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UFC Fight Night Halifax DraftKings Lineup
- Updated: February 19, 2017
Listen up fight freaks, UFC Fight Night Halifax represents a unique opportunity to create a DraftKings lineup that is packed with fighters keen on finishing. Triple digit scores are the name of the game and these 11 scheduled fights offer a wide variety of lineup opportunities.
I am always looking to put together a lineup that maximizes finish potential while trying not to leave much of the designated budget remaining. I was able to do so for this fight card and want to share it with The Runner Sports faithful. Let’s jump right into the lineup, keep in mind I enter multiple lineups for each fight card and I encourage you the reader to come with your own unique combinations while taking into account my own picks.
1. Sara McMann $9,300
McMann has her eyes set on the 135lb title and Mazany just doesn’t pose much of a threat to McMann anywhere in the octagon. McMann’s Olympic level wrestling in conjunction with her ability to smother her opponent and take their back for the finish is likely how this fight will play out. A submission or ground and pound finish should come in round two of this fight. Strong possibility for a finish favors Sara McMann. Vegas has McMann favored at -500 and for good reason.
2. Santiago Ponzinibbio $9,200
Santiago “Gente Boa” has put up three triple-digit DraftKings scores in his last six fights. Ponzi is also on a three-fight win streak and has twice as much fight experience than his opponent Nordine Taleb. Ponzinibbio throws the cleaner more powerful strikes of the two. Taleb has takedown ability but closing the distance on Ponzi will prove difficult and he is likely to get caught by a power shot trying to close the distance. This fight favors Santiago on the feet en route to an early TKO finish. Vegas has Ponzinibbio as a -380 favorite.
3. Aiemann Zahabi $8,800
Zahabi is a Tristar standout and brother of world famous head coach Faras Zahabi. The future looks bright for this young prospect, 6-0 with all first round finishes point to a productive UFC career if he can get past Reginaldo Vieira. Viera is an MMA veteran with a good submission game and little to no power in his hands. Zahabi has shown the cage IQ and patience of a veteran, probably due to the fact that his brother is one of the best coaches in the world. Look for Aiemann to control this fight from start to finish. Equally impressive on the feet and the ground, I see this as Zahabi’s coming out party. In Canada on Sunday the odds for a finish from Zahabi are strong. Vegas has Zahabi as -220 favorite.
4. Sam Sicilia $7,800
Sicilia has made his living in the UFC as a gateway for young up and coming fighters. This looks to be no different as he goes against Canadian native Gavin Tucker. Tucker is another undefeated prospect making his UFC debut. Octagon jitters can be a real thing, especially for a fighter making his debut in his home country. The advantage for Sicilia comes on the feet if Gavin elects to stand and bang with Sam. Although Sicilia is just 2-2 in his last four fights, I think he can pull off the upset against Tucker. A decision win for the veteran looks to be in the cards for Sunday. Vegas has Sicilia as a +135 underdog.
5. Johny Hendricks $7,700
“Bigg Rigg” Hendricks has lived up to his nickname recently, weight cut struggles and age seem to have caught up to the former champion. Hendricks and Lombard will both be moving up to 185 to fight at a weight that makes sense for both fighters at this stage in their careers. If this fight can get into the later rounds I believe Hendricks has the ability to grind out a decision win against Lombard. Hector Lombard has a notoriously bad gas tank probably due to the fact that he carries so much muscle on his frame. Always a threat for a first round knockout Lombard’s gas tank usually drops off drastically in rounds two and three. I believe Hendricks has the experience to stay away from Lombard’s power early and can take control of the fight as they move into the later rounds. Vegas has Hendricks as a +130 underdog.
6. Ryan Janes $7,200
Okay so to round this lineup out I had to do a little bottom of the barrel scraping. At the bottom I found Canadian Ryan Janes. 1-0 in the UFC and 9-1 in his MMA career, Janes is a submission specialist that has shown the ability to navigate his way through a fight on his feet if needed. Gerald Meerschaert has more experience and is the better fighter but I think the hometown fighter can pull off an upset if he can get this fight to the ground. I am not confident Janes will taste victory but I do think he can last all three rounds and rack up some points to help bolster a lineup ripe with finishers on it. Vegas has Janes as a +250 underdog.
I was able to use all of the $50,000 budget with this lineup, but a winning lineup is not necessarily one that utilizes the full $50k budget. This Fight card has 11 fights, not the usual 12 or 13 that round out a UFC event, which means DraftKings players have a slightly better chance of finding that winning lineup. Good luck fight freaks and be sure to post your comments and lineup ideas below.