UFC Vegas 33: Hall vs Strickland Predictions (Reposted)

Which middleweight contender will move closer to title contention tonight? Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Vegas 33. We have a solid slate of fights tonight headlined by Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland.

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: 165-120-2 (Last Year 223-145-6)
  • Nick: 166-119-2 (Last Year 235-133-6)
  • GB: 158-127-2 (Last Year 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 8:00 AM EST 7-31-2021

Preliminary Card- Starts 6:00pm EST

Orion Cosce -150 (DK $8800, FD $18) vs Phillip Rowe +125 (DK $7400, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The card opens with a welterweight bout between Phillip Rowe and Orion Cosce. Rowe was one of several weight misses yesterday, coming in 1.5 pounds heavier than the limit. As of late he has put on gritty performances against Gabe Green and in a win over Leon Shahbazyan. He is always a live opponent but lacks the well-rounded skillset needed to perform consistently at this level. The power is not there for Rowe on the feet and he is certainly at a grappling disadvantage in this matchup. I think Cosce wrestles his way to a decision victory or perhaps finds late finish of his foe Rowe. The weight miss for Rowe is not going to scare me off my bet here, as he already had the height and reach advantage quite significantly. The wrestling pedigree of Cosce should allow him to control less sophisticated opponents like this, regardless of size. Orion Cosce by Decision
  • Nick: Phillip Rowe was forced to donate 20 percent of his fight purse as he missed weight by for this matchup. He appeared visibly drained at weigh-ins, but when these fighters faced off it was evident he had a clear size advantage. Rowe has a ridiculous 80.5-inch reach as the tallest welterweight on the UFC roster. He’s coming off a tough decision loss to Gabriel Green, but prior to that fight he hadn’t lost since 2015. Towering over Cosce, his clearest path to victory here will likely be to try to pick his opponent apart at range. That may prove difficult for him though, as Cosce was a state champion high school wrestler. While he’s at a clear disadvantage in terms of reach, Cosce has a very low center of gravity and explosive hips. He does a good job mixing up his striking and his grappling, and while he may have trouble on the feet here against a long opponent in Rowe, he should be able to use his frame to stay low and score takedowns. Prior to his Dana White’s Contender Series win over Leon Shabazyan, Rowe had never faced an opponent with a winning professional record. Cosce is a wrestle-boxer who comes into this fight as an undefeated prospect. He hasn’t fought since August of 2020, but it feels like the UFC is hoping to build some hype around him moving forward. My confidence isn’t too high in this spot as both of these fighters are fairly inexperienced. Still, I’m siding with Cosce to lean on his grappling and score the victory. Orion Cosce by Round Two KO
  • GB: Orion Cosce by Round Two KO

Ryan Benoit -135 (DK $8300, FD $15) vs Zarrukh Adashev +115 (DK $7900, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Two rather underwhelming flyweights do battle next as Ryan Benoit takes on Zarrukh Adashev. The debut for Adashev came when he was a very green 3-1, but now there is a serious chance his record drops below .500 due to his step up in competition. He has yet to win under the UFC banner and likely gets cut with a loss here. While he boasts a solid kickboxing record his other skills are underdeveloped, and the power is not there. Benoit has much heavier hands and a wrestling advantage he could certainly implement here. I really see him outclassing Adashev in most aspects of this fight and expect him to find a finish. His resume is far more impressive, with losses to the likes of Tim Elliott and the champion Brandon Moreno. He feels like a very solid bet at this line or DFS play at this price tag. Ryan Benoit by Round One KO
  • Nick: Adashev was touted as a excellent kickboxer when he entered the UFC, but his back is likely against the wall here as he’s coming off back-to-back losses. He lacks urgency in exchanges, which I expect proves troublesome for him in this spot as Ryan Benoit is typically very aggressive. Benoit’s one real standout strength is his striking. He puts a lot of power behind his punches and he has some of the more dangerous head kicks in this division. He’s a decent wrestler, but more often than not it seems he’s content to stand and trade. He has a clear advantage on the mat in this spot, but even if this fight stays standing I expect he’ll be able to leverage his power advantage over Adashev. Adashev is capable of putting together nice combinations, but he often leaves himself open to counters in the process. Benoit has faced a much higher level of competition and while his record is uninspiring, he’s had far more success at this level. If he leans on his grappling he should dominate, but even if he doesn’t I expect him to outclass Adashev in this spot. Ryan Benoit by Decision
  • GB: Ryan Benoit by Decision

Ashley Yoder -150 (DK $8400, FD $17) vs Jinh Yu Frey +125 (DK $7800, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Next up Ashley Yoder will fight Jinh Yu Frey at strawweight. If you can’t tell, this card is not the best in terms of exciting martial arts. This will very likely be a fifteen minute bout that sees the more effective grappler win. Both women landed two successful takedowns in their previous bout and may follow a similar gameplan here. While Jinh Yu Frey has a good striking technique, she throws very low volume with little to no power. She remains undersized at 115 pounds and I see Yoder dominating in most clinch and wrestling situations. Judge decisions have been extremely questionable so it is best not to risk your money on either fighter here, but I lean Yoder. Ashley Yoder by Decision
  • Nick: This is a lower-level matchup between two fighters I don’t expect to climb the rankings at strawweight. Jin Yu Frey was highly regarded coming into the UFC, but she didn’t make it into the promotion until late in her career. She’s well-rounded, but most of her success has come on the mat against smaller and inferior grapplers. She’s coming off a solid win over Gloria de Paula, a fight in which her strength advantage was the clear reason for her success. Ashley Yoder has a lot of UFC experience, but she’s struggled to build any sort of momentum. She’s coming off an ugly loss to Angela Hill, but this matchup feels much more winnable than that last one. Frey might have a slight advantage when this fight stays standing, but I see the strength and grappling advantage as well as the experience for Yoder winning out. Frey is at her best when she can grapple, but I expect she has trouble leaning on that part of her game against a bigger and stronger opponent. Ashley Yoder by Decision
  • GB: Ashley Yoder by Decision

Kai Kamaka III -115 (DK $8200, FD $15) vs Danny Chavez -105 (DK $8000, FD $14)

  • Anthony: This should be a good featherweight scrap between Kai Kamaka and Danny Chavez. The UFC run for Kamaka includes a close decision win and now two consecutive losses. He takes this bout on short notice as Chavez was without an opponent two weeks ago. While Kamaka has good hands, his offensive arsenal is more limited than that of Chavez. He can score some points but likely does not rock Chavez with any powerful shots. I see the more well-rounded Chavez going more to the legs and body of his opponent, putting together a more complete offensive performance. He also has superior wrestling than that of Kamaka but I believe these two stay standing for the majority of this one. My pick is going to be Chavez and I honestly do not mind a bet on him at the current odds. Danny Chavez by Decision
  • Nick: Kai Kamaka has decent head movement and footwork. While doesn’t throw much volume, the majority of the strikes he throws are both meaningful and crisp. He has above average power for a featherweight, but he has never won professionally via KO. He’s coming off a hard-fought loss to TJ Brown, a back and forth decision he was very close to winning. Chavez throws a powerful leg-kick, has crisp boxing and enough power to demand the respect of his opponents. While his experience is still somewhat in question, Chavez showed a lot of improvement in his win over TJ Brown. He is since coming off a loss to Jared Gordon, a fight in which his striking was neutralized by Gordon’s effective grappling ability. Chavez struggles against wrestlers, but I don’t expect Kamaka to lean on that part of his game here. Chavez should be a bit quicker and more explosive. I expect him to chew apart Kamaka’s calves here and ultimately pull out the win. Danny Chavez by Decision
  • GB: Kai Kamaka III by Round Two KO

Rafa Garcia -325 (DK $9500, FD $23) vs Chris Gruetzmacher +250 (DK $6700, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The odds are a bit wide for this lightweight bout between Rafa Garcia and Chris Gruetzmacher. It does not surprise me the 35-year-old Gruetzmacher is an underdog, especially after losing three of his last four fights. He is not the most durable of fighters and I find it hard to ever back him given the lack of volume he usually displays. Conversely, Garcia looked good in his UFC debut despite taking his first professional loss. He was beaten by Nasrat Haqparast who is a rather high-level opponent in this division. Haqparast would easily beat Gruetzmacher and I think Garcia does so handily as well. He is the superior athlete and it seems likely that he wins in a majority of striking exchanges. If unable to find the finish here Garcia should control most of this one and gain momentum as the fight wears on. Rafa Garcia by Decision
  • Nick: Garcia has decent offensive grappling but prefers to stand and trade. He’s coming off a hard-fought decision loss to Nasarat Haqparast, in a fight he took on just 3-days’ notice. He was clearly outclassed in that spot, but he looked a lot better than anyone really expected as a +410 underdog. He showed an outstanding chin in that matchup, and his striking looked developed for a fighter so new to the promotion. Gruetzmacher throws powerful strikes, but he doesn’t throw much volume. He’s decent in the clinch but he really has no singular stand out skill. He’s coming off an ugly KO loss to Alexander Hernandez and hasn’t won a fight since 2018. To me this fight features two fighters whose careers are headed in opposite directions. I expect Garcia to win convincingly here, outclassing Gruetzmacher no matter where this fight goes. He’s far more athletic and explosive, which shouldn’t come as a surprise knowing Garcia is younger by nearly a decade. Rafa Garcia by Round Two KO
  • GB: Rafa Garcia by Decision

Melsik Baghdasaryan -140 (DK $8600, FD $17) vs Collin Anglin +115 (DK $7600, FD $13)

  • Anthony: The featured prelim is a featherweight bout between Melsik Baghdasaryan and Collin Anglin. This pair of Dana White’s Contender Series alumni seems to have bright futures ahead in the world of combat sports. Baghdasaryan is an extremely dynamic striker with power in all limbs. His first four professional wins each came by knockout in 60 seconds or less. It was good to see him tested for a full fifteen against Dennis Buzukja and I think more paths to victory are starting to develop for him. Anglin does not offer quite as much in terms of striking, but clearly has the wrestling advantage in this matchup. If he can avoid the early power of Melsik and start working takedowns, Anglin has an excellent shot at winning this late or by decision. I have the under in this fight and thus will side with Baghdasaryan as well. I see Anglin getting clipped by something impressive rather early here. Melsik Baghdasaryan by Round One KO
  • Nick: We have an interesting matchup here between two UFC debutants. Both of these guys are coming off Contender Series wins. Anglin is fighting out of an excellent camp in Factory X. He has a solid wrestling base and decent offensive grappling ability. He seems competent on the feet, but I don’t expect he tries to lean on that part of his game in this matchup. Baghdasaryan is an extremely talented kickboxer. He throws impressive combinations, mixing in kicks well, and four of his last five professional wins have come via knockout. Baghdasaryan is going to have an advantage when this fight is standing, and Anglin is going to have an advantage if this fight hits the mat. This is a tough onw to call, but I expect Anglin to weather an early storm and then score the takedowns he needs to pull off the upset here. This is a tough one to call as it features two debutants, but I prefer the value of Anglin. Collin Anglin by Decision
  • GB: Melsik Baghdasaryan by Decision

Main Card- Starts 9:00pm EST

Bryan Barberena -275 (DK $9600, FD $22) vs Jason Witt +220 (DK $6600, FD $9)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with a welterweight bout between Bryan Barberena and Jason Witt. It has been a bad run for Witt thus far in the UFC, beating an overweight Cole Williams and losing twice by knockout inside of 60 seconds. With five professional losses by KO already Witt clearly does not have a very good chin. While Barberena is not the highest-level fighter either, he has heavy hands and enough technique to stop a wrestler like Witt. His recent losses came against much tougher competition in Vicente Luque, Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. He has proven to be the far more durable of these two and I expect him to win rather handily. The DraftKings price is high, but Barberena certainly hits value with a finish on FanDuel. Bryan Barberena by Round One KO
  • Nick: Jason Witt has a strong wrestling base, but we haven’t really seen him find much success against top level of competition. He is likely going to have a grappling advantage in this matchup, but I expect Barberena to be a much tougher test than he’s used to. Barbarena has fought some of the toughest welterweights in the UFC. He’s primarily a brawler. While he is on the back half of his career, he’s still very dangerous – especially striking at range. While I definitely think he’s the more skilled fighter overall, Barberena has a mediocre 60 percent takedown defense. The line feels a bit too wide here knowing the stylistic differences, but the experience of Barberena should prevail in this spot. Witt may have success early, but I expect Barberena to find his chin before long. Bryan Barberena by Round One KO
  • GB: Bryan Barberena by Round Three KO

Niklas Stolze -200 (DK $7000, FD $20) Jared Gooden +160 (DK $6800, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Next up are two more welterweights as Niklas Stolze will face Jared Gooden. This is a short notice fight for Gooden who agreed to this bout on Tuesday after Stolze’s original opponent Mounir Lazzez withdrew. The German fighter was likely going to get outstruck in that matchup, but now has a much more favorable draw. Gooden is decent but dropped his past two fights by unanimous 30-27 decisions. He eats far to many strikes and offers very little in return. While he could catch Stolze with something here, I see the kickboxer controlling this fight and eventually overwhelming Gooden. I cannot imagine the cardio of Gooden is where it needs to be having just a few days to prepare for this one. Stolze should be the fresher fights in rounds two and three, making this an easy victory if he fights a smart gameplan. Be sure to load up on him when building for DraftKings as he was priced before the opponent change. Niklas Stolze by Round Three Submission
  • Nick: Niklas Stoltze is coming off a tough decision loss in his UFC debut to Ramazan Emeev. It’s understandable he fell in that spot as a +325 underdog, and he looked better in that fight than many expected going in. Stolze is a creative striker who uses all of his limbs well. He does a good job mixing kicks into his combinations, and he has noticeably impressive speed and explosiveness in exchanges. Gooden is taking this fight on short notice after Mounir Lazzezz was forced to pull out due to Visa issues. Gooden is fairly technical on the feet, but we haven’t really seen him tested extensively. He has decent head movement and footwork, but he doesn’t seem as powerful as he’s been widely touted to be. While he has shown knockout power, it has mostly been on display against a very low level of competition. If this fight stays standing then Gooden will certainly be live for a Knockout upset. I expect Stolze to lean on his advantages here. He should be able to score the takedowns he needs to score the win. Niklas Stolze by Decision
  • GB: Niklas Stolze by Round Two KO

Cheyanne Buys -170 (DK $8900, FD $20) vs Gloria de Paula +140 (DK $7300, FD $11)

  • Anthony: Here we have a women’s strawweight bout between Gloria de Paula and Cheyanne Buys. This was one of the most difficult picks for me to make. Both ladies are coming off rather disappointing losses and the UFC is trying to figure which of these two they can market going forward. De Paula has good kickboxing and is a threat to simply win this matchup on points, I just believe the wrestling advantage for Buys eventually shines though. She will not be content to stay at the end of de Paula’s punches and likely closes the distance on several occasions here. One would expect she is more locked in for this fight than her debut, as Buys’ husband JP opened those prelims and was finished by knockout. While I do like her to win, there is no way I am betting Buys after that most recent performance. Cheyanne Buys by Decision
  • Nick: Gloria de Paula was awarded a UFC contract for an impressive Contender Series win over Pauline Macias. She wasn’t able to score the finish in that spot, but she dominated everywhere the fight went and her cardio looked excellent. Coming into that fight there were questions around de Paula’s grappling ability, but she showed solid skills against a decorated Judo player in Macias. She is now coming off a tough loss to Jinh Yu Frey. She was mostly dominated on the mat in that spot. Frey took her down with ease when she wanted to and caused the majority of the damage as well. In spite of the fact she’s coming off a loss, Buys is a highly regarded prospect. She has impressive footwork on the feet, decent head movement and an effective high-volume striking style. She was bullied in grappling exchanges her last time out by Montserrat Ruiz, but that size and strength weakness should be a strength this time around against the smaller de Paula. My confidence is low here but I’m siding with the favorite. Cheyanne Buys by Decision
  • GB: Cheyanne Buys by Decision

Kyung Ho Kang -120 (DK $8500, FD $16) vs Rani Yahya +100 (DK $7700, FD $14)

  • Anthony: The co-main event is a tough one to call as Rani Yahya will fight Kyung Ho Kang at bantamweight. Since his return from hiatus in 2018, Kyung Ho Kang is 4-1 with two finishes and two split decisions. He has great offensive grappling but likely does not want to test it here against the likes of Yahya. By staying at range and striking in this bout I could see the Korean fighter finding a lot of success. Yahya is one of the best jiu jitsu practitioners in the entire UFC and he can certainly submit Kang. The key to this fight will be whether or not Yahya can get his opponent engaging on the mat. His traditional takedowns are not the best and Yahya has been known to gas late in fights if unable to find the finish. I do see him eventually wrapping up a submission here and believe the betting odds are not where they should be. Getting him for this price is also appealing when building DFS lineups as he should score well in a stoppage win. I will have exposure to both fighters here on DraftKings and FanDuel today. Rani Yahya by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Rani Yahya is a jiu jitsu specialist with twenty-one of his twenty-seven professional wins coming by way of submission. He has excellent offensive grappling, but can struggle against opponents with good takedown defense. Kang works behind a powerful jab. He’s a highly technical striker with excellent footwork and head movement, but I don’t expect Yahya to spend much time with him on the feet. Kang sports a decent 71 percent takedown defense, but Yahya is likely to be relentless in his pursuit here. The key to this matchup will be whether or not Yahya can take this fight to the mat. If Yahya can’t catch Kang in something early, he could start to fade here. We have seen Yahya gas out and end up picked apart on the feet in the past, but I think he finds the window he needs for the early submission. I like the crafty veteran to pull off the upset here. Rani Yahya by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Rani Yahya by Round One Submission

Sean Strickland -200 (DK $9300, FD $22) vs Uriah Hall +160 (DK $6900, FD $16)

  • Anthony: The main event takes place at middleweight between Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland. While the card as a whole is underwhelming this week, it certainly seems that this fight will be a banger. Strickland has been on an impressive run as of late, returning from injury and winning three bouts in a row. It is high pressure boxing from Strickland that allows him to dwarf opponent output and occasionally find a finish. It is a forgone conclusion that Strickland outstrikes Hall in the early stages here, but with somebody like Uriah it only takes one shot. Hall is a notoriously slow starter and I see this matchup being no different. He will patiently counter strike with Strickland and if able to weather the early storm, eventually catch him. I believe the high output from Strickland plays to his detriment as Hall likely finds big shots sooner than he normally would. It was shortly after Anderson Silva began to close the distance that Hall ended his night. Hall also has the far more well-rounded striking arsenal, so it really does shock me he is this wide an underdog. I will be loading up on him here in a spot he seems to be getting overlooked. A few well timed counters by a striker this caliber should be enough to end Strickland’s night. Uriah Hall by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Strickland has only lost to an extremely high level of competition. He’s a talented kickboxer with great takedown defense and a BJJ brown belt. He does an excellent job countering against a wide range of strikers and his footwork is amongst the best of the division. He’s coming off a convincing decision win over Krysztof Jotko. He outclassed Jotko everywhere in that matchup, and prior to that fight he posted an impressive KO of Brendan Allen. Hall’s power advantage here will be significant. Seven of his last eight victories have come via knockout. He is a highly technical kickboxer, but he’s often criticized for his lack of volume and urgency. Strickland averages 5.14 significant strikes per minute. As long as he doesn’t leave his chin in the air, I expect Strickland to be the more active and effective striker. Strickland will land frequently enough here to take away Hall’s confidence. Hall is worth having exposure to in DFS but Strickland’s volume and pressure should eventually break him. Strickland should be able to endure a few big shots from Hall on his way to a career best victory. Sean Strickland by Round Four KO
  • GB: Uriah Hall by Round Three KO

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