UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno – 12.12.2020 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

116

Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno. This is the final pay-per-view card of the year and we are extremely excited to breakdown this slate of fights. Our analysis includes a pick for every bout from Anthony Marro, Nicholas Marro and GB. We also feature write-ups that will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for takedown defense and submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those two stats and instead values advances (such as to half guard, to mount…) and reversals. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value.

As coverage continues, we will keep our Daily Play Action records up to date. Be sure to check out our reasoning though as records will not reflect confidence, we will be picking all fights regardless of if we are betting on them. I highly recommend using Bovada for their user-friendly format and awesome deposit bonuses if you want to tail us and bet on any of these picks!

If you are looking for even more UFC content, be sure to also check out Daily Play Action on YouTube where we have begun streaming breakdowns of each card.

Nick: 224-123-5    Anthony: 210-137-5    GB: 204-143-5

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 9:50 AM EST 12-12-2020

Early Prelims- Starts 7:30pm EST

Chase Hooper -325 (DK $9300, FD $21) vs Peter Barett +250 (DK $6900, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The card opens tonight at featherweight as Chase Hooper will take on Peter Barett. Hooper is coming off his first career loss in a bout against Alex Caceres. In that fight he struggled to take things to the mat and dominated with BJJ as he always plans to. Hooper is extremely one dimensional. He is likely going to need a submission here in order to be victorious today as his striking is still very underdeveloped. While it seems like he has been training strikes, particularly with Cory Sandhagen, there is still clearly a long way to go before Hooper is a finished product. It is tough paying such a high price for him while still so volatile and green, but I do think he gets the job done here today. While Barett looked alright in his UFC debut versus Youseff Zalal, he will be in far more trouble here at any moment this fight hits the mat. I would not overexpose myself to Hooper in this spot just due to his most recent performance. I view him as DFS play with a very high ceiling and very low floor. Chase Hooper by Round One Submission
  • Nick: We have a grappler vs. striker match-up here between a highly regarded prospect in Chase Hooper, and a UFC-newcomer but experienced regional brawler in Pete Barrett. Chase Hooper is coming off the first loss of his professional career. He was picked apart by Alex Caceres in that one, losing the fight on the feet and never finding the takedowns he needed to get to his BJJ. Hooper has extremely advanced grappling ability for a 21-year old. If he can take this fight to the mat, he’s most likely going to find Barrett’s back and score a Submission. However, if a scrappy Barrett can stuff any takedown attempts and keep this fight on the feet – he’s very live here as an underdog. He’s going to throw more and more meaningful strikes than Hooper. I don’t think he’s going to be able to knock him out here though. Hooper really showed off his chin in his last fight against Caceres, his Contender Series fight against Canaan Kawaihae, and again against Daniel Teymur in his last victory at UFC 245. The kid really can’t throw punches well yet, but he can certainly take them. If you back Hooper, it won’t be pretty in the first round but once he gets Barrett to the ground here this is his fight to lose. After getting rocked a few times, I see him eventually finding that takedown he needs. Barrett should be considered a live dog here because if he does stuff takedowns, he’s the far superior striker. However, the UFC is invested in Hooper’s future and this fight was booked to make him look good. Chase Hooper by Round Two Submission
  • GB: I always hesitate when I see such young, inexperienced fighters have wide spreads as Chase Hooper does in this bout. The biggest advantage that I peg Hooper with is his size as his reach which give him a safeguard from advancements of smaller opponents. His submission skills are fine, again given his lanky frame. Nevertheless, he is a rather slow, awkward and ineffective striker which I think Barrett has the ability to capitalize on. Barrett has shown spurts of great striking combos, pace, advancement and takedowns but he has not been able to put things together against some bad, fighters. I cannot confidently pay up for Hooper in this matchup, and outside of sprinkling Barrett as a live dog, I will be rostering either fighter with confidence on either site. Peter Barett by Round Two KO

Preliminary Card- Starts 8:00pm EST

Tecia Torres -650 (DK $8900, FD $15) vs Sam Hughes +425 (DK $7300, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Next, we move to women’s strawweight for a fight between Tecia Torres and Sam Hughes. This is a short notice bout that came together when Hughes stepped in for Angela Hill as a late replacement. It is her UFC debut, and it comes against a woman that has been a staple of this division for a very long time. Hughes has the size advantage in this bout but that has not helped many of Torres’ opponents in the past. This just feels like too much too soon for Hughes. I expect Torres to win handily in this spot. You can argue that she is a free square on FanDuel given the $15 price tag, clearly not reflective of the odds. Tecia Torres by Decision
  • Nick: Sam Hughes is filling in as a late replacement for Angela Hill here. She enters the UFC as an LFA champion. Hughes seems to be a fairly well-rounded and promising young prospect, but this represents a dramatic step up in competition for her here and she’s taking this fight on just four days’ notice. Torres’ one true stand out skill is her speed. I see her overwhelming Hughes for most of this fight, and she’s solid enough on the ground to get back to her feet when she needs to. Hughes may have a future with the UFC, but this is too much too soon for her against a proven vet in Torres. Tecia Torres by Decision
  • GB: Hughes is taking this fight on short notice as Angela Hill had tested positive for COVID-19. It is also Hughes’ first UFC fight, but seventh professionally. Torres has a bunch of decisions to her name, so I don’t think its optimal to pick her in this bout knowing her low ceiling. Hughes poses a threat with her ground game and I think she tries to get it going early in her debut, so I will have small shares of her at near min price on both sites knowing that she has a small chance at an upset decision in this one. Ultimately though, I feel that Torres gets the job done in a low scoring matchup. Tecia Torres by Decision

Billy Quarantillo -165 (DK $8500, FD $15) vs Gavin Tucker +135 (DK $7700, FD $15)

  • Anthony: This is going to be a fun bout at featherweight between Billy Quarantillo and Gavin Tucker. Both guys have proven to me that they are very game fighters that certainly have the gas tank to win a fifteen-minute fight. While both have finishing ability, this will likely go at least ten minutes in an exciting brawl. I believe Tucker struggles immensely here against the rangier striker in Quarantillo. The last two wins for Tucker came by submission and it feels as if once again here he will need to find one for the win. However, I am impressed with what I have seen from Quarantillo thus far on the mat. With such a clear advantage on the feet too, I am trusting Billy Q in this spot to come away with a victory. If we do not get a late finish from him I think he takes a unanimous decision. Oh, and before GB talks you into his countryman Gavin Tucker, just remember Quarantillo is 3-0 against Canadiens in his career. Billy Quarantillo by Decision
  • Nick: Tucker is a southpaw striker that mixes in a powerful left body kick. He pushes a solid pace, he has serviceable cardio, and he’s not afraid to grapple as he has a strong wrestling base and formidable BJJ. Quarantillo pushes an outstanding pace. Twelve of his fifteen professional victories have come via finish and while he’s been known as a slow starter – he has a knack for finishing fights in the later rounds. Tucker’s last loss came against a tall featherweight in Rick Glenn. He was picked apart in that one against a lanky pressure striker in Glenn, a similar opponent to what he’ll be seeing here against Quarantillo. Quarantillo throws nearly twice as many strikes as Tucker does per minute. He’s nearly twice as accurate and his defensive grappling is good enough that he should be able to keep Tucker at bay. Tucker is a well-rounded fighter, but at a fairly low level. Only five of Tucker’s wns have come against opponents with winning records. Gavin Tucker also suffered a knockdown in his last fight against Justin Jaynes. He doesn’t exactly qualify as “chinny,” but there’s certainly some concern for him here against a rangy and powerful striker in Quarantillo. Both of these fighters are still developing, and it really wouldn’t be shocking to see either of these guys pull off a finish in this spot. Still, I’m siding with the longer and the more violent Quarantillo here. I think he finds a way to get it done late, inside the distance. Billy Quarantillo by Round Three KO
  • GB: Quarantillo is the toughest opponent that Tucker has faced in his UFC tenure. It is a tough matchup to predict as both of these guys have opposite skill sets, with Quarantillo the better striker and Tucker the better wrestler. I can see Gavin coming out with the same game plan that he had versus Justin Jaynes; keep him guessing with a barrage of takedown attempts in hopes to take Quarantillo off his feet and out of his comfort zone. Tucker has not had to absorb a ton of punches in his career to date and Billy will look to rely heavily on his striking abilities. As a fellow Newfoundlander, my dollars and heart will be in War Tucker’s corner in what should be a fantastic matchup on this undercard. Gavin Tucker by Round Two Submission

Rafael Fiziev -140 (DK $8400, FD $16) vs Renato Moicano +110 (DK $7800, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Perhaps the most intriguing bout on the card takes place here at lightweight between Rafael Fiziev and Renato Moicano. You have to be excited whenever one of these two fighters enters the octagon. Moicano has fought some of the best talent in the world at 145 pounds and now has one win on his belt up a weight class. He will look for a win again today against Rafael Fiziev who equally fun to watch. Fiziev is built extremely solidly and anytime the distance gets closed he becomes a major problem. He has excellent striking but does seem to struggle a bit with his back against the cage. While I am hoping to watch a back-and-forth war here tonight, I do believe Moicano can make relatively quick work of Fiziev on the mat. He should plan on striking at range for a bit, but eventually I see him taking Fiziev down and working a submission later in the fight. Moicano has a significant advantage on the mat and striking to hang with Fiziev at this stage of his career. Fiziev has stuffed every takedown thus far in the UFC, but Moicano can be a lot more creative when it comes to bringing this fight to the ground. Perhaps even taking over this fight with a knockdown of his own. Renato Moicano by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: We have another striker vs. grappler match-up here between two highly-regarded fighters at lightweight. Mociano is a BJJ blackbelt. He has outstanding offensive grappling and he does a good job scrambling into favorable positions against a wide-range of opponents. His greatest strengths are definitely shown on the mat, but he is comfortable striking both in the clinch and in open space. Fiziev is one of the more impressive strikers to debut recently. He’s a striking coach at Tiger Muy Thai, he has ridiculous head movement and throws extremely powerful punches and kicks. He is going to be a problem for anyone in this division when it comes to fighting on the feet. If Moicano is smart, he’ll strike at range as much as possible. He doesn’t want to get in close against a technical powerhouse in Fiziev, but he’ll have to use strikes to set up a takedown against a raw and untested Fiziev ground-game. One of Fiziev’s greatest strengths is his kicking game, but kicks can sometimes open windows for takedowns. If Moicano can avoid serious damage and catch a kick, he has a very clear path to victory here by scoring the takedown and then a submission. On the feet, Moicano should be able to hang enough to eventually get this fight where he needs to. This is one of the tougher fights on the card to call and I won’t be surprised if Fiziev stuffs Moicano’s attempts and gets it done here. Still, I’m siding with the more proven all-around fighter in Moicano. Renato Moicano by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Fiziev and Moicano have both recently had success in the UFC which is why this matchup makes perfect sense to end the year. Fiziev’s striking should keep Moicano guessing for most of the fight, as he loves to mix up his attacks forcing his opponent to question their guard. If Moicano cannot take this fight to the ground he will have very little success in this fight, and I do not think that is as easy of a task as most think. Fiziev has excellent takedown defense. I think Moicano has some value in this fight given his stamina and grappling edge, but I can’t see Fiziev giving up his feet that easily. Rafael Fiziev by Round Two KO

Daniel Pineda -170 (DK $8300, FD $16) vs Cub Swanson +140 (DK $7900, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The preliminary card will close back at featherweight as Daniel Pineda takes on Cub Swanson. Pineda has been on a tear as of late, now the winner of seven consecutive bouts. While he is getting old for this division, he still has the youth on Cub Swanson. While I know a lot of people siding with Swanson today, I simply cannot do it. He is coming off a bad knee injury and I do not trust his chin at this stage of his career. He is on a 1-4 skid and this very well could be the end of his run in the UFC. Pineda has great wrestling, above average striking and excellent top control. We saw him put on a clinic against Herbert Burns in August of this year. I was worried about what shape Pineda would look after a USADA suspension, but it was arguably the best performance of his career. His second run in the UFC is off to a much better start than his first. Daniel Pineda by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: We have two fighters matched-up in the twilights of their respective careers here. Swanson comes into this fight having just turned 37, and Pineda just turned 35 in August. Pineda is coming off a solid upset win over Herbert Burns. He took out Burns as a +230 underdog via elbows from crucifix, reversing the BJJ blackbelt on the mat and dominating position. As another guy getting up there in age, he showed he still has some gas left in the tank by taking out a young up-and-comer in Burns. Swanson has wins over the likes of Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira, and Chad Mendes. However, unlike Pineda he seems far past his prime. He’s coming off a decent win against Kron Gracie, but he wasn’t all that impressive against a really raw and unproven talent. Once a true Title Contender, Swanson has been through too many wars and taken too much damage to still fight like he used to. He doesn’t have the speed or the strength that he did in his prime, and he’s also coming off a serious knee surgery. Cub Swanson has definitely faced a higher level of competition, but he’s had trouble getting back to his feet against grappling-heavy opponents. Pineda took a high-level grappler in Burns to school his last time out, and I’m expecting more of the same here. I will say that Swanson does have enough technical ability to possibly pull off an upset. He’s definitely lost a step, but he does maintain enough technical ability to still look good at times. Still, it’s just a really bad match-up for him stylistically. Swanson has a 60 percent takedown defense, which is decent but likely not good enough to keep Pineda off him for fifteen minutes. Five of Pineda’s last six fights have ended in round one, and all of his professional wins have come via finish. There was a time when Swanson was regarded as the class of this division. However, it’s been a long time since he’s been that fighter and Pineda seems to have finally rounded into form. These are two fighters towards the end of their careers, but I’m backing Pineda here as I feel he has momentum on his side. This is a good fight to target for DFS purposes as I doubt it makes it to the scorecards. Daniel Pineda by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Love seeing Swanson back in the octagon against Pineda in what should be another typical Swanson slugfest. If you have followed Swanson’s career you know that his fights are always exciting, as he does not back down and swings with aggression all the time. He has a fantastic boxing background and to me, looks like the new gatekeeper for the featherweight division. His recent 1-4 record may look bad, but he has been in some absolute slugfests over that period with two of those losses against experienced submission artists. Pineda draws a slight height and reach advantage over Swanson and has a far better defensive game than him as well. Pineda will need to rely on his active grappling style against Swanson and take the fight to the ground as he did recently against Herbert Burns. The price difference on both sites is minimal, so give me Swanson who has a huge edge in striking volume which is something I look for in contests like this. Cub Swanson by Round Two KO

Main Card- Starts 10:00pm EST

Ciryl Gane -400 (DK $9200, FD $22) vs Junior Dos Santos +300 (DK $7000, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with this heavyweight bout between Junior Dos Santos and Ciryl Gane. After typing up paragraphs about Gane all summer, it is great to finally see him stepping back into the octagon. He is going to draw the toughest test of his young career tonight against the former champion. While JDS is certainly a legend in this division, his fall from grace has not been very pretty. He has now lost three fights in a row all by finish. Going up against a fighter as dangerous as Gane makes me extremely concerned about JDS in this spot. I picked him in his last fight against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, but the pressure eventually got to JDS and he was beaten by knockout. I see a similar fight playing out here today. Gane is extremely technical on the feet and one of the strongest guys in this division. I think he has potential to be champion one day and do see him finishing JDS in this spot. His striking is excellent but he is also credentialed when a fight hits the mat. Dos Santos has nowhere to hide in this fight and cannot take damage like he used to. This is one should be over relatively quick. Ciryl Gane by Round One KO
  • Nick: Outside of his teammate and top contender Frances Ngannou, Gane is one of the most athletic fighters in the world at heavyweight. Dos Santos is a former champion, but he has taken several steps back since his last win in 2019. He still has excellent footwork for a heavyweight, but his chin isn’t what it used to be and he doesn’t seem to have the same knockout power he was known for throughout his storied career. Both of these guys have crisp striking. JDS has a rangier arsenal via spinning kicks, etc. but it’s Gane who has the more serious power at this point in their careers. Additionally, Gane has never been KO’d and his overall athleticism could make him a future top contender in this division. JDS may have a slight advantage on the ground in this one. However, it’s concerning that he hasn’t scored a takedown since 2014. Gane is well-versed enough on the mat that if the fight ends up there, he should either be able to reverse the aging Dos Santos or get the fight back to his feet. It’s notable Gane has a 100 percent takedown defense since he entered the UFC. Sure Dos Santos was once the class of this division, but it’s Gane’s turn now to climb the rankings. Ciryl Gane by Round Two KO
  • GB: JDS has been on the bad end of a three-fight losing streak in the heavyweight division and a match with Gane could easily put him at 0-4. JDS was once a bad man to face in the division, but a lot has changed since then as fighters now are not the typical brawlers we were seeing in the past. Gane follows this new breed of heavyweight fighters, ironically the same type of fighter JDS was as he took the division by storm. He pairs his violent hands with the ability to take the fight to the ground and beat an opponent with submissions as well. Gane is the bigger fighter and even with his limited experience in the UFC, he looks fantastic. Again, I hate these wide spreads in such a variable sport, but JDS looks defeated, so I think there is merit grabbing Gane on both DraftKings and FanDuel tonight. Ciryl Gane by Round One KO

Jacaré Souza -120 (DK $8000, FD $14) vs Kevin Holland -110 (DK $8200, FD $17)

  • Anthony: Next on the card is a middleweight bout between Jacaré Souza and Kevin Holland. By now you should know the name Kevin Holland after his 4-0 performance thus far in 2020. He has stepped in and fought a wide range of competition over the past six months, but none as talented as Jacaré. In this fight he will really need to stay at range and use striking to beat Jacaré. As of late, we have seen Souza slowing down in the cage and being far less active overall. Perhaps that is a result of fighting at 205 pounds, but I think the huge checks also play a role in his tentative style. The path to victory for Jacaré in this spot is clearly a submission victory. Holland is a long fighter that has been caught in submissions before. Going against a BJJ practitioner like Jacaré makes me nervous, but as long as Holland stays out of grasp here it is his fight to lose. In Holland’s submission loss to Brendan Allen, he was hurt badly prior to the rear naked choke. While Souza does carry power, I do not think he catches Holland with much clean tonight. The huge reach advantage for Holland should pay dividends in this fight as he continues to climb up the rankings. Kevin Holland by Decision
  • Nick: Holland has been a -300 favorite or better in each of his last three fights. This match-up with Jacaré represents a very serious step up for him in competition. Souza just turned 41-years-old, but he’s still fighting at a very high level. His last fight took place just over a year ago, a close split-decision loss to the current Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz. Holland is going to have a nine-inch reach advantage here and throw the heavier volume. Holland averages 4.68 strikes per minute with 56 percent accuracy. I am somewhat concerned Jacaré spends too much time on the feet here, but he has a massive advantage if he can get this fight to the mat. Jacaré is a fourth degree BJJ black belt and a Judo black belt under Henrique Machado. He doesn’t always force the fight there, but if he can get it to the ground he should be able to find a submission on Holland. Two of Holland’s five professional losses have come via submission. He gave up his back multiple times when he recently faced Darren Stewart, and we’ve seen him consistently worked by far worse grapplers than Jacaré. Kevin Gastelum and Jan Blachowicz are both far more powerful strikers than Holland and neither really came close to putting Souza away. I’m a bit concerned with Jacaré’s general lack of urgency, but as long as he can weather Holland’s initial pace and volume I think he finds a window to take this fight to the mat and find a submission victory. This is one of my least confident picks on the entire card, but Jacaré is on a level Holland has never endured. Jacaré Souza by Round One Submission
  • GB: I love seeing Souza come down from 205 for this match against Holland and I hope that the cut didn’t completely cripple him. Souza is 41 years old and had an impressive career in the UFC, but I don’t think he is finished just yet. Holland is a great contender in this division and knows how to control his range very well. He should be able to use it to his advantage keeping Souza out of the clinch and tagging him up in most exchanges. Holland will have a clear reach advantage against Souza, but Holland’s takedown defense is extremely porous. To me, that could be the difference maker in this one as Souza is scary when he gets on top of an opponent. I think he ultimately does control Holland and get the victory here. Jacaré Souza by Decision

Mackenzie Dern -190 (DK $8700, FD $19) vs Virna Jandiroba +155 (DK $7500, FD $12)

  • Anthony: We return to strawweight next for the featured bout between Mackenzie Dern and Virna Jandiroba. I am pretty confident that this fight will primarily take place on the mat. Dern is one of, if not the best grappler currently on the UFC roster and she really only has the submission to rely on when it comes to beating opponents. Her jiu jitsu is very slick and she enters this fight with off two submission victories. While Jandiroba is tough all around and very tactical on the mat, I doubt she can survive with Dern in this spot. She has a clear technical advantage on the feet, but Dern can throw power and seems to have no trouble moving fights onto the mat. I think we see more of the same from Dern in this spot as she leaves the octagon with another submission win. Mackenzie Dern by Round Three Submission
  • Nick: This is a high-level match-up between two women that prefer to lean on their grappling. Dern is one of the more decorated BJJ black belts in MMA. She has a nearly flawless ground game as a former world top ranked IBJJF competitor. She is an ADCC and no gi BJJ World Champion, and a brutal match-up for any opponent when the fight hits the mat. Jandiroba is a BJJ blackbelt as well, but not quite on the same level as Dern. The one advantage Jandiroba will really have here is her toughness and grit. Jandiroba is more than willing to eat punches to throw them. She does a good job keeping pressure on her opponents and her cardio has mostly held up at the UFC level. Dern’s striking is far from technical, but she’s going to throw more volume than Jandiroba. I expect Jandiroba to do more damage when she lands, but if this goes to the scorecards it may be difficult for her to win if the numbers aren’t there for her. If this fight hits the mat, I think Dern will spend more time in dominant position. I don’t want to count Jandiroba out here off her toughness alone. She’s well-versed everywhere and capable of beating a raw talent in Dern. That being said, I’m siding with the favorite. I think she’s just a bit better than Jandiroba no matter where this fight goes. While I like her to win, she’s priced far better on FanDuel than she is on DraftKings or in Vegas. I’ll have a lot of exposure to her on FanDuel, but not much otherwise. Mackenzie Dern by Decision
  • GB: Another tough fight to pick as Dern and Jandiroba possess some of the best BJJ in the division. Both fighters are known for their striking ability and both heavily rely on takedowns and bringing their fights to the mat. I feel Dern holds more value when it comes to submissions skillset and her boxing, while Jandiroba has the superior wrestling. I cannot see Jandiroba entering this fight wanting to takedown and wrestle with one of the more dangerous submission artists in her division, nor can I see her standing and winning a fist fight with Dern. That makes Jandiroba’s chances for victory very slim with the only path takedowns and a ton of ground control in a decision win. I do not think it is happening, and I see Dern making quick work of her. I do not mind paying up for Dern in this spot and think she will find her way into the optimal lineup. Mackenzie Dern by Round One Submission

Tony Ferguson -175 (DK $8600, FD $18) vs Charles Oliveira +145 (DK $7600, FD $15)

  • Anthony: What a fight! This co-main event at lightweight should be a fan favorite as Tony Ferguson returns to face Charles Oliveira. The only complaint one can have about this fight is that it is only three rounds. Ferguson comes off the worst beating of his career, defeat at the hands of Justin Gaethje. That stand-up battle exposed may of exposed the weaknesses in Tony’s game or simply shown that he is beginning his decline from the top. He certainly draws a easier striker here as he faces Oliveira, but clearly the best grappler in the lightweight division. Olivera needs to withstand Tony’s pressure in this fight and stay accurate on the feet. While he does hit with powerful, unorthodox strikes, Oliveira simply will not last fifteen minutes playing that game with El Cucuy. He is likely going to need a takedown to win this fight. Ferguson has proven his black belt is legit, but it is safe to say this will be his toughest test to date if this fight hits the mat. I have been going back and forth on a pick here all week. You will certainly want exposure to both of these guys when building you lineups, but I am trying not to bet on either side here. My pick is Oliveira to pull off the upset, but not very confidently. It is hard to bet against Ferguson, but I also feel it is impossible to trust him after that last performance. Charles Oliveira by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Ferguson is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in the UFC. He’s coming off a tough loss to Justin Gaethje, but he’s still widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Oliveira is one of the more underrated fighters in the UFC. He’s taking this fight on just 20-days’ notice and is coming off seven straight victories via finish. He is a Third Degree Blackbelt in BJJ, and one of the best grapplers in the world at Lightweight. His striking has dramatically improved over the course of his career, and he’s recently shown serious improvement in his ability to throw combinations. As great as he has looked lately, Ferguson represents a dramatic step up in competition for Oliveira here. Ferguson’s BJJ isn’t quite on Oliveira’s level, but his unorthodox style definitely levels the playing field if this fight were to hit the mat. As far as the striking is concerned, Tony will throw significantly more power and volume. He needs to avoid staying in the pocket for long but I see him picking Oliveira apart as he cuts in and out of range. While I’m fairly confident Ferguson will be able to get things done here, I’m at least moderately concerned about how he’s going to look coming off that brutal loss to Justin Gaethje. He was mauled for over four rounds just seven-month ago. He looked fine at weigh-ins, but there’s always concern a guy might lose a step after such a brutal beating. As long as Ferguson reverts to who he was before that last loss, this is his fight to lose. Oliveira is definitely live to catch him in something, but Tony is elusive enough that I think he stays out of trouble. This is a great match-up to target for DFS purposes and in terms of potential for violence it is in a league of its own on this card. Tony Ferguson by Round Two KO
  • GB: Great fight! The biggest question going into this bout is whether Tony can bounce-back from the beat down that Justin Gaethje gave him not long ago. It appears that Gaethje was able to find all of the right spots on Tony, and ultimately showed the division a glimpse at how to overcome El Cucuy’s very unorthodox fighting style. Enter Charles Oliveira; a fighter who has made his bread and butter in the UFC with methodical kickboxing abilities and dominance on the ground. Oliveira will need to ignore El Cucuy’s in-cage antics and rely on his patience in hopes of finding gaps in Ferguson’s game, the exact same way Justin did. He will need to strike quick and counter with takedown attempts to situate himself in a position where he holds the advantage. He clearly does on the mat as he is the UFC leader in submission wins. Ultimately, I see this fight going the distance with Oliveira unable to get comfortable against such a wild opponent. Tony should get back on track here. Tony Ferguson by Decision

Deiveson Figueiredo -335 (DK $9000, FD $23) vs Brandon Moreno +255 (DK $7200, FD $18)

  • Anthony: Just a month after the flyweight title was up for grabs, here we are again as Deiveson Figueredo looks to defend his belt once more versus Brandon Moreno. In that title defense against Alex Perez, Figueredo made things look easy. He carries power that the flyweight division has truly never seen before. He also has at his disposal some extremely slick grappling, and one of the tightest squeezes on the roster as evidenced in his last fight. I see more of the same today against Brandon Moreno. While Moreno is a tougher all-around test than Alex Perez, he is still going to struggle against the size and power of the champion. I see Figueredo probably landing far fewer strikes than Moreno, but hitting him way harder than what gets returned. On the feet, this simply is not a fight Moreno will be able to win. At some point we should see a grappling exchange and that may be where Figueredo is actually most dangerous. A lazy takedown will seal Moreno’s fate like it did Perez, or a battle on the feet will end with similar outcome. I seriously doubt Figueredo loses his belt here tonight. And still. Deiveson Figueredo by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: As tough and as good as Brandon Moreno is, this feels like the Figueiredo’s fight to lose. Figueiredo has a massive frame for this division and his striking power is more dangerous than anyone Moreno has ever faced. Figueiredo is extremely aggressive. He’s been completely blowing his opponents out of the water lately, Winning via Finish in each of his last four fights. Figueredo is an outstanding striker with a violent approach. He’s extremely aggressive and he has a tight squeeze if he manages to find his opponent’s neck or back. He did exactly that in his last fight, a dominant performance against Alex Perez in which he retained the Flyweight Title. He’s very big for this division, so seeing him make weight comfortably he should be able to fully use his size/strength to his advantage. He’s finally paying a nutritionist, and at weigh-ins for this fight he looked better than he ever has before. I initially had some concern about him cutting weight twice within a month, but he looked even stronger on the scales coming into this one than he did before his last match-up with Perez. While Moreno will likely have the better technical boxing here, Figueirdo has a serious chin on him. Additionally, he is far more powerful and I expect his power should be able to slice right through the majority of Moreno’s guard. The champ is so aggressive that opponents struggle to get into a rhythm against him. He has outstanding cardio and pushes a ridiculous pace and he does a good job circling away from opponents when he’s on the defense. Moreno is one of the better wrestlers at flyweight and he does have an excellent gas tank. If he can lean on his grappling to stay out of trouble, he might be able to take over late. But even with that said, Figueiredo just looks too good right now. It’s a decent spot to hedge, but I’m fairly confident in siding with the favorite here. And Still. Deiveson Figueiredo by Round Three KO
  • GB: We do not have to look back very far to see that Figueiredo is one of the UFC’s most dangerous fighters as he dismantled Alex Perez less than 30 days ago. Everything about this dude is dangerous from his striking speed and accuracy down to his power and explosiveness. That being said, Moreno’s striking is equally violent. Moreno does not seem to care about how much damage is inflicted upon himself as long as he can continue to create pressure and opportunities. That is the key to this fight, as I do not see this kind of game plan working against a champion like Figueiredo. I see Figueiredo matching that intensity and being more illusive than Moreno en route to a knockout on the feet. Figueiredo is worth the price tag on both sites and definitely worth the cost of the pay-per-view. Deiveson Figueredo by Round Two KO

*Anthony, Nick and GB play on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and although they express their opinions, they may also implement other plays and strategies without notice