Ilia Topuria $9000 – Topuria is the only guy I like above 9k, and you might remember him as we recommended him as a dog play in his UFC debut against Yusef Zalal. Topuria delivered that night in a big way with 97.5 fpts with takedowns and advances. Damon Jackson is a pretty solid fighter with a ton of experience. Still, I think Topuria just overwhelms Jackson in the grappling department, and if this stays on the feet, Topuria can hold his own. Ilia is legit, and I think he puts on another reliable performance Saturday. I can see it ending Topuria via 1st round submission.
Main Event – I’m honestly a bit torn on this one, I feel Vettori can win, but something tells me he tries to out grapple Hermansson, and that’s not the smartest thing to do. If this fight goes past the 3rd something tells me Hermansson takes over. Most of my lineups will have Hermansson, while a few will have Vettori. Vettori has looked impressive, but I just think Hermansson has more viable paths to victory.
Cody Durden $7700 – Jimmy Flick sure did impress in his Contender series win, but you need to look at his body of work and ask yourself if he should be favored in his fight. Yes, Flick has a solid grappling edge, and his transitions are slick, but he’s a one-trick pony, while Durden has the advantage on the feet and can hold his own on the mat with his wrestling. Flick’s chin will be tested here, and I think Durden can get the win.
Ovince Saint Preux $7800 – Maybe the oddsmakers say something with the line, but this is a HUGE step up in competition for Jamaal Hill. I honestly think making OSP the dog here is ridiculous. I see OSP eventually getting this to the mat where Hill is a fish out of water. I have to take the experience and better all-around mixed martial artist at this price tag. I do think OSP will be a popular dog, so don’t go putting him in every lineup if you’re playing multiple entries.
Nate Landwehr $6900 – So I look at the openers, and I see Mosvar Evloev a -375 or -400 favorite…he’s now -600, which is insane to me. I was looking forward to seeing Evloev in the UFC, and he has shown some solid entries and level changes. He hasn’t shown me a finish, and I think he’s in for a hell of a fight with Landwehr. Landwehr is durable as they come, and his takedown defense is respectable. If he can get this to the 3rd round, I can see him overwhelming the young Russian with volume as I think he’s the better striker, and Evloev’s striking defense is subpar. I can see a split decision here, and I’ll take a shot with the big dog.