UFC Vegas 13: Santos vs Teixeira – 11.7.2020 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

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Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Vegas 13: Santos vs Teixeira. We are coming off of two consecutive fight cards that were extremely chalky, and now get a slate of fights that are a lot more difficult to predict. Our analysis includes 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: 198-100-5   Anthony: 185-113-5   GB: 175-123-5

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:30 AM EST 11-7-2020

Preliminary Card- Starts 7:30pm EST

Gustavo Lopez -125 (DK $8000, FD $18) vs Anthony Birchak -105 (DK $8200, FD $16)

  • Anthony: Our evening begins with a bantamweight bout between Gustavo Lopez and Anthony Birchak. This is a fight that Birchak took on short notice as a replacement for Felipe Colares who is out with coronavirus. He is returning for his first UFC fight after four years outside of the promotion, going 3-3 during that stretch. He could certainly win a decision in this fight but finding another path to victory for him is tough. I believe that Lopez will be ready to defend takedowns in this fight and control position. He will be the one deciding whether this fight takes place on the mat or on the feet. I expect him to be aggressive and apply pressure to Birchak early in this fight. His offensive grappling is as good as Birchak’s but he needs to be careful rolling with him. While I expect Lopez to get the win this is not my most confident pick. Note their prices on DraftKings and FanDuel as your exposure to both should vary between each site. Gustavo Lopez by Round Two KO
  • Nick: This is a low-level matchup and one of the tougher fights on the card to call. Birchak fought in the UFC back in 2016, but he’s been fighting a much lower level of competition since then. Each of his last two wins have come via submission, but he’s also shown decent striking ability with five wins by knockout. In Gustavo Lopez’s last fight as a near +600 underdog against Merab Dvalishvili we saw his scrambling, chin and footwork was good enough to hang with the top competitors in this division. He ate a lot of clean shots in that fight, but he still looked better against Dvalishvili’s relentless offensive wrestling than anyone expected him to. The way I see it, this fight pretty much comes down to whether or not Birchak can catch Lopez in a submission. Birchak is a BJJ blackbelt and coaches at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu in Tuscon. I was surprised to find out that these two actually spar together frequently. I see this as an advantage for Lopez as he’s more well-rounded than Birchak. As long as he can avoid getting caught in a submission, this feels like his fight to lose. My confidence level is definitely low on this one, but I’m siding with the favorite and the more well-rounded fighter in Lopez. I think Birchak comes out strong, but Lopez is likely to have the cardio advantage here coming off a full camp. It’s also notable that Lopez has never lost via submission. Gustavo Lopez by Round Three KO
  • GB: Gustavo Lopez by Decision

Max Griffin -140 (DK $8600, FD $19) vs Ramiz Brahimaj +110 (DK $7700, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Next on the card is a welterweight bout between Max Griffin and Ramiz Brahimaj. This is another difficult bout to pick but I do not feel comfortable betting any money on Max Griffin. While I believe Griffin is certainly a talented fighter, he has had a slew of poor performances since his decision win over Mike Perry. His boxing is very crisp, but he lacks the diverse range of strikes you need to really catch your opponent clean. If he was able to threaten more with kicks or clinch work this fight would be an entirely different story. However, Brahimaj has the striking he needs to hang around in this fight. Griffin has good takedown defense, but I doubt he can keep Brahimaj off of him for an entire fifteen minutes. I think Brahimaj is extremely live to win this fight by submission and he will make an incredible DFS play if he is able to do so. I bet on him at +140 but still lean to that side at the current odds. Ramiz Brahimaj by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: All signs point to this being a really fun scrap at welterweight. Brahimaj is fighting out of a very hot camp in Fortis MMA, and Griffin has shown that he can hang in there against the very best in this division. Griffin is a well-rounded fighter, but his greatest strength is his athleticism. He has a very large frame for a welterweight and he’s shown solid strength against a variety of high level of competition. He’s coming off of back-to-back losses against tough opponents in Alex Oliveira and Alex Morono. Brahimaj is primarily a grappler. He’s a decorated BJJ blackbelt and in most of his fights he relentlessly pursues submissions. I think the key advantage for Brahimaj here is his camp. His coach Sayif Saud has already game-planned for, and beat, Max Griffin as a coach behind Bahimaj’s teammate Alex Morono. Both Sayif and Morono are heavily involved in Brahimaj’s training and they both know what it takes to win in this spot. Griffin has a 66 percent takedown defense so I doubt he can keep Brahimaj off of him for a full fifteen minutes. There is no denying Griffin has definitely faced the better competition of the two fighters in this match-up, but Brahimaj feels live as an underdog with a very clear path to victory via submission. Ramiz Brahimaj by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Ramiz Brahimaj by Decision

Darren Elkins -250 (DK $8700, FD $19) vs Eduardo Garagorri +195 (DK $7500, FD $11)

  • Anthony: This fight takes place at featherweight between Darren Elkins and Eduardo Garagorri. Elkins has been fighting in the UFC for a decade and always puts on an exciting performance. He unfortunately has dropped four consecutive fights and I find it very difficult to trust him here even against a guy as low level as Garagorri. The path to victory for Elkins will be high volume striking and takedowns with the intention of controlling top position. I am very doubtful that Elkins can finish Garagorri in this spot, making his clearest path to victory a win by decision. All the value is on the side of the underdog in my opinion as he can win this fight in a lot of different ways. Elkins leaving himself vulnerable at any moment could spell trouble in this bout as Garagorri has extremely slick submissions. Not to mention that he is likely the stronger of the two men and just as capable as Elkins at winning fight on the feet. Eduardo Garagorri by Decision
  • Nick: Elkins’ most favorable attribute is his toughness. He does a good job applying pressure even when he’s on the wrong end of striking exchanges. He can eat countless punches and keep on throwing them as his excellent chin and cardio make him a tough out for anyone. Against inferior grapplers, he can look dominant. He’s coming off  four straight losses but his last was a close Fight of the Night candidate against Nate Landwher. Before that he had to endure extremely difficult matchups with Alexander Volkanovski, Ricardo Lamas and Ryan Hall. This match-up with Garagorri represents a clear step down for him as the UFC is essentially throwing him a bone. Garagorri is a relatively interesting prospect, but he’s mostly unproven. He struggles on the mat so Elkins should cruise to a victory as long as he leans on his wrestling. We haven’t seen much out of Garagorri yet at this level, but it seems like his takedown defense is a major weakness. Humberto Bandenay and Ricardo Ramos both took him down easily in his last two matchups, and Elkins is definitely a much better wrestler than Bandenay. I’m just not buying into Garragorri’s potential, especially on the mat. Elkins should be able to get back into the win column in this spot. Darren Elkins by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Darren Elkins by Round Two KO

Alexander Romanov -500 (DK $9000, FD $22) vs Marcos Rogerio De Lima +350 (DK $7200, FD $9)

  • Anthony: This is the second booking of an exciting heavyweight bout between Alexander Romanov and Marcos Rogerio de Lima. The undefeated Romanov is getting a good amount of hype coming into this match and I believe it to be warranted after seeing his last fight. In my opinion he is already a legitimate contender at heavyweight. Rogerio de Lima will pose a knockout threat but has been underwhelming over the course of his career. Romanov on the other hand is extremely technical and far more agile than most fighters in this division. He should be able to take this fight to the mat and finish by either ground and pound or a choke from mount. I seriously doubt this one makes it out of the first round and thus both are great options when building your DFS lineups. Romanov is my most confident pick on the card and my top play on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Alexander Romanov by Round One KO
  • Nick: Marcos Rogerio de Lima has mediocre takedown defense, which is likely going to give him trouble here. Obviously as Heavyweights both guys are strong but Romanov has shown tremendous strength in his grappling. It may have come against mediocre competition, but the 29-year-old Moldovan has shown an uncanny ability to lift other heavyweights entirely off the ground and rag-doll them as if they were a whole lot smaller. He has decent striking, but highly effective ground-and-pound, so he does have finishing ability here. Rogerio de Lima comes in as the more experienced fighter, but he looked really soft at weigh-ins and by most accounts, it seems like his career is on the downturn. His cardio is always in question, so if Romanov is bodying him early, we can expect his gas tank to run out very quickly. For a borderline out-of-shape heavyweight, Romanov has solid cardio. He usually looks fine late in fights, which is more than can be said for a lot of guys in this division. All of Rogerio de Lima’s weaknesses play right into Romanov’s strengths here. Since we haven’t seen Romanov at this level yet, I wouldn’t go too heavy on him. Still, I like him a lot in this spot. Alexander Romanov by Round One KO
  • GB: Alexander Romanov by Round One KO

Bevon Lewis -125 (DK $8200, FD $16) vs Trevin Giles -105 (DK $8000, FD $16)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim tonight is a middleweight bout between Bevon Lewis and Trevin Giles. This is a very compelling fight, but it may not be the most exciting or high volume. I believe that Lewis is the more powerful striker of these two but leaves a lot to be desired in the octagon. Neither one of these guys are fun to have money riding on but Giles often is a bit less stressful a sweat. He is the better mixed martial artist of the two, incorporating wrestling and grappling into his approach far more willingly than Lewis does. I find Giles the more likely to win rounds in this fight by keeping a consistent pace and showing the judges more than Lewis can. I agree Lewis is the more likely of the two to win this fight inside the distance, but if Giles can survive the first round, I think he takes the fight. Lewis has shown a very suspect gas tank and if he does not get the win early, I would not trust him to do so late. Giles is the preferred play for me on both sites but especially DraftKings where he is $200 cheaper than Lewis. Trevin Giles by Decision
  • Nick: Giles fainted before he made it to the ring his last time out, so he comes into this fight with questions surrounding where he’s at both physically and mentally. Bevon Lewis is training out of Jackson Wink. He’s a decent grappler, but he hasn’t really shown much of a desire to wrestler in his recent fights. Both guys are well-rounded. Giles has a bit more power, but Lewis seems more precise and disciplined in his striking. Giles is going to throw more output. However, Bevon Lewis likely packs the more damaging power and he’s the better striker defensively. Giles may throw more here, but I think Lewis lands more. Giles sometimes gets overconfident and leaves his hands down. He likes to howl in the middle of the ring, and he sacrifices sound strategy in favor of theatrics. It’s also notable that Trevin Giles trains part-time. He’s a full-time police officer so it’s tough to expect him to be as prepared as Lewis will be here. This is a close fight and I’m not overly confident in this pick. Still, I have to side with the more focused and technically sound competitor in Lewis. Bevon Lewis by Decision
  • GB: Bevon Lewis by Decision

Main Card- Starts 10:00pm EST

Ian Heinisch vs Brendan Allen

*Update: This fight has been cancelled as Ian Heinisch tested positive for coronavirus

Yan Xiaonan -165 (DK $8300, FD $17) vs Claudia Gadelha +135 (DK $7900, FD $15)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with a women’s strawweight bout between Claudia Gadelha and Yan Xiaonan. I am excited to see Xiaonan continue to climb the ladder of the division, already boasting a five-fight win streak since entering the UFC. She is the far superior striker in this bout and should have no problem beating Gadelha if this stays on the feet. Xiaonan is even live for a win by knockout, though the more likely outcome is a unanimous decision. She has averaged over 100 significant strikes per bout making her a viable DFS play even without a finish. Both women may shoot for takedowns in this fight, but I trust Xiaonan’s wrestling to defend most of them. The one path to victory I see for Gadelha is a win by submission, but I doubt she can find it in this fight. Yan Xiaonan by Decision
  • Nick: I believe this is one of the tougher fights on the card to call. Yan Xiaonan is coming off five straight victories in the UFC. This is a significant step-up in competition for her here, but her striking is as good as almost anyone in this division. She averages 6.72 strikes per minute, and win or lose, all of her opponents seem to end up wearing significant damage. She does a good job circling away from her opponents, and most of the strikes she throws are meaningful. Gadelha has underrated power, but her striking is somewhat awkward so she doesn’t really defend herself well. However, what she lacks in striking she makes up for in grappling as one of the stronger and more efficient wrestlers at strawweight. The key for Xiaonan here is going to be to stuff the takedown attempts of Gadelha. She’s indicated in interviews leading up to this fight that this has been the focus of her camp, so I expect her to stifle Gadelha’s grappling for the better part of fifteen minutes. It’s never wise to look too deeply into MMA math, but there’s something to be said for the fact that Xiaonan beat Angela Hill unanimously while Gadelha barely stole a split decision against her. Xiaonan fights a similar style as Hill, but she has even better takedown defense and she throws crisper and more powerful strikes. Over the course of fifteen minutes, Xiaonan should be able to pick Gadelha apart from range. Gadelha always comes out strong and then starts to fade late. If Xianonan doesn’t win the first round, I see her winning both the second and third. Yan Xiaonan by Decision
  • GB: Yan Xiaonan by Decision

Giga Chikadze -850 (DK $9300, FD $22) vs Jamey Simmons +525 (DK $6900, FD $7)

  • Anthony: Next up is a featherweight bout between Giga Chikadze and Jamey Simmons. I said that the last fight was my most confident on the card, but this is up there as well. Simmons is making his UFC debut and I seriously doubt he will be able to last a round with Chikadze. While the first three bouts for Chikadze in the promotion were underwhelming wins, his last fight against Omar Morales proved just how high his ceiling is. Morales showed his chin in that bout as a lot of the strikes Chikadze landed are more than strong enough to knockout Simmons. Not to mention that Simmons is also extremely small compared to Chikadze. This should be a clean kickboxing win for the favorite tonight, likely by a spectacular knockout. Feel free to lock in Chikadze wherever you can afford him. Giga Chikadze by Round One KO
  • Nick: Chikadze is coming off one of the more impressive performances of his career against Omar Morales. He seemed more aggressive than ever before, increasing his striking volume significantly. Simmons is an interesting featherweight prospect fighting out of Pura Vida MMA. He hasn’t really faced anyone close to the level of Chikadze, but he has shown excellent ability on the ground in the few fights he’s been in. Chikadze’s main weakness is his grappling, so if Simmons could keep him there he could be live in this spot. However, Simmons is taking this fight on extremely short notice and Chikadze towered over him at weigh-ins. Chikadze’s ground game has improved a lot since he came into the UFC, and since he was visibly much bigger than Simmons at face-offs, I don’t think he’ll have much trouble keeping this fight on the feet. This is far too extreme of a jump up in competition for Simmons at this point in his career. He may be someone to keep an eye on down the road, but this is Chikadze’s fight to win or lose. He feels like one of the safer picks on the card. Giga Chikadze by Round Two KO
  • GB: Giga Chikadze by Round One KO

Raoni Barcelos -380 (DK $9100, FD $23) vs Khalid Taha +290 (DK $7100, FD $8)

  • Anthony: Next is the featured bout of the evening here at bantamweight between Raoni Barcelos and Khalid Taha. Barcelos is stepping in for Jack Shore on short notice to fight Taha which is good to see given his recent inactivity. He has a very clean resume with his last loss coming all the way back in 2014. The striking of Barcelos is above average but his jiu jitsu is clearly his greatest strength. It is a very clear path to victory for Barcelos in this one as he just needs to secure a takedown and work for the early submission. Taha is a very tough fighter but I do not think he has the grappling chops to survive long on the mat with Barcelos. I also believe that the taller Barcelos will have an easy time maintaining control of Taha and wrapping up a submission with ease. Taha could start to take over this fight late if Barcelos does not pace himself, but the far more likely outcome is a win for the Brazilian. Raoni Barcelos by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: This is a fun fight at bantamweight, but fairly one-sided. Taha may have a slight advantage when it comes to power on the feet, but Barcelos is a more technical striker and he’s league’s ahead of Taha on the mat as a blackbelt in BJJ. Taha is athletic with solid cardio, and his striking power is his greatest strength. However, Barcelos is more than formidable as a boxer and Taha really doesn’t have enough of an advantage on the feet to win this standing. Taha struggles to defend against takedowns, and Barcelos is dominant on the mat. I like Taha’s athleticism and I hope he sticks on the roster for a while. However, Barcelos is the pick here as one of my most confident plays on this card. Raoni Barcelos by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Raoni Barcelos by Decision

Tanner Boser -325 (DK $8900, FD $21) vs Andrei Arlovski +250 (DK $7300, FD $10)

  • Anthony: The co-main event is a great heavyweight fight between Tanner Boser and Andrei Arlovski. So far this year we have seen two huge knockout victories for Boser who now gets to fight a former champion this far up the card. I feel like this is a fight that Boser likely wins nine times out of ten. He is nowhere near the weight limit for a heavyweight and draws an opponent in Arlovski who is very similar in size to him. This is a fight where Boser can really pour on the volume and fight his standard gameplan to a victory. Arlovski is a fighter who is willing to stand and trade, while primarily fighting a high-volume style similar to that of Boser. I am confident siding with Boser in this fight as he does everything Arlovski does even better. However, although he has showcased his knockout power lately I doubt he cracks the chin of Arlovski tonight. Tanner Boser by Decision
  • Nick: Boser has excellent footwork for a heavyweight and does a really good job maintaining distance to stay out of danger. We saw in his fight against Ciryl Gane that he has a very high Fight IQ and knows how to stay out of range against the more powerful punchers in this division. Arlovski is a shell of who he was when he reigned as UFC Heavyweight Champion back in 2005. He’s lost a lot of speed and power over the years, but he still has solid head movement and he generally does a good job circling away from his opponents. This is a fun match-up as Boser is a very similar fighter to what Arlovski was in his prime. He’s a speedy heavyweight with a knack for point-fighting. This is a match-up between two high volume fighters, but Boser is in the prime of his career. Arlovski still has a very high Fight IQ, but I don’t think he’ll be able to match Boser’s speed, cardio, or volume tonight. These are two guys headed in opposite directions. Tanner Boser by Round Two KO
  • GB: Tanner Boser by Round One KO

Thiago Santos -260 (DK $8800, FD $21) vs Glover Teixeira +200 (DK $7400, FD $14)

  • Anthony: The main event is an exciting light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos. Both of these guys will likely fight with a chip on their shoulder tonight as it seems this fight will no longer be a title eliminator. With Israel Adesanya moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the belt in March, the winner of this bout will lose their spot in line. However, this still remains a huge fight for the division. Santos is returning from a year long layoff and double ACL surgery after a decision loss to Jon Jones. I am a bit concerned as to whether or not he will be the same fighter or if he is approaching this fight differently after that defeat. Meanwhile, you know exactly what you are going to get out of the veteran Teixeira. He looked dominant in his last fight against Anthony Smith and I feel inclined to bet him once again as a similarly priced underdog. Teixeira is going to keep his normal pace in this fight, pressuring Santos and throwing his shots even if it means eating a few. He should be hunting for a takedown as there is no denying that Teixeira outclasses Santos on the mat. I could easily see Santos winning by early knockout but the longer this fight goes the more it will favor Teixeira. He looked to be in very good shape yesterday and I think he keeps his win streak alive here with another punishing finish. I like Glover to pull off the upset by a choke or technical knockout in the final three rounds. Glover Teixeira by Round Four KO
  • Nick: There’s a decent chance the winner of this one lands an eventual title shot at 205 pounds. These are two of the more experienced light heavyweights in the world, and both of these guys come into this fight with extremely impressive resumes. Santos has KO’d current light heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz, and he came very close to winning his fight against Jon Jones. For me, the biggest takeaway from Santos’ fight against Jon Jones is his toughness. He tore both of his ACLs in that one, and still managed to win the fight on one of the judges’ scorecards. There are obviously some question marks surrounding him and his recovery coming into this one, but ACL injuries really aren’t as devastating as they were ten years ago. Teixeira is extremely effective on the ground. He does a good job mixing in level changes to work his opponents to the mat. Once he gets them there, his ground-and-pound ability is as good as anyone in the world. At 41 years old there’s always a chance Teixeira’s age catches up to him. He’s looked excellent of late, but there’s really no telling when his physical strengths start to flip into weaknesses. Teixeira is very good everywhere, but he has no singular stand out skill and he mostly relies on a sound technical base as he waits to take advantage of his opponent’s mistakes. While it’s certainly not a strength of his, Santos’ takedown defense is decent. There’s a chance Teixeira targets Santos’ knees here, but I expect Santos’ pure power and athleticism to win out against an aging Teixeira. Over the course of five rounds, Santos’ power and explosiveness make him more likely to score a finish. The line feels a bit too wide and I’ll definitely have exposure to Teixeira in DFS as he’s too cheap on both sites as a very live underdog. However, I’m siding with the favorite. Thiago Santos by Round Two KO
  • GB: Glover Teixeira 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