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UFC 189 fantasy picks: 'Mendes vs McGregor' Kountermove preview

"Thominhas" is going to help win you cash!

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Let's win some money!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the pay-per-view (PPV) market this Saturday night (July 11, 2015) with the incredibly stacked UFC 189: "Mendes vs McGregor" event live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and that means it is time to play Fantasy MMA with Kountermove.

For the Maniacs not looking to spend any money, Kountermove is offering a handful of free games for the PPV event.

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 189 PPV card to help give you an edge in Kountermove this weekend. Here is your underdog pick, the pick of the night, and a handful of quick picks for the Saturday night event!

Underdog Pick: Tim Means ($4,200)

Tim Means is on a sensational run inside the Octagon, winning four straight fights in very impressive fashion. His last two performances -- finishes over Dhiego Lima and George Sullivan -- were arguably the two best performances of "The Dirty Bird's" career.

So why is he the "underdog pick" in Kountermove this weekend?

Simply put, Means' quality of competition is about to take a massive leap forward when he takes on Matt Brown in the "Prelims" main event this Saturday night in "Sin City."

Even though Brown has lost two straight, how can you discredit him for stepping up to the plate against the two most recent UFC welterweight champions in Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks?

With Brown's back against the wall, Means will be in for a very tough fight, but the 31-year old is as game as they come.

Considering Brown hasn't been finished in nearly four years, I find it unlikely Means will be able to accrue the finish, but at the $4,200 price point, his value is still very high for UFC 189.

Considering 11 fighters cost $5,000 or more at UFC 189, Means is a great pick in Kountermove this weekend.

The Pick of The Night: Thomas Almeida ($5,200)

The Brazilian firework Thomas Almeida is set to make his third appearance inside the Octagon this Saturday night, and I expect a pristine performance from the highly touted bantamweight.

"Thominhas" is a finisher in every sense of the word. In 19 career fights -- all of which he came out victorious -- Almeida has finished 18 opponents. 14 of his finishes came via (technical) knockout, and four have come via submission.

This guy perpetrates violence inside the cage, and exudes confidence outside of it.

While some may believe the savvy veteran Brad Pickett could cause the Brazilian problems on fight night, I reckon the Englishman is not all that different from Yves Jabouin -- the last opponent Almeida faced inside the Octagon.

That fight didn't make it out of the first round after Almeida showed off his violent stylings en route to a spectacular (technical) knockout finish.

Taking on yet another 36-year old, I don't expect much to change, although I don't see "One Punch" getting finished in the first round.

Instead, I see Almeida picking Pickett apart on the feet early, before the Englishman dives in for a desperate takedown in the second, leading to the submission finish for the Brazilian.

Quick Picks:

$5,200 Conor McGregor: How could I possibly write up a UFC 189 Kountermove preview without including the "Notorious" one? Look, I know Chad Mendes is a very tall order, but taking the fight on two weeks' notice while the Irishman has had over three months to get his body into prime physical condition has to be a factor you take into consideration. This is no guarantee by any means, but I think McGregor leaves the Octagon Saturday night with the belt around his waist.

$4,800 Alex Garcia: The "Dominican Nightmare" had a rough outing his last time out against Neil Magny, but I expect a nice turnaround performance from the Tristar gym product at UFC 189. Taking on the questionable chin of Mike Swick -- who is returning after a near three-year long layoff -- I expect Garcia to pick up a finish in "Sin City."

$5,500 Cody Garbrandt: "No Love" trains with the best lighter weight fighters in the world over at Team Alpha Male, and at 6-0 with six knockouts to his name, how could you not have him on your Kountermove teams this weekend? Henry Briones isn't exactly a world-beater, while Garbrandt is one of the hottest prospects in MMA today. Pick him, and reap the rewards.

Good luck, and have fun!

Remember: will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 189 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

For more information on UFC 189, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.

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