Islam Makhachev $9500 – I respect the hell out of Bobby Green, but in my opinion, Islam Makhachev should be the #1 ranked guy at 155. There isn’t a fighter in the division that has challenged him. Just run down his last few opponents, Dan Hooker, Thiago Moisés, Drew Dober, Davi Ramos, Arman Tsarukyan…he’s dominated them all via unanimous decision or stoppage. No fight was close. Not only is Makhachev a superior wrestler, but his jiu-jitsu game is high level. Can he be tagged? Sure, it happened back in 2015, but I don’t think it happens here. There isn’t much room for Green to move with the small cage in the Apex, and I believe Makhachev scores well here and pays off that high price tag. Will I have Bobby Green in a lineup? Sure, but I will have Makhachev in the majority of my lineups.
Other dogs to consider: Ramiz Brahimaj ($9300)
I can’t say I’m crazy about the fighters in the 8900 to 8000 price range, and I will take a look at Farès Ziam solely for the fact that I think his opponent, Terrance McKinney, will be one of the most popular fighters on the slate. I’m just not sure he’ll pay off the $8400 price tag. Jonathan Martinez is another guy that intrigues me at $8600 and might put him in a lineup or two. Martinez’s price tag will scare some away, but I think he has a favorable matchup against Alejandro Perez.
Joel Alvarez $7100 – Alvarez might be one of the more popular underdogs on the slate, and for a good reason. The Spaniard is on a four-fight win streak, all inside the distance and the last three in the 1st round. Alvarez is huge for the division, and he did miss weight his previous two times out. Alvarez is the taller man by 7” and will have a 3 1/2” reach advantage. Tsarukyan’s wrestling credentials cannot be ignored. However, I think the length and submission threat that Alvarez possesses will give Tsarukyan some problems. Alvarez has been impressive as of late. If he misses weight again this week, you would have to imagine that he will be walking into the octagon on Saturday with a massive advantage. If he makes weight, he will still be the bigger guy.
Other dogs to consider: Wellington Turman ($7900)
Best of luck with your lineups, and enjoy the fights!