This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.
Jordan Leavitt (8-1-0) v. Matt Sayles (8-3-0)
Fight Analysis: Classic striker vs. grappler match. Leavitt is a fantastic grappler with a decent striking game. He will look to feint, throw quick jabs and mix in kicks to change levels and find an entry for a takedown. Additionally, Leavitt uses his wrestling to transition or pass on the mat, attempting to take the back and find a submission. Sayles is a solid striker with considerable power and high volume. He looks to blitz into the pocket and combo with hooks, overhands and heavy leg kicks. He will not look for takedowns and is elite at defending them.
DFS Perspective: If Leavitt gets the fight to the mat, he wins. If Sayles prevents it from getting there, he wins. Sayles has not fought in two years, so rust could be a factor, but I think he has the wrestling chops and takedown defense to keep this on the feet and win a striking match.
My Pick: Sayles
Don'Tale Mayes (8-4-0) v. Josh Parisian (14-4-0)
Fight Analysis: Parisian and Mayes should be a 15-minute striking bout, with the potential for a finish. Parisian is a high-volume striker with a knack for knockout finishes. He will look to pressure forward with good speed and throw a slick jab, overhand right, and various kicks to all parts of the body. Unfortunately, Parisian offers little-to-no grappling and struggles mightily when put on his back. Mayes is a technical striker who likes to hit from range and control the cage. He will look to attack the head and body with powerful hooks and jabs, trying to keep fighters at the end of his punches. Furthermore, Mayes does not look to grapple and has poor takedown defense.
DFS Perspective: I expect this to stay on the feet and come down to who lands clean. Parisian will likely throw more volume, but Mayes should have more power. Parisian struggles a bit and backs away when he gets hit clean. Mayes should take advantage if he hits clean, push Parisian against the cage, and lay into him. If not, Parisian likely wins with volume or a knockout.
My Pick: Mayes
Raquel Pennington (12-9-0) v. Macy Chiasson (8-1-0)
Fight Analysis: A matchup between two fighters ranked in the top-10 who are looking to crack the top-5 and earn their shot at the title. Pennington has a well-rounded game and should be looking to take down and control early. She has a strong jab and will mix in hooks and kicks to change levels and set up an entry point for a takedown. Additionally, she is fantastic in the clinch and excellent at keeping control in dominant positions on the mat. Chiasson is big for the division and is a good all-around fighter. She sports a high guard and out-strikes opponents nearly 2-to-1 with a quick jab and huge overhand and hook. Moreover, Chiasson has great trips and body locks from the clinch and will look for dominant positions on the mat to find an armbar or choke from the back.
DFS Perspective: This should be a close, back-and-forth match between two rising fighters. Though both fighters have been fighting at bantamweight, the fight is listed as a featherweight, which I believe is advantageous for Chiasson. Pennington is slightly better on the mat, and if she can gain control, she may be able to steal two rounds for a decision. I expect Chiasson to dominate on the feet and could find ground and pound in a top mount if she takes it there.
My Pick: Chiasson
Charles Jourdain (11-4-1) v. Andre Ewell (17-8-0)
Fight Analysis: Two fighters who both could use a win to provide a little security for their UFC life. Jourdain is an athletic striker with fast hands, a slick jab and great lunging right. He will attack the body with big hooks and excellent forward pressure and will mix in spinning backfists from time to time. His ground game is still a work in progress, but he has improved his grappling and takedown defense. Ewell is a rangy fighter with low volume, decent power and great speed. His hands are some of the fastest in the division, ripping into fighters' heads and bodies with a nasty jab and strong hook. His grappling is improved, but he generally only uses it defensively and rarely shoots for takedowns.
DFS Perspective: I expect this to be a 15-minutes striking match. Ewell has suffered two consecutive losses and is now moving up to featherweight for this fight against Jourdain. He will have a seven-inch reach advantage, but I think he gets knocked out if he cannot stop Jourdain from entering the pocket. Look for Jourdain to use his quickness to get inside often enough to land clean and eventually knock Ewell out.
My Pick: Jourdain
Sijara Eubanks (8-6-0) v. Melissa Gatto (8-0-2)
Fight Analysis: The up-and-comer Gatto takes on the veteran Eubanks in what should be an exciting 15-minute fight. Eubanks is a well-rounded fighter willing to go wherever the fight takes her. She uses a quick jab up the middle and looping rights with low kicks to keep the fight at a distance. Furthermore, she has decent takedowns and control on that mat and will look for ground and pound in a top mount before hunting a submission. Gatto was dominant in her UFC debut, showing improved striking and excellent ground skills. She sports a nasty one-two and tight hook and looks to apply constant forward pressure with level changes for takedowns. Gatto is a phenomenal grappler and wrestler on the mat and excels at holding control while hunting for submissions.
DFS Perspective: I like Gatto anywhere this goes. Eubanks should be her toughest test, but I think she will have the volume and grappling advantage against here. Eubanks has power and could test Gatto's chin if she lands clean, but I do not think it happens.
My Pick: Gatto
Justin Tafa (4-3-0) v. Harry Hunsucker (7-4-0)
Fight Analysis: Clash of heavyweights that likely ends up in a knockout. Tafa is a kill-or-be-killed fighter with a big jab-overhand right, nasty uppercut and heavy leg kicks. He loads up and tends not to disguise what he is about to do, causing him to take quick shots up the middle. Unfortunately, he also has poor grappling and struggles off his back. Hunsucker is an electric striker with incredible pressure. He pressures forward from the gate, throwing hooks and overhands, looking to end the fight as quickly as possible. Furthermore, he has a good ground game to complement his striking with nice takedowns and great submission attempts.
DFS Perspective: I do not like the fight, but I feel you have to have one or the other in DFS lineups. Hunsucker is exceptionally wild and will likely come out hands pumping from the bell, leading him to either get an early finish or get tired and finished himself. If Tafa catches Hunsucker while he runs in, he could score a knockout in the first minute.
My Pick: Tafa
Raoni Barcelos (16-2-0) v. Victor Henry (21-5-0)
Fight Analysis: Henry makes his debut against the Barcelos, who is 4-1 in the UFC. Barcelos is a high-paced, high-pressure striker with a stiff jab and strong hook. He will look to attack the legs to slow fighters down and blitz with heavy combinations in succession. Additionally, he features a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has excellent single and double-leg takedowns and is always a threat to control for the round or find a submission. Henry is a strong striker and credentialed grappler with a non-stop motor. He applies good forward pressure behind a stiff jab and strong overhand. Moreover, he has excellent takedowns, including trips, and can control for long periods, dominate on top with ground and pound, or hunt for an armbar or choke.
DFS Perspective: Henry could surprise in his debut. He has fought good competition and should do well in this fight, even in a loss. Barcelos is likely better everywhere the fight goes, but any mistake could spell trouble for him.
My Pick: Barcelos
Dustin Stoltzfus (13-3-0) v. Gerald Meerschaert (33-14-0)
Fight Analysis: A couple of grapple-heavy middleweights clash for a potential top-15 fight next. Stoltzfus is a well-rounded fighter who fights at a slower pace with a lower volume. However, he has excellent movement and will bait fighters into the pocket to unleash a nasty counter hook or solid jab. He also features great takedowns with single and double legs and will look to control or hunt for submissions on the mat. Meerschaert is a decent striker with considerable power in both hands. He has stiff jabs, a strong hook and will mix in low and round kicks to all body parts. Additionally, he sports a black belt in jiu-jitsu and has crafty takedowns. 25 of his 33 wins have been by submission, so he is as lethal on the mat as it gets.
DFS Perspective: While I agree with Meerschaert being the favorite, the fight should probably be closer than it is. Stoltzfus has the tools to make this a close fight and could end up earning the upset. However, if Meerschaert takes this to the mat early, he likely dominates or submits Stoltzfus.
My Pick: Meerschaert
Cub Swanson (27-12-0) v. Darren Elkins (27-9-0)
Fight Analysis: Longtime UFC veterans meet for a battle of wills. Swanson is a powerful striker with an excellent all-around game. He has power in both his hands and is not afraid to let them fly in the way of one-twos, huge hooks and overhands. Furthermore, he has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and features strong body-lock takedowns and ground and pound on the mat. Elkins is a decent striker with quick movement and high volume. He throws a slick jab and solid one-two, as well as change levels often to create points of entries for takedowns. Moreover, he is relentless with takedown attempts and will look to get the fight to the mat early and often to control for the round or hunt for a submission.
DFS Perspective: These guys are UFC legends, and this fight should be a great one. Neither guy likes to go down, and both give it their all in every fight. Elkins seems to find wins in the craziest ways, which could definitely happen again here. However, I do like Cub's power and grappling, and I think he does end up getting the win.
My Pick: Swanson
Diego Ferreira (17-4-0) v. Mateusz Gamrot (19-1-0, 1NC)
Fight Analysis: Gamrot takes on Ferreira for his chance to take the latter's top-15 rank. Gamrot is a boxer who attacks the head and body with explosive combinations and power. He does not throw the most volume but has a stiff jab and one-two, plus heavy kicks to all parts of the body. Additionally, he has excellent takedowns in single and double-legs and trips, and he applies incredible top pressure and control. Ferreira is a technical boxer with good movement and a high fight IQ. He has a nice jab, strong hook and will mix in heavy kicks to the legs and body to change levels. Moreover, he features excellent takedowns and control on the mat.
DFS Perspective: Gamrot is on the rise, and Ferreira seems to be on the decline. Both guys are generally grappling-heavy, and I see Gamrot controlling the fight and where it goes. A vintage Ferreira would give Gamrot a run for his money and potentially a finish, but Gamrot should prove too much for him.
My Pick: Gamrot
Raphael Assuncao (27-8-0) v. Ricky Simon (18-3-0)
Fight Analysis: Young gun taking on the old veteran in clash of styles. Assuncao is a technical striker with little power and decent movement. He throws a lower volume with a tight jab, solid one-two and heavy low and round kicks. Additionally, his grappling has improved, and he has shown a willingness to take the fight to the mat more often in recent contests. Simon is a notable up-and-comer with a fantastic well-rounded game. He features improved striking with a slick jab and one-two and excellent leg kicks to change levels for takedown entries. In addition, Simon showcases a ferocious ground game with constant takedown attempts and excellent ground control. He will hunt for submissions but is unwilling to give up control to seek them out and will instead hold that control for the round.
DFS Perspective: Assuncao has not fought in almost two years and is now 39. I do not expect much out of him at this point, and it very well could be his last fight. I expect Simon to pretty much ragdoll him for 15 minutes en route to an easy win.
My Pick: Simon
Amanda Lemos (10-1-1) v. Angela Hill (13-10-0)
Fight Analysis: A battle of two powerful strawweight fighters looking to break into the top-10. Lemos is a precise striker with an excellent all-around game. She uses great movement to control the ring and will walk her opponent down, throwing quick one-twos and hard leg kicks. Furthermore, she is strong in the clinch and will work in body-lock takedowns and trips before laying deadly ground and pound or hunting for a submission. Hill is a formidable striker with great inside boxing and power. She will throw jabs and heavy kicks to the head and body and has good defensive head movement to avoid taking big shots. Additionally, she has shown better grappling in recent fights with solid work in the clinch and decent takedowns. However, she will generally only look to move into a top mount for ground and pound and does not have the best control.
DFS Perspective: Lemos is rightfully the favorite and likely dominates this fight. Hill has shown resilience in recent fights but tends to eat a lot of shots, and to do that against Lemos will spell trouble. I expect Lemos to overwhelm Hill early and land another finish.
My Pick: Lemos
Stephen Thompson (16-5-1) v. Belal Muhammad (19-3-0, 1NC)
Fight Analysis: A highly entertaining fight between two top-10 fighters coveting a title shot. Thompson is an incredible striker with an excellent all-around game. He has fantastic movement and ring control and applies constant pressure with a nasty jab, one-two and heavy leg kicks. In addition, he features elite takedown defense and an excellent scrambling ability if he does get taken down. Muhammed is a scrappy fighter with good technical striking. He throws good volume with quick one-twos and a nasty counter, plus applies constant forward pressure to keep fighters in front of him and dictate the flow of the fight. Also, he has strong wrestling and will shoot for takedowns, looking to maintain control on the mat.
DFS Perspective: Muhammed has a chance if he can dictate the flow of the fight by mixing in takedowns. Thompson's takedown defense will make that difficult, so I expect this to be a 15-minute striking match. Thompson has more power and should be the one putting out a higher volume to take a decision win.
My Pick: Thompson
Derrick Lewis (25-8-0, 1NC) v. Chris Daukaus (12-3-0)
Fight Analysis: Massive matchup with two fantastic heavyweights in what should be a banger. Lewis is a boxer with insane power and decent grappling. He employs constant forward pressure mixing in jabs, hooks, overhands and massive kicks. Additionally, he does fierce work in the clinch with elbows and will look for body lock takedowns and move right into top control for deadly ground and pound. Daukaus has incredible foot and hand speed and comes out throwing from the bell, bull-rushing with jabs and crosses. He will look to finish them with powerful high kicks. Furthermore, he is incredible in the clinch with massive power shots and elbows. He has yet to attempt a takedown or be taken down through his four fights in the UFC.
DFS Perspective: This should be an amazing fight for as long as it lasts. Lewis has some of the best power in the UFC and can knock lights out at any time. He will need to land that kill shot here if he wants the win. Daukaus is much faster than Lewis and employs a ridiculous pace right out of the gate. I expect him to blitz Lewis early and overwhelm him to another first-round knockout.
My Pick: Daukaus
Significant Strikes = 0.6pts
Takedown = 6pts
Takedown Defense = 3pts
Knockdown = 12pts
Submission Attempt = 5pts
Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win = 100pts
2nd Round Win = 75pts
3rd Round Win = 50pts
4th Round Win = 35 pts
5th Round Win = 25pts
Decision Win = 20pts
- Significant Strikes are "Distance Strike" or "Clinch/Ground Strikes" that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
- A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider a substantial amount of time.
Strikes: +0.2 PTS
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Control Time: +0.03 PTS/SECOND
Takedown (TD): +5 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +10 PTS
Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 PTS
Quick Win Bonus: +25 PTS
(fight is finished in 60 seconds or less)
- Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
- A Significant Strike will count as both a strike and a significant strike and will be worth a total of 0.4 Pts
- Control Time is the time spent in the dominant position on the ground or in the clinch. +0.03 points are awarded per second.
- A Knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.
- A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.