This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.
Phil Rowe (7-3-0) v. Orion Cosce (7-0-0)
- Rowe disappointed last time out but enters this fight with a nine-inch reach advantage and is looking to get back on track. He is a boxer with amazing range and decent power. He looks to strike from a distance and then cut the cage off so he can move in and attack with combos. His ground game could use some refining; however, he does have four submissions and a strong ground-and-pound.
- Cosce makes his debut and looks like a rising prospect. He has great striking with impactful power. He uses his movement to work himself inside and throw heavy shots to the head and body. His takedowns are good, and he has shown excellent control on the mat. He can search for submissions or get top control and throw massive ground and pound.
DFS Perspective: Rowe is largely unimpressive and has not shown much. Cosce comes in the favorite and deservedly so. Rowe can win keeping the fight at a distance, but I do not think that will be the case. If it does it would be a low-scoring decision. Cosce will have the better overall game and could score a finish somewhere in the three rounds.
My Pick: Cosce
Ronnie Lawrence (7-1-0) v. Trevin Jones (13-6-0, 1NC)
- Lawrence is a well-rounded fighter and it showed in his debut. He is a crafty striker with good movement. He uses hard low kicks to the legs and body, and when fighters try to move in, he will throw quick combos to back them back up. He showed his improved ground game last time out accruing eight takedowns. His wrestling is decent, and he does run into issues controlling his opponent, but he can chain takedowns well to keep them fatiguing.
- Jones is a powerful striker and legitimate prospect in the UFC. His striking is quick and his counters deadly. He will use kicks to draw out punches from his opponent and then counter hooks. He is a black belt in BJJ and has the wrestling prowess to go with it. His takedowns are swift, and he does a great job controlling his opponents on the mat. His ground-and-pound in top control is excellent, and if he gets the back, he can hunt for submissions.
DFS Perspective: This should be a fun match. Jones is live for an early knockout with his power. If Jones can prevent takedowns, he will be in the driver's seat. Lawrence will be looking to build on his debut with chained takedowns and dominant control. His cardio will be unmatched here, and he would score high in another decision.
My Pick: Lawrence
Jinh Yu Frey (10-6-0) v. Ashley Yoder (8-7-0)
- Frey is a solid striker with a solid ground game to go with it. She has a great jab and uses heavy leg kicks, but her volume can be lacking. She does carry some power in her hands, and she gets aggressive in the clinch, throwing elbows and knees. Her takedowns are good, and she does well to control on that mat. She typically looks for dominant positions over submissions to keep control for the round. Her defense is not great overall, and she finds herself in trouble often.
- Yoder is rangy fighter who prefers getting the fight to the mat. She throws good straight rights and hard leg kicks. She pressures forward throwing combos looking for an opportunity to takedown. Her takedowns are excellent, and she can keep control once she gets them. She will work around hunting for a submission. If taken down, she has great scrambling and finds ways to move herself into control again.
DFS Perspective: I do not see a high score coming out of this without a finish. Both ladies fight at a slower pace. Frey will look to keep the fight upright, and Yoder will look to get the fight to the mat. If Yoder does get it to the mat, she will likely dominate with control time to a decision. Yoder could potentially score well with takedowns and control.
My Pick: Yoder
Danny Chavez (11-4-0) v. Kai Kamaka (8-4-0)
- Chavez is a good striker with solid leg kicks. He uses a wide stance and draws in punches from his opponent to counter with quick combos. He has good movement but gets backed up when pressured. He carries a little power in his hands and an underused ground game. He has not really used his black belt in BJJ, so it's hard to know how it translates to higher-tiered fighters. His takedown defense and scrambling have been good from what we have seen.
- Kamaka returns after a badly-called decision loss last time out. He is an all-around great fighter. He keeps his hands high to guard and blocks a lot of shots. His striking and combos are quick and deliberate, and he uses powerful kicks to the body and head. He has a ground game to match his striking. His takedowns are good, and his control is better. As long as he keeps up his cardio he can determine where this fight goes.
DFS Perspective: I think Kamaka is better anywhere this fight goes and should produce a good-to-decent score in any win scenario. Chavez has a chance if he uses more leg kicks to slow Kamaka down, but a lower-scoring decision would be likely.
My Pick: Kamaka
Chris Gruetzemacher (14-4-0) v. Rafa Garcia (12-1-0)
- Gruetzemacher is a pure striker with decent head and foot movement. He uses fast hands and hard leg kicks, working to keep the fight at range. He carries power in his hands and throws good volume. He works well in the clinch but does not have much of a ground game to speak of. He does not shoot for takedowns, and his takedown defense is average.
- Garcia has a much easier matchup this time out compared to his debut. He is a striker with decent power and good movement. He uses a big overhand and quick combos to pressure forward. His ground game is decent as well. He can shoot or trip for takedowns and will control or search for a submission. If in top control he will lay down strong ground-and-pound.
DFS Perspective: Gruetzemacher is a guy I do not feel belongs in the UFC. He has been largely unimpressive and has not shown much overall talent to be here. Rafa will be better everywhere and should win this fight with relative ease. A lower-scoring decision is possible, but I do think he hits value with a finish.
My Pick: Garcia
Collin Anglin (8-1-0) v. Melsik Baghdasaryan (5-1-0)
- Anglin is a rangy fighter with great foot movement. He has a nice straight jab that he follows up with a leg kick or looping hooks and has decent volume. He works well around the cage but fights with his hands low, allowing quicks shots to hit him. He does not shoot for takedowns often and instead works to get into the clinch, where he can throw hard knees.
- Baghdasaryan is a fast-paced blitzer loaded with power. From the bell, he is pressuring forward and backing his opponent into the cage. He will throw hard kicks and knees to the head and body. He'll deliver consecutive combinations to the head until his adversary is down. His ground-and-pound takes over after that. We have not seen much in the way of a ground game, but his defense looks solid.
DFS Perspective: This is an exciting debut match between two prospects. Baghdasaryan is a fast and furious first-round fighter with incredible finishing power. If he gets that, he crushes value. After the first he slows down, and the advantage moves to Anglin. Anglin could score well against a tired Baghdasaryan.
My Pick: Baghdasaryan
Nicco Montano (5-3-0) v. Wu Yanan (11-4-0)
- Montano makes her way back after nearly two years due to a plethora of cancelled bouts. She is a well-rounded fighter. She is a high-volume striker with decent power. She uses quick leg kicks and is great at level-changing to find openings for takedowns. Once on the mat, she is great at controlling. She moves well and loves to get into top control.
- Yanan is a decent all-around fighter who improves each time out. She has a nice left hook right cross combo attacking the head and body. She will bait her opponents to get them to throw and counter with a nasty hook. She has powerful kicks and loves to back her opponents into the clinch where she can throw deadly knees and elbows. Her body lock takedown is great, and she can rain down heavy ground-and-pound.
DFS Perspective: Montano should be better anywhere this fight goes, and the one throwing more volume. She should score well with a finish or decision. If Yanan is able to get into top control, she could sneak a couple rounds for the upset.
My Pick: Montano
Bryan Barberena (15-7-0) v. Jason Witt (18-7-0)
- Barberena is volume striker with big power. He has quick hands and walks forward using straight combos and hooks. He fights with his hands down and will eat shots to deliver them right back with his power. He does devastating work in the clinch but does not often shoot for takedowns. His scrambling on the mat is elite. He works his way into submission attempts or works himself back to his feet.
- Witt is an average striker looking to keep at range until he can hit the mat. He keeps his hands low to invite throws to counter and then pressure opponents back into the cage. He carries some power in his hands and will mix in hard knees in close. He will work to the clinch where he can get trips and body locks. On the mat, he works into a guard where he can keep control and hunt for a submission. His cardio comes into question after the first round, and his chin is among the worst.
DFS Perspective: Witt has been horrible in the UFC; his win came against a guy who was clearly out of shape and missed weight. His other two fights have been knockout losses early in the first round. He does have a path to victory if he can keep the fight on the mat. Barberena is the superior fighter and will have a huge advantage on the feet. An early knockout for him would be needed to hit value.
My Pick: Barberena
Ryan Benoit (10-7-0) v. Zarrukh Adashev (3-3-0)
- Benoit is a dangerous striker with a great all-around game. He throws devastating kicks to the legs and body and mixes in strong hooks to the head. He is always pressuring forward and has excellent head movement to avoid taking big shots. His takedowns are timed very well, and he will jump right into heavy ground-and-pound. When taken down himself, he has fantastic scrambling and can quickly get to his feet.
- Adashev is an aggressive kickboxer with good overall striking. He uses good distance control and counter punches darting in and out to avoid being hit. He throws looping hooks and strong kicks, but can be wild and hittable because of it. His ground game is improving; he fights strong in the clinch but does next to nothing on the mat. He struggles on his back, and has problems getting back up.
DFS Perspective: This well could be the last fight in the UFC for Adashev. He has not done well thus far, and he has another difficult matchup. His chance here will come by knockout if he is able to land something big. Benoit will be better everywhere and should come out on top. A lower-scoring decision is likely.
My Pick: Benoit
Niklas Stolze (12-4-0) v. Jared Gooden (17-6-0)
- Stolze is an excellent pressure fighter with a great all-around game. His striking is crisp and powerful. He throws hard combos with kicks to all parts of the body. He moves forward and looks to get into the clinch, where he can devastate with hard shots or look for a body lock or trip. He is a BJJ specialist with a fantastic ground game. He controls well and can devastate with ground-and-pound or hunt for a submission.
- Gooden is an exciting boxer and fun to watch. He throws a nice jab coupled with strong kicks to the body. He will throw multiple kicks in a row and then a deadly hook. He likes to dart in and out throwing looping shots and knees. His defense is not the greatest, and he takes a lot of hard shots. He does have a decent ground game and will attempt takedowns when he is tired or there is an opening. In top control, he has great ground-and-pound, and he can hunt for subs when he can take the back.
DFS Perspective: Gooden is a fun, flashy fighter. He likes to taunt and get into his opponent's head. I think it would be a mistake in this fight and will only get him into trouble. Gooden has one-shot power, and a knockout would smash value. I think Stolze will be better everywhere in this fight and should be owned in all lineups at his price point. He would crush value with any type of win.
My Pick: Stolze
Cheyanne Buys (5-2-0) v. Gloria De Paula (5-3-0)
- Buys is a Taekwondo striker with excellent footwork. She is quick with every part of her game; throwing jabs and hooks mixed with front and round kicks to all parts of the body. She is aggressive and walks her opponents down with power. Her clinch work and takedowns are great. She will throw nasty elbows or look for trips to get the right to the mat. She controls well and on top can throw hard looping shots.
- De Paula is a rangy striker looking to find her footing in the UFC. She throws a hard jab and mixes in combos to the head and body. Her quick hands allow her to fight in the pocket. She has powerful kicks and is not afraid to take some to throw some. Her ground game could use some work. She struggles to get back up after being taken down but has shown a decent ability to counter takedowns or find herself in top control.
DFS Perspective: Buys should be better in all facets of this fight. She will march De Paula down and control everywhere this fight goes. If De Paula can keep it at range, she has a chance for a low-scoring decision, but I would not bet on it. Buys should dominate and score well.
My Pick: Buys
Kyung Ho Kang (17-8-0, 1NC) v. Rani Yahya (27-10-1, 1NC)
- Kang returns after a long layoff and looks to pick up where he left off. He is a well-rounded fighter with powerful striking and a fantastic ground game. He has great one-twos and fast hands. His movement is great, and his takedowns are excellent. He can control for the round, move into top control for ground-and-pound, or hunt for a submission. His takedown defense is elite, and he is great at avoiding big hits.
- Yahya continues his successful UFC career with another big fight. He is an electric starter with increased aggression in the first round. He fearlessly throws power shot after power shot with jabs and kicks. He works inside and throws quick combos letting his hands fly. He will take shots to throw his own and level change to find an opening for takedowns. He has fantastic BJJ, solid takedowns and hunts for subs relentlessly.
DFS Perspective: A matchup between two guys who love to fight on the mat. I think Yahya will have the advantage in the first round, but if he is unable to seize a finish then it turns to Kang's advantage. Either guy could get a finish. Kang has more ways to win, but both guys would score well in a decision victory. I think Kang's takedown defense and power/volume drives him to the finish line here.
My Pick: Kang
Uriah Hall (18-9-0) v. Sean Strickland (23-3-1)
- Hall is an ever-improving fighter with growing confidence each time out. He is pure striker. He throws powerful straights and hooks with low kicks to brush his opponent back or off balance. He walks forward with his hands held high and uses good movement to avoid being hit. He is a slower-paced fighter with low volume but throws with conviction each shot. He does not offer much of a ground game, and if taken down, he has shown issues getting back up.
- Strickland is an excellent rangy fighter with technical striking and a solid ground game. He uses terrific footwork to work behind his technical strikes. He has fast hands and throws quick combos, as well as heavy leg kicks to the head and body. He carries one-shot power in his hands and is elite at avoiding big shots. He works well in the clinch throwing hard knees and elbows. He will trip from the clinch and look for top control to pour on deadly ground and pound.
DFS Perspective: Hall possesses monstrous power and could end the fight with a single shot at any time, which would lead to a high score. I think that is the only way he wins. Strickland will throw more volume and has shown a far better ability to avoid big hits. Add in the ability to throw in takedowns and Strickland should win with ease. He just needs to avoid the kill shot.
My Pick: Strickland