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Latest Fantasy MMA News – UFC

The most recent UFC fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

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Josh Barnett    UFC    Heavyweight
Barnett has requested his release from his UFC contract due to his distrust of the promotion's anti-doping partner USADA, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Barnett was flagged in December 2016 for a potential anti-doping violation, but after a lengthly appeal process, he was finally cleared to fight again in March. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion has now been out of competition nearly two years, having last picked up a win over Andrei Arlovski in September 2016. Now 40 years old, Barnett does not wish to re-enter the testing pool for the organization that did him wrong, preferring to finish his career under the banner of another promotion.
Angela Hill    UFC    strawweight
Hill will take on Alexa Grasso in a strawweight matchup at UFC Lincoln on August 25.

Fantasy Analysis

Hill sports a record of 8-4 as a professional after alternating wins and losses in her last four fights. She was submitted by current champion Rose Namajunas all the way back in 2015, but will need to string together several additional victories in order to get another shot at Rose. That path will start by outpointing Grasso on the feet. Grasso is a younger fighter at just 24 years old, but has the same amount of professional fights (though much less with the UFC). Hill be at a height and reach disadvantage, but any fighter that lands 5.42 significant strikes per minute is a reasonable fantasy sleeper.
Alexa Grasso    UFC    strawweight
Grasso will take on Angela Hill in a strawweight matchup at UFC Lincoln on August 25.

Fantasy Analysis

It's been rough going for Grasso since entering the UFC, as the 24-year-old is 2-2 in her first four bouts with the promotion and missed weight for her most recent victory. In her last time out, she was submitted by emerging contender Tatiana Suarez in the first round. This time around, Grasso will enter with slight height and reach advantages in a matchup that projects to play out primarily on the feet. Grasso undoubtedly spent plenty of time fine-tuning her wrestling for the Suarez matchup, but her strength is in her striking, which is the same case with Hill.
Matt Sayles    UFC    Bantamweight
Sayles will get his shot in the UFC following a win over Yazan Hajeh via TKO (punches) at 1:57 of Round 1 on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Fantasy Analysis

Sayles improved to 7-1 with his effort Tuesday, with six of those wins by way of KO/TKO. That type of finishing power is exactly what Dana White is looking to add to his 135-pound division. Sayles was also the fourth fighter to earn a UFC contract -- a record number for the short tenure of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. In this matchup, Sayles, an Alliance MMA product, was a big betting favorite despite conceding height and reach advantages to Hajeh. That was hardly evident when Sayles opened the matchup by immediately landing a big right hook, He then defended a takedown before moving things back to the center of the Octagon. Sayles was never confused by the unorthodox striking of Hajeh, and after defending another takedown, he dropped Hajeh with a straight right before ending the fight with ground-and-pound. It ended up being a contract-worthy performance for the 24-year-old bantamweight.
Anthony Hernandez    UFC    Middleweight
Hernandez was awarded a UFC contract following his victory over Jordan Wright via KO (punches) at 0:40 of Round 1 on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Fantasy Analysis

Hernandez came in as the betting favorite against Wright, a Jackson-Wink MMA product, and ultimately proved the oddsmakers correct. After checking a Wright leg kick, Hernandez began moving forward with conviction. Once he landed his first right hand, he smelled blood and proceeded to throw an onslaught of strikes to the head and body. Hernandez just needed one more one-two combo that ended in a left hook, putting an end to the fight within the first minute. After taking very little damage, Hernandez should be ready for his UFC debut in short order. He'll carry an undefeated professional record into that fight.
Ryan Spann    UFC    Light Heavyweight
Spann earned a contract with the UFC following his victory over Emiliano Sordi via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:26 of Round 1 on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Fantasy Analysis

Spann landed a big right hand in the fight's opening moments which sent Sordi to the canvas. There was little hesitation from Spann after that, as he quickly pounced and sunk in a modified guillotine. Sordi barely hesitated in tapping before referee Mark Smith called a stop to the bout. Spann competed in the inaugural Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series last July, but was stopped in just 15 seconds by the elbows of Karl Roberson. He then bounced back with three-straight wins under the LFA banner before getting this opportunity. Spann was the biggest betting favorite on the card at nearly (-500), but doing exactly what was expected of him turned out to be enough to win a contract. At 6-4, the 26-year-old Spann will enter with a length advantage over most 205-pounders, though it still remains to be seen how he fares against tougher competition.
Dwight Grant    UFC    Welterweight
Granted was awarded a UFC contract following his victory over Tyler Hill via KO (punches) at 2:08 of Round 2 at Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Fantasy Analysis

Neither fighter showed much interest in taking this one to the mat or clinch, but as anyone who tuned into the first episode of the series knows, headhunting is the only sure-fire way to impress the boss. Grant did just that, showing a diverse set of striking and defending the only takedown attempt he needed to prior to picking up the second-round finish. If there's any weakness opponents might look to exploit from this brief sample size of film, it may be Grant's ability to defend leg kicks, as the AKA product did eat several vicious ones in the first round. Walking would have gotten a lot tougher had that continued, but shortly into the second round, it was no longer a factor. Grant recorded a knockdown just a few minutes in, but Hill popped right back up. Grant smelled blood, however, and proceeded to finish him with a right hand-left hook combo that put Hill right to sleep. The UFC's welterweight division is stacked, but Grant will likely look to begin his run prior to the end of 2018, as he didn't absorb a ton of noticeable damage in this one.
Tim Elliott    UFC    Flyweight
Elliott recently underwent right knee surgery, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Elliott reportedly tore every ligament and meniscus in the knee, so it's a fairly significant development and the 32-year-old is in line for a lengthy absence moving forward. There's yet to be any sort of update on a timetable, but it's safe to assume Elliott won't be back in the Octagon until well into 2019. Elliott most recently secured a bounce-back submission win over Mark Delarosa in December at UFC 219, bringing his career record to 15-8.
Matt Brown    UFC    Welterweight
Brown (knee), who's currently rehabbing a torn ACL, is expected to undergo ankle surgery in the near future, Damon Martin of MMAweekly.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Brown was unable to fight Carlos Condit back in April due to a torn ACL and recently discovered yet another injury, this time an ankle issue that has given him problems over the last three years. While Brown's surgery hasn't been scheduled yet, he's expected to be on crutches for eight weeks once it's completed, though the ankle should heal much quicker than the torn ACL. While Brown is still without any sort of timetable for his return, he likely has at least another six months on the sidelines considering ACL's usually take somewhere from 8-to-12 months to heal.
Zak Ottow    UFC    Welterweight
Ottow will fight Sage Northcutt at UFC Boise on July 14, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Ottow has secured victories in two of his last three fights, most recently notching a TKO win over Mike Pyle in March. Despite the knockout the last time out, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt owns 10 submissions across 16 career wins, so he's extremely comfortable on the ground and could look to take advantage of that against Northcutt. Ottow has the experience advantage over the 22-year-old Northcutt as well, especially at the welterweight level. Northcutt's only two fights at this weight have resulted in losses, which is notable considering his career record of 10-2.
Sage Northcutt    UFC    Lightweight
Northcutt will fight Zak Ottow at UFC Boise on July 14, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Northcutt owns a career record of 10-2 and has secured back-to-back unanimous decision wins over Michel Quinones and Thibault Gouti. However, Northcutt will be moving up to the welterweight division for this fight, which is significant considering his only two career losses have come under those circumstances. Northcutt's opponent, Zak Ottow, is nearly 10 years his elder at 31 years old and owns a career record of 16-5, with 10 of those victories coming by submission.
Craig White    UFC    Welterweight
White confirmed to Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com that he needed to cut 46 pounds for his short-notice fight against Neil Magny at UFC Liverpool on May 27.

Fantasy Analysis

White took this fight on just 12 days' notice, as he didn't want to turn down what could be his only opportunity with the UFC. According to White, this isn't the first time he's suffered through a cut like this, as he needed to lose nearly 40 pounds for a Cage Warriors bout with John Redmond back in April 2014. Reflecting on how he pushed his body to the limits, "The Thundercat" now says that the only way he'd do something like this again would be if a belt were on the line. Since that's unlikely to happen any time soon, White will instead focus on decreasing his walking around weight so that any future cuts are not quite as brutal.
Stephen Thompson    UFC    Welterweight
Thompson revealed that he suffered a torn MCL in his knee during his fight with Darren Till at UFC Liverpool on May 27, Jed Meshew of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Thompson said that Till's targeted side kicks to the knee were instrumental to the latter winning the fight, with "Wonderboy" noting that the blows slowed him down during the second round. Fortunately for Thompson, who previously tore the ACL in the same knee, he suffered no other damage after undergoing a post-fight MRI and won't need surgery to address the MCL tear. He'll take the next two months to recover before resuming training and preparing for his next fight.
Mark De la Rosa    UFC    Bantamweight
De la Rosa will take on Elias Garcia at UFC Boise on July 14, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

De la Rosa fell short in his UFC debut against Tim Elliot, where he was submitted via an Anaconda Choke in the second round. This was a unique outcome considering that grappling had been considered a strength, with five of his nine victories coming by way of submission. He'll now look to bounce back against Garcia, a 25-year-old prospect that also enters the UFC with an undefeated record.
Elias Garcia    UFC    Bantamweight
Garcia will make his UFC debut against Mark De la Rosa at UFC Boise on July 14, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Training out of the esteemed Roufuspport MMA Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Garcia is undefeated as an amateur and 3-0 in professional bouts. The 25-year-old has displayed a diverse set of skills to date, picking up victories via TKO and with a variety of submissions. He'll draw another young prospect in the 23-year-old de la Rosa, who was 9-0 as a professional prior to losing his UFC debut to Tim Elliot last December.