Embed from Getty Images
Paulo Costa ($7,600) vs. Marvin Vettori ($8,600) – In most instances, given it’s a five round fight, you want stake in the main event. In my opinion, this roller coaster of weight changes due to Paulo Costa is actually helping the Brazilian. Given Costa has had issues with cutting weight due his muscular build, him getting a Middleweight in Marvin Vettori to fight at Light Heavyweight just seems like a diabolical plan. However, kudos to Vettori who has accepted every hurdle thrown at him. The Italian is clearly ready to fight and get back on track. While Vettori faltered in his title fight against Israel Adesanya, the prior five-fight win streak showed how good of a play the Italian was. He eclipsed over 124 points three times and averaged 111.16. On the flip side, especially given Costa is at a healthier weight, I see value at his price. Prior to the Brazilian’s title fight with Adesanya, he won five straight. In those wins, he collected four knockdowns and four knockouts. He also averaged 99.14 points. The last points I’ll make about this fight are, Vettori has fought in three consecutive five round fights and has never been stopped in 22 fights. Costa has only fought fifteen minutes once.
Verdict: Marvin Vettori is the play, but Costa at Light Heavyweight and the low price could make for a good play too.Embed from Getty Images
Grant Dawson ($9,300) vs. Rick Glenn ($6,900) – I expect this fight to be popular among lineups. Grant Dawson has been excellent since joining the UFC. The grappling specialist is a perfect 5-0 inside the octagon, with three of the wins coming via stoppage. Dawson has eclipsed 100 fantasy points three times and the lowest amount he has put up is 89.1 points. In other words, he’s a good play. Meanwhile, Glenn comes into this fight off a 37 second knockout victory over Joaquim Silva. The result netted him 140 fantasy points, which beat out his personal best of 139.2 in a win over Gavin Tucker. While I do think Glenn could be a value play given that he seemingly never goes away, I do worry about the hip surgery and overall inactivity that cost him over two years. Those 37 seconds didn’t really show me much to have an opinion on where he’s at.
Verdict: Grant Dawson is a solid play or Rick Glenn as a super salary saver.Embed from Getty Images
Jessica-Rose Clark ($8,500) vs. Joselyne Edwards ($7,700) – This is a good fight, but with plenty of question marks. Jessica-Rose Clark has dealt with a litany of leg injuries and has only two fights in the last three years. While her most recent win over Sarah Alpar was excellent, any momentum from it has died due to lost time. Joselyne Edwards is a game opponent, but has shown a real weakness – her ground game. With leaky takedown defense, Karol Rosa, a striker, connected on four of her six takedown attempts. Clark isn’t exactly a wrestler, but if she can mix in a few, perhaps she could be a play here. Then again, this fight just has too many red flags.
Verdict: PassEmbed from Getty Images
Seung Woo Choi ($9,200) vs. Alex Caceres ($7,100) – I’m never sure what to make of an Alex Caceres fight. He seems to have various versions, one that fight’s up to the competition, one that fight’s down to competition and one that just makes puzzling decisions in the octagon. One thing’s certain, he is on a four-fight win streak over opponents who combine for a 5-7 record inside the octagon. Meanwhile, Seung Woo Choi seems to have found himself during this three-fight win streak. He has eclipsed 100 fantasy points in two of the wins, and is averaging 92.6 fantasy points during the streak. While Choi might be an option, I would pick him with caution. Caceres’ crux has always been against grapplers with submission abilities. Given Choi has zero submission wins, I’d say Caceres can rest easy on that front. Having been only stopped once by strikes in his career, I believe Caceres takes this to the scorecards. Whether Choi can eclipse over 100 points in that instance, I’m not sure.
Verdict: PassEmbed from Getty Images
Dwight Grant ($7,800) vs. Francisco Trinaldo ($8,400) – Even though I feel like Francisco Trinaldo wins this fight, it’s Dwight Grant who I can see playing to save some salary. Trinaldo is 43 years old and somehow, father time has yet to tap him on the shoulder. With 23 UFC fights under his belt, I don’t think Grant brings anything to the table he hasn’t seen. The only reason I’d play Grant though, is he does have some power. While he is a hesitant striker, he does boast seven of his eleven wins coming via knockout. Throw in Trinaldo’s age and it’s a possible outcome.
Verdict: Dwight Grant or passEmbed from Getty Images
Nick Negumereanu ($9,100) vs. Ike Villanueva ($7,100) – This is a fight I would like to have stake in, as I believe this one ends inside the distance. Both men are absolutely terrible when it comes to striking defense. Nick Negumereanu checks in at 26% striking defense, absorbing nearly six strikes per minute. Ike Villanueva is a little better, checking in at a 36% striking defense. However, the veteran is absorbing nearly eight strikes per minute. The difference though in this fight is that Negumereanu is well rounded and durable. Villanueva is neither. In thirty fights, Villanueva has lost twelve times. In those twelve losses, he has been stopped eleven times. Unless your desperate, I’d avoid Villanueva. Perhaps his fifteen knockout victories does give him a case, but he’s been stopped in three of his four fights inside the octagon.
Verdict: Nick NegumereanuEmbed from Getty Images
Mason Jones ($9,500) vs. David Onama ($6,700) – I’m guessing the oddsmakers nor who decides the Draftkings prices thinks too highly David Onama. I however do, as this price tag screams value despite Mason Jones being an excellent fighter. Onama is a solid striker who is fast and has sneaky good grappling abilities. In eight fights, he has stopped every opponent. If you combine amateur and professional fights, Onama is a perfect 18-0. Of course Mason Jones is his toughest opponent to date, and dam good fighter at that. The price tag though seems too steep for someone who has yet to win inside the octagon. Of course the Alan Patrick fight was going Jones’ way, but an eye poke stopped the fight. A fight that was nearly halfway through and Jones had only accumulated 37.2 points.
Verdict: David Onama or PassEmbed from Getty Images
Jun Yong Park ($8,200) vs. Gregory Rodrigues ($8,000) – This is a good fight and one I can see as a play to save some salary. On the strength of wrestling, Jun Yong Park has won three consecutive fights. In this particular fight, he’ll need more than that, as Gregory Rodrigues boast solid takedown defense. Not only that, but Rodrigues is a big Middleweight who has power and is physically strong. In the Brazilian’s debut, he put up 76.4 fantasy points in a win over Dusko Todorovic. However, if you think Park can take down Rodrigues, I wouldn’t blame you for the pick. In the midst of this three-fight win streak, Park has put up an average of 99.26 fantasy points.
Verdict: Rodrigues if you need a mid-tiered salaried fighter.Embed from Getty Images
Maria Oliveira ($7,300) vs. Tabatha Ricci ($8,900) – After dropping a chance to join the UFC in 2018 at Dana White’s Contender Series, Maria Oliveira finally gets her shot three years later. Oliveira enters with a 12-4 record, which is nice. However, most of her wins are against cans. I mean, the last two fights came against opponents who combined for an 0-1 record. Meanwhile, Tabatha Ricci was dealt a bad hand when she debuted against the juggernaut that is Manon Fiorot. Obviously thing didn’t go well, but she will have a second chance at a win over lesser competition. An opponent in Oliveira who has struggled against grapplers. Seems tailor-made if you ask me.
Verdict: Tabatha Ricci via submission or dominant top control.Embed from Getty Images
Jamie Pickett ($7,200) vs. Laureano Staropoli ($9,000) – Think there is only one play here. Laureano Staropoli is making his second appearance at Middleweight and in this particular fight, will be at a significant reach disadvantage. In two UFC victories, the Argentinian is averaging a mere 63.7 points. As the fifth most expensive fighter on the card, I can’t see myself pulling the trigger. If anything, as a salary saver, I’d go with Jamie Pickett. The natural Middleweight, who has a massive reach advantage and has won nine of his eleven wins via stoppage.
Verdict: Jamie Pickett or PassEmbed from Getty Images
Jai Herbert ($8,800) vs. Khama Worthy ($7,400) – This is a good fight to have on your slate, as I can’t see the scorecards coming into play. Jai Herbert has won nine of his ten wins via stoppage. The Brit however, has been stopped in all three of his losses. Meanwhile, Worthy has won twelve of his sixteen fights via stoppage. Durability though isn’t one of Worthy’s strengths, as he been stopped in all eight losses, seven of which come via knockout. In Worthy’s two UFC wins, he’s averaged 94.55 fantasy points. In a fight that should result in a finish, I favor Herbert, but understand picking Worthy as a value play.
Verdict: Fork up for Jai Herbert or take Khama Worthy’s as a salary saver.Embed from Getty Images
Daniel Lacerda ($7,500) vs. Jeff Molina ($8,700) – I’m interested in this fight, as it has the makings to be an instant classic. Daniel Lacerda comes into his UFC debut with talent and a knack for finishing opponents. All eleven of his wins have come via stoppage, five via knockout and six via submission. The only problem is, in twelve fights, Lacerda has only seen the second round once. Meanwhile, Jeff Molina stormed into the UFC in a big way. In a ‘Fight of the Night’ victory over Qileng Aori, Molina put up 131.1 fantasy points. Even crazier, Molina landed 189 significant strikes, with 127 of them coming in round three alone. In my opinion, if you believe Lacerda continues his tear through opponents early, take the value. However, if you believe this fight goes the distance, go with Molina. In the end, the winner seems like a promising bet to finish with over 100 fantasy points.
Verdict: Daniel Lacerda’s finishing abilities and value or Jeff Molina’s ability to rack up points over fifteen minutes.Embed from Getty Images
Randa Markos ($7,900) vs. Livinha Souza ($8,200) – Neither women has exactly lit up the octagon, as Randa Markos has a losing professional record and Livinha Souza hasn’t fought to the championship caliber she did before joining the promotion. In five fights, Souza is averaging 52.4 fantasy points. In wins, that number bumps up to 79.8. Meanwhile, in Markos’ last ten fights, she is averaging 40.66. In wins, an impressive 91.8 points. The problem there though, is Markos has only won three times. In my opinion, especially given both women’s price tags, this isn’t the fight to have much stake in.
Verdict: Pass.Embed from Getty Images
Jonathan Martinez ($7,700) vs. Zviad Lazishvili ($8,500) – I could be totally off on this, but I feel the oddsmakers and even this Draftkings price seem a bit steep. Zviad Lazishvili is a solid wrestler with top notch grappling and submission abilities. However, his resume is lackluster. In twelve fights, Lazishvili has fought ten fighters who were debuting. The lack of competition and adversity could present itself in this fight, as Jonathan Martinez is no slouch. With a 4-3 record in the UFC, Martinez has the experience and the abilities to play spoiler.
Verdict: Jonathan Martinez or Pass.