Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) descends upon Los Angeles, California this weekend (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) for a injury-plagued UFC 184 pay-per-view (PPV) event, featuring a historic night for women's mixed martial arts (MMA) as both the main event and co-main event showcase the women's bantamweight division.
After cancelling the planned UFC 176 PPV in Los Angeles last August following UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo withdrawing from his title fight against Chad Mendes due to injury, UFC brass attempted to stack the deck for UFC 184, but injuries to UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, and top ranked contender Jacare Souza, the Staples Center nearly became home to two cancelled events.
Instead of calling the fights off, UFC brass will move forward with an intriguing card featuring UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey taking on No. 1 contender Cat Zingano in the main event of the evening. The co-main event will feature the debut of the highly touted boxing champ turned MMA star Holly Holm, as she faces off against the dangerous Raquel Pennington.
While the UFC 184 PPV may not be what we all hoped for, you can spice up the event by playing fantasy MMA with Kountermove! If you are not familiar with how Kountermove works, here is what you need to know:
In Kountermove you build a team of five fighters utilizing a "salary cap" of $25,000 in fantasy money to spend on drafting the team you expect to perform the best on fight night. If your team performs well enough, you will likely have a share of cash prizes in any number of Kountermove's games.
Points* are scored with finishes, significant strikes, knockdowns, takedowns, dominant positions, and submission attempts. The more dominant your fighters' performance is, the more points you're going to score. For a detailed breakdown of how the scoring works, click here.
*Fighter statistics are provided by FightMetric LLC, the UFC's official stats provider.
Once again, Kountermove is offering MMAmania readers a special deposit bonus using the code "Maniacs." Use the promo code at checkout and Kountermove will instantly give you an extra 25 percent deposit bonus with a $100 max bonus amount! Free money!
Now let's get to breaking down UFC 184 to help give you the fantasy edge in Kountermove. Here is my star pick, the price-point comparison, and my quick picks for Saturday night.
Star Pick: Ronda Rousey
Don't even bother looking at Ronda Rousey's price, because whatever it is, "Rowdy" is 100 percent worth every cent. Arguably the most dominant champion in MMA today, Rousey might as well change her nickname to "The Queen of Kountermove" with the ridiculous point totals she puts up every time she fights.
When picking a Kountermove team, it is vital that you seek out fighters who have a penchant for finishes, and who better than Rousey herself? In 10 career MMA fights -- including four UFC title defenses -- the Olympic judoka has never once gone to a decision, and has finished nine opponents in the first round.
Remember folks, a first round finish in Kountermove accounts for 100 points, so "Rowdy" has consistently been one of the best Fantasy MMA fighters in the world.
Sure, let's say for argument's sake that Cat Zingano truly is the toughest test of Ronda's career, and "Alpha" makes it out of the first round. Do you really suspect the No. 1 contender to last 25 minutes with "Rowdy?"
I certainly don't. Pick Ronda, and reap the rewards.
And for those wondering, she costs a whopping $5700 for the 100 or so points I expect her to deliver on Saturday.
Price-Point Comparison: $4800
As in any sport, some contests are just excruciatingly close on paper, making it tough for experts (like me of course!) to pick the winner. In MMA, we are constantly reminded that almost nothing is a guarantee -- look no further than 10 underdogs winning at UFC Fight Night 61.
With that being said, Kountermove has listed four fighters with the exact same price point of $4800. The two bouts in question are "Prelims" affairs in Roman Salazar vs Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto and Tim Means vs Dhiego Lima.
Step one is to determine whether or not you have a definitive winner in either of these fights, but I certainly do not. That leaves me to whittle down my options to notorious finishers -- Tim Means and "Kid" Yamamoto.
I'll start with Means: I don't necessarily see him running through Lima, and I actually think this could be a very difficult fight for "The Dirty Bird" if he is unable to keep distance from the pressure of Lima and fire off his ruthless combinations.
Ultimately, I think Lima's gas tank will fail him as he tries to break his opposition's will, leaving an opening for Means to finish him late in the fight. While there is certainly a risk associated with the pick, I think Means is your best bet at the $4800 price point.
So you may be wondering why I chose Means (who has 18 career finishes in 22 victories) over Yamamoto (who has 15 finishes in his own right). Simply put, "Kid's" heyday is long behind him as one of the most dangerous lighter weight fighters on the planet.
Following a three fight losing streak, the Japanese native took a sabbatical for three years prior to his return at UFC 184. At 37 years old, and facing off against a hungry lion in Salazar desperate for a UFC victory, there is almost no way to predict how "Kid" will fight on Saturday night.
Lock in Means and get ready for a war.
$4900 Derrick Lewis: Heavyweight with monster power against a fighter who has been finished twice in a row inside the Octagon.
$4300 Raquel Pennington: Holly Holm is certainly the common pick, so reap the rewards when the UFC vet takes home a huge underdog victory this weekend.
$4400 Gleison Tibau: The premier UFC lightweight gatekeeper comes at a fantastic value this weekend.
That's a wrap! Enjoy the games and don't forget to use the special "Maniacs" promo code!
For more information on UFC 184, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.