Kountermove Fantasy MMA Preview for UFC 195

As the New Year’s Day fog lifts, you’ll come to realize that some amazing stuff went down in MMA during 2015. And then you’ll realize that prelims are about to start for UFC 195, thus kicking off 2016. So let’s get back in the game.

Fantasy players should always be on the lookout for value in their MMA roster, and that means reliable favorites, and bargain players with big upside. And you should avoid paying too much for anyone likely to post paltry numbers in victory, or worse, in defeat.

So here are some recommendations for favorites to start, and some potential bargains with upside.


Start ‘Em: Favorites Who Should Win

Stipe Miocic may not have been a name brand Heavyweight a few years ago, but he’s likely one win away from a title shot in 2016. Miocic has demonstrated good hands on top of a strong wrestling base, but it’s the latter that should be more helpful against seasoned slugger and former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski. Arlovski’s undefeated second run in the UFC has been super impressive, but against Miocic he’s facing a more durable double threat than many of his recent opponents. At more than a two-to-one favorite, Miocic is a solid play at $5,300 with multiple paths to victory.

Michael McDonald has been out of the game for a whopping 749 days, and yet perhaps even more shocking is that he’s still just 25 years old. It’s hard to fully appraise his opponent’s statline just two fights in, but McDonald’s performance numbers are strong across the board, in addition to his size and Youth advantage. McDonald will have to respect Kanehara’s submission game, meaning ensuring his takedown defense is on point. But as long as it’s standing, it will be McDonald with all the advantages. Play “Mayday” at $5,400.


Your Flex Position: Upside Bargains

Kyle Noke is a three-to-one favorite over UFC newcomer Alex Moreno, and yet Noke runs just $4,400. Noke is now a tested veteran, and despite not being likely to enter the title picture any time soon, he’s posted reasonable stats during his UFC career. The rookie comes in with a massive Youth Advantage, but facing big league competition for the first time could discover how big the talent gap is from the minors. At this price, Noke is a reasonable play to grind out a decision and leave cap room for other studs.

Diego Brandao may be the underdog against relative newcomer Brian Ortega, but Brandao packs a lot weapons into a small frame that might be a bargain at $4,700. The TUF 14 winner Brandao is known to be more of a threat with his hands, and he’s facing a submission specialist, but the stylistic mismatch isn’t really there as Brandao also boasts advanced jiu jitsu credentials. If he keeps it standing (and his takedown defense is 80%), he could get the upset in dramatic fashion, thus scoring big points for your squad.


Bench ‘Em: Risky or Too Pricey

Joe Soto is price like a favorite at $5,100, but he’ll be a slight underdog heading into a tough matchup with Michinori Tanaka. After stepping in on short notice and fighting for a UFC title against TJ Dillashaw, Soto hasn’t had the rebound he hoped for in the UFC against more regular competition.

Brian Ortega is nearly a two-to-one favorite over Diego Brandao, but he’ll have to to prove himself against top competition, and presumably without the benefit of the PEDs he used in the past.


Disagree? Good! Head over to Kountermove, scope out this weekend’s games, and pick your roster!


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