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Demian Maia vs Ryan LaFlare Fantasy Draft Picks and Analysis

By Paul → Friday, March 20, 2015
The UFC heads back to Brazil for UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare, an event that is sure to test your knowledge of the UFC roster. The undefeated LaFlare will get his toughest assignment yet in Maia, Josh Koscheck is back for more and undefeated Gilbert “Durinho” Burns looks to run his record to 10-0. Let’s break down the event.


Ryan LaFlare ($10400) vs Demian Maia ($9300)
Demian Maia looks to make one last run at a UFC belt, but the undefeated LaFlare is in his way. LaFlare loves takedowns, averaging almost five per fight in his four UFC bouts. Taking the fight to the ground won’t be the wisest strategy against Maia, one of the best jiu jitsu players of this era. While Maia has steadily improved his striking over the years, it’s odd that he hasn’t had even one sub attempt in his last three fights. All that to say this fight will likely remain standing, where LaFlare has advantages in reach and speed.
Pick: LaFlare by decision

Erick Silva ($11900) vs Josh Koscheck ($7500)
Last we saw Josh Koscheck he was foaming at the mouth courtesy of a Jake Ellenberger choke. He steps in on short notice to take on Erick Silva, but this is not the Koscheck from years past. He’s landed a total of 14 strikes in his last three fights, and he’s been finished in all three. Silva was once a top prospect who has shown flashes of brilliance but has faltered against the upper class of the division. Fortunately for him, Koscheck is no longer a top contender. Silva will get it to the ground and submit Koscheck, effectively ending his career in the UFC.
Pick: Silva by submission

Leonardo Santos ($9900) vs Tony Martin ($9500)
Santos vs. Martin features two ground specialists who have yet to fulfill their potential in the UFC. They’ve combined for one knockout in their 27 pro fights. Santos has never been submitted and Martin has just once. So this could be a war of attrition that will likely go to decision. Martin should be able to get in and out on Santos and land more strikes in the process. It might not be pretty but he will do enough for the victory.
Pick: Martin by decision

Amanda Nunes ($11700) vs Shayna Baszler ($7700)
This here is a moneymaker. Baszler is a pioneer in women’s MMA, but she no longer has the speed to compete with the best fighters. Nunes is coming off a loss to Cat Zingano, but before that fight she registered two consecutive first round knockouts. She won’t have any fear of Baszler’s stand up game, enabling her to sit in the pocket and throw combos — and bombs when the opportunity arises. Nunes will land one and Baszler will go to sleep.
Pick: Nunes by KO/TKO

Gilbert Burns ($12000) vs Alex Oliveira ($7400)
Gilbert “Durinho” Burns is definitely a prospect to keep your eye on in the UFC. A member of the Blackzilians, Burns scored victories in his first two UFC fights, earning a Performance of the Night bonus for his submission win against Christos Giagos at UFC 179. Oliveira is making his UFC debut and it will be a baptism by fire. While he has plenty of punching power, Burns represents a major step up in talent for Oliveira. Burns has had no difficulty in getting opponents to the ground in his first two fights, scoring both takedowns and sub attempts in both bouts. He might have to weather a storm from Oliveira, but he will get him to the ground, pass his guard and submit him.
Pick: Burns by submission

Andre Fili ($11500) vs Godofredo Pepey ($7900)
Besides having one of the most fun nicknames in MMA, Andre “Touchy” Fili is also an up and comer in the UFC featherweight division. The Team Alpha Male fighter is very aggressive and fills the stat sheet with a high volume of strikes and takedowns. Fili has nine takedowns in his three UFC fights, including five in his unanimous decision victory over Felipe Arantes, who Pepey lost to back in 2013. But after a rough start to his UFC career, Pepey enjoyed a great 2014 that saw him win two fights, both first-round finishes. He also has a nice ground game, but has completed just one takedown in his five UFC fights. Fili has the edge on the feet, and that’s where this fight will remain. Fili will strike his way into a TKO win.
Pick: Fili by KO/TKO

Francisco Trinaldo ($10800) vs Akbarh Arreola ($8600)
Arreola opened some eyes when he submitted Yves Edwards last November for his first UFC win. He has 17 of his 23 wins have come by submission, including his last four. Trinaldo is well-rounded and holds a 5-3 record in the UFC. But he has never been able to take that next step. He’s also easy to takedown, and that’s where we think Arreola will be able to win. He can get Trinaldo to the ground and implement his best asset — his ground game. He’ll submit Trinaldo in what can be viewed as a slight upset.
Pick: Arreola by submission

Kevin Souza ($10900) vs Katsunori Kikuno ($8500)
Kevin Souza is a straight-up thumper, with 13 of his 15 wins coming by KO. He’s won both his UFC fights, averaging a beastly 5.27 significant strikes per minute. He’ll love this matchup with Kikuno. Souza is 6’0″ with a 74″ reach, giving him an 8-inch advantage there. Kikuno had a nice submission win against Sam Sicilia last September, but was knocked out by Tony Ferguson before that. Everything here points to Souza, who will likely add another KO victory to his record.
Pick: Souza by KO/TKO

Leandro Silva ($10300) vs Drew Dober ($9000)
Dober dropped his first two UFC fights but came back with a nice win against Jamie Varner last December. Silva is a submission wizard, while Dober has never been submitted and has nine submission wins of his own, so something has to give. I still believe that Silva will be able to take Dober down and he’s also the more accurate striker. I suspect Dober will survive but Silva will take the decision win.
Pick: Silva by decision

Leandro Mafra ($10200) vs Cain Carrizosa ($9100)
Carrizosa had an awful UFC debut against Chris Wade at UFC 177. Wade got a quick takedown, passed his guard and choked him out in just over a minute. Carrizosa didn’t land any punches. Mafra’s last fight was nothing to write home about either. as he was submitted by Rick Story in the second round last July. He was also knocked out in his debut at UFC 147. While all this sounds bad, they have only three losses between them. Mafra has big power, fights out of the legendary Chute Boxe camp and has more experience that Carrizosa. Prior to losing to Story, Mafra posted five consecutive KO wins. We look for him to score a KO win.
Pick: Mafra by KO/TKO

NCAA $1,000 Freeroll at DraftKings is a Great Start to March Madness

By Paul → Tuesday, March 17, 2015
This Freeroll locks Thursday before the first game starts. This is another beginners only freeroll, anyone who has not played in 50 NCAA basketball games is considered a beginner. Thats most everyone! There is no better training for DFS than this type of freeroll. you won't be pitted against the pro grinders and you will learn how to become proficient at researching picks for your roster. It doesn't matter what sport it is, practice makes perfect.

DraftKing's $1,000 NCAA Basketball Freeroll - Beginners Only!  -----   Enter Now

There is a lot of competition in the world of Daily Fantasy Sports and DraftKings is giving away free money to peak your interest. I'm happy to oblige.


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UFC 185 Fantasy Fight Picks and Analysis for Anthony Pettis vs Rafael Dos Anjos

By Paul → Tuesday, March 10, 2015
UFC 185 offers a buffet of brutality with some very close contests this Saturday night. The tagline, “Welcome to the Show”, is a respectful nod to the dynamic lightweight champion, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, but also highlights the spectacle that this event might prove to be. There’s a great mix of power punchers, gritty grinders, and a few enigmas on this fight card, which starts a stretch of stacked events that will span into the spring.

Anthony Pettis (12,200) vs Rafael Dos Anjos (7,600)
To call lightweight champion Anthony Pettis a striker, you have to expand the definition of the word. Because in addition to the crippling kicks from his taekwondo base, Pettis can truly strike with his jiu-jitsu, impossibly catching the arms and necks of former champs. He can strike using the cage, bouncing off the boundary to land unexpected blows and create openings. This unpredictability makes him arguably the most exciting of the current UFC champions.
The challenger, Rafael Dos Anjos has consistently made great fighters crack under his pressure. Most notably knocking out former champion Benson Henderson and recently slapping around Nate Diaz at will. He has every right to enter this fight feeling like a world-beater but the champ might just not be of this world. Rafael will be a game opponent and march forward but Pettis should deftly counter the challenger’s onslaught. Don’t blink or you might miss the highlight as Pettis wins via stoppage (KO, TKO or SUB) to remain lightweight champion.
Fight Prediction: Pettis via KO

Carla Esparza (10,500) vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk (9,000)
In her first title defense since earning the inaugural strawweight (115lbs) strap, Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza will face undefeated Joanna “JJ” Jedrzejczyk in the card’s co-main event. Their drastically different styles, Esparza being a wrestler and Joanna a Muay Thai champion, might result in a “Fight of the Night” scrap or nullify into a twenty-five minute buzzkill. In Carla’s last match her opponent “Thug” Rose Namajunas utilized an ineffective strategy of flashy attacks, which allowed Esparza to repeatedly take Rose down, expose her on the mat and sink in a rear-naked choke in the third round. JJ has shown impressive aggression, strength and takedown defense, which could cause problems for the champ. However, Carla’s ability to time, catch and transition kicks into driving takedowns is noteworthy and might be the difference as the match continues. Joanna’s winging right hand, combination work, and energy management could prove the perfect combination to dismantle the current champion.
The odds are close in this fight for good reason and picking JJ is a worthwhile risk. It all depends on how well the Muay Thai fighter handles Esparza’s relentless wrestling. Joanna will definitely “win” the weigh-in face-off (seriously a must watch) mean mugging on Friday and just might steal the show as her sharp striking snatches the straw-weight championship from Esparza via TKO on Saturday night.
Fight Prediction: Jerdrejczyk by TKO

Johny Hendricks (11,700) vs Matt Brown (7,800)
Any Matt “The Immortal” Brown fight is a must watch affair and his entertainment value cannot be questioned. Former champ Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks will test Brown’s right to hang with the elite of the welterweight division in a match that has all the makings of a classic three round clash. Brown’s clearest path to victory is relentlessly pressuring Bigg Rigg despite overwhelming punishment and to trudge through hell towards a decision victory. This is much easier said than done against Hendricks, a hulking wrestler turned KO artist with elusive speed. Through multiple title bouts, Bigg Rigg has added new weapons to his attack, but the kicks he has developed could get him into trouble when facing Brown’s arsenal of Muay Thai throws. Johny should be able to take Brown down at will, yet The Immortal’s crafty guard could catch for the former champ at any moment.
Despite a known vulnerability to body shots, Matt Brown is never out of a fight and always has the potential to play the spoiler if you find yourself with less than 8k for your last pick. However, Hendricks’ hand speed, ability to dissolve distance, and comfort at close range give Bigg Rigg numerous routes for victory and should lead him to a unanimous decision win with the potential of a flash KO.
Fight Prediction: Hendricks by Unanimous Decision

Alistair Overeem (11,100) vs Roy Nelson (8,400)
Roy “Big Country” Nelson’s strategy is as obvious as his distaste for the barber: back up his opponent and pop that right hand cannon. A cunning Mark Hunt managed Nelson perfectly and Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem should be studying that playbook. However, it’s been impossible to predict how focused and strategic Overeem will be when he enters a fight. His hubris is what knocked him out against both Bigfoot and Browne, which makes it tough to trust the Dutch striker. Overeem has more technical tools for success but his seemingly glass jaw and equally fragile focus make Nelson a valuable underdog pick at $8,400.
Unless Overeem has turned a corner and seen the light, all Nelson has to do is touch him to end this fight at any minute. Don’t be surprised if the barrel-chested brute demolishes the Dutch adonis early via KO.
Fight Prediction: Nelson via KO

Henry Cejudo (12,400) vs Chris Cariaso (7,100)
Surging Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo finally has the chance to deliver a strong signal to the flyweight division as he welcomes former title contender Chris Cariaso back to the cage. Cejudo looked stellar in his last fight, but that was a world away at 135 lbs and weight cutting has been an issue for the potential prospect in the past. Cariaso is returning from a long layoff so ‘ring rust’ will be the biggest question regarding the veteran’s performance. I know I’ll be watching the weigh-ins on Friday to make my final decision based on Cejudo’s appearance and ability to weigh 125 lbs comfortably. If anything goes wrong when Cejudo steps on the scale, picking Cariaso at $7,100 would be a steal to open up some funds for another favored fighter.
I think this match could be a much closer contest than the odds indicate due to the change in weight class and Henry’s trouble shedding the pounds in the past. “The Messenger” Cejudo will face his first real test at 125lbs and with that perhaps a humbling loss to underdog “Kamikazi” Cariaso via split decision.
Fight Prediction: Cariaso via Split Decision

Jared Rosholt (11,400) vs Josh Copeland (8,100)
Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt hopes to bounce back from a quick KO loss as he faces Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland. Cuddly Bear is a stalwart slugger whose only loss was his last match where he dropped his UFCdebut via unanimous decision.
This will likely turn into a slobber-knocker that could end in one wild exchange. If you’re keen on picking a cheap underdog with the potential for a KO, it might as well be a heavyweight named Cuddly Bear. However, all things considered Rosholt should be able to weather the storm and secure an ugly win via unanimous decision.
Fight Prediction: Rosholt by Unanimous Decision

Ross Pearson (11,800) vs Sam Stout (7,700)
Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout returns to the cage after a significant time off to recover from the first KO loss of his long career. Fans are guaranteed a war of attrition when Stout fights but recently that’s only if his opponent is willing to blindly brawl. More and more often, faster and more fluid fighters have been dismantling Stout with increasing ease. Pearson is too slick for simple slugging and this tune-up match should be the first step back towards relevance for “Real Deal” Ross after being bested last November by Al Iaquinta. Using his ability to slip-and-counter Ross should handle the slower Stout and earn the victory via KO.

Fight Prediction: Ross by TKO

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UFC 184 Fantasy Picks and Analysis for Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano

By Paul → Friday, February 27, 2015
UFC 184 goes down Saturday night in Las Vegas, and the women take center stage in the main event. Someone’s ‘O’ has got to go, as undefeated women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defends her title against undefeated Cat Zingano. We also get to see the debut of the hard-hitting Holly Holm, the return of Josh Koscheck and much more.

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Micro-Millions for MMA! $2 to Enter, $30K in Prizes >> DRAFT NOW 

Ronda Rousey ($13500) vs. Cat Zingano ($6600) 
Zingano offers great value at just $6600. But to make that play, you have to be sure she’ll win or at least go the distance with Rousey. The odds of either happening are slim. Rousey is simply on another level skill-wise than the entirety of women’s MMA.

Zingano has many qualities. She’s strong, durable and an accurate striker. But unless she scores a quick knockout, the fight will eventually get to the ground, as Zingano’s takedown defense is pedestrian. Rousey averages over eight takedowns and almost six submission attempts per 15 minutes. When it hits the ground, you know what will happen. Rousey will break her arm or get her to tap before the snap. If you believe Zingano is the one to dethrone Rousey, have at it. But the smart money is to take Rousey to continue her destruction and retain her title.
Prediction: Rousey by submission

Holly Holm ($13400) vs. Raquel Pennington ($6400) 
The highly-anticipated debut of Holly Holm is finally here, and she gets a favorable matchup in Raquel Pennington. Simply put, Holm is bigger, stronger and has a reach advantage and more experience. She was an 18-time champion boxer, holding a record of 33-2. She moved to MMA and won her first seven fights, six by knockout. Yes, Holly Holm is as good as advertised. Pennington is as game as they come, and is durable enough to take this the distance. If Pennington can grind out three rounds, she might hit value. But the more likely scenario is a knockout in round two or three after Holm shakes off the UFC debut jitters.
Prediction: Holm by KO/TKO 

Jake Ellenberger ($11400) vs. Josh Koscheck ($8500) 
Josh Koscheck is back after taking all of 2014 off, at which time you probably thought he retired. Koscheck, 37, hasn’t had his hand raised since 2012 and has lost three fights in a row, all to division powerhouses: Woodley, Lawler, Hendricks. No shame in any of those losses. Ellenberger is on a slide of his own, dropping three straight fights. Both are wrestlers that developed striking skills and have powerful right hands. Did the time off recharge Koscheck for one more run? Is Ellenberger too strong and too hungry for the former welterweight title challenger? An upset here wouldn’t be a surprise, but given Koscheck’s age, time away and reduced chin, look for Ellenberger to send Koscheck into retirement.
Prediction: Ellenberger by KO/TKO 

Alan Jouban ($12500) vs. Richard Walsh ($7400) 
Jouban won Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night bonuses after knocking out Seth Baczynski at UFN 47. Walsh likes to bang, and two of his four wins have come by KO. Both are coming off losses, and controversial ones at that. It’s doubtful either one wants to tempt that fate again, but on paper this looks to be a grind-it-out affair likely to be decided by the judges. You can’t play all the favorites, and at $7400, Walsh is a solid choice for an upset special. He’s ready to take that next step.
Prediction: Walsh by decision 

Tony Ferguson ($11400) vs. Gleison Tibau ($8500) 
This has “Fight of the Night” written all over it. Both fighters are extremely difficult to take down, so the action will remain on the feet. That favors Ferguson, who has youth, speed and reach to his advantage. He loves a fast-paced fight and he will eventually wear down Tibau, who is on a short turn around after fighting just six weeks ago. While Tibau is a tough out and hard to finish, Michael Johnson knocked him out at UFC 168. I expect Ferguson to do the same.
Prediction: Ferguson by KO/TKO 

Mark Munoz ($12200) vs. Roan Carneiro ($7700) 
The rumors of the demise of Mark Munoz have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, he’s lost three of his last four fights, but they were to elite fighters such as Mousasi, Machida and UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Carneiro returns to the UFC for the first time since 2008, and he’s riding a five-fight winning streak. Carneiro is a ground specialist, and while Munoz has an outstanding wrestling pedigree, he’s actually fairly easy to get down. Carneiro averaged over three three takedowns per fight during his first UFC stint, and he will get Munoz to the ground. Munoz has only been submitted once in his career, so I don’t expect Carneiro to finish him. But I do predict him to win by decision.
Prediction: Carneiro by decision 

Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto ($12300) vs. Roman Salazar ($7600) 
Back in the day, there weren’t many fighters better than Kid Yamamoto. He went more than five years without losing a fight and dominated K-1. But he hasn’t fought in over three years and he’s lost five of his last six fights. The “Kid” has aged, and unfortunately not so gracefully. His last run in the UFC was disastrous, and it’s surprising that he is back for more. On paper, Salazar is an opponent that Yamamoto could beat, but I suspect that Salazar will be able to take this to final horn and get his first UFC win.
Prediction: Salazar by decision 

Dhiego Lima ($10100) vs. Tim Means ($9900) 
Dhiego Lima was the perfect for “The Ultimate Fighter,” a young fighter who just needed a chance at the big show, and one who is likely to improve with each fight he takes. He has a fantastic ground game, and while Tim Means is solid in his takedown defense, Lima should be able to get Means to the ground repeatedly. From there he will use his speed and power to lay some ground and pound on Means. Means will survive, but Lima will take it via unanimous decision.
Prediction: Lima by decision 

Derrick Lewis ($12600) vs. Ruan Potts ($7300) 
Lewis is coming off a brutal knockout loss to Matt Mitrione at UFN 50. But before that setback, he won his first two UFC fights by knockout in the first round. He was the Legacy FC heavyweight champ, and has tremendous power. Of his 11 wins, ten have come by knockout. That’s bad news for Ruan Potts, who has already been knocked out twice in his first two UFC fights. This is the no-brainer on the card. Lewis by vicious KO in round one.
Prediction: Lewis by KO 

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Raquel Pennington is Set to Bury "The Preachers Daughter" Holly Holms at UFC 184

By Paul → Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Raquel Pennington may be a big underdog against undefeated boxing sensation Holly Holm, but you would never guess that listening to her talk about their bantamweight showdown at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, California.

She really wants to give "The Preacher's Daughter" a taste of her own medicine by outclassing her on the feet and ultimately knocking her out. But as she told Submission Radio, she's also willing to settle for any other type of impressive finish.

Her prediction:
"Everybody's sitting here saying she's a phenomenal stand-up fighter, so the ultimate goal would be to knock out Holly Holm. Or a nice finish, the same way I finished Ashley Evans-Smith."
It's going to be pretty tough to top this nice bulldog choke Pennington executed on the aforementioned Smith back at UFC 181.


As far as Raquel is concerned, Holm may be unbeaten, but she has yet to be tested by a UFC-caliber fighter. And she isn't about to let the former pro boxer waltz into the Octagon and claim it as her own.
"It's completely exciting. I feel like all the hard work is finally paid off and I mean this is a fight that I definitely asked for. A lot of people, I mean they give Holly a ton of credit. She's riding a huge hype train, and I feel like she's just kind of coming into my home and she hasn't truly been tested with another elite athlete and female that's been in the UFC. I feel like she's kind of looking past everybody and just trying to jump to that title shot."
For Raquel, being the underdog isn't anything new and it's something she embraces. That's because it takes all the pressure off her and adds a bit more to Holm, who is expected to be the one to truly test division champion Ronda Rousey.
"I've always been an underdog my whole entire career, so I mean it's easy for me. It kind of takes the pressure off of me. I don't have anything to live up to. I mean Holly is the one coming into the UFC for one, and she's carrying all the pressure. I have nothing to lose and she has everything to lose. I just recently fought so I think the cage jitters and stuff like that are out the window. So overall in MMA I have a lot more experience than she does. If you sit here and you kind of look at our records and stuff, my record may be five and five or whatever, and her record is undefeated, but there's a ton of girls that I fought with undefeated records that I have under my belt. I mean six of nine girls are all in the UFC, so I think with that and coming off of being from Colorado; I mean high altitude training. I feel I just have a ton of advantages. I mean I know she's gonna be strong, it's going to be a fight, but I feel like I'll be the superior fighter that night."
While a win for Holm will likely earn her a shot at the winner of Rousey vs. Cat Zingano for the division strap, a victory for Pennington might not guarantee her the same.

Holly Holm is a huge favorite ($13,500) with basically the same odds as Rousey. The flip side of that of course is that Pennington ($6,400) has a very enticing price. Considering that if Pennington can pull out the win will likely be a stoppage, the price is even more tempting.

It's an unusual card in terms of fantasy drafting, The spread on prices is huge. There are only three favorites under $12 K and two (Holm's and Rousey) are over $13 K. The prices for the underdogs are equally wonky, with most of them falling in the $6.5-7.5 K range.

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Five Nights of Beginner NBA Freerolls - A Thank You From DraftKings

By Paul → Monday, February 23, 2015
Every night this week DraftKings is running a $1,000 NBA Freeroll available to their newbies. To qualify for these beginner tournaments, you must be new to the site or have played in less than 50 tournaments. There is no better training for DFS than this type of freeroll. you won't be pitted against the pro grinders and you will learn how to become proficient at researching picks for your roster. It doesn't matter what sport it is, practice makes perfect.

DraftKing's Nightly $1,000 NBA Freeroll - Beginners Only!  -----   Enter Now

You can use this link every day (Feb 23-27) to enter a new Freeroll. There is a lot of competition in the world of Daily Fantasy Sports and DraftKings is giving away free money to peak your interest. I'm happy to oblige.

UFC Fight Night 61 Results: Who Needs Odds and Picks This Shit is Crazy

By Paul →
Well pin that on my ass and call me "Donkey". Not a great night for fight pickers, but an amazing night for fight fans. In DFS terms, the best score came from rosters comprised entirely of underdogs. Four underdogs finished their fights in the first round. Lets be honest, if you didn't have four dogs on your team you didn't cash.

The Brazilian crowd seemed dazed and confused after each fight. The night was a bit of a stinker for their fighters, with the exception of Santiago Ponzinibbio (Actually Argentinian). Despite crushing a Brazilian fan favorite, "Smiling" Sam Alvey won the crowd over with his infectious smile and heaps of compliments toward Brazil. Everyone else gave their "winner's ramble" to a nearly silent crowd.

The fact that the "Fight Bonuses" all (4) went to underdogs really brings home the message that this was a wild night. There was no "Fight of the Night" award; instead, The UFC cut each winner checks for $50,000 after their highlight-real finishes. Although Mir and Alvey finished their fights with devestating power, my pick for Finish of the Night Goes to Matt Dwyers superman punch KO of William Macario (watch it). It reminds me of the Baby Boss skit that SNL does.

Here are the special UFC Fight Night 61 bonuses:
Performance of the Night -- Frank Mir
Performance of the Night -- Marion Reneau
Performance of the Night -- Sam Alvey
Performance of the Night -- Matt Dwyer


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TJ Waldburger Out Sick - Fight With Wendell Oliveira Canceled

By Paul → Saturday, February 21, 2015
After falling ill on Saturday morning, welterweight TJ Waldburger has been removed from his UFC Fight Night 61 bout against Wendell Oliveira, according to a report from UFC.com. Both fighters will be paid their "show" money and their bout is expected to be rescheduled in the very near future. I was looking forward to this fight and will have to adjust several of my UFC cash Rosters. Oliveira was one of only two favorites with salaries under $11K, the dude really tied a team together...did he not.

TJ explained what happened in his own words on Sqor.com Sports.
"Hey guys just wanted to let u know I'm feeling better & just taking it slow. It was a freak dill, I felt fine & 1 of the easiest cuts so far but I passed out then bust my face into the mirror corner of the elevator the Doc & Burt didn't think it was wise to continue. It is what it is & u know I felt great & trained harder than ever, I was super excited to get it on but GOD is in control. Also the CT scan looked good so I'll be ready ASAP"

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UFC Fight Night 61 Weigh Ins: Everyone Makes Weight One Fight Canceled

By Paul →
Headlined by a five-round heavyweight main event pitting Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, the FOX Sports 1 event will also feature an electric lightweight showdown between Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson. Fix those rosters that may have Waldburger or Oliveira.

Main Event:

265 lbs.: Antonio Silva (264) vs. Frank Mir (261)

FOX Sports 1 Main Card (8 p.m. ET):

155 lbs.: Edson Barboza (156) vs. Michael Johnson (155)
185 lbs.: Sam Alvey (186) vs. Cezar Ferreira (185)
155 lbs.: Rustam Khabilov (156) vs. Adriano Martins (156)
135 lbs.: Iuri Alcantara (136) vs. Frankie Saenz (136)
170 lbs.: Santiago Ponzinibbio (171) vs. Sean Strickland (171)

FOX Sports 1 Prelims (6 p.m. ET):

135 lbs.: Jessica Andrade (135) vs. Marion Reneau (134)
170 lbs.: Matt Dwyer (170) vs. William Macario (168)
135 lbs.: Mike De La Torre (146) vs. Tiago Trator (146)
170 lbs.: Wendell Oliveira () vs. T.J. Waldburger () -- Canceled

UFC Fight Pass Prelims (5 p.m. ET):

135 lbs.: Cody Gibson (135) vs. Douglas Silva (135)
155 lbs.: Ivan Jorge (155) vs. Josh Shockley (155)

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UFC Fight Night 61: Mir vs Silva Fight Picks and Fantasy Analysis

By Paul → Friday, February 20, 2015
The UFC heads to the south of Brazil for the first time, as the heavyweights take center stage in Porto Alegre at the Ginásio Gigantinho (“Little Giant Stadium”). This week will be a challenging one for fantasy players, because with a ton of big favourites and big underdogs on the card, you’ll have to manage your salaries very carefully regardless of whether you’re in a small league or chasing the big prizes. Let’s take a look at how Sunday’s fights break down.

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Frank Mir ($8400) vs Antonio Silva ($11900)

Of course, it’s clear why “Bigfoot” Silva is the favorite here. Mir has lost four straight, has a questionable chin and a ton of mileage. Silva is the same age as the former UFC champion and the same number of fights, but with seemingly fewer miles. He also seems to have some physical advantages as the more natural big man and strikes with ferocious power. What’s less clear is why Bigfoot is such a huge favorite. Mir will have a hard time dragging it to the mat, but he still incredibly tricky on the ground. The Las Vegan will attack any limb at any time, and has the grappler’s equivalent of a one-punch knockout. The most likely outcome is that Mir is embarrassed in what easily might end up being his retirement fight, but I think this one is closer than the salaries might indicate.
Prediction: Silva by KO/TKO

Michael Johnson ($9100) vs Edson Barboza ($10800)

Michael Johnson is probably the best underdog pick on the card and I'm sure plenty of people will draft him. but  if he win's by TKO you will need him on your roster. This should be a hell of a fight with a lot of striking. Johnson's southpaw stance will be more of an advantage than expected. I think Michael will get the win by pure tenacity.
Prediction: Johnson by TKO

Cezar Ferreira ($11800) vs Sam Alvey ($8200)

The original TUF Brazil champion, Cezar “Mutante” has grown up in the UFC and is now a staple of these Brazilian cards. Like many others on this card, this fight is designed to favour the Brazilian. Alvey is 1-1 in the UFC, although his win is a bit dubious as it appeared that Dylan Andrews knocked himself out attempting a takedown. Alvey does have tremendous heart and good power, and Ferreira is certainly susceptible to being clipped and knocked out, so the upset is possible. Alvey's real  trouble is a lacking takedown defence, which is where Ferreira wants the fight to go. On the ground, the American is not in the same league as the Vitor Belfort protégé. While Alvey has only been submitted once in 30 pro fights, Ferreira has the gifts and skills to get it done.
Prediction: Ferreira by submission

Rustam Khabilov ($11700) vs Adriano Martins ($8200)

One of just two fights on this card where the foreign fighter is favored over the Brazilian, I see this fight as closer than the salaries indicate. Martins is a judo-based fighter with a BJJ black belt. That bodes well for him against Khabilov, who generally wants to clinch and throw. Both men have faltered against the elite at 155 pounds (Martins against Donald Cerrone and Khabilov against Benson Henderson) but have been dominant against lesser competition. I expect Khabilov’s slightly cleaner technique on the feet and his wrestling advantage to carry him to a very close decision, but I can see Martins taking it on the judges’ scorecards as well. I’m going with the Dagestani, but I see some upset potential here.
Prediction: Khabilov by decision

Iuri Alcantara ($12100) vs Frankie Saenz ($7800)

A truly questionable piece of matchmaking here, as the #8 ranked bantamweight Alcantara takes on the unheralded Saenz. Saenz is primarily a wrestler – and he is a good, powerful, and tenacious one – but Alcantara’s ground game is elite, making this a terrible matchup for the underdog. This is a man who put Urijah Faber in all kinds of trouble on the mat in their bout. Saenz, who has fought most of his career at 125 pounds, may also give up the size advantage in this fight as well. This looks like another fight where the Brazilian is being set up to take out the foreign invader in a crowd-pleasing manner.
Prediction: Alcantara by submission

Santiago Ponzinibbio ($8600) vs Sean Strickland ($11300)

15-0 Strickland is actually moving down in weight to 170 pounds despite his perfect record. Strickland is a hot prospect, trained in MMA since age 14. Even still, his win over Luke Barnatt surprised many observers – including myself – who thought of the Englishman as the better prospect. Ponzinibbio has finished an impressive 17 of 19 career wins, including an 80-second stalk-and-blast finish of Wendell Oliveira in his last outing. Strickland is perhaps a little more cautious than he needs to be at times, but there are no obvious holes in his game that Ponzinibbio can exploit. Hopefully this will be the fight where Strickland opens up the throttle.
Prediction: Strickland by decision

Marion Reneau ($8400) vs Jessica Andrade ($11500)

Making a UFC run at age 37, Marion Reneau is an inspiring story. After being told she was too old to be relevant on TUF, Reneau not only made the UFC, but battered Alexis Dufresne in her debut in a lopsided fight. But that beating paled in comparison to the one Andrade famously put on Rosi Sexton. Against Sexton, Andrade landed 206 significant strikes in a fight where she would have scored a colossal 131 fantasy points, had DraftKings offered MMA then. Her ground game has looked better and better of late as well. The only knock on her is her size – she is small for 135-pounds – but she is a fighter on the rise for sure.
Prediction: Andrade by decision

Matt Dwyer ($8300) vs William “Patolino” Macario ($11600)

Dwyer is a tall and rangy (6’4”) fighter at 170 lbs who was given a very tough assignment against Albert Tumenov in his UFC debut. Dwyer keeps his hands dangerously low, something he got away with at the regional level, but it got him starched by the head kicks of Tumenov. Making matters worse for the Canadian, Macario’s last fight was against Neil Magny. While the Brazilian was finished on the ground by the streaking Magny, he showed that he was very capable of landing power shots on a taller fighter. Hopefully Dwyer keeps his guard tight this time, or another one could go badly for him.
Prediction: Macario by KO/TKO

Tiago “Trator” dos Santos ($11000) vs Mike de la Torre ($8800)

“Trator” is a solid 10-fight win streak. Most of them have come on the regional circuit in the Jungle Fight organization, but he definitely did beat some very legitimate fighters there. De la Torre has been bested on the ground in his last two outings, but both against highly skilled grapplers. I think this one is closer than it looks on the prices, so I’m tempted to take de la Torre in the upset.
Prediction: de la Torre by decision

Wendell Oliveira ($10300) vs TJ Waldburger ($9600)

As I mentioned above, Oliveira had about as bad as UFC debuts get, being knocked out as a late replacement against Ponzinibbio. Oliveira showed in that fight that he prefers to counter, although he is a bit static on the feet. 4-4 in the UFC, TJ Waldburger is a veteran and an excellent grappler. However, he’s been knocked out and two straight and in seven fights overall. That’s a big concern. Waldberger has what it takes to win this fight, but he had better protect that dangerously weak chin of his. Expect this one to end on the ground in favour of the American, or by vicious KO in favour of the Brazilian.
Prediction: Oliveira by KO/TKO

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