Get in the Cage: UFC Fight Night Belfast Picks and Analysis
Welcome to another edition of Get in the Cage for DFS Datalytics. There are two fight cards this weekend for UFC. One in Belfast, Ireland and one in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My analyses will be shorter this week due to that, so let’s not waste anymore time. Let’s Get in the Cage! Good luck to everyone playing this weekend.
Charlie Ward (2-1) vs Abdul Razak Alhassan (6-0) – Welterweight (170 lbs)
DK Salaries: Ward – $9,100 / Alhassan – $7,100
Vegas Odds: Ward -335 / Alhassan +275
Odds to Finish: -150 (u 1 ½)
This fight came out of nowhere and is not even currently listed on ufc.com at the moment. Charlie Ward will be fighting in his native land of Ireland this weekend. He is 2-1 in his professional career with two decision victories on his resume. He also got knocked out in his one defeat, so it is very odd to see him on a UFC card this early in his career, in my opinion. Ward prefers wrestling and will likely try to get his opponent to the ground early on in the fight. He does have some very solid ground and pound when on top, which could aid in his victory if he is able to get the fight to the ground.
Abdul Razak Alhassan is a national Judo champion from Ghana. He possesses serious power in his hands and can be very explosive coming out of the gate. He is 6-0 with six first round KO/TKO victories. With his Judo background, he could perhaps be more of a threat to get this to the ground than is Ward. A skilled Judo fighter can throw opponents around at will in some instances. His six fights have not even lasted a total of six minutes, which is something to be said. He is not the most technical striker, but boy does he have some power in those hands. Alhassan could be a solid draft in all formats this weekend.
Fight Prediction: Alhassan – Rd 1 KO
Brett Johns (12-0) vs Kwan Ho Kwak (9-0) – Bantamweight (135 lbs)
DK Salaries: Johns – $9,100 / Kwak – $7,100
Vegas Odds: Johns -210 / Kwak +175
Odds to Finish: -190 (o 2 ½)
This fight also appeared out of nowhere. This is a bout between two undefeated prospects in the bantamweight division. Johns left the the Titan FC company as the champion prior to entering this fight. He has gone to decision six times in his professional career with two TKO victories and four submissions. Kwan Ho Kwak is a very talented fighter here as well and was the Top FC champion. He is a knockout artist with six KO/TKO victories on his resume to date. There are no foreseeable advantages in terms of build here in this one. Both men are the roughly the same size. Johns speed and tenacity should be the difference maker here. I would expect this one to go to decision as well and can overall be avoided for this card. At $9,100, Johns is not worth a draft for the production he will likely put up on Draft Kings.
Fight Prediction: Johns – Unanimous Decision
#15 Marion Reneau (6-3) vs Milana Dudieva (11-4) – Women’s Bantamweight (135 lbs)
DK Salaries: Reneau – $9,100 / Dudieva – $7,100
Vegas Odds: Reneau -230 / Dudieva +190
Odds to Finish: -150 (o 2 ½)
Marion Reneau is most well-known for her ground fighting. She is 2-2 in the UFC and has lost two straight by decision. She put together some nice combinations in her last fight and staggered her opponent early on. Reneau can be dangerous with her submissions as well. She has never been finished in her professional career. She has not been an accurate striker through her first four UFC bouts, where she landing just 38 percent of her attempts. This should be an interesting fight to see with both women’s striking abilities. She was able to tear up the face of Ashlee Evans-Smith in her last bout. Reneau lost that fight because she was not as active as her opponent. It could be very similar this time around as well. She may look to take out her base with her leg kicks throughout the fight.
Milana Dudieva will be making just her third appearance for the UFC this weekend and her first in roughly a year and a half. Her first fight in the UFC was a year and a half prior to that, so she will be well-rested. Dudieva possesses a very strong right hand with knockout power. She swings with aggression and when she senses blood, she will swarm you. She is efficient when in the clinch and is overall a very well-rounded fighter. She has finished nine of her professional victories coming into this fight. She is aggressive wherever the fight may go. Reneau will need to be weary of that right hand. She is always looking for a finish. Her one weak point is in her grappling from what I have seen. This is a tough fight to decipher here. Dudieva is the better striker, but proved to be very inefficient on the ground. Reneau is the better all-around fighter, so I will give her the decision victory here. She can be used for cash games only, but Dudieva can pull out a victory with her heavy hands for tournaments potentially.
Fight Prediction: Reneau – Unanimous Decision
Zak Cummings (19-5) vs Alexander Yakovlev (23-7) – Welterweight (170 lbs)
DK Salaries: Cummings – $9,000 / Yakovlev – $7,200
Vegas Odds: Cummings -175 / Yakovlev +155
Odds to Finish: -225 (o 2 ½)
Zak Cummings is 4-2 since entering the UFC. He has an incredible chin, which was shown during his last fight. Cummings has never been knocked out in his professional career. He exhibits solid, technical striking and does not have problem standing and trading. With his chin, he typically has no issues. However, Cummings has not been an accurate striker since entering the UFC. He has landed just 31 percent of his attempts. Though, he was not accurate with his take downs in his previous fight, overall, he has been impressive, landing just about 50 percent of his take downs. His opponent gets very worn down when he is facing a wrestler. It would be advantageous for Cummings to engage in clinch and attempt to get his opponent down.
Alexander Yakovlev is a highly intellectual fighter with a lot of experience under his belt. He is merely 2-3 inside the octagon since debuting. He really has not been too active while on the feet, but has been accurate when he does engage. He lands at a 47 percent success rate. Yakovlev is well-versed in MMA. He has nine KO/TKO victories and eight submissions to his name. He, much like Cummings, has not been finished due to strikes in his professional career. I believe that Cummings will be able to control the pace of this fight. Yakovlev was dominated by Kamaru Usman in his last fight. Usman has a great wrestling pedigree and it really showed. Yakovlev was not able to do much of anything in that fight. Cummings, in my opinion is the better striker and should win this fight by decision. Both men are very tough to finish, so this one should go the distance.
Fight Prediction: Cummings – Unanimous Decision