In just a couple more weeks, we head to the much anticipated “Fight Island,” where the UFC will host four events live from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The cards are already being announced, one of which includes UFC 251, which will feature not one, not two, but three title fights just on this one card alone.
Before we get too excited about the marathon on deck, we have fights to watch live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas Saturday night! In the main event, No. 10 Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1) will move up a weight class and take on former title challenger, and No. 1 ranked flyweight Jessica Eye (15-7). This is a match that experienced some scrutiny by being billed as a main event. Expect the ladies to bring some excitement though, as Eye looks for back-to-back wins in the octagon, but to do so, she must fend off the prospect Calvillo, who, as mentioned, will move up to the flyweight division for the first time in her pro career.
Small cage again, and you know what that means! Tons of action, along with the probability of more finishes than the norm.
The card gets underway at 6 pm ET and is scheduled for 11 matches in total, which will air live on ESPN/ESPN+ for the entire card.
UFC Fight Night Saskatoon Details
DATE: SATURDAY 06/13/2020
VENUE: UFC APEX
LOCATION: Las Vegas, Nevada
# of MATCHES: 10
WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT, 125 LBS
#1 JESSICA EYE 15-7 VS #10 CYNTHIA CALVILLO 8-1-1
MIDDLEWEIGHT, 185 LBS
KARL ROBERSON 9-2 VS MARVIN VETTORI 14-3-1
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135 LBS
MERAB DVALISHVILI 10-4 VS GUSTAVO LOPEZ 11-4
FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145 LBS
ANDRE FILI 20-7 VS CHARLES JOURDAIN 10-2
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135 LBS
#13 JORDAN ESPINOSA 14-7 VS MARK DE LA ROSA 11-4
LIGHTWEIGHT, 155 LBS
CHARLES ROSA 12-4 VS KEVIN AGUILAR 17-3
WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT, 125LBS
MARIYA AGAPOVA 8-1 VS HANNAH CIFERS 10-5
WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT, 135 LBS
JULIA AVILA 7-1 VS GINA MAZANY 6-3
FLYWEIGHT, 125 LBS
ZARRUKH ADASHEV 3-1 VS TYSON NAM 18-11-1
WELTERWEIGHT, 170 LBS
ANTHONY IVY 8-2 VS CHRISTIAN AGUILERA 13-6
Eye vs. Calvillo
Jessica Eye looks to continue the momentum as she welcomes Cynthia Calvillo to the women’s flyweight division Saturday night.
When it comes to Jessica Eye, unfortunately, the first thing that comes to mind for many is her wearing a bulletproof vest at faceoffs, only to be slept by Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko the next evening. Eye had been on a three-fight win streak until that nasty head kick put the breaks on her run. She followed up the loss with a decisive victory over Viviane Araujo last December, and will now look to make it two in a row against the prospect Cynthia Calvillo. Calvillo, who’s had some inconsistency making weight at 115, moves up to flyweight to take on the former title contender in the night’s main event. Oddsmakers have the match up almost a pick-em, and in my opinion rightfully so. I believe eliminating the tough cut to 115 will only help the crafty Calvillo. This test will validate if she can be a contender in the division moving forward, or if she should re-evaluate a move back to 115.
Eye has faced more notable names (Tate, Correia, Kaufmann, McMann, Shevchenko) and has the experience in the main event spot, coupled with the size advantage. That said, on the feet, the two fighters will be both very active trading shots, with Eye the more technical, which will eventually cause Calvillo to look for the takedowns. This will be an advantage for Calvillo, and a chance to lock in a submission attempt or two if she can weather the size disparity. Eye weighed in at 126.25, just a ¼ pound over the limit, yet vocalized that she was done cutting and didn’t even think she could stand. With a fresh Calvillo at this new weight class, and her ability to display some of her craftiness on the mat and five rounds to work, I’ll take a shot with the smaller fighter moving up, in what would be the biggest win of her career.
PREDICTION: CYNTHIA CALVILLO -110
Other Wagers to Consider
Marvin Vettori has been chomping at the bit for this match up. This matchup has already been canceled twice in the past, once due to the pandemic, and then most recently in May, as Roberson fell ill after the weight cut. Friday morning, Vettori was the first fighter on the scale, ready to go, and just 10 minutes into the weigh-ins, Roberson came out to weigh in 4.5 lbs over the limit. An obvious tell that Roberson wouldn’t be cutting weight utilizing the weigh-in window. Expect Vettori to be even more heated than he already was back in May, when the two almost came to blows in the hotel lobby, after Roberson withdrew. As long as Vettori can keep his emotions in check, he should cruise.
PREDICTION: MARVIN VETTORI -200
Loser leaves town match? The loser could be seeing a pink slip after this one. Espinosa is the much better athlete and will have the wrestling advantage, along with power on the feet. As long as he can avoid the submissions, Espinosa should be able to take at least two of the three rounds and get back on track.
PREDICTION: JORDAN ESPINOSA -175
- CYNTHIA CALVILLO defeats JESSICA EYE
- MARVIN VETTORI defeats KARL ROBERSON
- MERAB DVALISHVILI defeats GUSTAVO LOPEZ
- ANDRE FILI defeats CHARLES JOURDAIN
- JORDAN ESPINOSA defeats MARK DE LA ROSA
- KEVIN AGUILAR defeats CHARLES ROSA
- MARIYA AGAPOVA defeats HANNAH CIFERS
- JULIA AVILA defeats GINA MAZANY
- TYSON NAM defeats ZARRUKH ADASHEV
- ANTHONY IVY defeats CHRISTIAN AGUILERA
Last event prediction recap: 6-6
Fight card predictions overall: 173-95-6 (65%)
Targeted matchups (wagers): 62-26-2 (70%) Avg. odds -107
MMA DFS Plays & Strategies
- Choose active fighters. Coupling an active fighter on his or her way to a unanimous decision will give you key points for your team. Just like any other DFS traditional sport, you want the active, offensive player that scores. Key metrics here are SLpM and TD AVG/15min.
- Play the heavyweights. The approximate overall finish rate in the UFC is 54%. Most of the weight divisions range from 40%-60%, while the heavyweights push a 75% finish rate. You will receive bonus points for finishes inside the distance.
- Try always to include the main event or title fights. Five round fights mean more time to rack up points if you pick the right fighter. In some cases, even if you have the loser, the points can be more than a three-round winner.
- Don’t get excited and rush a pick based on stats, consider sample size. Some fighters have limited fights compared to their opponents when looking at metrics. Stats could be exaggerated. Do your research. Watch for spots with debuting fighters as well. Always check the records of the opponents they faced on their way to the UFC. Always pull fight tape as well. You’d be surprised at what you will find.
- Review methods of victory. I supply the finish rates within this article, and as you dive in even more, you can compare method of victory to method of loss for the matchups. For example, you can find matchups where Fighter A has a high percentage of submission victories matched up with Fighter B, with a high percentage of submission losses.
Need to Know – APEX Venue
A narrative for DFS players to consider going into his card is the UFC’s decision to roll with the use of its smaller, 25′ octagon at the APEX, instead of the standard 30′ cage. The use of the smaller octagon has historically increased fight finish rates, and shortened average fight times, due to the ability to create more action and engagement between the two fighters.
As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC Fight Night. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are in MMA DFS. Take a glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual matchups below.
Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents and watch your points rack up quickly. Here’s my Offensive Output Meter for the card. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday.
- Remember the smaller cage is being used. Fighters that typically press the action, land takedowns, and/or high finish rates matched up against those that get finished, roster. (see my charts above)
- Take a look at the main event obviously with the five rounds and higher probability for a finish. I like CALVILLO and her salary.
- DVALISHVILI and his average 7.8 takedowns per 15 minutes, against the very late replacement, should be huge. He’s already been bet up to -1000 in some spots.
- I like both AGAPOVA. Huge size advantage.
- No disrespect, Gina Mazany probably should be on the roster. Julia AVILA all day.
- Fights favored not to go the distance include IVY/AGUILERA (-230) and AVILA/MAZANY (-140).
- Top-tier fighters to build around include DVALISHVILI and AVILA.
- Mid-tier fighter considerations are FILI and AGUILAR.
- Live dogs are CALVILLO AND JOURDAIN.