This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.
Istela Nunes (7-1-0) v. Ariane Carnelossi (13-2-0)
- Nunes is Muay Thai striker making her UFC debut after her latest win in One Fighting Championship. She does great work on the feet and is incredibly quick. She has fast hands, throwing a lot of jabs followed up by big overhand rights. She has also displayed very good footwork and throws a lot of kicks towards the head. The Brazilian leaves much to be desired on the mat. She does not attempt takedowns much at all and struggles tremendously against experienced grapplers and wrestlers. She has shown decent scrambling but needs the fight to stay upright.
- Carnelossi was extremely impressive in her second UFC fight scoring a huge knockout win in the second round. She applies constant forward pressure and never seems to stop throwing. She has viscous combos that consist of jabs, crosses, hooks and overhands. If she gets any indication that a fighter is hurt, she will immediately blitz forward and throw a flurry of big strikes to get the finish. "Sorriso" does not like fighting on the mat and rarely attempts a takedown. If a fighter is hurt and drops, she will mount and tear them apart with massive ground and pound. She has also shown a good ability to reverse and scramble when needed.
DFS Perspective: This fight should primarily take place on the feet, and I think that makes it a bad match for Nunes' debut. These ladies have similar fighting styles, but Carnelossi should be better everywhere, and tougher. Nunes has not fought in over three years and hard to know what you'll get from her. I see another big Carnelossi knockout and score.
My Pick: Carnelossi
Danaa Batgerel (9-2-0) v. Brandon Davis (14-8-0)
- Batgerel recently impressed with another early first-round knockout and now looks to make it three in a row. He is a striker with huge power in his hands. He will look to pressure early with a quick straight and big left hook. He also features a great counter hook and can catch fighters while backing away. He will mix in leg kicks to open the inside and dive in from there. The fighter out of Jackson Wink MMA prefers to keep the fight on the feet and has only attempted one takedown in his UFC tenure. He has shown good get-ups but can be susceptible to be controlled on his back.
- Davis returns the UFC for a second time after rattling off four consecutive wins at Gulf Coast MMA. His striking looks much improved, and he overall looks more composed. He applies good pressure and will come at fighters with a jab-cross and big overhand. He throws a lot of low leg kicks and will often start and finish combinations with them. He will also get fighters backed up to the cage and start using deadly knees when they duck down. "Killer B" has good takedowns when he attempts them. He is excellent at taking the back and squeezing chokes and can rain down big ground and pound from top control.
DFS Perspective: I do think Davis has a path to victory if he mixes in takedowns and turns up his volume. Batgerel has faced better competition and is the more polished striker of the two. Neither guy has been knocked out professionally, and I do fear that a decision would yield a lower score. That said, I like Batgerel to keep laying the wood and score another big knockout here.
My Pick: Batgerel
Nate Landwehr (14-4-0) v. Ludovit Klein (17-3-0)
- Landwehr needs a win in a big way, having started his UFC stint 1-2 with both losses being knockouts. He is a relentless striker with constant forward pressure. He loves throwing low and front kicks and will follow them with big hooks or uppercuts. He works best inside the pocket where he can unload and does not mind eating damage to deal it. When he sees a fighter is hurt, he will blitz forward and look to end things early. "The Train" seldom attempts takedowns, has great takedown defense and is good at scrambling back to his feet if taken down. He likes to keep the fight on the feet where he can do the most damage and will look to get it back there immediately but can struggle off his back.
- Klein dropped a questionable decision loss last time out and is looking to get back into the win column quickly with a big win here. He is a great counter striker with excellent footwork. He throws a nasty jab and precise one-twos. He has a deadly and quick head kick that he will throw with virtually no tell. He looks to bait fighters in and then attack with a big hook or that big leg kick. The Slovenian is strong and works well in the clinch. He will work into the Muay Thai Plum and throw knees or look to take them down. He has good takedowns but does not control the best on the ground and allows fighters to get up or reverse. He also does great work off his back.
DFS Perspective: Landwehr is absolutely live for an early knockout that would break the slate, but I think that is the only way he wins this. I expect Klein to look much more like the fighter that we saw in his debut and to end this early at some point. Unfortunately, if he wins a decision, it will likely be low-scoring and not hit value.
My Pick: Klein
Loopy Godinez (6-1-0) v. Luana Carolina (7-2-0)
- Godinez fought only a week ago and looked dominant with an early submission win over a newcomer. She is high-volume, aggressive, and very quick. She cuts the cage off well and has excellent footwork. She has a big left hook and will mix her combinations up with those hooks, jabs and crosses. The past LFA Strawweight champion also features a great ground game. When she struggles to work into the pocket, she will clinch up and force her way in. She will also shoot for single and double-leg takedowns and work control on the mat.
- Carolina scored a huge upset win to move her to 2-1 last time out and looks to keep it rolling here. She is a rangy striker with good movement and a strong counter. She loves to pull fighters in and rock them with a slick jab-hook. She has strong kicks and will attack the head and body as often as she can. The native Brazilian has a strong clinch game and will throw damaging knees and elbows from it. She does not attempt takedowns often and her defense needs to work. She struggles to gain control when taken down but does have an active guard when put on her back.
DFS Perspective: I almost feel bad for Carolina. She gets a short-notice fighter, but this fighter fought last week and looked dominant. I feel Loopy is going to be better anywhere this fight goes and likely controls everywhere this fight goes. Look for another dominant outing for her.
My Pick: Godinez
Danny Roberts (17-5-0) v. Ramazan Emeev (20-4-0)
- Roberts returns to the Octagon after nearly two years since his last fight and looks to avoid a third loss in the last four. He is a boxer and has strong, quick strikes. He will throw a nice jab followed by big looping hooks and a kick to the head. He has great movement around the ring and cuts it off nicely. The Sanford MMA product does not offer much on the mat. He does decent work in the clinch but does not have great takedowns or wrestling. When taken down himself, he struggles to get back up but if he finds the back he can sneak in a choke.
- Emeev continued his impressive UFC stint, moving to 5-1 and two in a row with another big win in his last fight. He is not the best striker but is adequate. He has a nice jab-cross and big left hook. He will throw kicks to help change levels and has great movement around the ring. He does tend to stand flat-footed, allowing his legs to get hit hard but avoids big shot to the head. "Gorets" has fantastic takedowns and fantastic control on the mat. He is very strong and will chain takedowns over and over to keep control on the mat. He has decent ground and pound but has not submitted anyone since 2016.
DFS Perspective: Roberts can win this if he keeps this on the feet and lands a knockout. Emeev will look for takedowns right away and will not stop going for them. He should have his way with Roberts and keep control on the mat for at least two rounds. Without a multitude of takedowns and control time, Emeev likely does not hit value at his price point.
My Pick: Emeev
Andrew Sanchez (13-6-0) v. Bruno Silva (20-6-0)
- Sanchez recently dropped a tough knockout loss, bringing himself to 3-2 in his last five fights. He has shown a lot of improvement over that span, however. He has a great counter and will feint and bait fighters into a nice jab followed by a big, looping hook. He will kick and combo fighters back to the cage where he can unleash a flurry of strikes. He does fight with his hands low, leaving him open to be hit easily. "El Dirte" is a great grappler with a background in wrestling. He has great takedowns and has displayed excellent control on the mat. He can move into top and hit hard hammerfists or keep control in dominant positions for the round.
- Silva had a successful return to the ring and debut with a first-round knockout back in June. He is an aggressive, in-your-face brawler. He throws great jab-hook combos and strong kicks, but does not throw them with a ton of volume. He can be sloppy and keeps his hands low, making him susceptible to big hits. "Blindado" has an underutilized ground game that we have not seen a whole lot of. He does not shoot for takedowns often but finds himself getting wily with submission attempts. His takedown defense is better than average, and he will likely need it in this next fight.
DFS Perspective: Neither guy has great defense, and both are susceptible to being knocked out. A knockout for either guy would nail value. Sanchez will hold an advantage if he chooses to take this to the mat, but I am not sure that he will. I think both guys will stand in the pocket until one goes down making this a must-have fight for DFS.
My Pick: Sanchez
Julian Marquez (9-2-0) v. Jordan Wright (12-1-0, 1NC)
- Marquez inched closer to those top-15 rankings with another big submission win, moving him to 4-1 during his UFC stint. He is a powerful striker with great pressure and movement. He throws a big lead hook or overhand to close the distance and move into the pocket. Once there, he will combo nasty hooks together and mix in deadly kicks to the head. The Syndicate MMA product is excellent in the clinch with elbows and knees. He typically does not shoot for takedowns, preferring the right to stay on the feet. He will snap onto the neck and snag a choke if he sees the chance. His takedown defense is improving, but his scrambling is great.
- Wright bounced back in a huge way with a first-round knockout to give him two in three UFC fights last time out. He is a good striker with good in-and-out movement. He has a great jab and overhand and will circle fighters into a massive round kick. He is far better when he can pressure but shuts down and allows his defense to become terrible when he is pressured. The Cali native has solid grappling and works well in the clinch. He does not shoot for takedowns and has good takedown defense. He does have good scrambling and reversals and is sneaky at finding chokes.
DFS Perspective: Definitely going to want one of these fighters in your line. This fight is not going to decision. Between the two they have 21 wins and 21 finishes. Wright's defense on the feet worries me a bit so I lean with the favorite, but Wright is absolutely live for an upset knockout that would be slate breaking.
My Pick: Marquez
Manon Fiorot (7-1-0) v. Mayra Bueno Silva (7-1-1)
- Fiorot has been beyond impressive in her short UFC run with two knockout wins in as many fights. She is a karate striker with big volume and power. She has a slick jab and nasty lead hook. She will pressure forward with good front and side kicks. She is accurate from range and will piece together multiple one-twos in sequence. The native Frenchwoman is strong in the clinch and does a lot of damage against the cage. She has great body lock and double leg takedowns. She has great control when it hits the mat, and viscous ground and pound from top mount.
- Silva was involved in a tough luck draw in her last fight and is looking to fight her way back into the win column here. She is an aggressive Muay Thai striker with heavy pressure. She throws hard round kicks to the head and body, and solid front kicks up the middle. She has fast hands and throws a nice one-two and has a great counter. She can be sloppy striking at times leaving herself open for a big shot. "Sheetara" is dangerous on the mat with her black belt in jiu-jitsu, and all three of her UFC wins are by submission. She has nice takedowns and chains them together to keep control. She does struggle if put on her back but is constantly on the hunt for the armbar.
DFS Perspective: I think Fiorot is better everywhere this fight goes, but Silva will always have a chance for a sneaky submission. If Fiorot avoids the armbar or giving up her back, I think she wins pretty handily here. Another knockout is a definite possibility, and an early finish for either lady will be solid value.
My Pick: Fiorot
Jim Miller (32-16-0, 1NC) v. Erick Gonzalez (14-5-0)
- Miller might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, having lost his last fight and three of the last four overall. He is quick out of the gate and will immediately press on the gas to end it early. He uses a big left straight and great calf kicks to close the gap, and then will feint and counter with a huge uppercut. He will also throw kicks to the head and body to mix up levels. The long-time veteran out of New Jersey is a submission wizard with 18 in his 32 wins. He will shoot for singles and doubles, catch kicks or sweep the legs to get the right down where he wants it. He is aggressive and is constantly scrambling for position and then hunting for that sub.
- Gonzalez makes his UFC debut and looks to make it a memorable one. He is a stalker, walking his opponents down with high and front kicks and a nice right overhand. He has good movement and cuts the cage off nicely. He tends to keep his hands low and lunges into strikes from his opponents. "The Ghost Pepper" fighting out of Fight Science MMA looks to need a bit of work when it comes to grappling and wrestling. He will move into the clinch and then quickly get switched out of it. His takedown attempts are okay, but he has no control on the mat. When he is taken down, he struggles to get back up.
DFS Perspective: I am not sure why Gonzalez is getting this debut fight and I really do not see him doing well. I expect Miller to take control in round one and lock up a submission early. Miller tends to slow down in Rounds 2 and 3, so that could lead to an opening for Gonzalez, but I really do not see it happening.
My Pick: Miller
Andrei Arlovski (31-20-0, 2NC) v. Carlos Felipe (11-1-0)
- Arlovski's gatekeeping continued with another win over an up-and-comer, pushing him to three wins in his last four. He is a good striker with a nice jab and great leg kicks. He uses a lot of feints and will keep the fight at range mixing in hooks and uppercuts when an opponent pressures. He tends to slow the fight down to a pace he is comfortable with and force fighters to do the same. "The Pitbull" fighting at American Top Team has improved emphatically as a grappler. He will clinch up and do some nice damage there, but rarely attempts a takedown and prefers to keep the fight upright. If taken down himself, he struggles to get off his back, but otherwise is solid.
- Felipe extended his win streak to three with yet another decision win in his last fight. He is a volume striker with quick hands for a heavyweight. He uses a nice jab to attack the head and the body and likes to pull guys into the pocket for a brawl. He has no problem eating a shot to give a shot. He throws a lot of looping hooks and not much power. The fighter out of Life MMA has almost nothing when it comes to grappling offensively or defensively. He tends to give up his back to get back up, and against the cage does not show an immediate need to get off it.
DFS Perspective: I do not like this fight for DFS purposes. Both fighters tend to go the distance and neither will score well because of it. Neither guy has much finishing power anymore and aside from a big shot or ground and pound, it likely goes to decision.
My Pick: Arlovski
Aspen Ladd (9-1-0) v. Norma Dumont (6-1-0)
- Ladd makes her long-awaited return to the cage after tearing her ACL/MCL about a year and a half ago. Prior to injury, she looked fantastic and was climbing in the bantamweight division quickly before weight-cutting issues got in the way (this will be contested at featherweight). Her striking and footwork has always been quick, and her hands powerful. She has an excellent jab-cross and strong overhand. Three of her four wins in the UFC have come by knockout. The California native also sports a good ground game. Her takedowns are great, and she has shown control and ability to hunt for submissions. If she finds herself in top control, she features some of the best ground-and-pound in the division.
- Dumont made two wins in a row with a solid split decision victory in her last fight. She is a good volume striker with good movement around the Octagon. She throws a lot of straight right left hook combinations while darting in and out of the pocket. She will also mix in kicks to all parts of the body and blitz in if she thinks her opponent is hurt. "The Immortal" is a brown belt in jiu-jitsu and a great grappler. She tends to grab takedowns towards the end of rounds or when she feels she is in trouble. She does not control the best, but if she gets in top control, she does have some nasty ground-and-pound.
DFS Perspective: I think this is going to be an electric fight and whichever lady comes out on top is going to score well. They both have good volume, and both can snag takedowns. I think the big difference is going to be Ladd's speed and her ground-and-pound. If she gets into top control, this should be over quickly. Dumont probably has a little more power on the feet, and she should look to land big blows there. It is still unknown how Ladd will be after such a long injury layoff, but I would still lean on her to take this and nail value.
My Pick: Ladd
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.