By Claude Baker Jr @cbjr30
What to Expect:
As Evan Cheney @Echeney69 recovers from recent outages and getting back up to speed. I will be taking over this week’s UFC Rundown. You can typically find me answering questions about your account or content at NumberBall Support. I am an avid fan of the UFC, and I practice Muay Thai. I love the sport. I won’t have Evan’s robots to assist with this article, but I will give you my takes. So let’s have some fun.
Stipe Miocic (-105) – $8,200 vs Daniel Cormier (-105) – $8,000
Are you ready for the trilogy? I am super excited to see how this fight plays out the third time around. Cormier won the first fight with a first-round KO, and Miocic won their last fight with a fourth-round KO. Not surprising to see Vegas FDGTD sitting at -245 as a result. But who wins this time around? Cormier has stated this will be his last fight. When fighters begin speaking of retirement, you have to believe they are of the mindset that competing on this level is no longer there for them. But Cormier isn’t your usual athlete. He’s a former Olympian and former UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion (Champ, Champ if that’s your thing). Volume should not be lacking at all when these two square off. The two combined for 401 significant strikes landed before Miocic landed the knockout punch in the fourth round of their last fight. After looking at the odds, this fight is a pick’em. You can’t wrong with either fighter here. I think Cormier could win a decision (the only 5 round fight on the card) or score a stoppage. But I will side with Miocic taking this one. I think he comes in a little lower owned than Cormier on DraftKings as well. Get exposure to this fight in your lineups.
Miocic by Finish (TKO)
Sean O’Malley (-265) – $9,200 vs Marlon Vera (+245) – $7,000
The Suga Show is back for the third time this year. Sean O’Malley comes into this fight with first-round finishes in his last two fights. Suga wins this fight if he can keep it standing. And he likely wins it by KO if that were to happen. I expect Suga to be one of the highest owned fighters on the slate. But chalk isn’t necessarily bad in MMA DFS. Suga will be facing off against his toughest competition to date in Marlon Vera. Vera comes in as a pretty significant underdog. I think O’Malley’s recent showings are the reason. Vera needs to get this match to the ground and win the scrambles. If he can do that, he would be a massive leverage play on DraftKings with likely ownership under 15%. At the same time, I will build one lineup with Vera upsetting Suga. I think Suga wins this fight.
O’Malley by Finish (TKO)
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-120) – $8,400 vs Junio Dos Santos (+110) – $7,800
This is another fight you want both sides of (unless you have a lean in one direction). Rozenstruik has significant power in his hands and can land a KO with one punch. Couple that with that fact that Dos Santos’ chin is questionable at best, you have the makings of a potential big KO for Rozenstruik. For Dos Santos’ part, he is an excellent boxer and can mix in a takedown or two with his striking. Both fighters could see their hands raised at the end of the night. But if it goes to a decision (current line Fight Goes to Decision is +230), I think it will be Dos Santos getting his hand raised. I will side with the slight underdog.
Dos Santos by Decision
Herbert Burns (-260) – $8,900 vs Daniel Pineda (+240) – $7,300
It seems like every other fight card we get a Burns Brother fighting. This time it’s Herbert Burns. Herbert Burns won his spot into the UFC winning on DWCS Season 3. He has given Dana White everything he asks for in a fighter. In “The Blaze’s” first two UFC fights, he has finished both in the first round. This fight looks to be shaping up for another quick stoppage for Burns. The fight Doesn’t Go to Decision line currently is -425. Daniel Pineda is returning to the UFC since his last bout in 2014, a decision loss to Robert Whiteford. Pineda will try to win the striking war against Burns. Unfortunately, for Pineda, I believe the better talent and fighter Saturday night will be Burns.
Burns by TKO
Merab Dvalishvili (-245) – $8,700 vs John Dobson (+205) – $7,500
Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili is what you call “DraftKings Gold.” In his last four fights, he has scored 174, 131, 92, and 98 DraftKings points. His chain wrestling is quite impressive. In his previous two fights, he has a combined total of 25 takedowns. If you play MMA DFS, you know takedowns are golden. So to see “The Machine,” sitting at $8,700 is only going to make him even more popular on DraftKings. John Dodson is a journeyman. He’s been competing in the UFC since 2011. Dodson won his last fight with a TKO third-round finish of Nathaniel Wood. He entered that fight as an underdog as well. Dodson has pretty good stats against the takedown. His career takedown defense is 80%. Could he score an upset? Yes. Should you build a lineup with Dodson? Yes. Massive amounts of leverage against a fighter in Dvalishvili that will be north of 45% owned. I will go with the activity and chain wrestling machine, though.
Dvalishvili by Decision
Vinc Pichel (-125) – $7,900 vs Jim Miller (+115) – $8,300
I have to say thank you to Vinc “From Hell” Pichel. He sold me an autographed copy of his and Gregor Gillespie’s UFC Fight Night 131 poster from 2018. Which reminds me I need to get Gillespie to sign the poster as he was my reason for getting the poster. To the fight. Pichel is coming in as a slight favorite in Vegas. But DraftKings locked him in when he was an underdog, so you can expect Pichel to carry some ownership as a result. Pichel has a good mix of grappling and striking. Pichel will have more power, and this fight has a -110 line the fight Doesn’t Go To Decision. Jim Miller, who will likely be the more aggressive fighter in at least the first round, could be the one getting that early finish. While I am thankful to Pichel for delivering the poster. I will take Miller for the pricing imbalance with DraftKings.
Miller by Decision
Virna Jandiroba (-310) – $9,000 vs Felice Herrig (+280) – $7,200
This is a fight I will be overweight on Virna. I think she has just as much upside as the other fighters in the $9,000+ range. But as we know, women fights typically go under-owned in MMA DFS. Virna is my pick here. While Herrig has the talent and potential to win this fight. She’s returning from ACL surgery, and that unknown alone makes me want to side with Vrina. But just to give you a quick understanding of Virna. Virna has three takedowns in each of her last two fights. If she can chain together 4 or 5 takedowns and possibly secure a submission, I can see her eclipsing value on her $9,000 salary. Again at lower ownership. You could even bet the fight Doesn’t Go To Decision at +165.
Jandrioba by Submission
TJ Brown (-150) – $8,800 vs Danny Chavez (+130) – $7,400
TJ Brown, in his UFC debut, lost to Jordan Griffin by way of Submission. He still scored well in that loss. He secured seven takedowns and still scored 63 DraftKings points in the loss. I am hoping players overlook these numbers on Saturday. Danny Chavez is making his debut and get’s a pretty decent matchup for himself. Chavez enters the UFC on a three-fight win streak all by first-round KOs. If Brown decides to trade in the pocket, Chavez is live for the KO. I suspect we will see Brown do what he does well and wrestle. While you can have exposure to both sides of this fight I will side with Brown.
Brown by Decision
Livinha Souza (-150) – $8,600 vs Ashely Yoder (+140) – $7,600
You know I like to target women’s fights when building lineups. Livinha Souza comes in as the slight favorite and will look to pressure Yoder and look for a takedown or two. She is not who I am targeting because, at her price, she would likely need a finish to payoff her salary. Ashley Yoder, for her part, comes in as a slight underdog. As I mentioned the pressure that Souza likes to display, Yoder offers pressure as well. What I like about Yoder is that she generally throws volume, and that’s often enough to win on the judges’ cards. She can also mix in a takedown or two, but her advantage would be on the feet. While I believe Souza will win this fight for DFS purposes, I will build a lineup or two with Yoder and hope she scores 75 points in a decision at under 20% ownership.
Yoder by Decision
Parker Porter (-120) – $8,500 vs Chris Daukaus (+110) – $7,700
Let’s get exposure to this fight. What’s to like, you ask? Two heavyweights that have a combined two decisions in their 25 combined fights, that’s what. Oh, and did I mention they are both making their UFC debuts? So you know they will want to impress. Also, Vegas has the fight Doesn’t Go To Decision at -325. Again, if you have a lean one way or the other than by all means, take that stand. For me, I think Porter is the better fighter at this stage of their careers. But I will take the more youthful Daukaus (five years younger). But again, both are in play.
Daukaus by TKO
Kai Kamaka (-230) – $8,900 vs Tony Kelley (+190) – $7,300
Kai Kamaka is the decision machine. All but one of his career seven wins came via decision. While Tony Kelley has won four of his five career wins by stoppage. Both fighters are making their UFC debuts Saturday night. Kamaka looks to be the better fighter of the two. Kelley hasn’t fought in over a year. This rust may cause him not to look as sharp. I’ll side with Kamaka in this one.
Kamaka by Decision