UFC Fight Night 137: Santos vs Anders UFC Sao Paulo Draftkings Advice

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UFC Sao Paulo includes 14 fights after 6 fight changes. We have a completely new main event that was only finalized a week ago. On this card the strategy needs to center around which of the $9k fighters score the highest when they get the eventual knockout. I really focused on this last week at UFC Russia also. My strategy is to look for fighters who can finish late in the 1st round securing that 90 point finish bonus or late in the 2nd round securing that 75 point finish bonus. Finishing early in the round will result in less points in most cases.

As always, for cash games you are looking for 4 wins out of your 6 fighters. I do not recommend stacking this week. In GPPs, you are looking for 6 wins mostly via finish to have a chance to take home the big prize with an optimal lineup. Good luck making lineups this week. This analysis should help you put those 6 fighter lineups together.

This week’s Draftkings Podcast is a preview of @QuantEdgeMMAPod:

The Main Event: Thiago Santos $8.6K vs Eryk Anders $7.6K
This main event has changed a few times and we find ourselves with two 185 pounders fighting at 205 pounds on short notice. This is a GPP fight and at the price for each guy I can see this on the optimum lineup in GPPs. Santos had been involved in 8 straight fights that had finished before his last win vs Kevin Holland. Holland was very durable and used his length on his back to hang around for 15 minutes. Santos has very quick hands and has quick feet in the pocket. His movement and bounce are impressive for a guy his size. I like him to get the knockout in his home country of Brazil.

Anders has been disappointing in his last two fights. He has been consistently timid in his striking approach. His lack of aggression vs Machida cost him that fight. He is a good counter puncher with that left hand and has the power to knock Santos out but his lone loss was in Brazil vs Machida and I feel Santos get the best of him here. Anders has never been knocked out and really hasn’t been hit hard at all in his previous fights. Anders is a former starting linebacker for the University of Alabama and when I watch him fight I don’t see the explosion to wrestle/tackle and close distance to put maximum damage on his opponent. I expected to see more in the Tim Williams fight yet again I left unimpressed.

Top Tier Leans ($9.6k-$8.8k):
Livia Renata Souza $9.6K- Souza has ballooned to a -1300 betting favorite and it seems everyone in the world expects her to submit Alex Chambers. I agree that a submission is likely but I’m concerned she won’t score much over 100 points on Draftkings. She also isn’t a great striker but I do not expect it to stay on the feet long.

Elizeu Zaleski $9.5K- Zaleski is on a 6 fight winning streak and is the better striker in this matchup. I am also concerned that his price is too high for him to really pay dividends but he is a safe play for the win. Vendramini is also from Brazil but he’s 22 years old and has fought mostly a collection of local cans. This is not the fight he should be involved in moving up to 170 pounds against a proven veteran. This is a daunting task for Vendramini in his octagon debut.

Charles Oliveira $9.4K- Scouting a Charles Oliveira fight is very easy. When you think he’s going to win the fight you expect it to get to the mat and Oliveira is able to work his BJJ game. Giagos has three loses by submission and hasn’t shown that one punch knockout power on this level. Oliveira looks like he’ll be able to showcase his high level BJJ skills here with a submission win. Another high price but safe.

Sam Alvey $9.2K- There are a few things that can happen in this fight. Let’s start with what we can guarantee from Antonio Rogerio Nogueira; he will throw that left hand and hand hunt for the knockout. Nogueira hasn’t fought since 2016 and is 1-3 in his last 4 fights. He is now 42 years old and doesn’t move well. That left hand is his only path to victory. Sam Alvey is a counter puncher so as long as Nogueira closes distance to throw that big left hand I can see Alvey getting the knockout. The concern is this fight can get dicey if Nogueira slows the pace and a limited number of strikes are thrown. I’d hate to have Alvey in my lineup with the volume he throws vs this opponent in Brazil.

Alex Oliveira $9.3K- I want to start this analysis by saying I really like Carlo Pedersoli’s skill set. He’s 25 years old and has promise as a fighter and a well rounded game to match. This fight is just too much, too soon for Carlo. Oliveira pressures nonstop and that forward pressure will most likely be too much for Pedersoli. Oliveira is 3-1 since 2017 and his last 5 fights have finished. His loses have come to some of the top ranked guys in the division best in his division.

Mid Tier Leans ($8.7K-$7.8K):
Thales Leites $7.8K- Leites is from Brazil and I can see a decision in this fight so the home town judging can certainly help him here. Hector Lombard is 40 years old, will be at a disadvantage surrendering a 7 inch difference in reach and has lost 5 straight fights. I like Leites for a low scoring decision win.

Mayra Bueno $7.9K- This fight should turn into a grappling match and eventually hit the ground for some BJJ transitions but Bueno will have the striking advantage for as long as this fight stays there. Bueno is active with her kicking game and should be able to connect early. Robertson is dangerous on the mat with her BJJ but I think Bueno will be bigger and stronger. She can finish on the mat also.

Ryan Spann $8.7K- This fight is a wild card. Spann will have a 5 inch reach advantage and a 4 inch height advantage. He has won 4 straight fights and should have the quickness and cardio advantage. Luis Henrique weighed in at 244.5 pounds last September and based on his physique he may have a tough time making weight.

Randa Markos $8K- On a card where finding value is difficult, I like Markos to last 3 rounds and she has a legit path to victory. If Markos can keep it close on the feet and score takedowns in 2 of the 3 rounds she should win the decision on the scorecards.

Lower Tier Leans ($7.7K-$6.6K):
Andre Ewell $7.7K- Ewell got started in MMA later than most people but he’s very active. Ewell fought 7 times in 2017 and already has 3 fights in 2018. He’s fighting the former champ Renan Barao who is 1-4 since 2015 and has 40 fights to his record. Ewell will have a height and reach advantage and can win a decision here. My concern is he’d need to win that decision in Brazil vs a former champ from Brazil; tall task.

Steve Ricciardi

MMA Analyst on the @JerseyBoysMMA Podcast