UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 5/30/20
Combat sports are one of America's longest-standing active sports to wager on. This was evident throughout the late-1900s as boxing took the sports world by storm. From Muhammed Ali to Mike Tyson, several stars were born, and Americans around the country placed bets on who would win boxing matches. Nowadays, with boxing much smaller than it was throughout the 1900s, mixed martial arts has taken the lead as America's favorite combat sport.
By far, the largest and most successful MMA organization in North America is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, commonly known as UFC. The UFC lays claim to the best mixed martial artists in the world and is showcased on both cable and pay-per-view events every month. As one of the first sports to return with compliance of social distancing, UFC daily fantasy is now live on FanDuel.
numberFire is always your best place to prepare for the upcoming UFC card. In addition to this helper, Barry Cohen has you covered with a betting guide for his favorite wagers on Saturday night's card. Jim Sannes also has an analytical preview of the upcoming UFC Fight Night, including fight win percentages, striking numbers per minute, and FanDuel points per minute. Jim and I also sat down on The Heat Check Fantasy Podcast to keep learning UFC DFS and preview this slate on FanDuel.
With those tools at our disposal, let's break down the UFC Fight Night slate scheduled for Saturday night in Las Vegas, NV:
Roosevelt Roberts ($21): This is a tough slate. The most expensive player in the player pool, Tyron Woodley ($22), is in the main event with five rounds but has a brutally low volume. He would have scored fewer than 50 FanDuel points in three of his last five fights -- and all but one has gone the distance. Kevin Holland was also a high-priced favorite now off the card entirely. With that, I will turn to Roberts most often in my MVP slot.
The once-dynamite prospect has been anything but in UFC, never landing more than 53 strikes in a match, but he faces Brok Weaver, who landed just six strikes against Kazula Vargas back in February before getting a very lucky illegal knee to his face and therefore a win in his UFC debut. Weaver's terrible performance is what makes Roberts a comfortable -330 favorite and a go-to option in the MVP slot.
Jamahal Hill ($17): Occasionally a Vegas line does not make sense given the information provided -- and that certainly raises a question as to why -- but Jamahal Hill at only -120 odds to win seems incredibly low. Klidson Abreu has simply been non-productive in the UFC, as the takedown and submission artist has only two takedowns in three UFC fights. That spells trouble for finding a path to victory against Hill, whose four inches of height and reach advantage will be incredibly difficult to overcome.
Hill is very different stylistically as a high-volume striker (7.92 significant strikes per minute), and he racked up 101 strikes in a decision win over Darko Stosic. Abreu has proven to have a durable chin, so a knockout may not be certain, but Hill should be able to pick his shots at will on the feet to earn points in this one.
Other High-Priced Fighters
Billy Quarantillo ($18): Billy Quarantillo and Spike Carlyle ($14) are fighting between weight classes at 150 pounds, and Quarantillo will be the bigger fighter as a result. Carlyle is moving up from 145 pounds, and Quarantillo will cut an additional five pounds for this one. Fireworks are certain, as Quarantillo (10.77 significant strikes per minute) and Carlyle (14.12 significant strikes per minute) both possess incredible volume.
What separates this fight might be the accuracy of those shots, as Billy lands a razor sharp 81% of the time throwing a strike, while Carlyle is down at 69%. A larger fighter in a striking match who lands more accurately should have the more clear path to victory in what will be a kickboxing war. Both sides of this fight are in play, and a stack in cash could be argued for, but Quarantillo has an advantage.
Gilbert Burns ($18): As mentioned with Woodley, the five-round main event should have less volume than normal, but Burns is definitely the more active of the two fighters. At $4 cheaper, he is the favorable side in a fight we don't want to totally ignore. Burns has statistical advantages as a striker (3.13 strikes per minute), a wrestler (2.39 takedowns per match), and as a grappler (0.73 submission attempts per round).
It will be nearly impossible to crack the 92% takedown defense of Woodley, so stylistically, expect this one to stay on the feet, and Burns is confident there coming off a knockout from the feet against Demian Maia. Momentum is also building for Burns to win this fight outright, as well, as he is all the way down to +140 on FanDuel Sportsbook after starting as high as +200 as an underdog.
Daniel Rodriguez ($13): Rodriguez was initially in a very tough spot against Kevin Holland, but he sees a much easier test with Holland now out due to an ankle injury. He now stands as a -320 favorite against replacement Gabriel Green. Green is an unknown. He is moving up to 170 pounds versus fighting regionally in California at 155 pounds. He does have five straight wins by finish (knockout or submission) on his MMA resume.
The expectation is that the octagon experience will be too much for Green to overcome, as Rodriguez submitted UFC veteran Tim Means in his debut in February. While the unknown may be too great to throw Rodriguez in an MVP spot, even as a heavy favorite, he's an outstanding play priced as an underdog.
Katlyn Chookagian ($13): The top-five flyweight contender in the world was grounded and pounded by Valentina Shevchenko in her title effort last fight, but she sees a sizable step back in competition to her sister Antonina in this contest. Far from a world champion like Valentina, Antonina is 1-1 in the UFC and coming off a submission win last August, but Chookagian is one of the most technical 125-pound kickboxers on the planet -- men or women. She should be able to dictate the pace on the feet in this fight, and the only thing keeping her out of "must play" territory is Chookagian has never finished any of her nine UFC fights, so the win bonus potential upside is limited should "The Blonde Fighter" pull this one out.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.