Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its first ever trip to the Philippines this Saturday morning (May 16, 2015) on FOX Sports 1 live from the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay with UFC Fight Night 66, headlined by a featherweight super fight pitting Frankie Edgar against Urijah Faber.
What better way to enjoy an early morning of mixed martial arts (MMA) than 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.
Below I break down the UFC Fight Night 66 card to help give you an edge in Kountermove this weekend. Here is your value pick, who to avoid, and a handful of quick picks for the Saturday morning event!
Value Pick: Neil Magny ($4600)
Kountermove is giving no love to Neil Magny this weekend, and you should stash him on your team and reap the rewards.
At only $4600, Magny is among the cheapest plays in Fantasy MMA this weekend, and there is no question he is the best value at UFC Fight Night 66.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) product has made an incredible career turnaround over the last year and a half. After going 1-2 in his first three UFC bouts and being on the verge of getting cut, Magny reeled off five victories in 2014, and kept his momentum going with a third round rear-naked choke finish over Kiichi Kunimoto back in February.
A volume striker with a well-rounded game, Magny is a great play in Kountermove. As far as finishing ability, the Grudge Training Center product has really turned it up as of late, taking out three of his last four opponents.
The Brooklyn native will take on Hyun Gyu Lim this weekend, and while it won't be a walk in the park, Lim's berserker style could put him in major trouble against the crisp striking of Magny.
Lim has never been finished by knockout before in his MMA career, but I believe Magny can be the first one to take him out via punches. If not, his purple belt in jiu-jitsu could help him accrue his fourth career submission victory.
Either way, I expect Magny to win his seventh straight fight, and earn somewhere near 80-100 points on fight night.
Who To Avoid: Frankie Edgar ($5800)
Prior to looking at the prices for this weekend's Kountermove players, I was hoping to have Frankie Edgar on a handful of teams, as I believe he will more than likely defeat Urijah Faber in the main event this coming Saturday.
Unfortunately, Edgar's $5800 price tag makes him nearly impossible to choose in Kountermove this weekend because it handcuffs you from picking the likes of Gegard Mousasi, Luke Barnatt, and Nolan Ticman among others.
If you choose Edgar, your next four fighters have to average $4800. While there are a plethora of options at $4800 and below, almost none of those picks -- other than Neil Magny -- are a home run in my estimation.
In Kountermove, you want finishers, and "The Answer" can only offer up a 50 percent finishing rate in the fights he wins. While most would counter that notion with the fact that Edgar has finished his last two opponents, I would also mention that Faber has only been finished three times in 39 fights.
While I could potentially see Edgar pull out a late submission, I think it is more than likely this fight goes to a decision with the former lightweight champ picking up the victory.
In the end, I suspect Edgar to earn about 75-90 points in a solid outing, but for $5800 I am keeping him off my Kountermove squads.
$5000 Luke Barnatt: Trust me, I would love to be wrong here, but Mark Munoz just does not have anything left in the tank at 37 years old. While it would be great if the "Filipino Wrecking Machine" could pull out a victory in his retirement fight in front of his adoring fans, you simply can not ignore the fact he has been finished in three straight fights, all in the first round. Barnatt has had two split decisions not go his way, and I suspect he will be gunning for the finish in Pasay.
$5300 Gegard Mousasi: Not much needs to be said here. This fight will hit the mat, and Mousasi will submit Costa Philippou. Hopefully it is in the first round for that extra 100 points!
$4700 Phillipe Nover: Three straight victories on the regional scene have earned Nover one last chance to pick up an elusive UFC victory in front of his brethren. Yui Chui Nam is no walk in the park, however, so this one could come back to haunt me later. My reasoning here is simply the fact that Nover has one last chance to seize his UFC moment, and I think he finally gets it done in Pasay.
Good luck picking!
For more information on UFC Fight Night 66, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.