Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns from a three week hiatus this Saturday (September 27, 2015) as the legendary Saitama Super Arena in Japan plays host to UFC Fight Night 75, featuring a Heavyweight battle pitting Roy Nelson against the returning Josh Barnett.
If you want to spice up your UFC Fight Night 75 viewing experience, why not join the fun in 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 75 card to help give you an edge in Kountermove this weekend. Here is my main event breakdown, the fighter to avoid, and a handful of quick picks for the Saturday night event!
Main Event Breakdown: Josh Barnett ($5600) vs. Roy Nelson ($4900)
In my eyes, the UFC Japan main event goes down one of two ways: Josh Barnett wins a dominant decision, or Roy Nelson finds a way to catapult "The Warmaster's" head into the 15th row.
Hyperbole aside, I find it unlikely Nelson will get submitted for the first time in his career, nor do I expect Barnett to finish this fight on the feet.
With that being said, the clear pick in Kountermove this weekend is Roy Nelson.
"Big Country" is always a risky pick considering he has six decision losses inside the Octagon, but when you recognize Nelson also has seven knockouts in his UFC career, his ceiling in Fantasy MMA is exceptionally high.
Nelson's underrated ground game has barely been put to use in his UFC career, but you can bet Barnett will be looking to take this fight to the mat as soon as possible. While most would agree Barnett is among the top five greatest Heavyweight grapplers of all time, I think Nelson can avoid a submission in the 25-minute affair.
Considering Barnett has not fought since getting laid out by Travis Browne's hellacious elbows back at UFC 168, and his ripe age of 37, I am leaning towards another savage finish from Nelson's absurdly powerful overhand right.
With Barnett's price nearing the Ronda Rousey/Demetrious Johnson level this weekend, you would expect a finish to be almost guaranteed, but that is simply not the case.
Take Nelson at $4900, and expect him to uncork haymakers on Saturday night.
Fighter To Avoid: Diego Brandao ($5100)
Diego Brandao was savage wrecking machine on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 14, but his UFC career has been nothing short of a faceplant.
"DB" has yet to finish an opponent via strikes inside the Octagon, and even though he technically earned a (technical) knockout victory over Jimy Hettes his last time out, the stoppage was due to a nasty cut.
Brandao takes on Katsunori Kikuno this Saturday in Japan, and his hefty price tag will make you believe he is slated for a major knockout victory.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian, I don't think that is the case.
Kikuno may have a weak chin and shoddy defense, but his awkward style could have Brandao guessing from the start, and ultimately lead to a decision loss for the TUF runner-up.
While I would love to see vintage Brandao violence here, I think the hometown favorite pulls off the upset in Saitama.
Kajan Johnson ($5200): The Tristar gym product is coming off his first career UFC victory, and you can bet "Ragin" is looking to continue his ascent up the Lightweight ladder in Japan. Johnson will take on Naoyuki Kotani, who has looked dismal in his two UFC outings, getting finished in both contests. I suspect Kotani will make it 0-3 this Saturday.
Takeya Mizugaki ($4800): After a rough two-fight stretch that saw Mizugaki get brutalized by both Dominick Cruz and Aljamain Sterling, I expect a big turn-around performance from the Japanese native on Saturday against the returning George Roop. Simply put, Mizugaki is a better overall fighter than Roop, and should have no problem earning the victory this weekend. The question is, can he pull off a finish?
Kyoji Horiguchi ($5300): It has been a long five months for Kyoji Horiguchi since his deflating title loss to Demetrious Johnson at UFC 186. The young Flyweight still has a ton of room to grow, and could once again become a title contender after a string of impressive victories. Chico Camus is no slouch, but "The Supernova" will overwhelm him en route to a finish victory.
Good luck picking!
For more information on UFC Fight Night 75, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.