Fight Study (2/13/21)
Two of the most promising young fighters in the UFC’s flyweight division will face off as Miranda Maverick steps into the octagon with Gillian Robertson to start things at UFC 258. Maverick will be the favorite in this matchup and she will carry the higher salaries on both platforms in DFS contests on Saturday. She is available for $8,500 on DraftKings and $17 on Fanduel. Robertson will go for less and is priced at $7,700 and $13 respectively. This fight is scheduled for three rounds of MMA action and is currently a -155 favorite to go the distance.
In her UFC debut, Maverick made short work of Liana Jojua when her elbow split open Jojua’s nose late in the first round resulting in a doctor’s stoppage between rounds. Maverick is 8-2 as a professional with 1 win by KO/TKO, 5 wins by submission and 2 wins by decision. Although her record shows her submission prowess, she is a high level striker as well and will be wise to employ her kickboxing against a fighter with high level grappling like Robertson. Although Maverick has never been finished in her career, but she has not faced a fighter with the submissions of Robertson. As long as she stays on her feet, Maverick should be in great shape, but on the ground she looks to give up her advantage. Current odds back this up and she is currently +925 to win by submission compared to Robertson at +380 to win by submission.
Robertson is coming off of a loss to Taila Santos in a fight where the level of Santos’ ground game surprised her and she lost by unanimous decision. She is just 2-3 in decisions as a professional and has made her name primarily with her submissions. She is 9-5 overall with 1 win by KO/TKO, 6 wins by submission and 2 wins by decision. She has shown consistent improvement in her striking since joining the UFC, but will be at a disadvantage on her feet against Maverick. She must find a way to take this fight to the ground if she is hopeful to win this fight. However, Maverick is also a very skilled grappler and Robertson will be under threat of submission herself if she is not able to maintain the dominant position on the ground.
Given that Maverick is the significantly better striker, I expect Robertson to look to take this fight to the mat if at all possible. She must be careful as Maverick loves to throw an uppercut elbow up the middle which will end things quickly if she times it well with a Robertson takedown shot. Watch for Robertson to try to engage in a clinch and bring the fight down from there. I believe that Robertson will have some difficulties getting a takedown and this means she must hold her own on her feet until the takedown can happen. If, however, she is able to take Maverick down with time to work with, Robertson will have a good chance at a submission and may be able to sway the judges with control time if this fight does go to decision. Maverick is fully aware of her advantage in an upright fight, and I expect her to move in and out of distance in order to limit the opportunities for Robertson to change levels.
Maverick should be the favorite here, but if this fight were played out multiple times I would expect a somewhat equitable split between these fighters. Make no mistake, Robertson can win this fight. Still, Maverick is the lower risk play and she is priced well enough to get consideration in GPP play. I would limit her exposure in multi-entry contests as she is vulnerable to submission against Robertson, but her ceiling is worthy of GPP play as she has already demonstrated her ability to finish UFC-level fighters. Robertson is going to be a boom or bust play, but with a well below average salary on both platforms she is worth some GPP lineups as well. If the oddsmakers are right, however, this fight is not likely to end inside the distance and DFS players should limit their expectations in this fight as a low scoring result wouldn’t shock me at all.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 258 on February 13.