Today's fight between Ilir Latifi and Aleksei Oleinik has been cancelled.


The UFC has left the confines of the APEX and is halfway through a three-week road trip. This weekend's stop is in Columbus, OH – an odd target for an early return spot, but I digress. We may get some interesting judging from the state commission, though. We’re also in the larger Octagon, though that didn’t slow down anyone in London last week. 

Without further ado, let's jump into Saturday's UFC Columbus fight card with Curtis Blaydes vs. Chris Daukaus being the headliner main event. 




Main Event
Curtis Blaydes vs Chris Daukaus9200/7000-Stackability: Safe-475/ +350-125/+380
Daukaus is looking to re-establish his momentum in the HW division after a KO loss to Derrick Lewis in December. A win over Blaydes would certainly do that. Blaydes is looking to get his title shot back in line after a similar loss to Derrick Lewis. It all comes down to being able to get up if Blaydes takes you down and making him work for takedowns. When he gets to chain wrestle, forget about it. You’re in for a long night. We haven’t seen Daukaus have to shut down a wrestling approach yet so it’s largely an unknown. What has me edging Dauk is that Blaydes has become herky-jerky in the cage after some punishment has added up and doesn’t want to engage when there’s a chance he gets hit. Dauk might struggle in spots but won’t quite and may very well have a better gas tank as the lighter man. He will also find openings to tag Blaydes. It’s probably a solid stack since a flash KO is less likely.
Manon Fiorot9400Jennifer MaiaSafe-475+200
Fiorot has looked like a beast so far in the UFC. The very passive Maia is likely to get steamrolled if she doesn’t hit a takedown or three.
Aliaskhab Khizriev9300Denis TiuliulinSomewhat-Safe-100-360
The next scary Russian emerges. Khizriev has torn through everyone put in front of him at the lower levels. Tiululin is also a debutant so that worry is alleviated.
Askar Askarov9100Kai Kara-FranceSomewhat-Safe-425+215
Askarov has a very clear wrestling and BJJ advantage. KKF can be tough to catch with his speed but once you get a hold of him it’s not hard work. If Askarov has had a healthy training camp he probably cruises. He’ll need a finish at the price, however.
Alexa Grasso9000Joanne WoodModerate-255+380
Grasso has better boxing but isn’t as well-rounded as Wood. I think Jojo’s work rate will be a challenge for Grasso to compete with but Jojo is always in close fights. If Grasso edges it she should have solid striking output to go along.
Karol Rosa8900Sara McMannModerate-195+225
Rosa has the striking to be a problem if she can keep McMann from grounding her. That’s a big if since Rosa is all offense with little defense. Still, as long as she survives McMann is likely to pack it in early as she often does. Then Rosa can let the tiger out of the cage.
Viacheslav Borshchev8700Marc DiakieseModerate-145+120
Slava Claus hopes to bring us gifts of violence. He’s stepping way up in competition, despite Diakiese’s skidding record. If Slava’s endurance is on point he’ll probably solve Diakiese on the feet in the second half of the fight.
Neil Magny8800Max GriffinModerate-275+330
Magny is of the most use on DK when he finds a wrestling edge. Griffin has developed his wrestling game over the years but Magny’s is more polished. Without the takedowns, Magny is likely to pick at Griffin from range in a somewhat boring affair.
Batgerel Danaa8500Chris GutierrezSomewhat-Risky-130+150
We’ve seen Batgerel come into his own on the power front. He’s got savage hooks as his last three KO victims can attest to. Gutierrez is a better kickboxer than them but he’s still a journeyman. Can Danaa make it four in a row?
Ilir Latifi8600Aleksei OleinikRisky-210+150
Latifi would need to catch Olenik early while he’s still fresh. Otherwise, they probably spend the fight in each other's guard and grapple sluggishly.
Matt Brown8200Bryan BarberenaRisky-105+150
Can Matt Brown stay ahead of father time another night? He’s on borrowed time but does come to bang every time out. Barberena is even more washed so it’s going to come down to who lands the first big shot.
Bryan Barberena8000Matt BrownRisky-115+215
Bam Bam stood behind his cast iron chin his whole career until Vincente Luque cracked it in a war. He hasn’t been the same since and a bit worse each time he gets in the cage. If he finds some of that old magic this could be a brawl and either man’s to take.
Joanne Wood7200Alexa GrassoSomewhat-Risky+205+600
I like Jojo in every fight, probably more than I should. Her output suckers me in, especially the leg kick volume. She’s always in close fights and probably is here again. I’ll take the discount on the coinflip fight.
Sara McMann7300Karol RosaSomewhat-Risky+165+550
McMann has better wrestling than most of women's MMA. She just doesn’t have a fighter’s heart. If it goes her way early and she finds a sub she’s a smash. If not, she’ll quit on herself.
Kai Kara-France7100Askar AskarovRisky+320+650
If KKF has his takedown defense on point he can make it an interesting fight. He’s the better pure kickboxer. Askarov has also looked lost when not dominating the grappling.
Aleksei Oleinik7600Ilir LatifiRisky+175+250
The old bear may have a trick or two left to play. He hasn’t been taking very good fights lately and is on an 0-3 skid. He’s always live for a submission, though.
Chris Gutierrez7700Batgerel DanaaRisky+110+425
Maybe Gutierrez can work leg kicks and stay away from Batgerel’s power enough to win a decision. His losses have largely been to wrestlers.
Marc Diakiese7500Viacheslav BorshchevRisky+125+275
Diakiese just keeps picking tough opponents. Respect it but he’s looking to be 0-4 if he can’t solve the slick Russian striker. Maybe he can expose some wrestling flaws in Slava’s game.
Matheus Nicolau7800David DvorakRisky+105+350
The UFC is building Nicolau back up. He’s a well-rounded fighter but not a big finisher. Dvorak is also a safer fighter.
Jennifer Maia6800Manon FiorotRisky+350+110
There’s a non-zero chance Fiorot hasn’t shored her takedown defense up to UFC level yet. Maia isn’t an aggressive wrestler but has hit some timely TDs in her career.




Example Lineup:


Live Dogs: 

Daukaus, Wood, McMann, Nicolau, Kara-France, Olenik, Diakiese



Karol Rosa OVER 52.5 SS, Ilir Latifi UNDER 94.5 FPTs, Matt Brown UNDER 10 Mins


Stats & Picks: 

Curtis BlaydesvsChris Daukaus
$9,200DFS Salary$7,000
Record: 15-3-0 (1 NC)RecordRecord: 12-4-0
-475Vegas Odds+350
5/10Lineup Pool5/10
Joanne WoodvsAlexa Grasso
$7,200DFS Salary$9,000
Record: 15-7-0RecordRecord: 13-3-0
+205Vegas Odds-255
5/10Lineup Pool4/10
Matt BrownvsBryan Barberena
$8,200DFS Salary$8,000
Record: 25-18-0RecordRecord: 16-8-0
-105Vegas Odds-115
4/10Lineup Pool4/10
Askar AskarovvsKai Kara-France
$9,100DFS Salary$7,100
Record: 14-0-1RecordRecord: 23-9-0 (1 NC)
-425Vegas Odds+320
5/10Lineup Pool4/10
Ilir LatifivsAleksei Oleinik
$8,600DFS Salary$7,600
Record: 16-8-0 (1 NC)RecordRecord: 59-16-1
-210Vegas Odds+175
4/10Lineup Pool24/10
Marc DiakiesevsViacheslav Borshchev
$7,500DFS Salary$8,700
Record: 14-5-0RecordRecord: 6-1-0
+125Vegas Odds-145
4/10Lineup Pool4/10
Neil MagnyvsMax Griffin
$8,800DFS Salary$7,400
Record: 25-9-0RecordRecord: 18-8-0
-275Vegas Odds+220
5/10Lineup Pool3/10
Sara McMannvsKarol Rosa
$7,300DFS Salary$8,900
Record: 12-6-0RecordRecord: 15-3-0
+165Vegas Odds-195
5/10Lineup Pool5/10
Chris GutierrezvsBatgerel Danaa
$7,700DFS Salary$8,500
Record: 17-3-2RecordRecord: 10-2-0
+110Vegas Odds-130
4/10Lineup Pool5/10
Aliaskhab KhizrievvsDenis Tiuliulin
$9,300DFS Salary$6,900
Record: 13-0-0RecordRecord: 10-5-0 (1 NC)
-100Vegas Odds+650
6/10Lineup Pool3/10
Jennifer MaiavsManon Fiorot
$6,800DFS Salary$9,400
Record: 19-8-1RecordRecord: 8-1-0
+350Vegas Odds-475
3/10Lineup Pool6/10
Matheus NicolauvsDavid Dvorak
$7,800DFS Salary$8,400
Record: 17-3-1RecordRecord: 20-3-0
+105Vegas Odds-125
4/10Lineup Pool4/10
Luis SaldanavsBruno Souza
$8,300DFS Salary$7,900
Record: 15-7-0RecordRecord: 10-2-0
+100Vegas Odds-120
4/10Lineup Pool4/10