UFC Fight Island 5: Moraes vs Sandhagen – 10.10.2020 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

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Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage UFC Fight Island 5: Moraes vs Sandhagen. The UFC has made its return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and we are looking forward to yet another stacked card this weekend. Our analysis will include a pick for every bout from Anthony Marro, Nicholas Marro and GB. We also feature write-ups that will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for takedown defense and submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those two stats and instead values advances (such as to half guard, to mount…) and reversals. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value.

As coverage continues, we will keep our Daily Play Action records up to date. Be sure to check out our reasoning though as records will not reflect confidence, we will be picking all fights regardless of if we are betting on them. If you are in search of a good website to tail any of our picks, I highly recommend using Bovada for their user-friendly format and awesome deposit bonuses!

Nick: 165-87-4    Anthony: 154-98-4    GB: 147-105-4

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:50 AM EST 10-10-2020

Preliminary Card- Starts 5:00pm EST

Tagir Ulanbekov -500 (DK $9300, FD $20) vs Bruno Silva +350 (DK $6900, FD $9)

  • Anthony: Our night will open with a fun fight at flyweight between Bruno Silva and Tagir Ulanbekov. This should be your typical high-volume flyweight bout with a lot of scrambles and level changes, but one largely dominated by Ulanbekov. He is one of Dagestan’s finest who is training with and likely cornered by Khabib Nurmagomedov this evening. I really do not think there is anything that Silva can do better than Ulanbekov and as the much smaller fighter here this pick is an easy one. Ulanbekov has excellent striking but will likely be able to wrestle his way to either a decision or submission win. He is an attractive DFS option but seems a bit too expensive to warrant high exposure. Tagir Ulanbekov by Decision
  • Nick: Ulanbekov is coming off back-to-back submission victories over in GFC. He’s a training partner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and one of the more hyped prospects we have right now at flyweight. Silva certainly seems to be on the decline of late as he’s coming off back-to-back losses. Still, he’s a solid test here for Tagir Ulanbekov who is making his UFC debut. Ulanbekov is a former Combat Sambo World Champion. He’s an excellent grappler, but he also does a good job using his length to succeed on the feet. This is certainly a step up in competition for him, but a measured one – as is clear by the very wide line oddsmakers are putting on this fight. Three of Silva’s five losses have come via submission, and I really don’t see him keeping Ulanbekov off of him long enough to do any damage. The line feels just a bit too wide as we haven’t seen much of Ulanbekov yet, but it’s tough to imagine Silva has the ability to pull out an upset here. His high likelihood of a finish makes Ulanbekov a great DFS play as well. Tagir Ulanbekov by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Tagir Ulanbekov by Round One Submission

Tracy Cortez -190 (DK $9000, FD $17) vs Stephanie Egger +155 (DK $7200, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Up next is our sole women’s fight of the evening taking place at bantamweight between Tracy Cortez and Stephanie Egger. This is a short notice UFC debut for Egger but she has put together a decent resume thus far in her career. More often than not Cortez seems to rely on her size, wrestling and clinch work to win fights but that is going to be more difficult than usual here. Egger is the taller fighter and I believe she will be the one initiating takedowns in this fight. I anticipate that an inner or outer reap may be landed early in this fight and once on the mat, Egger should be able to find her way to a choke. This line is far too wide and even if they were to remain standing, I trust Egger’s striking enough to bet her as a sizeable underdog. Stephanie Egger by Round One Submission
  • Nick: Cortez already has a UFC win under her belt against Vanessa Melo and yet another victory against UFC fighter Maria Agapova on Dana White’s Contender Series. Egger is taking this fight on short notice as a fill-in for Bea Malecki. Her resume in MMA leaves a lot to be desired, but she’s a decorated black belt in judo with a win over Ronda Rousey and several highly regarded tournament victories under her belt. Cortez used to fight at 125, so she’s likely to be the smaller fighter here. I think the line is way off on this one as it’s not really accounting for Egger’s Judo or BJJ experience. Cortez may have more time in the UFC Octagon, but Egger has a lot more hand to hand combat experience. As long as her cardio holds up, her size and strength advantages should allow her to control position on Cortez and eventually grind out the upset. My confidence level is low here, but I’m siding with the underdog. Stephanie Egger by Decision
  • GB: Tracy Cortez by Decision

Omar Morales -165 (DK $8300, FD $17) vs Giga Chikadze +135 (DK $7900, FD $16)

  • Anthony: One of our closest fights takes place next at featherweight as Giga Chikadze will fight Omar Morales. This was the last pick I made on the card and I really do not feel great backing either fighter here. Morales is dropping down from 155 pounds for this fight and seems to have had an excellent weight cut. After seeing Chikadze tee off on Irwin Rivera in his last fight, it makes me hesitant to back a guy with a similar style in this one. However, I believe the bigger and stronger Morales should be able to impose his will this evening. He should be looking to wrestle-box against Chikadze and pour the pressure on to avoid fighting at kickboxing range. Chikadze has the power to knockout opponents at any moment, but after three lackluster decision wins I have begun to fear that threat a lot less. I will side with Morales in this one but am doing so with very little confidence. Omar Morales by Decision
  • Nick: Giga Chikadze is coming off three straight UFC wins, but this is easily the toughest test he’s seen at this level. Morales is undefeated professionally at 10-0, but Chikadze presents a step up in competition for him here as well. This fight features two strikers that both throw as many kicks as they do punches. Morales is cutting down to 145 here for the first time, but he looked solid at weigh-ins so I’m not too concerned about his cut. He’s likely going to be the stronger and power powerful striker of the two here, but Chikadze has the crisper and more precise kickboxing style. Chikadze had some knockouts earlier in his career, but they all came against inexperienced opponents with losing records. It feels like Morales is going to be a tough match-up for him in this spot. Morales has enough durability to eat whatever Chikadze’s throws at him and then counter with power. As long as he can get inside of Chikadze’s reach, he should be able to land the more powerful strikes and eventually break him down. Omar Morales by Decision
  • GB: Omar Morales by Decision

Tony Kelley -225 (DK $8700, FD $18) vs Ali Al Qaisi +175 (DK $7500, FD $15)

  • Anthony: I am extremely excited for this bantamweight bout between Tony Kelley and Ali Al Qaisi. Both fighters made their UFC debuts in the past two months and are back in the octagon once again for what should be a very fun scrap. While I do believe this is a tough one to call, I am siding with the underdog Al Qaisi. In Kelley’s last fight I was troubled by his performance because even though he was awarded Fight of the Night, he was swinging recklessly and keeping his hands too low. Against a mediocre striker like Al Qaisi, I think that is going to make things a lot tighter than they should be in the stand up. Additionally, the kicks of Qaisi will likely be able to damage Kelley’s lead leg and I anticipate we see takedowns from him that he just could not pull off against the better wrestler Irwin Rivera. If he takes this one it could be by an early choke, but I believe instead we see a win by decision for The Royal Fighter. Ali Al Qaisi by Decision
  • Nick: Both of these guys are coming off fairly impressive losses in their respective UFC debuts. Al Qasi fought well in a close split decision loss to Irwin Rivera. He looked well-rounded for a guy making his debut, but he put himself in some tough positions and never really took control of the fight. Kelley fought tough in his own decision loss against Kai Kamaka, a fight that won Fight of the Night on a stacked UFC 252 card. He was ultimately outstruck in that one, but he showed a serious chin and willingness to sit in the pocket to keep pressure on his opponent. Tony Kelley is cutting down to 135 for the first time here, but he looked excellent at weigh-ins so it’s really not something we need to be concerned with. Al Qaisi relies on takedowns, but he could have trouble here against a bigger and likely stronger fighter in Kelley. Kelley has far crisper striking on the feet, so if Al Qaisi can’t control position he’s likely to end up on the wrong side of the striking exchanges. This should be a close fight between two fairly inexperienced fighters, but I’m siding with the favorite. I see Kelley as having the advantage no matter where this fight goes. Additionally, Al Qaisi was the last fighter on the scale and seemed like he struggled a bit to make weight. Tony Kelley by Decision
  • GB: Ali Al Qaisi by Round Two KO

Impa Kasanganay -250 (DK $8900, FD $19) vs Joaquin Buckley +195 (DK $7300, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Up next is a middleweight fight between Impa Kasanganay and Joaquin Buckley that once again should be exciting. Buckley lost recently against Kevin Holland but that is nothing to be ashamed of, especially in a UFC debut. He showed good power and striking speed in that bout and should be able to put on an even better performance tonight at less of a size disadvantage. Kasanganay on the other hand has looked brilliant so far in his two wins this year. He does an excellent job fighting smart, keeping his opponent at a range he is comfortable and pouring on when he needs to. While I do believe this could go three rounds, I think Buckley will be chasing an early finish rather than going to war with Kasanganay. I favor Kasanganay quite a bit here fighting out of the orthodox stance. If he doesn’t win a decision against Buckley, he will likely be finishing him with strikes before the final horn. Both are more than viable options when it comes to lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. Impa Kasanganay by Decision
  • Nick: Joaquin Buckley took his last fight on short notice against Kevin Holland. He was ultimately picked apart on the feet in that one, but he had a few moments in which he showed serious pressure and impressive durability. He’s a powerful striker and one of the more physically imposing guys in this division, but he’s far from developed and he’s fairly one-dimensional based on what we’ve seen from him so far. Kasagany is coming off an impressive victory against Maki Pitolo. He showed solid striking defense, a willingness to engage as well as a high fight IQ. He was only shooting for takedowns that made sense and was mostly able to conserve his gas tank for the later rounds. Buckley’s power makes him a live dog here, but Impa’s style and more well-rounded skill set should be enough to get it done over the course of three rounds. Impa Kasangany by Decision
  • GB: Joaquin Buckley by Round One KO

Rodrigo Nascimento -270 (DK $9200, FD $19) vs Chris Daukaus +210 (DK $7000, FD $11)

  • Anthony: We now move up to heavyweight for a fight between Rodrigo Nascimento and Chris Daukaus. The first thing that will jump out to most people analyzing this fight is the massive size difference as Nascimento outweighs Daukaus by nearly forty pounds. This proved not to be a major issue for Daukaus in his last fight though as he was outweighed by Parker Porter even more significantly. He has excellent speed for a heavyweight and is fighting even lighter than he was in that win almost two months ago. I am rolling the dice and betting on him again here even as a big underdog. His striking is far superior to that of Nascimento, who is very one-dimensional. If Daukaus is unable to get the knockout early, Nascimento will certainly be looking to take this fight to the mat. However, I am confident Daukaus will be able to show off his black belt in this fight and defend the submission early on. As Nascimento begins to fade, I believe the door is left wide open for Daukaus to win this by decision, knockout or even a submission of his own. Chris Daukaus by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Daukaus looked solid in his last fight as he made his UFC debut against Parker Porter. He’s seemingly a fairly well-regarded prospect here at heavyweight, but there’s really no denying the fact he’s still rough around the edges. He dropped around 20 pounds coming into this one and while that should help his cardio, it’s a bit concerning here as he’s going to be nearly 40 pounds lighter than his opponent Nascimento. Nascimento comes into this fight undefeated, with six of his eight wins coming via submission. He’s going to want to take Daukaus to the mat and I expect he will without much resistance. Daukas, like Nasciemento, is a black belt in BJJ – so I expect he’s likely willing to play the ground game here against a much bigger and stronger fighter. Nascimento appears to be in the best shape of his life, and he’s still weighing in right at the 265 pound limit. I see his size as a major advantage here. He should be able to use his strength to gain a good enough position to score the submission victory here on a fighter in Chris Daukaus who would probably be better off fighting at light heavyweight. Rodrigo Nascimento by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Rodrigo Nascimento by Round Two Submission

Tom Breese -250 (DK $9100, FD $18) vs KB Bhullar +195 (DK $7100, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Our featured prelim will take place at middleweight and features KB Bhullar making his UFC debut against Tom Breese. This should be a competitive bout but at the current line I would advise fading both sides. Breese is the superior striker by a large margin but is not trustworthy enough back this evening. He has excellent boxing and should be able to put together some nice combinations as this fight progresses and the cardio of Bhullar begins to fade. I think he will be throwing high volume to the legs, body and head and could certainly finish Bhullar in any round of this one. He can also rely on his wrestling and clinch work if things were to get dicey. Bhullar does pose a threat both on the feet and on the mat, but I have not seen enough from him to warrant another underdog bet here. Breese is somebody I would look into when building DFS lineups, but not somebody I can trust placing a straight bet on. Tom Breese by Decision
  • Nick: KB Bhullar trains with rising Canadian heavyweight prospect Tanner Boser. He’s undefeated, but he really hasn’t fought anyone even close to Breese’s level yet. He’s filling in as a late replacement for Roman Kopylov here, but he’s also scheduled to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series in November. Breese is coming off tough loss against Brendan Allen, a guy who many believe could eventually compete for a belt in this division. While he struggled in that loss, against such a formidable opponent it’s tough to hold that result too critically against him. There are a lot of questions surrounding Breese heading into this fight. He struggles with anxiety and mental health issues, but when he’s in the right mind-frame he’s a dangerous power striker at middleweight. Breese throws a wide variety of strikes and carries a lot of power in the clinch. Bhullar has shown versatile striking in the few professional fights he’s been in, but it’s really tough to back him here as he’s still a relative unknown. Bhullar may have a future at this level, but this feels like a bit too much too soon for him against a bigger and more experienced Breese. Tom Breese by Round Two KO
  • GB: Tom Breese by Round One KO

Main Card- Starts 8:00pm EST

Youssef Zalal -170 (DK $8600, FD $17) vs Illia Topuria +140 (DK $7600, FD $15)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with what should be a banger at featherweight as Youssef Zalal will face Illia Topuria. What we have seen from Zalal thus far has been impressive as he notched three decision wins in his first year on the UFC roster. However, tonight he is welcoming the debutant Topuria into the octagon who is stylistically completely different. He is an undefeated fighter with all eight victories coming inside of the distance. Zalal has shown above average grappling but facing a guy with such slick wrestling and submissions will likely prove to be a problem here. Topuria is going to do whatever he can to drag Zalal onto the mat and if he is successful, you have to assume he will find a submission while there. Any standing exchanges will likely go the way of Zalal but Topuria has power, and his ability to switch stances will likely protect him from the devastating kicks of Zalal. This fight is lined perfectly, and I am happy to side with the betting underdog here. Illia Topuria by Round One Submission
  • Nick: This is a Fight of the Night candidate featuring two of the more intriguing up-and-comers at featherweight. Zalal has had a busy 2020. He debuted in the UFC back in February, winning a fight against Austin Lingo and running off two impressive victories against Jordan Griffin and Peter Barrett soon thereafter. Topuria has been known as a quick finisher on the regional scene. All eight of his victories have come by way of stoppage, seven by submission and one by way of knockout. Zalal is fighting out of Factory X, a camp on the rise that does a good job preparing their fighters to fight intelligently with training hyper-specified game-plans. With Topuria coming in here on fairly short notice, Zalal may not have the same advantages his camp normally provides. Zalal is the better striker of the two, but Topuria is going to outclass Zalal on the mat. He’s a BJJ black belt with excellent scrambling ability, so his clearest path to victory here will be to dominate position and hunt for a submission. Zalal has formidable grappling ability and he has shown impressive scrambling in his fight against Jordan Griffin. However, he doesn’t really flash the same offensive game that we’ve seen from Topuria. I expect this to be a very close fight with a lot of scrambling. I think as long as his cardio holds up, Topuira should eventually find a spot for the submission here. Illia Topuria by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Illia Topuria by Decision

Tom Aspinall -700 (DK $9400, FD $21) vs Alan Baudot +450 (DK $6800, FD $8)

  • Anthony: Next on the card is a heavyweight bout between Tom Aspinall and Alan Baudot. The odds have ballooned in Aspinall’s favor over the course of this week and for good reason. He is one of the better pure strikers that we have seen in this division and it is extremely likely he catches Baudot over the course of a fifteen-minute fight. I was all over Apsinall in his last bout against inflated light heavyweight in Jake Collier, and now he faces yet another light heavyweight moving up in Baudot. This is once again excellent matchmaking by the UFC, and I think this fight will be a very easy victory tailor made for Aspinall. If he does not get the knockout he could very well win this by submission, but regardless the most likely outcome is a victory in the first round. Tom Aspinall by Round One KO
  • Nick: Aspinall is coming off an impressive knockout victory against Jake Collier in his UFC debut. He used to train with Tyson Fury. He’s a well-versed striker, but he’s also underrated on the mat as he coaches BJJ at Team Kaobon in Liverpool. Aspinall has advanced footwork and hand speed for a heavyweight. He does a good job moving in and out of range and landing meaningful strikes without taking much damage in return. Baudot has a judo base, but he hasn’t really shown an ability to lean on his strengths against larger opponents. He is also taking this fight on short notice after Sergey Spivak was forced to pull out, and this match-up with Aspinall here represents a dramatic uptick in competition level. The one real knock on Aspinall here is that we haven’t really seen the extent of his cardio yet. None of his professional fights have gone to the scorecards and each of his last four wins have ended inside the first round. While this could be a problem for him down the road, I don’t expect this fight lasts long enough for it to matter. Tom Aspinall by Round One KO
  • GB: Tom Aspinall by Round One KO

Dricus Du Plessis -170 (DK $8400, FD $17) vs Markus Perez +140 (DK $7800, FD $16)

  • Anthony: Another one of the fights I am most excited for on this card is Dricus Du Plessis facing Markus Perez at middleweight. It is not often that I will like a UFC debutant this much, but he is one of my most confident plays this evening. Du Plessis has put on a show in a lot of good overseas promotions with excellent kickboxing and a finish in every victory. He should have no problem defending whatever Perez decides to throw and we will likely see him really open up offensively as this fight progresses. Not only is this a high-level prospect making his debut, but his opponent Perez has looked very underwhelming in his most recent fights. He is durable as he is yet to be stopped in the octagon but his cardio is extremely suspect. I believe Du Plessis will have no problem picking him apart tonight. Dricus Du Plessis by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Du Plessis is making his UFC debut here, but he’s got plenty of experience as a highly regarded prospect with a fairly impressive resume at 14-2. A former KSW Middleweight Champion, Du Plessis throws a ton of volume. He has a lot of power and great kickboxing, but he’s also effective on the mat. Markus Perez has impressive wins over Ian Heinisch and Bruno Silva, but they both came much earlier in his career. He has seemingly plateaued of late, dropping his last fight to a mediocre opponent in Wellington Turman. Perez has been working construction during his camp leading up to this fight, so I’m forced to question if he’s been able to focus enough time on his training. Perez is a tough dude so his resilence and chin could keep him in this one, but ultimately the hungrier and more focused Du Plessis should prevail. Driscus Du Plessis by Round Two KO
  • GB: Dricus Du Plessis by Round One KO

Ben Rothwell -155 (DK $8500, FD $18) vs Marcin Tybura +125 (DK $7700, FD $16)

  • Anthony: The final heavyweight bout of the card is a tilt between Ben Rothwell and Marcin Tybura. This is not likely going to produce many fireworks as neither fighter is dynamic enough to win decisively over the other. I actually believe there is little to nothing that Tybura can do well against Rothwell here. It is extremely doubtful that Tybura will be able to put Rothwell down with a single clean shot. His path to victory is usually via the takedown but Rothwell has incredible defense and has not been taken down since 2013. Instead we will likely get a rather boring bout fought primarily in the clinch where Rothwell is able to pour on the slightly higher volume. I do believe he poses the bigger threat to finish this one, but the outcome we probably get is a decision win one way or the other. While I am in favor of Rothwell getting the victory, this is a fight I will absolutely fade when building DFS lineups. Ben Rothwell by Decision
  • Nick: We have two mid-level heavyweights here, both coming off back to back wins. Tybura is coming off victories against Sergey Spivak and Maxim Grishin. Rothwell is coming off wins against Ovince St. Preux and Stefan Struve. Really, none of these four victories are all that impressive. These are two relatively mediocre heavyweights and at this point in their careers, I have trouble really expecting either to ever compete for a title. Both of these guys are fairly well-versed on the mat. They both shoot and defend against takedowns well, so I’m mostly expecting this fight to stay on the feet. When it comes to striking, Rothwell is at an advantage. He’s somewhat slow and plodding, but when he does throw it’s usually meaningful and he definitely has knockout power. Since I don’t really see Tybura finding a takedown here, I expect Rothwell’s power advantage will eventually win out. This fight could get ugly if it doesn’t end early, but I’m siding with the favorite as he should be able to keep this on the feet and from there, he just needs to find that one knockout shot. Ben Rothwell by Round Two KO
  • GB: Marcin Tybura by Round Two Submission

Edson Barboza -280 (DK $8800, FD $19) vs Makwan Amirkhani +220 (DK $7400, FD $13)

  • Anthony: Our co-main event should be a good one at featherweight as Edson Barboza will take on Makwan Amirkhani. This is a significant step down in competition for Barboza, but Amirkhani is no slouch. The original bout scheduled for Barboza was against Sodiq Yusuff but Amirkhani stepped in after Yusuff withdrew. Mr. Finland put on an excellent performance in July at UFC 251, showcasing his submission game with a first-round finish. However, a fighter as experienced as Barboza should be able to keep this fight standing and at range. He was one of the best strikers in the lightweight division and will likely be able to brutalize Amirkhani whenever they exchange here. While Barboza enters this fight on a losing skid, his past two defeats were by split decisions that I believe he absolutely should have won. I think he gets back on track in this fight and hopefully leaves the judge’s scorecards out of the equation. Edson Barboza by Round Three KO
  • Nick: Amirikhani is coming in as a fill-in for Sodiq Yusuff here. His greatest strength is his outstanding BJJ, as 11 of his 16 professional victories have come via submission. Barboza is coming off three straight losses, but they all came against the class of the division in Justin Gaethje, Paul Felder and Dan Ige. Additionally, a lot of people thought Barboza should have been given the decision wins in his last two. Amirkhani may be able to take Barboza down here, but Barboza has solid enough defensive grappling that I expect he should be able to get back to his feet without much trouble. Barboza hasn’t lost via submission since 2015 when he fell to Tony Ferguson, so it’s fairly safe to say he should be able to negate Amirkhani’s strengths on the mat. If Amirkhani pulls this one off its likely to come via the submission. However, I think Barboza holds him off and ultimately picks him apart on the feet. I’m siding with the favorite to get back in the win column here. Edson Barboza by Round Two KO
  • GB: Edson Barboza by Round One KO

Cory Sandhagen -140 (DK $8200, FD $21) vs Marlon Moraes +110 (DK $8000, FD $19)

  • Anthony: The main event tonight is going to be amazing as Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen do battle at bantamweight, likely to insert themselves as the next title challenger. I was a bit surprised to see the betting line open with Moraes listed as an underdog, but it does make sense given the resume of Sandhagen going into his most recent loss. I just feel as if Moraes is just as dangerous an opponent for Sandhagen as Aljamain Sterling was. He has some of the best power in the bantamweight division and that is extremely concerning given how often we see Sandhagen knocked down. If this is a five round war it is likely going to be Sandhagen pulling ahead late, I just do not trust him to survive that long. Not to mention Moraes should feel slighted by the UFC for beating Jose Aldo and subsequently watching him fight for the belt. He wants to prove here he deserves the next shot, whether that be against Sterling or Petr Yan. I do worry about the grappling acumen of Sandhagen but on the feet he will be very vulnerable to getting clipped by Moraes. If he can make it through rounds one and two this becomes Sandhagen’s fight to lose. Marlon Moraes by Round Two KO
  • Nick: This is a main even I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. Moraes is an outstanding striker who uses all of his limbs well. He throws heavy high kicks and creative combos with a lot more power than most of the other strikers in this division. He’s a BJJ blackbelt, but he definitely seems to be most comfortable standing and carrying out his fights on the feet. Sandhagen is primarily a striker as well. He does a good job keeping distance and using his length to pepper his opponents while staying out of danger. He’s tall for this division, and he generally does a good job using his length to work in and out of the pocket while racking up significant strikes. On the mat, he’s fairly well versed. While he’s by no means an aggressive offensive grappler, he’s well-versed enough to get out of any tough positions he finds himself in. Moraes has been inconsistent at times, but at his peak he’s undoubtedly one of the top fighters in this division. If this was a three round fight, I’d likely side with Moraes. He’s likely to be the more explosive fighter in the early rounds and he definitely has more Knockout power than Sandhagen does. That being said, this is a five round fight. Sandhagen has outstanding cardio, which comes as no surprise as he trains in the thin Colorado air at Elevation Fight Team. Moraes would be wise to try to get this done early. He came out strong against Aldo is his last fight, but he faded fairly quickly and Aldo appeared to be the fresher fighter at the final horn. Additionally, in his fight prior to that against Henry Cejudo, he looked excellent early on but slowed down dramatically as the Fight got into the third round. Over the course of five, I don’t expect Moraes to be able to hang with the pace and volume Sandhagen is going to bring here. The underdog is very live for an early knockout and I definitely want shares of both guys for DFS purposes, but I expect Sandhagen’s volume striking to eventually add up and ultimately score him a win. This could get dicey early, but I’m siding with the favorite. Cory Sandhagen by Decision
  • GB: Marlon Moraes by Round Three KO

*Anthony, Nick and GB play on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and although they express their opinions, they may also implement other plays and strategies without notice