UFC Fight Night 174 – 6.13.2020 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

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Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Fight Night 174. We are back in the octagon tonight after a very exciting card last weekend. Our analysis will include a pick for every fight 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: 44-22-1    Anthony: 40-26-1    GB: 34-32-1

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:00 AM EST 6-13-2020

Preliminary Card- Starts 7:00pm EST

Anthony Ivy -190 (DK $9000, FD $16) vs Christian Aguilera +155 (DK $7200, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Our night begins with a fantastic fight at welterweight between Anthony Ivy and Christian Aguilera, who both make their UFC debut. Last weekend Ivy was prepared to step in to face Gerald Meerschaert on short notice, but now instead gets much more manageable competition here. They both have experience in smaller promotions, but Ivy has looked more impressive as of late. This is a fight that Ivy can easily win on points, as I think Aguilera will be too gassed to last a full fifteen minutes with him. While Aguilera could find a knockout early, I think instead it will be Ivy finishing him with some ground and pound. I love him on FanDuel but his DraftKings price is a bit too steep. Anthony Ivy by Round Two KO
  • Nick: We haven’t seen a lot from either of these guys, but Ivy seems to have the more well-rounded game. He’s the top ranked welterweight on the regional circuit in Texas and has the reach advantage here, as well as very good grappling. Aguilera has a chance here as he is likely going to come out swinging. He’s the type of fighter that likes to try to end things early, applying as much pressure as possible on the feet. Aguilera is a better striker than most would give him credit for, but Ivy has shown a strong chin. I think Ivy’s more controlled approach should win out here. I would not be surprised though if things went the other way. Anthony Ivy by Round Two KO
  • GB: The underdog here Aguilera likes to get in your face to close distance, strike often and push the pace of every fight. Nine of his ten knockout victories came in the first round so it is imperative for him to move fast and not allow Ivy to get settled. Unfortunately for him, Ivy is meticulous in his striking and will wait for opportunities to tag you and unload some quick combos. Ivy should be able to dictate most of this fight given his size advantage too. I expect him to finish this early and for that reason he is an excellent play on either site. Anthony Ivy by Round Two KO

Tyson Nam -140 (DK $8000, FD $15) vs Zarrukh Adashev +110 (DK $7700, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The next fight will feature Zarrukh Adashev stepping in to face Tyson Nam at bantamweight after Ryan Benoit pulled out on Tuesday. Adashev missed weight by 2.5 pounds and should be the heavier fighter tonight without a doubt, as Nam takes most fights now at flyweight. You also must consider the fact Nam has been training for an opponent who grapples and now instead will face a kickboxer. Adashev throws very powerful strikes and if he cannot sleep Nam, I think he can at the very least outwork him. If we see a third round Adashev will likely be gassed but may be up on the scorecards by 20-18 already. Both provide appeal in building lineups as the winner should very easily hit value no matter how long the fight goes. Zarrukh Adashev by Round Two KO
  • Nick: This is a lot different than some of the other replacement fights we’ve seen recently. Adashev may be inexperienced in the octagon but he has a long kick-boxing resume and he is looking like the better striker in this matchup. I want exposure to both guys in DFS as each have exceptional upside at their given price points. However, Adashev took this fight on very short notice. He also missed weight which makes it tough for me to think he’ll really be ready in this spot.  Nam has been preparing to fight for months now. I see his experience being the difference here as he scores multiple takedowns on Adashev and grinds out a win. Tyson Nam by Decision
  • GB: Adashev’s career is still young, which may be a slight difference maker in this bout as he currently has four MMA fights compared to Nam’s thirty. It is a good thing for Nam to be more experienced because he lacks the size advantage here. Nam has the tools to draw this fight out and I can see him working a decision win. Adashev is an interesting DFS pick though as he could upset the veteran as a slight underdog. Tyson Nam by Decision

Julia Avila -650 (DK $9300, FD $19) vs Gina Mazanay +425 (DK $6900, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Our next bout is a women’s bantamweight match between Julia Avila and Gina Mazanay. It is for good reason that Avila is such a heavy favorite here. She has a lot of methods to win this one and odds suggest we do not see a round three. My assumption is that Mazanay will try to wrestle Avila to the ground and slow down the fight as best as she can. A submission could be there for Avila but rather than play into Mazany’s game she will prefer to keep this fight on the feet. I think we get a ton of strikes from Avila and while a powerful knee or kick may end it early, fifteen minutes of high volume striking will score just as well. She is a viable play for me on both sites. Julia Avila by Decision
  • Nick: The odds are a bit absurd, but I’m heavy on Avila here. She is one of the more powerful strikers in this division and one of the only ones with true knockout power. Mazany had already been cut by the UFC and she wouldn’t be getting this fight had it not been for the pandemic. She’s priced far more favorably on FanDuel, but Avila is a viable option on both sites as there’s a good chance she finishes this one early. Mazany deserves credit for taking this fight on short notice, but she’s going to be totally outclassed here. Julia Avila by Round One KO
  • GB: I do not think Avila is worth her asking price on either platform. Vegas seems to think otherwise as she is a huge favorite but still, I disagree. I went back to watch Avila’s first and only UFC fight and could bit find a clear reason as to why she should be favored as much as she is. She looked flat out ordinary. For cash I would avoid both, but in GPP’s you can pivot to Avila to differentiate yourself from other high-priced fighters. Julia Avila by Decision

Merab Dvalishvili -850 (DK $9200, FD $20) vs Gustavo Lopez +525 (DK $6800, FD $10)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim is at a catchweight bout at 140 pounds with Merab Dvalishvili facing Gustavo Lopez, who was released from his Combate Americas contract to take this fight on short notice. Lopez is an enormous underdog but has some very powerful striking to threaten an upset. I just believe Dvalishvili is going to fight smart and pick him apart here. Lopez has decent wrestling but will prefer to stay standing instead of risking being smothered on the mat. Dvalishvili should be able to pepper Lopez’ lead leg with kicks and score his own takedowns whenever he wants to. He has a low floor given his price on both sites but could very well score a dozen takedowns again and dominate. Merab Dvalishvili by Decision
  • Nick: Gustavo Lopez is filling in for Ray Borg here, but he’s essentially running into a buzzsaw. Dvalishvili is one of the better wrestlers in this weight class and against Lopez he’s the heaviest favorite on this card. He also put on a grappling clinic against Casey Kenney in his last fight, and Kenney is lightyears ahead of Lopez on the mat. Dvalishvili is not typically a finisher, but he should outclass Lopez by such a wide margin that I expect him to get one here. Even if Merab doesn’t finish inside the distance he should rack up enough takedowns to smash value at his salary on both sites. Merab Dvalishvili by Round Two Submission
  • GB: If you thought Borg was going to lose fast, Lopez should be even quicker. Coming into the bout as the biggest favorite on the card, Merab has nearly eight takedowns per fifteen minutes. It is unreal. Do not bother getting pretty here, I suggest you just lock in Merab in cash and small entry GPPs. There is argument for fading him here given his inability to finish fights inside the distance, but I strongly advise against it. Merab Dvalishvili by Decision

Main Card- Starts 9:00pm EST

Mariya Agapova -350 (DK $8700, FD $17) vs Hannah Cifers +265 (DK $7500, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The main card opens here at women’s flyweight as Mariya Agapova makes her UFC debut against Hannah Cifers. You likely saw Cifers submitted just two weeks ago by Mackenzie Dern, but she is already back in the octagon on short notice taking the place of Melissa Gatto. She struggled against the 2.5-inch reach advantage of Angela Hill and now faces a southpaw who has a massive 8.5-inch advantage. Agapova is very technical, training at American Top Team and accustomed to fighting at this weight. Cifers certainly did not add ten pounds of muscle on such a short hiatus and I anticipate she gets totally outclassed in this one. Mariya Agapova by Round One KO
  • Nick: Cifers is undersized at 115. She’s moving up to 125 here to fight Agapova which explains why she’s such a heavy underdog in this spot.  Cifers is the more experienced fighter, but Agapova is so much bigger and taller that I do not really see it mattering. Agapova has a massive reach advantage here and she’s a very polished striker given her relatively brief resume. Cifers has some grit, but it’s going to be difficult for her to impose any will over a much larger fighter. Agapova should ragdoll her around if Cifers is able to close the distance. There just aren’t any clear paths to victory for Cifers here. Mariya Agapova by Decision
  • GB: There is not much I can say about either of these fighters. Agapova has a clear reach advantage with a whopping eight-inch difference and should be able to strike Cifers a lot. Cifers’ needs to get into the pocket, strike and come back out quickly for as long as things are standing. I just cannot see her sustaining that kind of game-plan for a full fifteen minutes. I give the edge to Agapova here. Neither are worth their pricing when building lineups. Mariya Agapova by Round Three KO

Jordan Espinosa -175 (DK $8500, FD $16) vs Mark De La Rosa +145 (DK $7700, FD $15)

  • Anthony: Next up on the main card are two flyweights battling it out at 135 pounds as Mark De La Rosa takes on Jordan Espinosa. Neither of these fighters are extremely talented or threatening but both excel when it comes to wrestling and grappling exchanges. An Espinosa win here will likely be by high volume takedowns and keeping busy in dominant positions. However, my prediction is a bit different as striking exchanges should slow down Espinosa to a point where De La Rosa can capitalize. I think we either see De La Rosa get dominant position from a labored Espinosa takedown attempt, or by a takedown of his own. He is used to this weight and has a chance to win this one either by sub or on the scorecards. Mark De La Rosa by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: It’s really tough to get excited about either of these guys. They’ve both been massively disappointing at this level and whoever loses this one could be out of the UFC. Of the two, Espinosa can throw the more damaging strikes, but De La Rosa is likely to beat him on the mat – albeit by a thin margin. I expect Espinosa to come out aggressive here, but I don’t think he has enough power to end things early. I like that De La Rosa has been training with Alex Perez – a guy who easily beat both fighters featured in this match-up. My confidence level is low here, but I’m taking the underdog. Mark De La Rosa by Round Three Submission
  • GB: Both fighters are coming into this one on losing streaks. De La Rosa is average across the board which normally I take as a weakness as he doesn’t have a clear path to victory. Lucky for him his opponent is similar, with a bit more proficiency in the clinch . Although Espinosa is a grappler, he has been submitted in his last two contests so there are obvious holes in his game. I will take him here but fade Espinosa in DFS as his price is too high. Jordan Espinosa by Decision

Andre Fili -225 (DK $8600, FD $21) vs Charles Jourdain +175 (DK $7600, FD $13)

  • Anthony: My pick for Fight of the Night is here at featherweight as Andre “Touchy” Fili takes on the young Charles Jourdain. The current odds suggest this fight goes the distance because while both have the talent to finish, neither one often gets finished themselves. Jourdain has an incredible chin and will be able to take most strikes that Fili can throw. And while the hands of Jourdain are heavy, Fili was able to go the distance with even stronger guys than him. I think Fili will score takedowns when he needs to and wins a close decision tonight. Both are priced fairly and worth a look when building lineups, but this fight could end up going a lot of different ways. Andre Fili by Decision
  • Nick: There’s probably a bit too much juice on Fili here, but its tough not to like him against a mostly one-dimensional fighter in Jourdain. Jourdain is an underrated striker, but Fili has a solid five-inch reach advantage which should help level things out if this fight does stay on the feet. Fili’s clearest path to victory is to take Jourdain to the mat and dominate positionally. Jourdain likes to work off his back, but Fili is a much better grappler. I expect Fili’s experience to be the difference here. He has fought far better competition and while Jourdain does have some upside, this feels like too much too soon. This has Fight of the Night potential, but Fili will be far more composed. Andre Fili by Decision
  • GB: I am very much looking forward to seeing this fight. On one side you have Fili who is an absolute monster with his striking ability and speed. On the other, you have a calm and collected Jourdain who is going to be looking for gaps in Fili’s striking to counter. Fili reminds me of a young Garbrandt without the immense power. He strikes fast and often but leaves himself open for counters, something that Joudain will likely try and capitalize on. I expect Fili to dictate the pace in this matchup and love him everywhere, but prefer his price on DraftKings where he is at a slight discount. Andre Fili by Round Two KO

Kevin Aguilar -185 (DK $8400, FD $18) vs Charles Rosa +150 (DK $7800, FD $14)

  • Anthony: At lightweight now we have Kevin Aguilar fighting against Charles Rosa in what should be a very competitive fight. We saw Rosa just a month ago get absolutely demolished on the mat by Bryce Mitchell. His grappling is better than it looked in that performance, but I do not think it is proficient enough to pose much of a threat to Aguilar. Rosa will look a bit sharper on the feet, but Aguilar should be able to get takedowns and hold dominant position well enough to win this fight. I am not going to own much Rosa as a win likely means a sloppy decision victory. Aguilar is the far more appealing fighter when it comes to scoring fantasy points. Kevin Aguilar by Decision
  • Nick: Both of these guys are coming off ugly losses. Rosa was totally outclassed on the mat by a younger Bryce Mitchell his last time out, while Aguilar was knocked out in the first round against Zabaira Tukhuov. Both guys have seen their hype take a major hit over their last few fights, so they’ll both desperately want to find a way back into the win column here. Aguilar has the advantage when it comes to striking, but I really can’t envision Rosa just standing and banging with him in this spot. Rosa has the advantage on the mat and serious finishing ability via the submission if he can take this fight to the ground. Aguilar has shown solid takedown defense, but I think he gets caught here. Charles Rosa by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Both guys are coming off relatively short layoffs, with Rosa losing just five weeks ago to Bryce Mitchell. Aguilar started his pro career hot but has since fizzled into more of a mediocre fighter. He has power in his striking but has not found a way to be precise and use it to his advantage. Rosa should try and take this to the ground which will be easy given Aguilar’s super wide kickboxing stance. If he gets on top of Aguilar, I think it could end quickly. The pricing for Rosa is really enticing as he is cheap enough to fit almost any other fighter you want. I will be on him here but can equally see the viability of Aguilar in GPPs. Charles Rosa by Round One Submission

Marvin Vettori -235 (DK $8800, FD $19) vs Karl Roberson +185 (DK $7400, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The co-main event is at middleweight and after two cancellations we finally get to see Marvin Vettori take on Karl Roberson. Unfortunately, the story is unchanged as Roberson weighed in 4.5 pounds over the limit yesterday, proving once again this may not be the division for him. Most of this fight should be on the feet where Roberson can certainly hold his own. However, Vettori can take significant damage and always has his wrestling to fall on if exchanges are not going his way. Grappling is a huge hole in Roberson’s game, and I think Vettori will exploit that if and when he gets into any trouble. I expect Vettori to work Roberson for a full fifteen minutes this evening. He is one of my favorite plays on both sites. Marvin Vettori by Decision
  • Nick: Roberson missed weight again for this fight, which tells me he probably didn’t have that successful of a camp. Roberson’s takedown defense sits just over fifty percent and Vettori is going to control him once he drags him to the mat. Roberson is a good striker that can pack a punch, but stylistically this just doesn’t feel like a good spot for him. Vettori is decent enough on the feet and from everything we seen he has a solid chin. Roberson’s one path to victory would be via the big punch, but I don’t expect Vettori to give him any openings. If you’re a fan of fight math, it’s worth noting Roberson fell to Cezar Ferreira via arm-triangle while Vettori beat him via decision. Vettori hasn’t really shown an ability to win inside the distance, making him tough to pay up for on either site. Marvin Vettori by Decision
  • GB: If this bout looks familiar, it is. They were supposed to fight nearly a month ago, but the fight was called last minute due to Roberson having issues cutting weight. It is something to note since we are back here again one month later. Roberson had a bad cut yesterday, no surprise. Vettori has shown that he has aggression and volume which usually is a good indicator in DFS. I expect Roberson to try and get this to the ground with the sole purpose of minimizing Vettori’s striking, but alas Vettori is also a great wrestler. For DFS purposes, I will play Vettori but plan to have almost no exposure to Roberson. Marvin Vettori by Round Two KO

Cynthia Cavillo -135 (DK $7900, FD $16) vs Jessica Eye +105 (DK $8300, FD $18)

  • Anthony: The main event this evening is going to be underwhelming. At women’s flyweight we have Jessica Eye facing Cynthia Cavillo in what is really a coinflip. Yesterday we saw Eye fatigued at weigh-ins as she was a mere quarter pound overweight. She could not keep up with the talent at bantamweight and now drains herself to fight this light. Eye is a boxer and wants to keep this fight on the feet, but I think the wrestling and improved grappling of Cavillo will be enough to score a couple takedowns here. I do not know why the UFC would want to book this fight unless they expect to Cavillo to win big and pose a threat to the top of this division. If this goes the distance, I like Cavillo to win on points with a strong performance in the championship rounds. However, I think it ends before that with her finding a submission on the mat. Cynthia Cavillo by Round Three Submission
  • Nick: I was feeling good about leaning with Jessica Eye here, but after seeing her look like death on the scale for weigh-ins, I’m more than a bit concerned. The clearest path for Cavillo here is to take this fight to the mat and control position. I initially thought Eye would have enough of a size and strength advantage to maintain control but if her weight cut went as poorly as it looked, it’s tough to make that call. While it’s irresponsible to make a pick based solely on a weight cut, Eye’s once major advantage seems like it may not be as big of a factor as initially thought. I’m likely going to have a higher exposure to Cavillo here in DFS as she’s priced more affordably on both sites, but I still think Eye is more likely to squeak out a decision and I’m fairly confident his one goes to the judges. Jessica Eye by Decision
  • GB: As said before, I usually put more weight into the female fighter who possesses a better ground game due to the high number of female fights that end in decision. Both fighters are evenly matched, with Eye having a better-timed striking ability and more durablity. Calvillo is going to try and get this fight to the ground where she should have the edge. Eye will likely try and keep pressing Calvillo, but I will still be backing the grappler in this one. I think there could be an edge in fading this fight altogether for DFS purposes as it goes to decision almost every time for me. Cynthia Cavillo by Decision

*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