UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs Dillashaw Predictions (Reposted)

Can T.J. Dillashaw shine in his return to the octagon after a two year suspension? Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Vegas 32. The UFC returns to the Apex for a solid eleven fight slate tonight.

The write-up here will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It details my betting strategy for each fight and a prediction of what kind of bout we see.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for takedown defense and submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those two stats and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

Lastly, if you are in search of even more DFS content be sure to visit DailyPlayAction.com! This site is dedicated to providing expert daily fantasy coaching as well as tools to optimize your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and PGA lineups. Check them out now if you play any FanDuel or DraftKings DFS.

Current Record

  • Anthony: 162-112-2 (Last Year 223-145-6)
  • Nick: 161-113-2 (Last Year 235-133-6)
  • GB: 154-120-2 (Last Year 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:00 AM EST 7-24-2021

Preliminary Card- Starts 4:00pm EST

Diana Belbita -120 (DK $7900, FD $14) vs Hannah Goldy +100 (DK $8300, FD $16)

  • Anthony: The card opens with this women’s strawweight bout between Hannah Goldy and Diana Belbita. It should be a fight taking place primarily on the feet as neither athlete seems the most eager to engage in grappling battles. It was the fourth submission loss for Belbita in her most recent outing when Liana Jojua submitted her with a first round armbar. Today’s matchup is the most crucial of her career as she looks to avoid an 0-3 UFC start. I see Goldy pushing a very high pace and utilizing her boxing to really touch up Belbita. I do not know whether or not Belbita can hang with her for a full fifteen minutes on the feet. It is not a very confident pick at all but seems like a spot Goldy can certainly get her hand raised. Hannah Goldy by Decision
  • Nick: We have a tough matchup to call here between two strawweights that land more than 5.5 significant strikes per minute. Both girls are most content on the feet but we’ve also seen them find some success on the mat in their careers. Goldy could be described as a physical specimen. She carries a ton of muscle mass. She is extremely strong with powerful strikes, but she has been criticized at times for waiting for the fight to come to her. Belbita is coming off an ugly loss to Liana Jojua. She was dominating on the feet in that spot, but she ran into Jojua’s guard and was quickly submitted. While both of these girls favor their striking, Belbita likely has the more advanced technical ability. It is notable here that Goldy has never shot for a takedown in the UFC. I expect Belbita will come out strong here. As long as she avoids making any poor decisions, she should pull this off on the scorecards. My confidence is very low in this spot given the nature of this matchup, but I’m siding with Belbita. Diana Belbita by Decision
  • GB: Diana Belbita by Decision

Sijara Eubanks -400 (DK $9300, FD $23) vs Elise Reed +300 (DK $6900, FD $8)

  • Anthony: Next is a women’s flyweight bout between Sijara Eubanks and Elise Reed. This is the UFC debut for Reed who is 4-0 as a professional. It is quite the mismatch as she steps in on short notice for this opportunity quite undersized compared to Eubanks. Primarily fighting at 135 pounds, Eubanks had a successful cut to flyweight for this matchup. Reed conversely is moving up to flyweight after fighting at strawweight and even atomweight in the past. I do not expect much striking here as a more physically dominant Eubanks should be able to control Reed with ease on the mat. A .500 fighter like Eubanks is very difficult to trust but this is a bout where she is rightfully favored. Sijara Eubanks by Decision
  • Nick: Sijara Eubanks has been inconsistent at times, but when she’s on she has enough ability to hang with top competitors in this division. Eubanks is moving back down to flyweight here. She used to have issues making weight in this class but it seems like she had one of the better cuts of her career coming into this spot. Reed is a tough and gritty military vet, but this represents a serious step up in competition for her. Eubanks is the far more powerful striker in this matchup, and she’s also the more dangerous grappler as a BJJ black belt. When you watch Reed’s footage on the regional scene, she visibly struggled on the mat against far worse grapplers than Eubanks. Reed seems to be fairly well-rounded, but we haven’t seen here against this higher level of competition. The line is getting a bit too wide for comfort but Eubanks is the clear play in this spot. She looks solid for DFS purposes as well. Sijara Eubanks by Round Three KO
  • GB: Sijara Eubanks by Round Two KO

Julio Arce -200 (DK $9100, FD $20) vs Andre Ewell +160 (DK $7100, FD $10)

  • Anthony: This will be a very fun bantamweight bout between Julio Arce and Andre Ewell. It is the first fight for Arce since 2019 when he lost a split decision to Hakeem Dawodu at 145 pounds. The time off seems well spent as he lowered his weight and likely improved other aspects of his game. Arce’s best attribute is his powerful striking, but against Dawodu he was out volumed and only landed at a 25 percent clip. Ewell is a heavy volume striker who can work behind his jab and fast hands to find success in this fight. Arce is a threat to finish this fight but by fighting smart and utilizing his range, I see Ewell getting the victory. It seemed to be a solid weight cut for Arce but he may gas more quickly at bantamweight. That is especially worrisome as he tends to be a rather slow starter in general. Andre Ewell by Round Three KO
  • Nick: Ewell is known for his ability to strike at range, but he doesn’t offer much in terms of power. He’s going to have a significant reach advantage in this spot but has to be careful about throwing off his front foot and leaving himself open to counters from Arce. Arce is very quick in exchanges. He has impressive technical ability on the feet and he defends an impressive 67 percent of the strikes thrown against him. He has notable wins over the likes of Dan Ige and Julian Erosa. As talented as he is, we haven’t seen Arce in the octagon since November of 2019. He fell to Hakeem Dawodu via split decision in that fight, but it took place at 145 pounds. This fight will be at 135 and I expect he’ll have a significant power advantage against Ewell here. Additionally, Arce has underrated offensive grappling ability. If this fight does hit the mat he has a significant advantage there as well. Arce is coming off surgery in both of his elbows, so I wouldn’t invest too heavily on him given the nature of the layoff. Still, he feels like the rightful favorite. Julio Arce by Decision
  • GB: Andre Ewell by Decision

Jordan Williams -175 (DK $8700, FD $21) vs Mickey Gall +140 (DK $7500, FD $9)

  • Anthony: Next is a strange fight at welterweight between Jordan Williams and Mickey Gall. The career for Gall has been extremely up and down. He has a thin resume and his most recent lost to Mike Perry may of actually been one of his better performances. He is well-rounded enough but extremely hittable and somebody like Williams can very much expose him on the feet. Gall will likely be looking to take this fight to the mat. Williams was undersized at 185 pounds so the move to welterweight likely pays dividends for him. He carries the reach advantage in this fight and much heavier hands than Gall. While I do worry about his cardio fading in rounds two and three, Williams is in a prime spot to score a finish here today. He held a superior grappler in Nassourdine Imavov to just one of eight takedowns in his most recent fight. I am not all that worried about the grappling of Gall. Jordan Williams by Round One KO
  • Nick: Williams is coming off a tough loss to Nassourdine Imavov. He’s well rounded with decent power in his strikes, but he also takes a lot more damage than he should in exchanges. Williams will be cutting down to 170 pounds for the first time in the UFC. He has diabetes so he’s had issues maintaining quality nutrition, but he’s recently begun working with the UFC PI and he looked decent at weigh-ins. Mickey Gall is mostly a one-trick pony. His striking is below average, but he has decent enough grappling to squeeze out the occasional submission victory. He’s coming off an ugly loss to Mike Perry back in June of 2020. He has more experience than Williams, but he’s far from aggressive. I expect Williams to push the pace and potentially find Gall’s chin in this spot. This is a low-level matchup so I’m really not comfortable investing too heavily on either side. Jordan Williams by Round Two KO
  • GB: Mickey Gall by Decision

Ian Heinisch -165 (DK $8500, FD $18) vs Nassourdine Imavov +130 (DK $7700, FD $13)

  • Anthony: This will be a great middleweight fight between Ian Heinisch and Nassourdine Imavov. Both fighters are coming off decision losses and are hungry to get back in the win column. Heinisch has faced the much tougher competition than Imavov, having losses to top 15 names like Derek Brunson and Kelvin Gastelum. His kryptonite has been superior wrestlers, but I do not think Imavov is quite on his level. Having just been out grappled by Phil Hawes, Imavov will certainly look to keep this fight standing. He is a very clean striker that can have success here on the feet, I just believe Heinisch keeps this fight where he is more comfortable. He has the cardio advantage and should be able to score a finish or decision win against a fighter of Imavov’s caliber. Heinisch also offers plenty of weapons on the feet, carrying a heavy right hand and five wins by knockout as a professional. Ian Heinisch by Decision
  • Nick: Heinisch is a well-rounded fighter who has found a lot of his success behind a powerful right hook. He has a strong wrestling base, but he mostly uses his grappling as a means to control position. He hasn’t scored a submission victory in over three years but his grappling ability allows him to take most fights where he wants them. I expect that could be the difference in this matchup. Nassourdine Imavov has advanced footwork and excellent head movement. He also does a good job circling away from the strengths of his opponents and swinging out of his wide stance. He’s a decent grappler, but he’s going to try to keep this fight on the feet. In many ways this is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, but Heinisch has faced a much higher level of competition before. Imavov has a mediocre 60 percent takedown defense so I expect Heinisch to use his wrestling in this spot to nullify his opponent’s strengths. Ian Heinisch by Decision
  • GB: Ian Heinisch by Round Two KO

Punahele Soriano -120 (DK $8200, FD $15) vs Brendan Allen +100 (DK $8000, FD $16)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim is one of the best bouts on the card, as middleweights Punahele Soriano and Brendan Allen do battle. It has been a dominant run for Soriano who enters this bout 8-0. His heavy hands have secured him two first round stoppages thus far in the UFC. I do believe he is a legitimate contender, I just worry about the other aspects of his game. Allen is a phenomenal grappler who fishes for submissions early and often in fights. Soriano is certainly becoming a more well-rounded fighter at Xtreme Couture, but Allen is certainly the further developed martial artist at this stage of their careers. He is a black belt under Daniel Wanderley and has adopted a much better striking system during his time at Sanford MMA. Just a few clean strikes from Soriano can end this fight at any moment, but Allen should eventually get the better of him by implementing a grappling heavy gameplan. Hopefully he goes for the takedown early and does not show off his improved striking against this high level of an opponent. Brendan Allen by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Soriano’s greatest strength is his powerful left hand, and for someone lacking significant professional experience he looks fairly polished in exchanges. He comes into this fight undefeated at 8-0 but there are a lot of question marks still surrounding his overall ability as most of his fights have ended via knockout in the early rounds. Allen is a well-rounded fighter, but his greatest strength is his offensive grappling. He has a tricky BJJ game, which was fully on display his last time out in a submission win over Karl Roberson. Allen isn’t as good of a striker as Soriano, but he does throw enough volume to potentially keep things close on the feet. That being said, Soriano has enough power that Allen should know better than to sit in the pocket with him. Brendan Allen has a negative striking differential and an ugly 39 percent striking defense. Allen’s clearest path to victory will be to take Soriano to the mat here, but that could be fairly difficult given Soriano is a Judo brown belt who has wrestled collegiately. This is a tough fight to predict as there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered on Soriano. It wouldn’t shock me at all if he caught Allen and scored that early KO. That being said, I’m siding with the underdog in this one. Soriano has been impressive, but this feels like a considerable step up in competition for him here. I expect Allen to lean on his offensively grappling ability to secure a win. Brendan Allen by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Punahele Soriano by Round One KO

Main Card- Starts 7:00pm EST

Adrian Yanez -225 (DK $9000, FD $20) vs Randy Costa +175 (DK $7200, FD $9)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with a banger at bantamweight between Adrian Yanez and Rany Costa. These are two very high-level striking prospects. Yanez is one of my favorite young fighters, having three wins by knockout since his debut on Dana White’s Contender Series. He has lightning-fast hands and power in all limbs. Not only that but Yanez is durable and does an excellent job avoiding his opponent’s best strikes. I would argue Costa’s striking system is a bit further developed than that of Yanez given the combinations we have already seen him land. However, Yanez can be just as effective with his very honed boxing. I see this fight being back and forth for as long as it lasts. A Fight of the Night contender without a doubt. Costa should not be slept on and this price is getting a bit wide, but Yanez is certainly the pick from me. These two have been cordial all week going back and forth on Twitter, arguing as to whether Dr. Pepper or Resees cups are the superior snack. It will be decided in the octagon tonight. Adrian Yanez by Round Two KO
  • Nick: This should be a fun one for as long as it lasts. We have two powerful strikers here, and both of these guys like to stand and swing. All six of Randy Costa’s wins have come via knockout in the first round. He’s an extremely quick and powerful striker with explosive kicks and combinations. Adrian Yanez is a very technical boxer who throws sharp and effective combos better than many of the more experienced fighters in this division. He does a good job using combos to set up his power shots, and his advanced boxing instincts at a young age have a lot of people already comparing him to Jorge Masvidal. Similar to Masvidal, he does a good job throwing feints and leading his opponents into traps. All of the strikes he throws are meaningful. As good as Costa has looked, we really haven’t seen him find success outside of the first round. He’s going to be live for a knockout early here, but I expect he has some trouble finding his spot against a more technically advanced striker in Yanez. If Yanez weathers the early storm, this feels like his fight to lose. Adrian Yanez by Round Two KO
  • GB: Adrian Yanez by Round One KO

Miranda Maverick -160 (DK $8400, FD $18) vs Maycee Barber +130 (DK $7800, FD $12)

  • Anthony: At flyweight we have two high level female prospects next as Miranda Maverick will take on Maycee Barber. After being dubbed “The Future” and starting her career 8-0, Barber has taken a few steps backwards as of late while her competition grows tougher. Her most recent fight with Alexa Grasso was not a bad showing by any means, but losing to Roxanne Modaffari as a -850 favorite is very disheartening. I do not see her having any success grappling a stronger fighter like Maverick. This fight will likely take place on the feet and be dictated by the pressure of Maverick. The 24-year-old is coming into her prime a bit faster than Barber and I see her extending her win streak to five after this bout. In her two performances thus far, Maverick has scored north of 98 points on DraftKings. If she gets the better of Barber here, she may find her way into the optimal lineup with such a fair price tag. Miranda Maverick by Decision
  • Nick: Maverick is coming off back-to-back impressive UFC wins, but she’s a name that’s been building some hype for a while. She’s mostly known for her extremely high-fight IQ and very well-rounded overall game. She’s big for this division, with very powerful hips and more than enough grappling ability to avoid most compromising positions. Maverick continues to show improvement in her striking, but she’s still clearly developing that aspect of her game. Maverick showed outstanding cardio her last time out against Gillian Robertson. She continuously pushed a serious pace and she managed to stay calm and work well out of tough positions. Maycee Barber is coming off a tough loss to Alexa Grasso. She was surprisingly outclassed in that spot but showed she could still hang with the top competitors in this division. She once carried a lot of the hype that Maverick has now, but injuries and inactivity have seemingly killed a lot of her momentum. This is a tough matchup to call and both of these girls have bright futures in the UFC. However, I’m siding with the strength and momentum of Maverick here. Miranda Maverick by Decision
  • GB: Miranda Maverick by Decision

Darrick Minner -155 (DK $8600, FD $19) vs Darren Elkins +125 (DK $7600, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Next is a bout at featherweight between Darrick Minner and Darren Elkins. The debut for Elkins came in 2010 and yet he still has been fighting competitively at the highest level. He is a well-rounded fighter who has largely built his image on pressure fighting and absorbing his opponents’ best shots. While he has accumulated a lot of damage as the nickname suggests, he certainly wears it well. Elkins broke a four-fight losing streak in his most recent performance, a submission win over Eduardo Garagorri. I could see the crafty veteran getting a similar outcome here but with this fight likely being contested in the wrestling and grappling, Minner is the rightful favorite. He is a slicker submission artist than Elkins, boasting 22 professional wins by sub. I am not confident saying he gets Elkins to tap, but my assumption is Minner gets top position in a majority of these exchanges. He has looked excellent since moving to Glory MMA and training with James Krause. I may be putting too much stock into his coaching, but Minner wins this fight a majority of the time by simply fighting smart. Darrick Minner by Decision
  • Nick: Minner is primarily a grappler. He’s decent on the feet, but he’s far more comfortable pursuing takedowns and working for submissions on the mat. Minner is undefeated since he made the move to Glory MMA. He’s been much more reserved under Coach James Krause and he’s shown improvements in all facets of his game. He is live for a submission here. Minner has an outstanding guillotine choke and he’s very opportunistic in scrambles. Elkins is an extremely tough and gritty veteran known as “The Damage” for his ability to take shots and keep moving forward. He is bloodied and bruised in almost all of his fights, regardless of whether or not he wins or loses. Elkis is decent offensively but he’s also extremely hittable. He is a technically gifted wrestler who does well in scrambles but there is no denying he’s on the downturn of his career. These guys are very similar in a lot of ways, but Minner still seems to be closer to his prime. I’ll have shares of Elkins for DFS purposes as he’s excellent value here. Still, I’m siding with Minner in this spot. Elkins may be durable but I feel Minner is more dangerous at this point in his career. Darrick Minner by Decision
  • GB: Darrick Minner by Round One Submission

Kyler Phillips -285 (DK $9200, FD $22) vs Raulian Paiva +225 (DK $7000, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The co-man event features bantamweight Kyler Phillips and Raulian Paiva going head-to-head. This is the first bout for Paiva at 135 pounds in the UFC due to past difficulty making the cut to flyweight. He steps in on short notice here to face a dangerous Kyler Phillips and I worry this is a rude introduction to the division. Phillips is a phenomenal striker training out of MMA Lab. He has a lot of sneaky attributes elsewhere that heighten his game but the striking is his bread and butter without a doubt. Originally planning to face Raphael Assuncao, Phillips takes a bit of a step back here in order to stay active and keep his place on this card. It should be a relatively easy win for the prospect having already gotten the better of fighters like Song Yadong. I see him staying several steps ahead of Paiva and eventually overwhelming him with his power and size advantage. Kyler Phillips by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Kyler Phillips throws diverse strikes and does a good job using feints to bait his opponents into powerful shots. He is very athletic with a good gas tank and scrambling ability. He throws exciting and versatile strikes, but he also possesses quality ability on the mat. No matter where his fights go, he seems talented enough to find success against a wide range of opponents at this level. He was scheduled to face Rafael Assuncao here, but he now faces Paiva who is taking this fight on short notice. Paiva is a highly technical striker. He has solid footwork and puts out decent volume, but he’s had issues against ranked opponents in the past. Paiva missed weight for his last matchup and now moved up to 135 pounds, so he’s not going to have the size advantage he is accustomed to. Phillips is coming off an impressive decision win over a highly regarded prospect in Song Yadong. He showed excellent athleticism in that spot, and I expect him to keep his momentum rolling here. Kyler Phillips by Round Two KO
  • GB: Kyler Phillips by Decision

Cory Sandhagen -200 (DK $8800, FD $22) vs T.J. Dillashaw +160 (DK $7400, FD $17)

  • Anthony: The main event elevates this card to another level as T.J. Dillashaw makes his return to the cage against Cory Sandhagen. The former bantamweight champion makes the walk for the first time in over two years, having served a suspension for performance enhancing drug EPO. I feel like we have seen a lot of Dillashaw in the gym this past year, so I do not necessarily worry about ring rust here. The big issue is his opponent and the trajectory of the current division. These two are former training partners and even while still young, Sandhagen was getting the better of him in sparring. I would have difficulty picking Dillashaw against someone like Rob Font or Jose Aldo in his return, so I have to side with Sandhagen here. I view the Elevation prospect as the number one contender already in this division after his previous two jaw dropping wins. The only loss he suffered in his previous nine fights came against current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. He was out grappled early in that bout and submitted by rear naked choke. On the feet he should look lightning fast compared to T.J. for the first few rounds at the very least. His powerful knees and excellent footwork will likely force Dillashaw to think too much. The clearest path for Dillashaw would be relying on his collegiate wrestling to ground the very dangerous standup fighter. I do not sense an upset brewing in this one as the far more active Sandhagen should get his hand raised. Cory Sandhagen by Round Three KO
  • Nick: There’s a good chance that the winner of this Bantamweight Main Event will be next in line to challenge for the title. This will be Dillashaw’s first fight since he was issued a two-year USADA Suspension for utilizing EPO for endurance. He’s a two-time former bantamweight champion. He has an outstanding wrestling base and positional grappling ability. Dillashaw has good head movement, but he sometimes ducks to avoid shots. This could prove troublesome for him in this spot against a fighter in Sandhagen that throws powerful knees up the middle. Sandhagen is coming off a KO win that’s likely to contend for Knockout of the Year. He hit Frankie Edgar with an early flying knee for a win in the first round. There are questions surrounding Dillashaw’s durability here given he’s no longer on EPO. Sandhagen’s greatest strength is certainly his highly advanced technical striking ability. He averages a ridiculous 6.85 significant strikes landed per minute while carrying a highly impressive +2.96 strike differential. Sandhagen has outstanding cardio, which comes as no surprise as he trains in the thin Colorado air at Elevation Fight Team. Sandhagen generally does a good job keeping distance and using his length to pepper his opponents while staying out of danger. This should make it difficult for Dillashaw to close distance for a takedown. Sandhagen is also a BJJ brown belt with enough ability to work back to his feet if he does find himself grounded. If Dillashaw can land a power shot or lean on effectively executive a wrestling-heavy gameplan he’ll certainly be live as an underdog here. That being said, I expect Sandhagen to effectively utilize his reach to keep Dillashaw at range. I expect Sandhagen to find success on the feet until Dillashaw eventually starts to fade. Cory Sandhagen by Round Three KO
  • GB: T.J. Dillashaw by Round Two KO

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