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As part of my pre-deployment training in 2021, I had to attend and complete Foreign Affairs Counter Threat training (FACT). For what it’s worth, this was the coolest training I have ever attended in my military career. During the course, you learn how to drift while driving, drive backwards at high speeds while people shoot blanks at you, where to hit a blockade properly in order to keep moving forward in your vehicle etc.

The course also covers your basic combatives, hostage situations, and tactical medical response. But much of the course was focused on surveillance. How to figure out if you’re being watched or followed, how to lose a tail, being aware of your surroundings etc. They let you know in the beginning of the course that even outside of duty hours you should be putting this practice into play (They have people assigned to watch you and follow you at the hotel, in the local town out in the city and everything all week long but they do not tell you that). They gave us a hotline to report any suspicious activity to so if we thought we caught someone watching or following us then we were supposed to report it.

I didn’t think much of it until I was driving to the local CookOut to grab a highly nutritious dinner after class (I recommend the $5 CookOut Trays). Someone called me from a local number on my cell and it was a hotel worker where I was staying. She sounded a bit nervous and asked me if they had my blessing to enter into my hotel room as there was some sort of A/C malfunction that they needed to fix. I immediately remembered the course instructor hinting that they may test us throughout the week and assumed this was one of those tests.

I told the worker my A/C was working fine all night so what is the issue? She explained that the contractor just wanted to replace one of the small parts on it but needed me to give the ‘go ahead’ to enter my room when I was not there. I asked what would happen if I said no to which she explained they would replace it after I checked out of the hotel and so I declined.

But it still didn’t sit right with me as I didn’t get enough information from the worker to report this activity to the suspicious activity hotline. I am determined to look like a superstar as the first person in the class to catch someone trying to pull a fast one on me. So as I pulled back into the hotel after dinner, I stopped by the front desk and inquired about this A/C malfunction some more. The girl was a little taken back probably wondering why I would care so much about this. Keep in mind the hotel we were staying at was not affiliated with the training program and was not aware why I was staying there either.

I asked her for the name of the contractor along with a business card which she did not have. I kept pushing for more information as this was clearly a test and I was going to ace it. She pulled up their directory of contractors and eventually gave me a business name and phone number. I went back to my room and called the business to verify it was real and that they were contracted by the hotel. After I had all my information, I called the suspicious activity hotline and reported everything to include the business name, the phone number, address and as much information as I collected.

I was very excited to get on the bus the next morning to tell my new classmates about the encounter and asked if they had any suspicious activity yet. I was going to look sharp to the instructor too as this will prove they aren’t going to fool me with some simple A/C issue…

But to my embarrassment, this was totally legit and a routine check up as the hotel was experiencing A/C malfunctions so they were planning to replace a part in all of the rooms. It just so happen that they were doing this on the first day of my class. So now I looked like some sort of paranoid psychopath and the hotel workers definitely think I’m crazy at this point. To make matters worse, one of the days I came back to the hotel covered in fake blood because of the tactical medical scenario and the hotel workers looked at me like they were going to call the police. My wife still makes fun of me to this day for how nuts I probably looked to the workers, and it was all because I jumped to conclusions to quickly.

Assumptions can be tricky as sometimes they can benefit you when you are correct. However, when you are incorrect like me with the maintenance call, you will end up looking like a fool. There are multiple fights to highlight on this slate where assumptions may end up deciding your fate.

Tatiana Suarez vs Montana De La Rosa

The first assumption that the field is making this week is that Suarez is still one of the best fighters on the roster and has not lost a step during her four-year layoff. This would also being assuming she is fully healthy after struggling with a slew of injuries during that absence. Aside from those assumptions, there is also the assumption that Suarez is going to smash so bigly that she outproduces all of the other fighters priced above $9,000.  Suarez is projecting to be the highest owned fighter on the entire slate and she is also the most expensive. Now, she is an excellent play and I plan to have a lot of lineups with her as well but if any of our assumptions are incorrect then we are giving up huge leverage to the lineups that do not have her on the roster. It makes sense to have at least some teams that either have De La Rosa or to avoid the fight completely if you are playing multiple lineups. If any of those assumptions are inaccurate then you are eliminating a huge chunk of your competitors.

Andre Muniz vs Brendan Allen

Andre Muniz has been excellent throughout his five UFC wins and he is a big favorite this weekend as well. Muniz is a dangerous submission grappler and has been able to get most of his opponents out of there early. But what happens if he is unable to do that against Allen? Allen will likely have a striking advantage along with cardio as well and potentially the more durable of the two. Allen is no slouch on the mat either and could be good enough to survive the early trouble that Muniz presents. I would not want to assume that Muniz submits Allen in the first round here while playing into him as one of the higher owned spend ups on the slate.

Trevor Peek vs Erick Gonzalez

This is one of the bouts where assumptions are being made with much less information than those other fights. Trevor Peek went through a war on his last fight on Contender Series and was able to walk through the storm and get the finish of his own. But now we are assuming he is some indestructible fighter incapable of losing or being knocked out? Erick Gonzalez is not a great fighter and has been finished in both of his UFC fights so that is likely where the confidence in Peek is coming from. But this projects to be a high variance fight where both guys have power and are going to swing until someone drops. I will have teams with Peek as he has the best inside distance line on the slate but it also makes sense to be overweight to Gonzalez at much lower ownership as it would pay drastically if our assumptions about Peek are incorrect.

So you see, assumptions can be tricky. But if everyone is assuming one thing, wouldn’t you want to be the person that gets paid off in a big way if the masses are incorrect? Hopefully, we can find out on Saturday. I’ll see you in the streets.