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UFC Fight Night 65 fantasy picks: 'Miocic vs Hunt' Kountermove preview

Stipe Miocic or Mark Hunt?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns from a week layoff with a Fight Pass exclusive this Saturday night (May 9, 2015) live from the Adelaide Entertainment Center in Adelaide, Australia with UFC Fight Night 65, headlined by the top-five heavyweight collision pitting Stipe Miocic against Mark Hunt.

What better way to enjoy an evening of fisticuffs 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 65 card to help give you an edge in Kountermove this weekend. Here is your price point comparison, the star pick, and a handful of quick picks for the Saturday night event!

Price point comparison: $4800

When fights are too close to call on paper, you will often see Kountermove offer up both fighters at the $4800 price point. Choosing the correct $4800 fighter could mean the difference of you winning it all, or finding yourself among the latter half of the pack.

For UFC Fight Night 65, Kountermove offers up four fighters at $4800: Brad Tavares, Robert Whittaker, Jake Matthews, and James Vick.

The strategy behind picking one of the four aforementioned fighters is to try and pick out the fighter you believe has the best opportunity to finish the fight on Saturday night.

In my opinion, Jake Matthews is the pick over James Vick, and Robert Whittaker is the pick over Brad Tavares. If you are only choosing one of the four fighters that cost $4800, I believe your best bet is with "The Celtic Kid."

At only 20 years old, Matthews is already 2-0 inside the Octagon, pushing his undefeated record to 8-0. Seven of his victories have come via finish, including both UFC wins.

While James Vick -- who is also undefeated at 7-0 -- will likely pose some problems for Matthews with a significant height advantage and rangy strikes, the Australian's ground game will be the ultimate equalizer. I suspect Matthews to submit Vick in the first or second round in front of his home crowd.

As for Whittaker vs Tavares, that fight is quite difficult to pin down, as both men have their strong and weak points. Ultimately, I am picking Whittaker here simply because he has a much better opportunity to finish the fight.

In 11 Octagon bouts, Tavares has only finished one opponent, and has only been finished once in three losses. In comparison, Whittaker has finished two of his opponents inside the Octagon, while also being finished once in two UFC losses.

The New Zealander will bring the power advantage into the cage in Australia, but I would not be shocked if Tavares is able to grind out a decision.

Ultimately the choice is up to you, but I am either picking Whittaker here or avoiding the co-main event altogether.

Star Pick: Bec Rawlings ($5300)

Before you blow a gasket, at least give me the opportunity to explain why Bec Rawlings is my star pick for UFC Fight Night 65.

Of all the fighters set to throw down in Australia, none have quite the opportunity to accrue a finish as much as Rawlings. Now this is not to say the Australian is the best finisher on the card, but her opponent's penchant for being finished really makes Rawlings an enticing pick this weekend.

Taking on Lisa Ellis, "Rowdy" can become the eighth person to finish the 32 year old.

Simply put, Ellis has quit in a number of fights that she was severely outmatched in, and while Rawlings is no world-beater, she has the tools to take out her opponent this weekend.

Ellis has been submitted six times in her MMA career, and that is not including her submission loss to Jessica Penne on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 20.

With three submission victories under her belt, Rawlings has the opportunity to add another finish victory to her record in front of her home crowd in Australia. As if that was not enough to convince you, Ellis is taking this fight on short notice, so she didn't even have ample time to prepare.

Expect a first or second round finish for Rawlings, and reap the rewards in Kountermove.

Quick Picks:

$4500 Sean O'Connell: O'Connell has power in his hands, is coming off a (technical) knockout victory, and is fighting a 42 year old that has been knocked out five times in eight career losses. Need I say more?

$5300 Sam Alvey: "Smile'n" Sam literally knocked out his last opponent with one punch after three minutes of fighting. Look, the guy may not be the best MMA fighter there is, but he sure packs a wallop in his hands. Dan Kelly simply looked atrocious his last time out, and if he takes a punch on the chin, he will probably be taking a nap on the Octagon's canvas.

$5100 Kailin Curran: Before being finished by Paige VanZant in her UFC debut, Curran looked decently impressive. While I don't suspect she is a top 15 fighter just yet, you have to expect she will continue to hone her tools and become a better fighter each time out at only 24. On the contrary, her 36 year old opponent Alex Chambers is long past her fighting prime, and she very well could be looking at a pink slip Monday following a vicious beating from Curran.

Good luck picking!

For more information on UFC Fight Night 65, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.

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