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Latest Fantasy MMA News – UFC

The most recent UFC fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

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Kevin Lee    UFC    Lightweight
Lee defeated Edson Barboza via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 2:18 of Round 5 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Lee's wrestling and pressure won him this fight, but it was his chin that held up in a moment of crisis in Round 3. The Motown Phenom was able to dominate Barboza with his ground-and-pound in Rounds 1 and 2. As soon as the bell rang for the third frame, Lee nearly had his head taken off by one of Barboza's signature kicks. Lee was clearly in trouble and it looked like he may not survive, but he recovered quickly, made it through the frame and went back to his wrestling in Round 4. It was smooth sailing from then on. Lee's strong performance is somewhat muted by the fact he missed weight on Friday. Lee has shown no desire to move up to welterweight, but he is going to have to seriously consider it if the weight cutting issues continue. Lee is 6-1 in his last seven fights dating back to April 2016.
Edson Barboza    UFC    Lightweight
Barboza lost to Kevin Lee via TKO (doctor's stoppage) at 2:18 of Round 5 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Barboza should have declined the fight after Lee missed weight on Friday. UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov rolled over Barboza with pressure and ground-and-pound in December and Edson showed on Saturday that he learned absolutely nothing in the four months since. The crazy thing is that Barboza still had a chance to win despite his struggles. He smashed Lee with a head kick early in Round 3 and looked poised to score a huge upset but he just didn't have the energy to follow up on his one opportunity. The Brazilian fought the final three rounds on autopilot. The 32-year-old finds himself at a career crossroads less than a year after he appeared to be a legitimate title contender in the UFC's 155 pound division.
Frankie Edgar    UFC    Featherweight
Edgar defeated Cub Swanson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

It was a strong performance from Edgar on the heels of his knockout loss to Brian Ortega just six weeks ago. Fighting on the shortest rest of his legendary career, Edgar, just like the first fight between the two, once again got the better of the striking exchanges with Swanson. Frankie and Cub fight extremely similar styles, but Edgar does it just a bit better. The loss to Ortega certainly derailed Frankie in terms of the rankings in the UFC's featherweight division, but the truth of the matter is that he is clearly one of the best 145-pounders on the planet and he isn't all that far away from being right back in the title picture. Edgar will turn 37 years old in November.
Cub Swanson    UFC    Featherweight
Swanson lost to Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Swanson has built a long, successful career because he is aggressive and excels at putting together combinations, but both of those things seem to go out the window when he fights Edgar. He wasn't overwhelmed on Saturday as badly as he was back in the first fight between the two in November 2014, but he still didn't manage to get even a single round from any of the three judge's. Swanson didn't really deserve to be fighting someone of Edgar's caliber and he had nothing to lose by accepting the bout. As good as Cub is, he has proven time and time again that he isn't on the same level of the top guys in the UFC's featherweight division. Since January 2012, Swanson is sporting a 10-4 record. The four setbacks came against Edgar (twice), current UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway, and future title challenger Brian Ortega.
Justin Willis    UFC    Heavyweight
Willis defeated Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

A massive first round and a decent second round masked the fact that Willis did virtually nothing during the second half of the fight. Big Pretty has legitimate power in his hands, but his cardio is questionable and his footwork is non existent. Willis is good enough to beat roster depth guys such as Sherman, but his lack of mobility is going to cost him dearly when the competition level rises. Willis is now 3-0 in the UFC and he should get a slightly better opponent his next time out.
Chase Sherman    UFC    Heavyweight
Sherman lost to Justin Willis via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Sherman is stupidly tough and it was a minor miracle that he was able to survive Round 1. He was the better, more active fighter in the third frame, but he did so little early on that he didn't have a prayer of getting the decision from the judge's. Sherman looks like he should be more effective than he actually is. He's a marketable asset, but he simply isn't a very good fighter. Sherman falls to 2-4 in the UFC with Saturday's setback.
David Branch    UFC    Middleweight
Branch defeated Thiago Santos via KO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

No, that is not a misprint. Branch earned a knockout win, his first since November 15, 2014 against Yushin Okami. Getting eaten alive with leg kicks, Branch finally pushed forced and connected with a wild right hand that finished off Santos. It was a terrific bounce back performance from Branch on the heels of his loss to Luke Rockhold last September. Branch keeps himself in excellent condition, but he turns 37 years old in September and he can't afford many more losses if he wants to remain in the title conversation in the UFC's middleweight division. He responded in a big way on Saturday.
Thiago Santos    UFC    Middleweight
Santos lost to David Branch via KO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Four straight knockout victories put Santos in position to make a run in the UFC middleweight division, but this loss is a massive setback for the 34-year-old Brazilian. Santos was throwing a bunch of leg kicks and doing a decent job of keeping the bigger Branch off balance early in the contest prior to the finish, yet one big right hand from Branch that didn't even appear to land flush turned his lights out. Santos' power is undisputed, but he struggles to win fights if he isn't landing with regularity. He is 8-3 in his past 11 fights dating back to January 2015.
Aljamain Sterling    UFC    Bantamweight
Sterling defeated Brett Johns via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

It was the best and most complete performance of Sterling's UFC career. He outclassed an over matched Johns in all aspects of he fight. In addition to a 111-57 edge in total strikes landed, Sterling scored on 4/9 takedown attempts and racked up 6:21 worth of control time. It was a dominant effort against a talented opponent. Aljo asked for former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz in his post-fight interview. That seems highly unlikely to happen, but Saturday's strong effort will get Sterling a big name opponent his next time out.
Brett Johns    UFC    Bantamweight
Johns lost to Aljamain Sterling via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Known as a strong grappler, Johns' striking defense, or lack thereof, was the primary reason he suffered the first loss of his pro career on Saturday. He had no answer for Sterling's repeated jabs and he struggled to close the distance against the athletic Serra/Longo product. He was facing a talented opponent, but this was the first time in Johns' young UFC career that we have seen him struggle. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds in his next fight. Johns is young enough (26) that it's reasonable to expect him to make significant strides with his striking skills.
Dan Hooker    UFC    Lightweight
Hooker defeated Jim Miller via KO (knee) 3:00 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Easy work. Armed with a massive size, speed and skill advantage, Hooker easily dissected the overmatched Miller. The knee that ended the fight was as beautiful as you will ever see and it would be shocking if it didn't earn Hooker a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus. Since moving up to lightweight less than a year ago, Hooker is 3-0 with three stoppage victories. In his post-fight interview with FOX Sports' Paul Felder, Hooker politely challenged Felder to a bout. It almost makes too much sense. It was smart on Hooker's part and it's not as if Felder was going to turn down the call out with a live mic in his hand. Make it happen, Sean Shelby.
Jim Miller    UFC    Lightweight
Miller lost to Dan Hooker via KO (knee) 3:00 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

Miller made his UFC debut at UFC 189 nearly a decade ago, but it's possible this could be the loss (his fourth straight) that finally leads to his release. It's been years since Miller could win anything other than a grinding mat battle and this was further proof that he can no longer compete against younger, more athletic opponents. Hooker blasted him with a perfectly placed knee to the face that Miller had no chance of recovering from. Saturday was Miller's 29th appearance with the UFC, which ties him with former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping for most in company history. Miller has been a good soldier and a good fighter for a lot of years, but his time has passed.
Ryan LaFlare    UFC    Welterweight
LaFlare defeated Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

It was a typical LaFlare fight in the sense that it was slow, grinding, and far from visually pleasing. LaFlare allowed Garcia to connect on five takedowns, but he used his athletic ability and strength to quickly bounce back up on multiple occasions. LaFlare had a significant edge in the striking exchanges despite the fact he lacks fluidity on the feet. LaFlare's overall record with the UFC is an impressive 7-2, but there is little reason to believe he can compete with the better welterweights on the roster. All seven of LaFlare's UFC victories have come via decision. You have to rack up some stoppage wins sooner or later if you want to be viewed as a legitimate threat.
Alex Garcia    UFC    Welterweight
Garcia lost to Ryan LaFlare via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

It's rare that a fighter will go 5/7 on takedown attempts and not receive a single round from any of the three judges, but that's how it went for Garcia on Saturday. The Dominican Nightmare did nothing on the feet and struggled massively with the grinding, methodical style of LaFlare. Garcia trains with a top team in TriStar, but that hasn't helped him get on any sort of roll during his time with the company. He has alternated wins and losses in his last eight fights.
Ricky Simon    UFC    Bantamweight
Simon defeated Merab Dvalishvili via TKO (referee's decision) at 5:00 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.

Fantasy Analysis

What a mess. On the verge of dropping his UFC debut after a poor performance, Simon was gifted a victory by referee Liam Kerrigan. Simon did a terrific job of clamping on a vicious guillotine in the final minute of action, but Dvalishvili appeared to survive until the final bell. After the action was over, Kerrigan determined that Dvalishvili was out cold and awarded the fight to Simon. It was a highly controversial decision that will almost certainly go before the board of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission. Fighting for the second time in less than a month, Simon was never able to get on track in his debut. We'll see if his first UFC win stands up.