UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston: DraftKings and Betting Breakdown
We get a fun card here, buoyed by the rescheduling of the no-contest Mexico City main event as the co-main event. Per Vegas, the most unlikely fight on the card to end inside the distance sits at just +170, and these 13 fights should be entertaining ones to watch.
The nature of the main event with a first high-end test for the ascending fighter against the weight class changing big name where there are clear paths for either fighter to produce a tiny score makes cash a dicey proposition for this card. It’s difficult to envision a favorable outcome in stacking the main event as a longer fight would favor only the underdog, and the favorite will see their scoring ceiling evaporate at the end of round 1. With this being the case, this card is best for tournaments, but still, check back for cash in after weigh-ins as I will always offer my thoughts there.
First, a reminder of the new format for tournament deployment:
I will take each fight and assign it to one of five categories for tournament deployment. Those categories are:
- “Lock It In” – This will be for fights that the build should have at or near 100% exposure.
- “Over The Field” – This will be for attractive fights that are likely to see the winner to the optimal, but not quite at the “Lock It In” level. These fights should be deployed at approximately 80% total fight exposure.
- “Stance Fight” – This will be for fights for which we have a real expectation on one fighter winning and being probable for the optimal. The exposure level will vary. I’ll explain both the level of exposure of our stance fighter and whether their opponent is a fade or low-level exposure.
- “Defensive Fight” – This will be for fights that are middle of the road for the optimal and have a wide range of outcomes. We will generally deploy the total fight exposure at 35-50%.
- “Ugly Fight” – This will be for fights in which the winner is unlikely for the optimal.
As always, check back after weigh-ins for cash, single entry, picks, bets and any other final thoughts.
***Update*** Deron Winn and Manny Bermudez have missed weight, but the fights will go on as scheduled.
Lock It In
No fights on this card meet the criteria.
Over The Field
Dominick Reyes, -170, 8800 vs. Chris Weidman, +140, 7400
Fight is five rounds at 205 lbs and is -380 to end inside the distance.
We get a fun stylistic clash here with the winner potentially getting a shot at the light heavyweight belt. Dominick Reyes is a young and still ascending striker with power. He finished his first three fights in the promotion in the first round but looked mortal in his last two decision wins, and I thought he lost his previous outing, and the decision was incorrect. In any event, Reyes does have big power, and the key to the fight is likely how well the chin of veteran welterweight Chris Weidman holds up. The move up to 205 is an attempt to salvage his career as a main event fighter, and I think he has quite a reasonable chance of doing so. Weidman has sound boxing with decent power, but his bread and butter is on the floor. He’s an amazing wrestler with a very high-level BJJ skill set, and as long as he isn’t knocked out, he can finish on the floor or grind his opponents down to dust. For Reyes, his path to the optimal lies in a first-round KO and that becomes questionable with a second-round finish and evaporates with a third-round finish. He should be in the 40-45% range. Weidman on the other hand will see his floor and ceiling actually increase the longer the fight goes, and he can truly rack up grappling points. He should be in the 45-55% range.
Joe Lauzon, +125, 7700 vs. Jonathan Pearce, -155, 8500
Fight is at 155 lbs and is -265 to end inside the distance.
This fight was clearly put together in hopes of a fun finish for the fans on the main card. Now old, Joe Lauzon will take a beating on the feet and is very much in danger of being hit hard and finished. He will need to get any fight to the floor to work his BJJ and ground and pound or will eventually be KO’d by just about any fighter. Jonathan Pearce is debuting striker with big pace that will keep the pressure on. Pearce has been submitted a couple times on the regional scene and will be in big danger of that if he gives up a takedown or two. This is the path to victory for Lauzon as his gas tank empties quickly, and his opponent’s does not. In the race to a finish, we want 20-30% Lauzon and 45-60% Pearce.
Jeremy Stephens, -115, 8100 vs. Yair Rodriguez, -115, 8100
Fight is at 145 lbs and is +130 to end inside the distance.
Here’s what I wrote when this fight was a main event:
This fight came to fruition because Yair Rodriguez lucked into a KO at 4:59 of the fifth round in his previous main event fight, and it was a fight he would have lost handily on the scorecards. He will be the less powerful of the two strikers here and will need to keep this fight on the outside, and likely keep the dynamic striking movements to a minimum as he will be in more danger if he allows Jeremy Stephens inside. Neither fighter is overly busy and a decision win in this fight is no lock for the optimal. Stephens is the more powerful striker, has the better chin and would have the advantage in grappling exchanges. Stephens will also be the pressuring fighter and the better bet in this fight for a finish. This isn’t a 100% exposure fight, but more in the 85-90% range. I want significantly more Stephens here — 50-60% range with Rodriguez more in the 25-35% range.
With this now being a three-round fight, a decision win for either fighter is almost a certainty to be absent from the optimal. Rodriguez is a borderline fade candidate, and I would not feel at all comfortable with more than 10-15% of him. Stephens is the fighter capable of and looking for the finish, and he should be in the 30-40% range.
Greg Hardy, -300, 9300 vs. Ben Sosoli, +235, 6900
Fight is at heavyweight and is -515 to end inside the distance.
Greg Hardy continues to be brought along slowly, and they continue to feature him on the ESPN network cards. He has real pro wrestling heel appeal, and people will tune in in hopes of seeing him lose. Hardy remains an exceptional athlete and has massive power, but the truth is also we still don’t know where he truly is as a fighter having just six fights and lack of ring time. Without having any opinion or variable brought up, Ben Sosoli will be at a disadvantage in both athleticism and length, as he’ll be at 6.5-inch reach disadvantage. He doesn’t move well, and this combination likely has him eating some power shots from Hardy that put him out. Sosoli does have one-punch power, however, and can’t be ruled out, but should be in the 10-15% range while Hardy should be at a minimum of 50% with room for more.
Molly McCann, -550, 9400 vs. Diana Belbita, +405, 6800
Fight is at 125 lbs and is +125 to end inside the distance.
Not related to the fight itself, this line continuously went up and up and up all week. It was at -355 on Monday. Molly McCann isn’t a fighter who will ever be fighting for a championship, but she is consistently improving and has shown well against lower-level competition. Diana Belbita appears to be the epitome of lower-level competition. She has fought the lowest level of competition on the regional scene and is very hittable and slow. She also offers very little as a grappler and will be at a disadvantage in all facets. Her only advantage is that she is physically longer. I usually want some level of exposure to a debuting fighter at a salary like this simply for the unknown aspect, but this is not one of those spots. I’m full fading Belbita and setting a minimum of 50% on McCann with room for more.
Daniel Spitz, +105, 7600 vs. Tanner Boser, -135, 8600
Fight is at heavyweight and is +115 to end inside the distance.
Tanner Boser is a low-volume striker who fights behind kicks — mostly leg kicks — and doesn’t have a great deal of power. He is generally a decision fighter whose style lends to fights being close. Daniel Spitz is very long, even for a heavyweight, and will have a significant reach advantage in this fight. He understands he’s a longer fighter and fights on the outside. He has had trouble in the past with fighters forcing their way inside on him, but that isn’t exactly the MO of his opponent here. He should be able to outpoint his opponent on the feet and is the much better bet to find a clean KO shot. While Spitz lacks in the wrestling department, I would deem him to have a fairly wide advantage on the floor if the fight were to get there. This is a dog-or-pass fight for me with the heavyweight finish caveat. Boser should be around 10% exposure while Spitz should be more in the 25-35% range.
Maycee Barber, -135, 8300 vs. Gillian Robertson, +105, 7900
Fight is at 125 lbs and is -215 to end inside the distance.
Maycee Barber remains perhaps the highest ceiling fighter in any of the women’s divisions. The 7-0 fighter is still just 21 years old with two UFC wins and a DWCS win under her belt already. She has big power and will and is capable of finishing just about anyone on the feet. Her striking defense is still a work in progress as she’s still quite hittable. Fortunately for her, Gillian Robertson is a grappler and wants all of her fights to take place on the canvas. We know Barber has BJJ chops, but the last place she wants to be is underneath Robertson. I don’t know that Robertson would be able to finish with ground and pound against Barber, but she is still quite in play for a submission. I don’t think Robertson is going to be ready for the vicious power coming at her on the feet and that Barber knocks her out, but just one takedown for Robertson turns the fight to a coin flip. 20-25% on Robertson and 35-45% on Barber.
Deron Winn, -125, 8200 vs. Darren Stewart, -105, 8000
Fight is at 185 lbs and is +155 to end inside the distance.
Deron Winn makes his second walk after a high volume striking output decision win in his debut. It still does not cease to amaze me that he is middleweight at 5 feet 5 inches. He will be giving up 7 inches of height to Darren Stewart, but Winn does have a long wingspan and will only be giving up 3 inches of reach. In his debut, Winn was fighting a BJJ fighter, so he didn’t show off his wrestling pedigree, but you can bet that will change against the very real KO power of Stewart. Winn will very much be able to dominate this fight on the floor, but he will need less confidence in his chin in this one like in the last one. Stewart is a fighter that can end it in one shot and needs to see at least 20% with room for up to 35% ownership. Winn can score in a decision with his takedowns and is capable of a finish as well and should be in the 35-45% range.
Charles Rosa, +115, 7500 vs. Manny Bermudez, -145, 8700
Fight is at 145 lbs and is -155 to end inside the distance.
Submission ace Manny Bermudez is fighting coming off a loss for the first time in his career, as he lost an arguable decision last time out. He is up from 135 pounds as he was draining himself trying to make that cut that he was mostly incapable of making. He’s not a high-level technical striker but does have pop in his punches. His game is grappling and attacks submissions early and often, and is high level at getting them from both top and bottom. Charles Rosa returns to the octagon after a two and a half year absence due to injuries and is a question mark now at 33 years old. Rosa is an in and out striker and is quick, but doesn’t have difference-making power, but will throw dynamic strikes to try to make up for it. Rosa is generally quite willing to grapple and has the better wrestling, but this may work to his detriment here if he’s willing to engage in that department, despite being a BJJ black belt. Bermudez is certainly the more dynamic finisher and should be entered at a minimum of 25% with room for more. Slightly less on Rosa, in the 15-25% range.
Randy Costa, +140, 7200 vs. Boston Salmon, -170, 9000
Fight is at 135 lbs and is -170 to end inside the distance.
Boston Salmon had his promotional debut hyped by a great many people, and he wilted. He was knocked out in just 25 seconds. He is primarily a striker and has KO power, but we now have to question his chin. Randy Costa is also entering his second UFC fight after being finished in his debut. He also is primarily a striker with power and one that has the best success striking at distance. Despite being submitted in his debut, his chin looked questionable, and we unfortunately get a fight with a full range of outcomes in both length and winner. Costa will be the busier striker but needs to keep range as he will be the one in great danger if the exchanges are on the inside. This fight will be fairly popular, and a sound amount of exposure on both sides is warranted. I want more exposure to Costa from a pricing and value perspective; he should be in 25-40% range depending on how aggressive you want to be attacking this fight, with Salmon in the 20-30% range.
Brendan Allen, +135, 7300 vs. Kevin Holland, -165, 8900
Fight is at 185 lbs and is +150 to end inside the distance.
Brendan Allen makes his UFC debut, and having Kevin Holland as an opponent in a debut is a pretty brutal draw. Holland is well rounded, and his only real hole is his fight IQ and approach to many fights. He actually stays too loose and has fun with his fights and often lets that take precedence over seeking a finish. He’s 3-1 in the promotion with his only loss being his debut fight against Marreta while he’s beaten both grappling and KO specialists. He will have a 4-inch reach and quickness advantage on the fight. Allen is the better wrestler than Holland, as most are, but Allen often relies on grappling, and Holland is significantly better on the floor, and he will be able to sweep from his back and attack submissions in that aspect. Of the two, Allen is much more likely for a finish, and he should be around 35-40%. As we’ve seen with Holland before, if it gets to the scorecards, he can make it dicey with his approach, and a decision win for the underdog is not boxed out of the optimal, but just 10-15% on Allen.
Kyle Bochniak, -140, 8400 vs. Sean Woodson, +110, 7800
Fight is at 145 lbs and is +160 to end inside the distance.
Kyle Bochniak is a durable striker and UFC vet. He has a sound chin but lacks power, and that leads to a lot of decisions as has been the result of every fight of his in the promotion. Bochniak is a decent wrestler and will have the grappling advantage in this one. He gets a debuting fighter that punched his ticket to the promotion on DWCS in Sean Woodsen. Woodsen is insanely long for the division and will have a whopping 7-inch height and 9-inch reach advantage. Woodsen is a striker that will look to keep the fight on the feet and throw big volume as he has done in the past. Using his length to keep Bochniak off his legs and keeping the fight standing will very much be the key for Woodsen, and vice versa for Bochniak. If Bochniak does not come in with a wrestle-heavy game plan, it’s a mistake and one that will see him eating dozens upon dozens of strikes. Even if Bochniak is able to wrestle, I don’t like him for a scoring ceiling and is between a fade and 10%. Woodsen brings a relative ceiling as an underdog even in a decision as he could land big volume, and he can be played up to 20%.
Court McGee, +190, 7000 vs. Sean Brady, -240, 9200
Fight is at 170 lbs and is +170 to end inside the distance.
Sean Brady makes his debut as a sound favorite, and deservedly so. He is a sound technical striker but isn’t a fighter throwing for a KO on the feet. He is physically strong and prefers to grapple and has both strong wrestling and BJJ games. He takes what his opponents give him and doesn’t generally hunt submissions, but will take them when offered. Court McGee will likely be the busier striker on the feet, and he does have a sound chin but lacks effective power. He is also a fighter that looks to grapple but will be at a disadvantage in this realm in this fight, but he is quite sound at returning to his feet. All in all, an early finish by either fighter is a low percentage outcome, and a decision likely doesn’t produce enough scoring for the favorite, unless there’s a good deal of mat returning and accumulating takedown points. Both fighters should be in the 10-20% range, but the fight as a whole is a fade candidate if you’re feeling aggressive.
Cash and Single Entry
I’ve been laboring for three days trying to figure out the correct recipe for cash on this card, and landing on nothing that feels like something to have any level of confidence in. I did decide a main event stack is not the best path here, instead taking a side on Weidman. McCann and Hardy must be included and are next in. This leaves us having to take stands on close fights (as are 11 of 13 on the card) for the last three spots. If opting for value underdogs Spitz and Woodsen we can put either Pearce or Barber in the last slot. If opting for Barber and Stephens we then close our eyes and hope with Rosa. Perhaps the best avenue is punting with McGee allowing us to combo Stephens/Bermudez or Barber/Pearce. Reiterating cash feels gross this week.
Single entry is a much easier beast to tackle this week, and it comes down to choosing a side in the main event. On the Reyes side, the lineup starts with Reyes, Hardy and Pearce. Punting with McGee then gets us two of three of Barber, Stephens or a chosen side in the Winn/Stewart fight.
On the Weidman side, we will start with Wiedman, Hardy and Pearce. This will get us all three of Barber, Stephens and a chosen side in the Winn/Stewart fight.
Picks and Bets
Picks With Personal Confidence Percentage
- Spitz 60%
- Holland 80%
- Brady 73%
- Costa 51%
- Woodsen 50%
- McCann 99%
- Bermudez 78%
- Winn 55%
- Barber 69%
- Pearce 70%
- Hardy 90%
- Stephens 75%
- Weidman 55%
- Spitz +105
- Holland -165
- Bermudez -150
- Barber -135
- Pearce by KO +100
- Hardy by KO -185
- Stephens -110