Finally! The most noteworthy fight card of the calendar year is finally here. UFC 205 makes its way to Madison Square Garden and brings along for the ride three title fights, including the card’s main event, and champion vs. champion clash between Eddie Alvarez (28-4) and Conor McGregor (20-3).
Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez
- McGregor will be competing at lightweight for the first time in his UFC career. He owns victories in weight classes above and below and will be attempting to be the first in the UFC, to hold two belts simultaneously as champion in two weight classes.
- To do this, he must defeat Eddie Alvarez who is 13-2 in his last 15 fights.
- McGregor has won 17 of his 20 victories via knockout, with 13 of those coming in the first round.
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
- Woodley has won five of his six UFC wins by TKO stoppage due to strikes
- Woodley’s striking defense is outstanding, as he defends just under 68% of his opponent’s significant strike attempts.
- Woodley also has defended 95% of his opponent’s takedown attempts, which puts him at 2nd highest in overall UFC history.
- Thompson’s seven-fight UFC win streak is the current active longest streak in the welterweight division.
- Thompson holds a record of 57-0 as a kickboxer, before entering the UFC.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
- Jedrzejczyk has three consecutive UFC title defenses which puts her at second-most behind Mighty Mouse Johnson who sits at eight.
- In her last four UFC fights, Jedrzejczyk has out-landed her opponents in significant strikes by a margin of 575-195.
- Jedrzejczyk landed 70 leg kicks to her opponent at UFC 193, which stands as the current single fight record in the UFC.
- Kowalkiewicz has won via decision in all three of her UFC fights. Her last stoppage came in May of 2014.
Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero
- Weidman makes his return and competes for the first time since losing the belt to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194.
- Weidman has out-struck nine of the ten opponents he’s faced in the UFC.
- Weidman has landed at least one takedown against every opponent he’s faced in the UFC.
- Romero has won via KO in 9 of his overall 11 victories.
- Romero won silver at the 2000 Olympic Games in Freestyle Wrestling.
- Romero who holds a record of 11-1, has never lost in the UFC (7-0).
Meisha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington
- Tate has won four of her five UFC victories by decision.
- Her previous nickname was “Takedown Tate, ” and her work shows just that, as she’s landed at least one takedown in 14 of her 16 UFC/Strikeforce fights.
- Pennington is currently riding a three-fight win streak, the longest of her career.
- Pennington defeated Evans-Smith at UFC 181 via a bulldog choke. She is one of only four fighters in UFC history to win via that method.
Alright, who’s pumped? It’s MMA DFS time.
First, let’s recap how the DraftKings scoring is set for these tourneys:
Additionally, as a quick reminder, here are my tips when setting your lineups:
Alright, let’s do this. Breakdown time.
As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC 205. As always, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are at in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual match-ups here in just a few.
Now, two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents, watch your points rack up quick. Here’s my Offensive Output Meter for UFC 205. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday night.
Match-up time. Here we go!
McGregor ($8600) vs. Alvarez ($7600)
Eddie tends to take shots to land shots, while on the other side McGregor hits harder than the majority of these guys. Just look at how he’s folded some of his opponents. Mendes, Diamond, Aldo, etc. Eddie will look to close the distance and land a takedown, but I believe Conor will eventually land and hurt Alvarez. It’s hard to look past what Conor just achieved by dropping and defeating Nick Diaz up at 170, a much larger guy compared to Eddie.
Woodley ($7400) vs. Thompson ($8800)
The challenger Thompson is coming in as a -200 favorite to take the title Saturday night. As you may have seen, Wonderboy typically puts on a striking clinic against his opponents and is set up to do it again against the champ Woodley. Woodley typically is known for being very selective while picking his spots for the duration of his fights, but if he wants to retain, he’s gotta pounce and get inside by leveraging his speed and wrestling. Woodley simply cannot stay outside and box this guy. I think he knows this. Although Wonderboy has been working with Weidman for this fight prepping for the takedown attempts, I still give Woodley a puncher’s chance here against Thompson, just as I did when he won the belt knocking out the former champ Robbie Lawler.
Jedrzejczyk ($9300) vs Kowalkiewicz ($6900)
First, who besides me cannot wait to hear Goldy and his attempts to calling this fight? For most likely 25 minutes of brutal mispronunciations, he is the real loser or are we?
Nah, we win. We get to see Joanna champ put on another clinic. Although Kowalkiewicz has yet to be beat, I just don’t see her keeping up with the output we will see from Joanna. Five round title fight + Joanna’s output = some serious points for your roster.
Weidman ($8500) vs. Romero ($7700)
Man, Yoel is tough. He just bullies guys. Just a strong mofo. I just watched some tape of some of his training camp, and he’s just throwing guys around. Chris Weidman’s game plan has got to be picking spots and influencing the judges under the home town lights with the crowd pop. I don’t think he can KO Yoel, but if he can avoid Yoel’s big shot, he’s most likely on his way to a decision victory. I have a hard time picking guys that are coming off of KO/TKO losses, though.
Tate ($9100) vs. Pennington ($7100)
Tate’s wrestling should be the deciding factor here. I think she’ll find her range and eventually take Pennington to the ground and score. At this price, how do you pass up Joanna champ for $200 more and five rounds?
Edgar ($9200) vs. Stephens ($7000)
Nothing to gain for Edgar vs. everything to gain for Stephens. Trap fight? Edgar should bob and weave to a decision victory, but for some reason I see Stephens landing a big shot. I’ll just be outside over here all alone on Jeremy Stephens.
Nurmagomdov ($9000) vs. Johnson ($7200)
I posted earlier in the week in the premium forums about Khabib. In my opinion, the guy should already have the belt.
Boetsch ($8100) vs. Natal ($8100)
Natal opened as a -170 favorite and since, Boetsch has been getting pounded. This one should end in Natal landing a finish, or Boetsch grinding a decision. I’m off but will lean Natal.
Luque ($7900) vs. Muhammad ($8300)
The key to Luque’s grappling has been his ability to win the striking first. With Muhammad’s aggressive stand-up and willingness to take shots, I see it not playing out as well as it has in the past for Luque. I like the more aggressive guy here as long as he can defend the takedowns.
Alves ($8400) vs. Miller ($7800)
Alves had a horrible weight cut. He missed weight, which led to Miller having to pack on a couple of pounds quickly to make the 5lbs differential rule in NY. Alves had food poisoning and a stomach virus over the last couple weeks as well which has me passing on this one.
Carmouche ($8000) vs. Chookagian ($8200)
Chookagian’s striking and size advantage should neutralize Carmouche for the full 15 minutes. Carmouche has always been tough to put away, and I see her surviving, maybe stealing a round, but ultimately losing via decision to open the card. Keep in mind, Carmouche hasn’t fought in over a year, and she should be on a three fight losing streak, yet was gifted a decision against Murphy.
I’ll be around all night watching as you do. Hit me up if you have any questions or want some added thoughts. @Y2CASEY on Twitter. Cash em #ScoutArmy.