This Saturday, the wait is over; Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje will meet in the octagon for the UFC lightweight championship. The co-main event is worthy of headlining any UFC event as former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on the hard-hitting Jared Cannonier. This card should be a good one. Let’s take a look at some fighters to target.
I’ll be looking at Da-Un Jung at $9400 and Phil Hawes at $9100 as far as fighters above 9k. Jung will be taking on veteran Sam Alvey, which is a lopsided matchup. Jung hasn’t lost a fight since 2016 and has won 7 straight inside the distance. Jung is the better fighter by far, and he will have a significant speed advantage. Jung should get Alvey out of there early. Phil Hawes will be in a few lineups, but I am not as confident in him as I am in Jung. Hawes is fighting Jacob Malkoun, who is making his UFC debut and trains with Robert Whittaker. Hawes should take care of business, but you just never know with these guys that come in that are relative unknowns. I’m not touching Miranda Maverick at $9200; that’s an insane price for a woman making her UFC debut. A total stay away.
Alex Oliveira $8500 – I think this is pretty good value for Cowboy, who has looked sharp in his past two fights. Oliveira was considered as damaged goods a while back, but here he is. He’ll be taking on Shavkhat Rakhmanov, a Kazakhstani undefeated and has recently fought in M-1. Rakhmanov has an impressive resume, but this is a big step up in competition. Oliveira may be overlooked here, but I think he’s just too strong and too experienced.
Jared Cannonier $8200 – Some may have seen the opening betting line and were surprised that Cannonier was favored. Cannonier has been a wrecking machine at 185, and I did not like what I saw from Whittaker in his last fight against Darren Till, too hesitant, and he just didn’t look the same. Cannonier’s leg kicks are a huge problem and are a significant part of his attack. Cannonier is a bad matchup for Whittaker, plain and simple. I’ll have a massive amount of ‘The Killa Gorilla’ in my lineups.
Gaethje/Khabib – I won’t go into this too much because you’ve probably heard 100 different takes on this fight. Justin is a junkyard dog; he will fight for your money. I think he is by far the most dangerous guy Khabib has faced. Khabib is seriously hittable, and Justin can very well put his lights out. I will treat this fight like I do many main events; the winning lineup will more than likely have the main event winner in there, so I’m going 50/50.
There are a few dogs that pique my interest. Walt Harris ($7600) isn’t a bad look, but I feel if it goes past the 1st round, his chances diminish. Nathaniel Wood ($7500) could fare well against Casey Kenney. Wood returned with an impressive performance his last time out after suffering a KO loss to John Dodson. His fight with Kenney will be a scramble fest, and I think Wood will be looking for takedowns early and often. Tai Tuivasa and Liana Jojua will also be on my radar and are some serious low risk/high reward plays. Justin Gathje, at $7000 I mentioned up above, definitely worth 7k and will easily pay that salary off with a win.
That’s it for me. Enjoy the fights and best of luck with your lineups!!!