UFC Fight Island 8 is headlined by Chiesa vs. Magny, but there are plenty of fights on the card for us to break down. This weekly Fight Analysis article will break down and analyze every matchup. Below, you’ll find my data-driven analysis for each match, as well as a pick to win, which will help us make UFC DFS picks and lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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UFC DFS Picks: Fight Island 8 DraftKings + FanDuel Fight Analysis
Chiesa vs. Magny
The main event of the Fight Island 8 is a good one, featuring Michael Chiesa against Neil Magny. Both fighters have catapulted their careers following The Ultimate Fighter and are legitimate staples within their division. We have a dominant grappler in Chiesa taking on a talented striker in Magny. Chiesa’s path to victory is to secure takedowns and maintain top control. Magny has shown some grappling deficiencies at times, and Chiesa’s grappling is next level, with excellent control time. But if Chiesa doesn’t close the distance early, he could be in for a long night. Magny excels in the striking department and is tough to deal with because of his massive length and volume for the division. Suffocating pressure and excellent grappling can be the recipe for a Chiesa win. I’m splitting exposure with a slight lean towards Chiesa.
The pick: Chiesa
Lazzez vs. Alves
We have an exciting welterweight bout between Mounir Lazzez and Warlley Alves on the card. Lazzez had one of the most memorable UFC debuts we’ve seen and secured a dominant upset over Abdul Razak Alhassan. Lazzez displayed great striking, good wrestling and high fight IQ. The UFC has paired Lazzez with a stiff test against Alves here, but I think he passes. This is not an easy fight by any means, Alves is good everywhere and has some notable wins in the UFC. Alves’ inconsistencies worry me against a motivated prospect, despite his experience. I like Lazzez to secure a victory here.
The pick: Lazzez
Villanueva vs. Moreira
Yuck. Next, we have two winless fighters in the UFC, Ike Villanueva versus Vinicius Moreira. Let’s be honest, this a low-level fight. Villanueva needs to keep this fight on the feet and punish his opponent. Moreiera on the other hand, needs to work towards takedowns immediately. It’s tough to trust either fighter, but I feel like someone is getting finished. Moreira is a jiu-jitsu specialist but struggles to get his opponents there, and when he is forced to stand up, he looks like Frankenstein’s Monster. If Villanueva can defend some takedowns, I think he easily scores a knockout against Moreira at Fight Island 8.
UFC DFS pick: Villanueva
Araujo vs. Modafferi
Long-time veteran Roxanne Modafferi takes on Viviane Araujo. Modafferi is always underestimated but has a wealth of experience and high-level grappling. Her striking has improved over the years, but it is still underwhelming. Modafferi lacks power and creativity, but as long as she can set up the takedown, or scramble on the mat, she’s a threat. Araujo’s striking is on another level, and she possesses surprising power for the division. Araujo puts together great combinations, and also has a good jiu-jitsu game to rely on. Modafferri can hang in the pace and volume department, but I favor Araujo.
The pick: Araujo
Nam vs. Schnell
This fight between Tyson Nam versus Matt Schnell is finally happening. We have been teased with this matchup for a long time, and I’m excited for it. Nam has been on a roll lately, knocking out his past two opponents. Schnell is a technical striker who has been up and down in the UFC but has an inability to take a shot. Schnell should look to implement minimal striking and work towards a submission finish here, since that’s the safest path to victory. It’s tough to trust Schnell’s chin holding up in this contest, since he has been knocked out in all three of his UFC defeats, and faces a dangerous puncher in Nam. Nam’s output leaves a lot to be desired but seems to be hitting his stride in the UFC.
The pick: Nam
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Murphy vs. De Andrade
This should be a fun fight with Lerone Murphy and Douglas Silva De Andrade. I feel like someone is getting knocked out here, as Murphy has a KO percentage of 67% and De Andrade has a KO percentage of 73%. Andrade is a very tough opponent, who has some big wins over legitimate competition. Andrade will throw caution to the wind, and he has the power to knockout anyone. Murphy needs to be cautious but has the tools to come out victorious. Murphy should implement aggressive striking, and a strong top-game to solidify rounds. If he avoids the big shot, he should win here.
The pick: Murphy
Breese vs. Akhmedov
We will finally get to see Tom Breese and Omari Akhmedov. Akhmedov is a dangerous fighter who incorporates relentless takedowns, and powerful punches. Breese is a very technical and powerful southpaw, who has some underrated jiu-jitsu. Breese has been a hyped prospect in the UFC for a while, but has battled anxiety issues, limiting his potential. This is a difficult fight to predict, as both men are high-level. I’m slightly leaning towards Akhmedov with his durability, and takedowns to solidify rounds.
The pick: Akhmedov
Simon vs. Pirrello
Don’t blink when you’re watching this next fight between Ricky Simon and Gaetano Pirrello. Both men are extremely exciting and fight at a high pace. Simon is a well-rounded fighter with good striking ability, and overwhelming wrestling. The wrestling should be the difference maker here. I wouldn’t suggest Simon stand and trade with Pirrello too long, since Pirrello has exceptional power. It’s hard to trust Pirrello in his debut against UFC competition, since his strength of schedule has been questionable. Simon checks more boxes for me, despite the dangerous opponent he is the better fighter to use for UFC DFS picks.
The pick: Simon
Mudaerji vs. Adashev
Up next at Fight Island 8 we have two exciting strikers facing off, Su Mudaerji and Zarrukh Adashev. Mudaerji is a long fighter for the bantamweight division, and Adashev is a compact kickboxer from Glory. I’ve had the pleasure of fighting on the same Bellator card as Adashev. I will be rooting hard for him, but I don’t think it’s an easy fight. Mudaerji has a significant reach advantage in the matchup, seven inches to be exact, and Adashev is looking to rebound from a devastating knockout loss. I don’t like recommending fighters who have just been knocked out, especially in matchups against powerful strikers. Adashev has phenomenal blitz attacks that could overwhelm Mudaerji, but he needs to be careful. My personal pick will be for Adashev, but for my unbiased opinion for the people, I will say Mudaerji.
The pick: Mudaerji
Lungiambula vs. Perez
We have a short-notice fight between Dalcha Lungiambula and Markus Perez that should make for a good one. Lungiambula is a decorated judoka with impressive punching power. Perez is looking to rebound from a recent knockout loss to Dricus Du Plessis. These gentlemen will meet in the center of the octagon and throw bombs. I don’t like recommending fighters that have recently been knocked out against power punchers. Give me Lungiambula.
The pick: Lungiambula
Figueiredo vs. Rivera
Does that last name look familiar? Yes, that is Deiveson Figueiredo’s brother, Francisco Figueiredo. It’s important to not overvalue a fighter based on their last name. Figueiredo is a talented fighter, a lesser version of his brother, but there are some similarities. Figueiredo is a dynamic striker who switches stances often, has good kickboxing and good jiu-jitsu to rely on. Jerome Rivera is a lower tier UFC fighter, who is looking to rebound from his debut defeat. Rivera’s path to victory is typically via grappling and submissions, but he may find that route extremely difficult against Figueiredo. Figueiredo can excel in the striking department and work towards a finish on the mat as well. I’m siding with Figueiredo and think he win in all facets of the game, despite not being near his brother’s level.
The pick: Figueiredo
Davis vs. Jones
This fight will be insane. I can’t guarantee this fight goes the distance because both men, Mike Davis and Mason Jones, are exceptional strikers. I am thoroughly impressed with the regional footage of Jones. Jones puts together long combinations of punches to disrupt his opponents and has a perfect record at (10-0). Davis is a fighter I have followed for years, and I am excited to see him back in the cage. Davis has great striking, mixing in all elements to outclass his opponents. He has shown he can hang with some talented UFC fighters, and I think that will be the difference here in a close fight. I will have exposure to both in DFS, but favor Davis slightly.
The pick: Davis
Nurmagomedov vs. Morozov
Another notable name on this card is Umar Nurmagomedov (cousin of Khabib) taking on Sergey Morozov. Nurmagomedov has a lot of hype behind him but possesses a unique skillset. Nurmagomedov has high-level striking, and incredible leg dexterity. He will throw a kick-dominant attack while also mixing in his dominant wrestling. Morozov is a good fighter with powerful punches and good wrestling. The UFC is really testing these fighters against each other, and I can see either coming away victorious. This fight is closer than what the odds suggest, and difficult to predict since both fighters are making their UFC debuts. I will have to side with Nurmagomedov slightly, as I think the strong camp and high-level training partners have prepared him well for his UFC debut at Fight Island 8.
The pick: Nurmagomedov
Fiorot vs. Leonardo
Kicking off our morning card is Manon Fiorot versus Victoria Leonardo. This matchup should be an exciting one; I’m impressed with the footage I’ve found of Fiorot and think she is a talented striker with an aggressive style. Leonardo is not a specialist, but she can compete in multiple areas of the fight. I just think she will be a step behind Fiorot here, making Fiorot the better choice when making UFC DFS picks.
The pick: Fiorot
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