UFC Fight Night Melbourne Picks and Analysis

Welcome to another edition of Get in the Cage for DFS Datalytics. We now move to Australia for this week’s fight card. In the main event two top ranked contenders in the middleweight division will duke it out and see who take one step closer towards the title in the future. Robert Whittaker will face off with one of the most lethal knockout artists in the game today in Derek Brunson. It should be a fight to see. Someone is going down. Now, let’s get to the break down. Good luck to everyone. Let’s Get in the Cage!

Under Card:

Yao Zhikui (2-4) vs Jenel Lausa (6-2) – Flyweight (125 lbs)

DK Salaries: Zhikui – $7,900 / Lausa – $8,300

Vegas Odds: Zhikui +115 / Lausa -135

Odds to Finish: -220 (o 2 ½)

Never thought I would be saying this, but the UFC has a fighter with a losing record. Yao Zhikui is 1-2 in the UFC and 2-4 overall. He has not been impressive really throughout his stint with the company. He has terrible striking and take down accuracy through his first three fights in the UFC. Zhikui is a wrestler at heart and will certainly look to utilize that this weekend. He too has pitiful striking defense, defending less than 50 percent of the attempts thrown his way. Zhikui is the underdog this weekend according to both Vegas and Draft Kings. With both Zhikui’s and his opponents fight styles, this one is likely to go the distance.

Jenel Lausa will be making his UFC debut this weekend. He has two KO/TKO finishes as well as two submission on his resume through eight professional bouts. Lausa has been trained in both boxing and mauy thai. If Zhikui cannot get this fight to the ground, he may be in trouble. He possesses exceptional knockout power coming into this fight. He too is known for his wrestling, so I do not give his opponent much of a chance. It is surprising to see him in the UFC with that type of record as well. Lausa could be worth a draft this weekend. He could be a threat to get this fight to the ground and advance. He is more of a cash game play though, as opposed to a tournament play. Zhikui however, I would avoid entirely when drafting.

Fight Prediction: Lausa – Unanimous Decision.

Marlon Vera (7-3-1) vs Ning Guangyou (6-3-1) – Bantamweight (135 lbs)

DK Salaries: Vera – $8,000 / Guangyou – $8,200

Vegas Odds: Vera +120 / Guangyou -140

Odds to Finish: -240 (o 2 ½)

Marlon Vera is a skilled submission artist looking to make a statement this weekend. He is 1-2 in the UFC. He has merely fought once per year since debuting in 2014. This will be his second bout this year. Vera looked very sloppy in his last fight against Davey Grant. He has five victories by submission in his seven professional wins. Vera too, has not yet been finished in his MMA career. Vera can be very active at times when fighting off of his back. He eats a lot of shots when inside the cage, defending just 42 percent of those blows to date. He has not been particularly active with his striking game yet either. Vera will have a considerable advantage this weekend in both the height and reach departments. He is four inches taller than his opponent and will also sport a six inch reach advantage.

Vera’s opponent this weekend will be Ning Guangyou. Guangyou is 2-1 in the UFC, first winning the Ultimate Fighter. He is best known for his wrestling. He has successfully landed four of seven take downs (57%). He also has no problem standing and trading with his opponents either. He has three TKO victories already in his early career. He has some very quick hands, which we have seen. It will be very tough for him to get inside to land strikes with how small he is compared to his opponent. He has had trouble finding his range before, especially in his his last fight, which occurred nearly a year ago. Vera had difficulty with Davey Grant’s wrestling in his last bout, so Guangyou may look to utilize his ground skills to win the fight. I don’t expect the winner of this fight to put up any significant points. I would avoid this fight when drafting.

Fight Prediction: Guangyou – Split Decision

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