger. Bamgbose throws some very wide hooks when he engages, which opens his body up at times. Cezar Ferreira took full advantage of this, when he fought Bamgbose nearly a year ago, taking him down and winning the fight. He took him down three times and won the decision. Bamgbose will need to work on his take down defense to have more success. Aside from his last bout, none of Bamgbose’s fights have gone past the first round.
Bamgbose will be moving down a weight class here, which could affect his conditioning. However, his power should be that much more noticeable and he will have a five inch reach advantage here to help him a long. I want to say Breese here, though I feel Bamgbose will be able to connect and knock Breese out early. If the fight goes later than round one or to the ground, Bamgbose could be in trouble. I think he can connect though. Look for him to utilize his reach and explode in round one.
Fight Prediction: Bamgbose – Rd 1 KO
Marc Diakiese (11-0) vs. Teemu Packalen (8-1) – Lightweight (155 lbs)
DK Salaries: Diakiese – $8,900 / Packalen – $7,300
Vegas Odds: Diakiese -210 / Packalen +175
Odds to Finish: -225 (o 1 ½)
Marc Diakiese has gotten off to a hot start in his UFC career. He has won his first two bouts by knockout and decision respectively, while maintaining his unblemished record. Diakiese has a rather unorthodox style inside the cage. He can throw some pretty wild strikes, but with effectiveness. He appears very well-rounded, knocking out his first opponent and utilizing his wrestling to to win his last one. He showed off his solid grappling pedigree last time around. Diakiese did not land many strikes in that fight, but still managed to post a solid score of 73.5 on Draft Kings. He even overcame adversity in his last bout. Look for him to further improve this weekend.
Teemu Packalen will enter the octagon for the third time this weekend; same with his opponent. His previous fight lasted less than 30 seconds. Packalen rocked Thibault Gouti early and managed to take his back and choke him out. He executed this quickly and effortlessly. Packalen certainly has very solid grappling in his arsenal. He moves on the ground as good as anyone. Packalen has six submission victories thus far in his eight professional wins, so his ground game is what to look for here. He should certainly have the advantage on the ground. Diakiese has very solid take down defense, however. Look for Diakiese to utilize his striking prowess to win this one. I think it will be a closer fight than initially anticipated.
Fight Prediction: Diakiese – Unanimous Decision
#12 Daniel Omielanczuk (19-6-1) vs. #14 Timothy Johnson (10-3) – Heavyweight (265 lbs)
DK Salaries: Omielanczuk – $7,700 / Johnson – $8,500
Vegas Odds: Omielanczuk +145 / Johnson -165
Odds to Finish: -110 (u 2 ½)
Here we have a heavyweight clash between two ranked contenders. Daniel Omielanczuk will look to rebound here from his first loss in his last four. Omielanczuk did not have much of a shot in his last fight, due to the height discrepancy. Facing Stefan Struve can always be tough to handle. He has been accurate thus far in his UFC career, landing over 60 percent of his strikes. Omielanczuk has proved to not be much of a finisher. He has finished just two of his seven UFC fights. He will again be at a height disadvantage as well as a weight disadvantage on Saturday night. He will likely weigh close to 20 pounds less than is opponent. Omielanczuk from an overall standpoint, has not impressed me much since entering the UFC.
Timothy Johnson will be a -165 favorite this weekend. He is 2-2 thus far in the UFC. Johnson too, will have a slight reach advantage against Omielanczuk, which will likely help him a great deal. Johnson has lethal power in his hands; I would say more so than his opponent. From the DK perspective, Johnson certainly has the better potential to finish this weekend. Both fighters here have had difficulty finishing their respective opponents, despite being heavyweights. It will diminish their value if one is not able to record a finish. Both men are tough finishes as well, so it is tough to know what exactly will happen. If it goes to decision, Johnson will be the much more active of the two fighters, though Omielanczuk will be the more accurate one. Don’t rule out a finish here with it being a heavyweight bout. Johnson is the much better fighter and could be a solid draft.
Fight Prediction: Johnson – Unanimous Decision
Darren Stewart (8-0) vs. Francimar Barroso (18-6) – Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)
DK Salaries: Stewart – $8,800 / Barroso – $7,400
Vegas Odds: Stewart -175 / Barroso +155
Odds to Finish: -130 (o 1 ½)
This will be a rematch from a fight occurring back in November, which ultimately resulted in a no contest. Darren Stewart remained undefeated after the no contest. Stewart accidentally head butted Francimar Barroso right below the eye. He has five knockouts on his resume and has serious power in his hands. Stewart is a smaller light heavyweight and does not cut weight to make the limit like most in the division do. He was in control of the fight as he began to drive him up against the cage. Stewart has finished four of his opponents in the first round, showing the power that he possesses.
Barroso basically goes to the judges score cards whenever he wins. He is very methodical with his approach to the game. His best bet is to get this one to the ground and avoid the striking of Stewart. Barroso, however has been pitiful with his take down success. He has landed just eight of his 44 attempts (18%). If he manages to ware down Stewart, he can win this fight. In terms of draft quality, he should be avoided. He does not have the finishing ability like Stewart does. Stewart lacks experience, so he could certainly be taken down, where he will likely gas out. Stewart could finish this one early though. If you are to draft someone from this fight, use Stewart, especially in tournaments. Barroso will be more of a 50/50 play. Of all the fights to avoid when you see a potential first round finish, it is this one.
Fight Prediction: Stewart – Rd 1 KO
Joe Duffy (15-2) vs. Reza Madadi (14-4) – Lightweight (155 lbs)
DK Salaries: Duffy – $9,700 / Madadi – $6,500
Vegas Odds: Duffy -680 / Madadi +490
Odds to Finish: -135 (o 1 ½)
Joe Duffy will be the highest priced fighter this weekend in London and by $400. Duffy has been very successful in his time with the UFC going 3-1 with three first round finishes. His only defeat was by decision to top lightweight contender, Dustin Poirier. No knocks there from me. Duffy is so well-rounded. He dropped his last opponent and then submitted him on the ground in 25 seconds. Of his three wins, the longest fight was just over three minutes. It does not take long to see his skill set when he fights. Duffy is an overwhelming favorite this weekend by nearly -700. He has scored at least 94 points on Draft Kings during his three victories. I would expect another impressive finish this time around as well.
Reza Madadi was previously a Swedish freestyle as well Greco Roman wrestling champion. His grappling game is at a very high level. He has eight submission victories in his 14 professional wins. He is very well-rounded as well from what I have seen. He has a solid stand-up game to compliment his grappling. He has landed 48 percent of his strikes while in the UFC. Madadi is 3-2 wit the company with three finishes. He also has never been finished in his career. However, where Madadi appears solid, Duffy s just a little bit better. One advantage he will likely have this weekend is his conditioning. Madadi does not tire out easily. I think this fight will be closer than expected early on with Duffy gaining the advantage in the end. I predict a later round finish from the Irishman and another big time score. He will be expensive if you wish to use him.
Fight Prediction: Duffy – Rd 3 Submission
Arnold Allen (11-1) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (13-2) – Featherweight (145 lbs)
DK Salaries: Allen – $7,900 / Amirkhani – $8,300
Vegas Odds: Allen -130 / Amirkhani +110
Odds to Finish: -150 (o 2 ½)
Arnold Allen has impressed thus far in his young UFC career, winning his first two bouts. He fought through adversity in his debut fight, which was only on a few days notice, and submitted his opponent in performance of the night fashion. Allen has solid wrestling skills and has landed five of his eight take down attempts through his first two fights. He does not produce much while on top, however, does a great job of controlling his opponent. Allen will need to be more active on the feet on the feet to post a real solid score. He has five KO/TKO victories as well as three submission to his name. His conditioning appears to be very solid as well from what I have seen. Allen has a very solid base and will be a tough out for anyone he faces.
Makwan Amirkhani will be the underdog this weekend, though the more expensive fighter on Draft Kings. He too has been very impressive to start his UFC career, winning his first three fights with two first round finishes. Amirkhani knocked out Andy Ogle in eight seconds and submitted Masio Fullen in a minute and a half. He wastes no time to begin in engaging, whether it be striking or getting his opponent to the ground. His grappling skills are elite from what I have seen. He has some of the best take downs I have seen in the octagon as well. Amirkhani has scored at least 98 points in each of his first three bouts on Draft Kings. He will be a must draft for me this weekend based on his resume alone. Amirkhani will likely get this to the ground early, like in his last two bouts and out grapple Allen on his way to victory.
Fight Prediction: Amirkhani – Rd 3 Submission
Brad Pickett (26-13) vs. Marlon Vera (8-3-1) – Bantamweight (135 lbs)
DK Salaries: Pickett – $8,200 / Vera – $8,000
Vegas Odds: Pickett -135 / Vera +115
Odds to Finish: -175 (o 2 ½)
Brad Pickett will be a slight favorite in his home country of England this weekend. Pickett has merely won one of his last six fights dating back to 2014. He has really lost some of his luster, losing decisions and getting finished both by strikes and submissions. His lone win was a split decision. Pickett will always come out swinging, however, and has the ability to finish most men he faces if he is able to connect properly. Over the past few years, most of his fights have gone the distance. Baring a finish from Pickett, which appears unlikely at this point in his career, I would avoid him when drafting. He has elected to grapple more as of late, due to his chin I would think. He could be a threat to get this fight to the ground.
Marlon Vera is 2-2 through his first four bouts inside the octagon. He has two decisions, where he had very little production and has one submission to his name in the UFC. Vera is most dangerous on the ground with his wrestling and his BJJ skills. He is not one to have a significant amount of output with his striking. He will likely not put up a huge score on Draft Kings either unless he can record a finish. Vera likes to take the back and look for the rear-naked choke. He certainly favors chokes when looking to finish his opponents. He has multiple finishes via chokes. I think Pickett may have slightly better grappling skills, especially in terms of scrambling. I will side with Pickett here to win a decision. Both fighters should be avoided though.
Fight Prediction: Pickett – Split Decision
#9 Gunnar Nelson (15-2-1) vs. Alan Jouban (15-4) – Welterweight (170 lbs)
DK Salaries: Nelson – $9,200 / Jouban – $7,000
Vegas Odds: Nelson -325 / Jouban +265
Odds to Finish: -200 (o 1 ½)
Gunnar Nelson is one of the top grapplers and one of the most feared submission artists in the UFC’s welterweight division. Five of Nelson’s six UFC victories have come by way of submission. He also has yet to be finished in his MMA career. Nelson likes to set up his take downs with his strikes. Once Nelson gets his opponents down, they typically stay down and often tap out shortly after. He is very patient and intelligent with his maneuvers on the ground. Nelson is highly efficient with both his striking and take downs landing at least 57 percent of his attempts in both respects. He often times makes his opponents look like they lack a ground game, because he is so good.
Alan Jouban will be a tough opponent for Nelson this weekend in terms if striking. That is as long as the fight takes place on the feet. Jouban is a very dangerous striker. Jouban has 64 percent take down defense and has been taken down in five of his eight UFC appearances. He is an explosive individual, however, does not have the ground game to compete with Nelson. He would need to have tremendous success early on in order to have a chance here, in my opinion. He is a significant underdog in this one. Expect Nelson to get Jouban down at some point in round one and begin to wear down Jouban. Look for a submission at some point in round two. Nelson should be a must draft.
Fight Prediction: Nelson – Rd 2 Submission
#4 Jimi Manuwa (16-2) vs. #7 Corey Anderson (10-2) – Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)
DK Salaries: Manuwa – $8,400 / Anderson – $7,800
Vegas Odds: Manuwa -150 / Anderson +130
Odds to Finish: -150 (o 1 ½)
Jimi Manuwa asserted himself as one of the top contenders in the light heavyweight divison his last time around when he knocked out Ovince Saint Preux. He made some critical mistakes early on in the fight attempting to engage with take downs and grappling. However, when he opened up in the second round, he really took over. Manuwa began to eat away at his opponent with ruthless body shots and eventually knocked Saint Preux out cold. He exhibited pin point accuracy and patience as he was looking for the kill shot. The body shots that Manuwa throws can be very taxing for the cardio of his opponents. Manuwa will look for another stellar knockout in his home country of England here.
Corey Anderson has merely lost two fights in his MMA career and they were against knockout artist, Gian Villante in the third round and MMA legend, Shogun Rua. He lost a close split decision that night against Rua. Anderson is a wrestler and a highly successful one at that while he has fought for the UFC. He has landed 29 take downs with 53 percent efficiency in just eight UFC fights. He is very methodical with his approach inside the cage. Anderson likes to get his opponents down and soften them up with his grappling as well as his strikes.
Both fighters have been on the rise recently in the light heavyweight division. I don’t believe Anderson’s style will bode well for Manuwa this weekend. Manuwa will undoubtedly have the advantage in the stand-up, however Anderson does not let his fights take place too long on the feet. Manuwa was taken down with relative ease in his previous bout against a fighter with much less success in terms of take downs. Take downs are Anderson’s game and to this point has not had much difficulty executing such. Anderson has brutal ground and pound and will likely finish this one early on utilizing his world class ground and pound.
Fight Prediction: Anderson – Rd 2 TKO