UFC Vegas 43: Vieira vs Tate – 11.20.2021 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

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Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Vegas 43: Vieira vs Tate. Last weekend was a card ripe with upsets at the UFC Apex but we return again today for a slate of twelve exciting matchups. Headlining is Miesha Tate looking to get back into the title picture at 135 pounds. 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 submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. 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. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

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 bet on any of these picks.

Lastly, if you are in search of even more combat sports content be sure to visit RingwormMMA.com! This site is dedicated to providing MMA, boxing and gambling content to fight fans around the world.

Current Record

  • Anthony: 266-182-5 (Last Year 223-145-6)
  • Nick: 275-173-5 (Last Year 235-133-6)
  • GB: 257-191-5 (Last Year 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:00 AM EST 11-20-2021

Preliminary Card- Starts 3:00pm EST

Luana Pinheiro -425 (DK $9300, FD $23) vs Sam Hughes +315 (DK $6900, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The card begins with a fight at strawweight between Luana Pinheiro and Sam Hughes. Pinheiro is an intriguing prospect with a record only maligned by an early career loss by split decision. Her UFC debut came this May against Randa Markos but that bout was ended prematurely as Pinheiro was struck by an illegal upkick. Her extreme aggression and strength at 115 pounds makes her a very dangerous opponent for whatever woman she gets locked in there with. She has an excellent ground game but also powerful hands that we have seen displayed on numerous occasions. Hughes is 0-2 thus far in her UFC tenure and a significantly smaller strawweight than her counterpart here. This is a pretty clear pick as Pinheiro just does everything better than Sampage. I see her controlling this fight and likely finding the finish inside of fifteen minutes. Hughes has fought in eight professional bouts and only two required the judge’s scorecards. Luana Pinheiro by Round Two KO
  • Nick: We have what can only be described here as a low-level matchup at strawweight. Sam Hughes is coming off back-to-back losses, but each came against tough competitors in Loma Lookboonmee and Tecia Torres. She’s fairly well rounded, tough and persistent. However, offensively she really doesn’t carry any standout skills. Luna Pinheiro is coming off a controversial win in which she was awarded the victory as she took an illegal upkick from her opponent, Randa Markos. She was clearly winning prior to the kick, but one has to question her toughness as it seemed she was only somewhat damaged by the kick and ultimately used it as a way out of the fight. Potential theatrics aside, Pinheiro is the more athletically gifted and technically advanced fighter in this matchup. This feels like her fight to lose no matter where it goes. I really don’t like the price, but Pinheiro is the rightful favorite. Luana Pinheiro by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Luana Pinheiro by Round One Submission

Sean Soriano -275 (DK $9000, FD $21) vs Shayilan Nuredanbieke +220 (DK $7200, FD $9)

  • Anthony: Next is a fight at featherweight between Sean Soriano and Shayilan Nuredanbieke. This is an interesting fight stylistically as Soriano is primarily a striker. He has good kickboxing and particularly impressive hands but lacks skills in a lot of other areas needed to succeed at this high a level. He is 14-7 professionally but has lost all four of his appearances in the UFC. Soriano also lacks quality wins and has a litany of losses against less than stellar competition. He does not warrant being this large a better favorite against anyone in my opinion. Nuredanbieke is not a killer by any means but he certainly has the skills to push Soriano here. His wrestling is solid and we saw him win the first round against Joshua Culibao thanks to a takedown. I could see him implementing a similar style here to keep Soriano out of rhythm and burning energy on the mat. At these odds I plan to take a shot on the underdog as both men are rather underwhelming. The effort should be higher for Nuredanbieke and I think he has a very good chance at getting his hand raised here. Shayilan Nuredanbieke by Round Three Submission
  • Nick: Soriano is a highly technical kickboxer but he tends to struggle against grapplers as five of his seven professional losses have come by way of submission. Nuredanbieke is another interesting prospect out of the UFC Performance Institute in China. He’s an extremely aggressive striker but he’s struggled to find much success against a high level of competition. He has decent grappling ability once the fight hits the mat, but he doesn’t seem to have the strength or the wrestling base to get it there. The line does feel a bit too wide here given Soriano’s general inactivity. Still, I expect most of this fight to take place on the feet which is where I see Soriano having a distinct advantage. Sean Soriano by Round Two KO
  • GB: Sean Soriano by Round Two KO

Cody Durden -165 (DK $8600, FD $21) vs Aoriqileng +135 (DK $7600, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Flyweights take the stage next as Aoriqileng will face off against Cody Durden. This is another clash of styles as the wrestler Durden goes up against the lanky striker Aoriqileng. Durden suffered a loss in his most recent bout against Jimmy Flick but there is no shame getting submitted by a grappler of his caliber. Prior to that Durden had rattled off ten straight without tasting defeat. He should be able to implement that heavy wrestling pressure against a guy like Aoriqileng, but the stand-up will be a completely different story. I am not sure if Aoriqileng can stuff these shots but if successful he is clearly going to be the superior striker. Not only does Aoriqileng have an advantage in reach but also far better skills technically than Durden. He had a stellar two rounds against Jeff Molina in his UFC debut but Durden poses a different challenge entirely. Ultimately I am going to side with Durden here although the power coming back at him sure does scare me. Seeing knockouts at flyweight is rare though and Durden should be the much fresher fighter if this match features a handful of grappling exchanges. Cody Durden by Decision
  • Nick: We have an interesting fight here between two up-and-comers at flyweight. Aoriqileng is extremely aggressive, but when he faces tougher opponents he sometimes puts himself in danger overexerting himself in exchanges and leaving himself open to counter shots. He is coming off a hard fought decision loss to a highly regarded prospect in Jeff Molina. Molina’s stock has been on the rise, so even though he fell in that spot there’s reason to see that as a positive performance. Cody Durden is a well-rounded and gritty fighter who finds most of his success pushing a pace on his opponents. He’s a decent grappler who is competent on the feet, but it seems he doesn’t have one singular stand out skill. Aoriqileng is likely going to have the advantage when this fight is standing and Durden is likely the stronger grappler if this fight hits the mat. I could see this one going either way, but I prefer the value on the underdog. Aoriqileng should be able to keep this fight standing for long enough to pull away on the scorecards. Aoriqileng by Decision
  • GB: Aoriqileng by Round Two KO

Fares Ziam vs Terrance McKinney

*This fight has been cancelled due to a positive coronavirus test

Lupita Godinez -175 (DK $8800, FD $20) vs Loma Lookboonmee +145 (DK $7400, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Next is a women’s strawweight bout between Lupita Godinez and Loma Lookboonmee. With this walk to the octagon, Godinez will set the modern record for shortest time between three UFC fights. She is 1-1 since October 9th with a loss to Luana Carolina and win over the debuting Silvana Gomez Juarez. It is a bit tough to get a read on Loopy now as her wrestling was negated a bit in her most recent bout. She had a lot of success grappling opponents in the past but it seems that they are now preparing to defend the takedown a lot more readily. Lookboonmee has decent grappling too but likely wants to keep this fight standing. She is the better technical striker of these two and also a productive fighter in the clinch, where Godinez will likely spend a long time engaging her. Frank Hickman has really helped develop Lookboonmee into a complete martial artist and I have won money backing her in both UFC bouts. Getting such a good price makes Lookboonmee an easy bet again here. Godinez has once again had a limited training camp and I doubt the holes in her game have been repaired much at all. Loma Lookboonmee by Decision
  • Nick: We have an interesting bout here between two talented strawweights. Lookboonmee has an advanced muay thai base, she’s a volume striker and most of her success comes in the clinch. She has shown continuous improvements at the UFC level and she’s coming off back-to-back wins over Sam Hughes and Jin Yu Frey. Godinez is a well-rounded fighter, but most of her recent success has come via grappling. Since entering the UFC Godinez has averaged more than four takedowns per fifteen minutes. Lookboonmee is going to have a considerable striking advantage here, but Godinez is likely going to try to drag this fight to the mat. Against a smaller opponent I think she has some success, but Lookboonmee carries a decent 76 percent takedown defense. I feel like this number is somewhat skewed as Lookboonmee has dramatically improved since entering the UFC. She’s faced higher level or competition, she’s far more experienced and on the feet I expect her to outclass Godinez significantly. If Godinez can lean on her grappling here she could look dominant. That being said, I still expect Lookboonmee to keep this fight on the feet and emerge victorious. Loma Lookboonmee by Decision
  • GB: Lupita Godinez by Decision

Rafa Garcia -115 (DK $7700, FD $17) vs Natan Levy -105 (DK $8500, FD $13)

  • Anthony: This is a tough lightweight bout to call as Rafa Garcia takes on UFC debutant Natan Levy. Garcia is thus far 0-2 in the promotion and needs a win here in a rather big way. He has put together two gritty performances in rather tough fights but come up on the wrong side of a decision in both. Garcia lost as huge underdog and a huge favorite already, so seeing these odds near par makes this a headscratcher for sure. One would think that Garcia’s wrestle boxing outworks a rather green fighter here but Levy seems to be developing very well. He has trained in Las Vegas for the past eight years and really has built an attractive arsenal of skills. When it comes to technical striking Levy is excellent and he is also rather impressive when fights hit the mat. Mixing the two and following coach direction should allow him to win several fights in the promotion but this is a tough test stylistically very early on. A lot will depend on whether he can be the aggressor and fight offensively in this matchup and that is really my only hesitation in backing him. I think the size advantage plays a big role for Levy on the feet here. Taking him in this spot is as much a sign of belief as it is an indictment on how I view Garcia. Natan Levy by Decision
  • Nick: Garcia has decent offensive grappling but prefers to stand and trade. He’s coming off a hard-fought decision loss to Chris Gruetzmacher, but that was a disappointing performance as he came in as a -330 favorite. Garcia usually comes out aggressive and he’s very dangerous early in fights. His cardio failed him his last time out, but it’s tough to know how much of that was just the result of him over pursuing a finish when he hurt Grutzemacher early. Natan Levy is a karate specialist with excellent BJJ, making his UFC debut in this spot. He secured an impressive submission finish over Shaheen Santana when he last fought on Dana White’s Contender Series, but otherwise we haven’t really seen him tested against a high level of competition. I expect Garcia to come out strong here, but I question how well his cardio will hold up against a young and athletic prospect like Levy. On the other end, Levy seems skilled when you watch his fights with LFA but the level of competition he has faced has been mediocre at best. This is a tough one to call as there are questions surrounding both fighters. However, I’m going to side with the favorite here. If Garcia paces himself here, I expect his experience to shine through. Rafa Garcia by Decision
  • GB: Natan Levy by Round Two Submission

Pat Sabatini -115 (DK $8700, FD $18) vs Tucker Lutz -105 (DK $7500, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The prelims close with a fun fight at featherweight between Tucker Lutz and Pat Sabatini. I really like what I have seen thus far out of Sabatini and he is getting to showcase his skills on a big stage here, sharing the card with undefeated teammate Sean Brady. Sabatini has a rather clean record himself with just two decision losses and one more fight he dropped due to injury. His most recent win over Jamall Emmers was a rather surprising one as he locked up a win by heel hook after getting rocked very early. I really like what we have seen out of his jiu jitsu and clearly his skills striking have come a long way. Lutz is not all that special in my opinion but he does pack some power which concerns me here. While Sabatini is a bit higher level on the mat, Lutz will certainly hold his own in striking and wrestling exchanges. It is going to be the toughest test for Lutz by far, but arguably Sabatini faced a more dangerous foe in his last fight and won. Lutz’ debut win came against Kevin Aguilar who has since been cut form the promotion. I think Sabatini is the side I prefer in this matchup given what we have seen from both fighters so far. He certainly feels like the prospect with the higher ceiling of the two. Pat Sabatini by Decision
  • Nick: Pat Sabatini is coming off back-to-back wins, which came in his first two bouts in the UFC. He was falling behind against Jamal Emmers his last time out, but Emmers left him an opening to find a rare leg lock submission. Sabatini is a well-rounded fighter with decent striking ability and slick BJJ. He is excellent in scrambles, has shown solid body-lock takedown ability and I feel his clearest path to victory here will be to ground Lutz early and often. Lutz has a powerful striking base and throws a lot of shots off his lead leg. He does a good job stringing together combinations, but he also seems to take excessive damage against other powerful strikers. If this fight stays standing, Lutz should be able to get it done. However, I think Sabatini finds the takedowns he needs to pull off the win. Pat Sabatini by Decision
  • GB: Tucker Lutz by Round Three KO

Main Card- Starts 6:00pm EST

Adrian Yanez -310 (DK $9100, FD $22) vs Davey Grant +240 (DK $7100, FD $9)

  • Anthony: Our main card opens with this bout at bantamweight between Adrian Yanez and Davey Grant. I really like the slow build we are seeing for Yanez as he is one of my favorite prospects to break through over the past two years. All four of his UFC wins have come by way of knockout. He has extremely crisp boxing and striking in general, but all the intangibles you love to see are there too. He was pushed to the limit early against Randy Costa in his last fight but ended up landing his counters and finding the finish as usual. I have been sweating these Yanez fights after betting him inside the distance in each, but that is purely because he is so patient and technically sound. Davey Grant is also a powerful bantamweight that has ten professional finishes of his own. He has grappling that may challenge Yanez a bit here but we have not seen it implemented successfully against fighters at this high a level. While Grant poses a threat on the feet in his powerful right-left combination, Yanez is the far quicker and sharper of these two. I see Yanez landing the counters he needs to make it five straight UFC wins here today. He is averaging just under 100 points per fight on DraftKings. Adrian Yanez by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Yanez is a very technical boxer who throws sharp and effective combos better than many of the more experienced fighters in this division. He does a good job using combos to set up his power shots and his advanced boxing instincts at a young age have a lot of people already comparing him to Jorge Masvidal. Similar to Masvidal, he does a good job throwing feints and leading his opponents into traps. All of the strikes he throws are meaningful. Davey Grant is a well-rounded fighter who manages to outmuscle most of his opponents. His striking is somewhat unconventional, but he carries surprising power. He has a solid wrestling base and does a good job in the ground and pound department if he can take his opponent down. Grant’s clearest path here will be to keep Yanez grounded and ride him out for a decision, but we’ve never seen Yanez taken down in the UFC. Grant is a dangerous underdog in this spot and he’s certainly viable for DFS. However, Yanez is the pick here. I expect most of this fight to stay standing which is where Yanez’s superior class should shine through. Adrian Yanez by Round Three KO
  • GB: Adrian Yanez by Decision

Kyung Ho Kang -115 (DK $8200, FD $14) vs Rani Yahya -105 (DK $8000, FD $16)

  • Anthony: This fight is a tough one to call as Rani Yahya will fight Kyung Ho Kang at bantamweight. Since his return from hiatus in 2018, Kyung Ho Kang is 4-1 with two finishes and two split decisions. He has great offensive grappling but likely does not want to test it here against the likes of Yahya. By staying at range and striking in this bout I could see the Korean fighter finding a lot of success. Yahya is one of the best jiu jitsu practitioners in the entire UFC and he can certainly submit Kang. The key to this fight will be whether or not Yahya can get his opponent engaging on the mat. His traditional takedowns are not the best and Yahya has been known to gas late in fights if unable to find the finish. I do see him eventually wrapping up a submission here and believe the betting odds are not where they should be. Getting him for this price is also appealing when building DFS lineups as he should score well in a stoppage win. I will have exposure to both fighters here on DraftKings and FanDuel today. Ultimately, I see the veteran Yahya finding a way to get his hand raised. Rani Yahya by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Rani Yahya is a jiu jitsu specialist with twenty-one of his twenty-seven professional wins coming by way of submission. He has excellent offensive grappling but can struggle against opponents with good takedown defense. Kang works behind a powerful jab. He’s a highly technical striker with excellent footwork and head movement, but I don’t expect Yahya to spend much time with him on the feet. Kang sports a decent 71 percent takedown defense, but Yahya is likely to be relentless in his pursuit here. The key to this matchup will be whether or not Yahya can take this fight to the mat. If Yahya can’t catch Kang in something early, he could start to fade here. We have seen Yahya gas out and end up picked apart on the feet in the past, but I think he finds the window he needs for the early submission. Rani Yahya by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Rani Yahya by Round Two Submission

Taila Santos -360 (DK $9200, FD $22) vs Joanne Wood +270 (DK $7000, FD $8)

  • Anthony: Next up is a women’s flyweight bout between Taila Santos and Joanne Wood. This is the same Joanne Calderwood of old but she recently got married to her head coach John Wood of Syndicate MMA. She has alternated wins and losses in her previous six bouts but has been consistently facing a high level of competition. Wood’s best attributes are in standup and particularly clinch position where she can overpower her opponents, but I am not sure that will be the case here today against Santos. The 18-1 Santos seems to have found her footing after a rocky debut in the UFC. She has put together three dominant performances where her aggression and strength were deciding factors in securing the win. I really like her chances in this fight if she decides to bring Wood to the mat but a striking battle at range plays to her strengths just as well. I do not see a finish materializing for either fighter here and expect Santos to look the superior of the two over a fifteen minute period. There is no way I am touching Santos at these odds but it seems like her fight to lose. Taila Santos by Decision
  • Nick: We have an excellent women’s matchup here between two top contenders at flyweight. Santos is coming off three impressive wins over Roxanne Modafferi, Molly McCann and Gillian Robertson. She is a crisp and powerful striker, but her grappling is likely going to present her clearest path to victory in this fight. Wood has a solid thai-clinch and does a good job striking at close range. She has more power than a lot of the other girls in this division, but her volume is what usually helps her win when her fights hit the scorecards. The line is definitely too wide here as Wood has been tested against the higher level of competition. But still, I’m picking Santos. Talia Santos by Decision
  • GB: Taila Santos by Decision

Sean Brady -170 (DK $8900, FD $19) vs Michael Chiesa +140 (DK $7300, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The co-main event is an absolute banger at welterweight between Michael Chiesa and Sean Brady. Chiesa has been a roster staple since winning The Ultimate Fighter 15 back in 2012. His recent loss to Vicente Luque was his first since moving up to welterweight, winning the four bouts prior. His wrestling and grappling tends to overwhelm opponents as body lock takedowns lead to a lot of control time for Chiesa. He has solid ground and pound but is a potent submission artist as well. Chiesa is clearly going to be the toughest test to date for the undefeated Brady. The four fights that Brady has completed in the UFC have all been very clean. He is clearly a grappler just like Chiesa but has been rounding out his skillset at Renzo Gracie Philly. Facing somebody the caliber of Chiesa for the first time will surely question Brady’s toughness but I find it hard imagining this is the fight where his zero gets erased. For as talented as Chiesa is on the mat we have seen him struggle quite often when caught in bottom position. Momentum will dictate the winner of this fight as the grappler in control should mount offense very soon thereafter. Knowing just how tight a squeeze Brady can put on opponents I think he is the far more likely to lock up a submission. I give him the power advantage too, although Chiesa may be slightly more technical on the feet. Sean Brady by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Chiesa is one of the more underrated grapplers in the UFC. He’s coming off a tough loss to Vicente Luque, but had he won in that spot – many felt he’d only be one fight away from a title shot. He has an outstanding wrestling base that relies on highly technical body-lock style takedowns and his submission game is extremely creative. Chiesa’s standup continues to improve, but his powerful wrestling base and technical abilities on the mat are certainly his greatest strength. Chiesa averages nearly four takedowns per fifteen minutes and his BJJ is outstanding once he gets the fight there. Brady is one of the more exciting prospects we have at welterweight as he’s still undefeated coming into this matchup. He is a solid striker and an extremely strong and powerful grappler. He has great submission ability as a black belt in jiu jitsu and he’s strong enough to take his opponents’ necks from unconventional positions. Chiesa’s most impressive performances came in outstanding wins in which he out-grappled both Neil Magny and RDA. I have no doubt that Brady could develop into a future title contender, but I feel Chiesa’s experience should shine through here. It’s also notable that Chiesa looked considerably bigger at weigh-ins. This one could go either way and it’s easily one of my favorite fights on the card, but I see Chiesa doing enough to get back in the win column. Michael Chiesa by Decision
  • GB: Michael Chiesa by Decision

Ketlen Vieira -120 (DK $7900, FD $19) vs Miesha Tate +100 (DK $8300, FD $17)

  • Anthony: The main event is a women’s bantamweight fight between Ketlen Vieira an Miesha Tate. After a long absence, Tate returned to UFC competition this July and looked as sharp as ever before. That bout was against a 44-year-old Marion Reneau but it was still impressive to see Tate fight so clean after five years away. Her grappling was what got her that victory but Tate’s striking looks better than we have really ever seen it before. She faces a tough opponent here in Ketlen Vieira who just like Tate is chasing the champion. Vieira is coming off a loss to Yana Kunitskaya by decision and while that was close, I do not think it warrants her main event status here. This will be the first time Vieira goes five rounds and I question if she is ready for a matchup like this one. Tate should be the superior fighter on the feet and has wrestling to rely on if things are not going her way. It is ill advised to shoot on a grappler as talented as Vieira but I think the former champion Tate can hold her own on the mat quite well if things end up going there. I may be overvaluing Tate a bit given her most recent performance but at these odds I believe her to be a very solid bet. I will certainly have some exposure to her on DraftKings today given the $7900 price tag. Miesha Tate by Decision
  • Nick: Miesha Tate will be looking to build off a nice win over Marion Reneau, which came in her first fight since 2016. The former bantamweight champion has found most of her success utilizing advanced wrestling and offensive grappling ability to drown her opponents up against the cage and into the mat. In her fight against Reneau, she won by KO in the third round via ground and pound. She has solid BJJ ability, but she has shown she’s also not afraid to stand and trade at striking range. As gifted as Tate is, Vieira is likely going to be the more dangerous fighter if this fight hits the mat. She’s a blackbelt in both BJJ and judo. She has strong takedown and submission ability but she really hasn’t seen the same level of competition that Tate has. Vieira is coming off a hard-fought loss to Yana Kunitskaya. Many felt she won that fight, but ultimately Kunitskaya was the more aggressive fighter in the later rounds and also caused more damage. Vieira is likely going to come out strong here, but as this fight wears on I expect Tate’s experience to shine through. Vieira is going to match Tate in terms of length and reach, but Tate is likely the stronger grappler even if she’s not going to take the fight there. This is a close bout and they’re both viable as DFS plays. I’m siding with the former champ though. Tate should be a bit better everywhere, especially over the course of five rounds. Miesha Tate by Round Four Submission
  • GB: Miesha Tate by Decision

*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