UFC Fight Night 176 – 6.27.2020 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

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Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Fight Night 176. We are back in the octagon tonight for what is our final card prior to the start of Fight Island. 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: 57-31-1    Anthony: 52-36-1    GB: 51-37-1

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:45 AM EST 6-27-2020

Preliminary Card- Starts 6:00pm EST

Youseff Zalal -135 (DK $8000, FD $12) vs Jordan Griffin +105 (DK $8200, FD $19)

  • Anthony: We open the card with a great featherweight fight between Youseff Zalal and Jordan Griffin. This should be a very close contest as evidenced by the line moving up and down all week. I think Zalal is all-around the better fighter with his good footwork and takedown ability. I just think his one UFC win over Austin Lingo is not as impressive as others may perceive. Griffin should be able to win this fight if he gets takedowns of his own, or worst-case scenario in a similar way to how he beat TJ Brown. Zalal exposes his neck on single leg attempts and I expect Griffin to find another choke. Jordan Griffin by Round Three Submission
  • Nick: For me, this is one of the toughest fights on this card to predict. Griffin is coming off a nice submission victory against TJ Brown, but he was clearly losing the fight until he pulled of the choke. Zalal has some hype coming into this one. He’s young, but his striking seems very advanced for someone without a ton of professional experience. He already has a UFC victory under his belt, but it is Griffin who has faced far tougher competition. If Griffin is going to win this one, it is likely to come via Submission. He hasn’t won a decision since 2015 and that came on the regional circuit. This should be a close fight when these guys are on the feet, but I think the experience of Griffin will be the difference here. He is going to want to get Zalal’s back and I think he’s a good enough striker to close the distance in the small cage and take it. It is worth mentioning that Zalal is way too cheap on FanDuel. Jordan Griffin by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Both fighters here are coming off big wins and I think Zalal will make a decent name for himself in the UFC. If this fight stays on its feet, Zalal should be able to pick apart Griffin as he did with Austin Lingo, relying heavily on the kicks. If Griffin can take this to the ground though, I think he will be able to close the gap and finish Zalal as his on-the-back defense is not yet polished. Still, consider Zalal on FanDuel as he is super cheap and will score well if he can take it the distance. Jordan Griffin by Round Two Submission.

Kay Hansen -175 (DK $8500, FD $15) vs Jinh Yu Frey +145 (DK $7700, FD $11)

  • Anthony: After last week’s card full of women’s fights, we only get one this evening and it should be electric. Jinh Yu Frey and Kay Hansen both make their UFC debuts after fighting in Invicta FC. One huge factor in this fight is Frey jumping up to strawweight from atomweight where she fought her whole career. I think the bigger and stronger Hansen will be able to avoid any damaging strikes and put on a wrestling clinic here. She wants this entire fight to take place on the mat and if it does, we should see a unanimous decision win by the twenty-year-old. I think she is a viable option on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Kay Hansen by Decision
  • Nick: We have two girls getting the call-up here, but their careers couldn’t be any less similar. Frey is a 35-year-old vet and Invicta Atomweight Champion. Hansen is young and yet to face any serious competition. While it is clear Frey has the more impressive resume, Hansen is a highly regarded up-and-comer training out of 10th Planet Jujitsu. She doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of striking, but she has already shown upside as a quality grappler which could be enough to get the job done here. Frey has never fought at 115 pounds while Hansen has actually fought at 125 so she’s going to be one of the bigger fighters Frey has ever faced. Hansen’s entire game plan here will be dragging Frey to the mat and controlling position. There’s a good chance Hansen scores well for DFS as she has takedown upside. If she can stuff the takedowns, I wouldn’t be shocked if Frey pulled off an upset though. Kay Hansen by Decision
  • GB: I am expecting this one to be a pretty tame fight. Both fighters are debuting from Invicta so nerves could play a factor with either one. I like Hansen here as she is younger, more exciting and slightly more talented than her counterpart. Ultimately though, I think this goes to the judges. Both fighters lack appeal from a DFS standpoint, and I will not be rostering either fighter in my contests outside of larger GPPs. Kay Hansen by Decision

Takashi Sato -280 (DK $8400, FD $16) vs Jason Witt +220 (DK $7800, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Next up is a fight at welterweight between Takashi Sato and Jason Witt. Sato was originally slated to face Ramiz Brahimaj but now Witt steps in to make his UFC debut. It was difficult for me to land on this pick with the underdog coming in on such short notice, but I think he is more than ready. It looks like he had as flawless a weight cut as possible and I think there are several paths to victory for him. He is strong enough to get a takedown on Sato and beat up on him in half guard. You need at least some exposure given his price on both sites. Sato is the favorite here for a reason, but in my eyes, this is a fight you either fade or bet on the dog. Jason Witt by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Here we have Jason Witt will be stepping in as the short notice replacement. He’s coached by James Krause and has been successfully grinding the regional scene for years. He technically took this fight on one day’s notice but being with Krause it’s safe to expect he’s been training for a while. Witt does a good job changing stances and levels. He’s going to make it tough on Sato to find the big shot and he’s likely the better grappler of the two. However, Sato has faced such superior competition that I have trouble seeing Witt getting the best of him here. I do not think there is a position or situation that Witt can put Sato in that he hasn’t been in before. While it’s true Sato was absolutely outclassed by Belal Muhammad in his last fight, he did look like he belonged in the same cage as him. Still Muhammad was actually quoted saying Sato is the toughest guy to takedown that he has ever fought. Witt would need a few takedowns to Win here and I really don’t see it happening. Takashi Sato by Round Two KO
  • GB: I loved Brahimaj’s chances against Sato, but Jason Witt not so much. I expect Sato to come back big here after a submission loss to Belal Muhammed. He will be better able to use his striking now that he can worry less about defending takedowns. Sato is probably one of my favorite plays in the for his price on both sites given the change of opponent. You must at least give Witt a look though as he is extremely cheap. Takashi Sato by Round One KO

Luis Pena -260 (DK $8900, FD $19) vs Khama Worthy +200 (DK $7300, FD $11)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim is a lightweight bout between Luis Pena and Khama Worthy in what very well could steal Fight of the Night. Khama Worthy is going to be a lot stronger than Pena and I think he has a decent chance to win in the first round. However, Pena should fight well enough to negate a lot of that power. He has great kicks both high and low, Muay Thai and grappling. If he is smart, I fully expect him to survive in the first round and then start to piece Worthy as the fight goes one. He has not scored great in past decision wins so you can limit exposure to a handful of lines where you can fit his high salary. Luis Pena by Decision
  • Nick: The UFC is clearly interested in boosting Pena’s stock. He’s a well-spoken funny looking dude with a well-rounded game. “Violent Bob Ross” is one of the more marketable nicknames we have seen grace the octagon in some time. He is long and wiry which allows him to climb on opponents’ backs and control position. Khama Worthy is coming off a massive upset victory via knockout against Devonte Smith. His greatest strength is his power. He can match Pena’s reach here so to me, Worthy is a live dog in this spot off his power alone. I’ll have some shares of Worthy in DFS because if he wins it’s extremely likely to come via KO. I’m still siding with Pena though. He’s been training at American Top Team, which is a nice upgrade in camps for him. Sure he still has holes in his game, but I still expect he’s the better fighter in this spot. Luis Pena by Decision
  • GB: Here is a great spot to get someone cheap on both sites to fill your roster. The oddsmakers seem to think that Pena is a heavy favorite, but I am not biting. While Pena is a well-rounded fighter who counterstrikes well, I do not think if he can duck and dodge Worthy for a full fifteen. No doubt Pena has the more dynamic skillset, but I just think Worthy comes out strong. He should unload on Pena while controlling the center of the octagon. At this price it could be a trap, but it is almost criminal not to have some shares of Khama Worthy. Khama Worthy by Round Two KO

Main Card- Starts 8:00pm EST

Sean Woodson -550 (DK $8800, FD $18) vs Julian Erosa +375 (DK $6800, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Our main card opens with a 150-pound catchweight bout between Sean Woodson and Julian Erosa. Kyle Neslon was originally scheduled as Woodson’s opponent but now he gets an even easier draw in Erosa. I think this fight is going to go one way and oddsmakers agree. Woodson has exquisite striking and should be able to beat up Erosa here. The striking defense of Erosa is an abysmal 48 percent and that is just not going to be enough to stand and strike with a guy who has nearly fifty amateur boxing wins on his record. He has a very high ceiling for fantasy and is my most confident pick this evening. Sean Woodson by Round One KO
  • Nick: Last week we were all in on Camacho and he burnt us bad, getting knocked out against a replacement fighter in Justin Jaynes. We have a similar situation here with Julian Erosa stepping in against Sean Woodson, but he doesn’t really have that upside. Erosa lost all three of his UFC match-ups and likely wouldn’t see the octagon again if Woodson’s original opponent wasn’t scratched. Woodson has crisp striking and does an excellent job using his reach. Any success Erosa has found professionally has come via his length and reach advantage, a luxury he will not have in this fight. I expect Erosa to hang in there for a bit, but ultimately Woodson’s boxing will just be too good. He’s pricey, but he’s one of my preferred DFS plays on this entire slate. Sean Woodson by Round Two KO
  • GB: Julian Erosa grabs this fight on short notice and could not be in a more intimidating matchup than this. Woodson has a perfect professional record and will not be bothered by the late swap. He has gotten better every time he steps into the octagon and should be able to drop Erosa here. Three of Erosa’s last four losses came via the knockout. Woodson is someone I will prioritize on both sites. He seems like one of the safest plays on the card. Sean Woodson by Round Two KO

Phillipe Lins -120 (DK $8300, FD $15) vs Tanner Boser -110 (DK $7900, FD $17)

  • Anthony: The next fight takes place at heavyweight as Phillipe Lins steps in the octagon once again to take on Tanner Boser. You may recall Lins had a pitiful showing against Andrei Arlovski just over six weeks ago. I do not think he got any better during that layoff and we will likely see him lose another sloppy decision here. While Lins has the more serious power threat, Boser is still an animal. He can eat shots and throws a very high volume of strikes for a heavyweight. Chopping down the lead leg of Lins may get Boser an early stoppage but I think instead we see a dominant decision win for the Canadian. Tanner Boser by Decision
  • Nick: I had money on Lins his last fight against Arlovski. It was beyond tilting watching him get into good positions and then not do anything with them. He had a lot of hype going into that fight after winning a million dollars in the PFL Grand-Prix – but there was really nothing all that impressive about him in that recent loss. Tanner Boser has really good movement for a heavyweight. He may have some trouble with lateral mobility here though in the smaller cage. His clearest path here will be to utilize his strong leg kick to keep Lins at distance and beat him on the scorecards. While Lins hasn’t looked great, he does pack more punch than Boser as we saw him visibly rock Arlovski a few times in his debut. If this goes to the scorecards, I favor Boser. I expect Lins to come out firing here though. I just don’t see Boser slowing Lins down enough to duck the power. Phillipe Lins by Round Two KO
  • GB: Tanner Boser packs heat with his leg kicks. He used them effectively to slow down Daniel Spitz, and I can see him doing the same to slow Lins down as well. Lins on the other hand has some beautiful striking but will need to remain poised to really tag Boser. I believe Boser’s key to victory will be staying fast on his feet and countering often with leg kicks. This fight looks like it should end before the final bell and I have Tanner Boser getting the best of Lins fairly early in the second round. Tanner Boser by Round Two KO

Brendan Allen -315 (DK $9200, FD $18) vs Kyle Daukaus +245 (DK $7000, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Brendan Allen welcomes Kyle Daukaus to the octagon here for his UFC debut in what should be a fun fight at middleweight. I like Daukaus and he has a nasty D’arce choke that has finished a lot of opponents. The issue I see is that he will not get a chance to attempt it here. Allen is going to be near impossible for Daukaus to take down. This should be an easy opponent for Allen to finish by parlaying his striking into takedowns, or by beating him up standing on for as long as the fight lasts. He is worth the price tag while building your lineups. Brendan Allen by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Kyle Daukaus is an undefeated, highly regarded prospect with a strong ground game, finishing three of his last four fights via D’arce choke. He looks impressive when you watch his film, but in a similar vein as Rohskopf last week he hasn’t really been tested at this level yet. While I do think the newcomer has some upside in terms of his career trajectory, Allen should outclass Daukas pretty much everywhere. Allen should be able to match Daukaus’ abilities on the ground and he has the better striking by a considerable margin. Oftentimes when we have two good grapplers, the guys end up squaring up on the feet. I could see Daukas trying to stand with Allen here and ultimately paying for it. Brendan Allen by Round Two KO
  • GB: I am focusing on the underdog here because I do not think Allen is worth his price for the floor you may get with him. Both fighters have strong submission skills, with Daukaus having the slight edge. However, Allen leads the charge when it comes to striking ability. I will go against the grain on this one as I see Daukaus utilizing his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for control while avoiding a brawl. I think Allen will try to out-wrestle him only to end up in deep water. He is too expensive for me to play tonight anyways. Kyle Daukaus by Round Two Submission

Maurice Greene -240 (DK $8600, FD $19) vs Gian Villante +190 (DK $7600, FD $11)

  • Anthony: The second heavyweight bout on the card is this one between Maurice Greene and yes, Gian Villante. After a career at light heavyweight he makes the jump here and at weigh-ins it was clear to me all he did was put on fifty pounds of fat. I do not expect him to throw anything strong in the second half of this fight if it even goes that long. Greene has a six-inch advantage here in terms of reach and should be able to jab Villante enough for a decision win or a rather embarrassing knockout. I saw some appeal in Villante coming into this week, but not after his showing on the scale yesterday. Maurice Greene by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Gian Villante is moving up a weight class here after struggling to make light heavyweight. However, he did not look good on the scales Frida. It seems he hasn’t put on any new muscle at all – he looks bloated. Additionally, his interviews leading into this fight revealed he pretty much accepted this one off his couch. He’s been training with Chris Weidman recently, but I question how strong of a camp he had. As for Greene, he’s coming off of three losses and he’s usually incredibly frustrating to watch. He does everything pretty good, but nothing great – and his fight IQ usually leaves him vulnerable There really isn’t anything that great about Greene’s game but he’s going to be the bigger stronger fighter by a wide enough margin here that he should get the job done. Maurice Greene by Round Two KO
  • GB: Gian Villante will make his debut at heavyweight against Maurice Greene as he looks to restart his career in a new division. Greene is very effective with his striking and comes out of the gate with aggression which I see as a weakness in this one. Villante benefits from not having to cut and will want to take this fight to the ground in hopes of wearing out Greene. If he is unsuccessful and it stays on the feet, he will probably not be able to continue taking blows from a bigger opponent. Greene’s price does not warrant high exposure, but I see a sneaky value in Villante if he can control this fight. Gian Villante by Decision

Mike Perry -325 (DK $9000, FD $20) vs Mickey Gall +250 (DK $7200, FD $13)

  • Anthony: Our co-main event really does not feel like one but regardless we get Mike Perry taking on Mickey Gall here. This is just a bad fight for Gall as his one path to victory will likely be by a takedown and I do not think he has the slightest chance of securing one. Perry excels at defending takedown attempts and has his own wrestling to rely on if need be. Though instead I think he throws enough volume and power to finish Gall before he even needs to think strategically. You can never go all-in on Perry, but this is as easy a fight as he can take. Mike Perry by Round One KO
  • Nick: Whether you like him or not, Mike Perry is an extremely entertaining fighter. He’ll eat punches to throw them, he has a strong chin and power in his strikes from pretty much any possible position. Mickey Gall is pretty much a one-trick pony. His striking is below average, but he has decent enough grappling to squeeze out the occasional submission victory. Gall’s only path to victory here would be to take Perry to the ground, control position and grind out that sub. However, Perry is an underrated grappler. He recently defeated Al Iaguinta in a grappling bout. The other problem for Gall here will be that he doesn’t really have any takedown ability. He’s good on the mat, but he has trouble taking the fight there. I see Perry stuffing a takedown or two and ultimately schooling Gall on the feet. I will say that Perry is fully capable of beating himself. For that reason, there’s some value on Gall in DFS as a long-shot underdog. Mike Perry by Round One KO
  • GB: How does Mickey Gall get this fight? His resume is decent, but he is nowhere near the talent level of Platinum Perry. Gall does hold a chance given his length and submission skills but after watching him get gassed in two minutes against Diego Sanchez there is no way I think he can win against someone as pressing and ruthless as Perry. I expect Perry to pressure early in hopes of tiring out Gall, and then work him for an easy finish. Mike Perry by Round Two KO

Dustin Poirier -230 (DK $8700, FD $22) vs Dan Hooker +180 (DK $7500, FD $18)

  • Anthony: The main event is a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker, and you will regret not tuning in to see it. This fight has huge title implications and should be a great striking battle at the absolute highest level. To start the price on Hooker is laughable. I would of considered taking him here even if this was listed at near even odds. Poirier has a lot of big name wins but when you dissect his fights against high level strikers the performances are less than impressive. Hooker has incredible hand speed and a jab that will bloody Poirier early. Perhaps most important will be his calf kicks which I anticipate he will use to chop down the lead leg. The game plan early should be crystal clear and after Hooker has Poirier damaged and on tilt, it will only be a matter of time before this one is over. Poirier is the favorite for a reason but I do not see him getting it done here. Whoever you like should be locked in your lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. Dan Hooker by Round Three KO
  • Nick: I have no doubt that this is going to be an excellent Main event. Both guys like to strike, they both push the pace and they both can take a lot of damage. Hooker’s one chance here would be to try to strike from distance and out-point Poirier on the feet. However, that’s not likely going to happen in the smaller Apex cage. Poirier does an excellent job closing distance as we saw against Max Holloway. His power is significantly greater than Hooker’s to the point that he should be able to punch through some of Hooker’s flurries. I really can’t see Hooker matching Poirier in either power or volume here. He has a strong leg-kick which Poirier will need to counter, but it’s such an obvious path for him you have to think Poirier has game planned for it effectively. Poirier is the more accomplished and technical boxer in what figures to be a match-up that’s decided on the feet. If this fight were to go to the ground, Poirier likely outclasses Hooker there as well. Hooker has been on the rise and I enjoy watching him fight, but I feel that he’s climbed about as high as he’s going to in this division. Both guys have some impressive wins on their respective resumes, but Poirier’s is still lightyears ahead. I’ll have some shares of Hooker for DFS purposes, but the upset feels unlikely. I expect a Fight of the Night worthy performance for the better part of four rounds before this one is over. Dustin Poirier by Round Four KO
  • GB: Much like most of the main events as of late I see myself going back and forth on the winner. The UFC has had some fantastic main event bouts as of late and Poirier versus Hooker should be no different. I will start by saying there is no wrong answer for this fight, and both guys will make their way into my lineups, but Hooker looks way too good at his price. He brings relentless pressure, a plethora of weapons in his striking arsenal, speed, power and unparalleled athleticism. On the other side of the octagon, Poirier is an absolute killer with incredible striking of his own. If we get a full five rounds in this bout it could be in contention for Fight of the Year. With that being said it is a viable approach to roster both guys if you think this fight goes deep. Dan Hooker by Round Four 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