UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 6/27/20
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, if you'd rather bet the fights outright on FanDuel Sportsbook, Barry Cohen has you covered with his betting guide for his favorite wagers on Saturday night's card. Jim Sannes also has an analytical preview of the card to get all the betting odds, stats, and info you need to round out your lineup.Jim and I also sat down on Wednesday for the latest UFC edition of The Heat Check Fantasy Podcast to dive even deeper into this UFC slate.
With those tools at our disposal, let's break down the UFC Fight Night card scheduled for Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Dustin Poirier ($22): Poirier has the main event against Dan Hooker, which boosts his floor with five rounds of potential volume at stake. The reason why Poirier is a -230 moneyline favorite -- and growing -- over Hooker is the gap in experience. Poirier has wins against Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, and Eddie Alvarez -- all of whom have held UFC championship gold at some point in their career. Poirier is a former interim champ himself, and he also has fought (and albeit lost) undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov and two-time champion Conor McGregor.
The gap between level of competition is sizable. Many felt Dan Hooker lost to sixth-ranked Paul Felder, and he was knocked out by Edson Barboza, who ranks only 13th in a lighter weight class now. Poirier has plenty of weapons at his disposal and can beat any opponent on the feet (5.51 significant strikes per minute) as well as the ground (1.55 takedowns per match). Hooker's win streak rightfully earned him this fight, but he is a justifiable underdog in the main event.
Mike Perry ($20): The concern around Mike Perry should be that he becoming certifiably insane. Perry, whether out of disrespect to Mickey Gall or not, is having only his girlfriend in his corner on Saturday. He expects a quick finish, and so does FanDuel Sportsbook -- where Perry sits at -120 to win by knockout and +280 by knockout in the first round. Perry better hope the latter is the outcome, otherwise his girlfriend's ability to ice may come into question, but he has reason to be confident. Gall's main weapon is on the ground, but Perry sports a healthy 70% takedown defense. If this fight stays on the feet, Perry packs huge power in addition to volume (4.27 significant strikes per minute), and Gall's 43% striking defense will be put to the ultimate test -- one that Perry could ace with flying colors.
Brendan Allen ($18): The 24-year old from Wisconsin has been electric in his first two UFC fights, with a submission of Kevin Holland and a knockout of Tom Breese. He sees his lowest-ranked opponent of his first three fights on Saturday with last-minute stand in Kyle Daukaus. This matchup profiles as a grappling match, with Allen at 4.62 submission attempts per match in his MMA career, and Daukaus at a 4.00 marker, albeit at a much lower competition level. "All In" is a -310 favorite as a nod to his octagon experience, where his versatility has led to quick finishes against tougher competition. He is affordable at this tag and deserves MVP consideration as the second-largest favorite on the card.
Sean Woodson ($18): Sean Woodson, just like Allen, sees a stand-in with veteran Julian Erosa stepping in after Kyle Nelson pulled out of this bout. It is hard to have a more impressive debut than Woodson did as he lit up Kyle "Crash" Bochniak for 111 strikes in a three-round fight in Boston. Woodson, a high-paced kickboxer (5.27 significant strikes per minute), will have a punchable target in front of him, with Erosa having a poor rate of 5.04 strikes absorbed per minute in his UFC career, and "The Sniper" will have four inches of reach to aid him in hitting that target. Woodson is yet another heavy favorite in a diverse group of MVP options on this slate.
Youssef Zalal ($12): Zalal will be rightfully popular on FanDuel. When accounting for the rake, Zalal's 53.5% implied win odds have him as a favorite on paper, but he's priced as an underdog on FanDuel. The reason why Zalal is getting more love winning this fight outright is the weapon he may choose to deploy. With six takedowns in his UFC debut and five of his eight career wins by submission, Zalal primarily works off the ground. His opponent, Jordan Griffin, packs huge power, but with a 35% takedown defense, Griffin may not get to use it off his back. Zalal has scoring potential and high win-bonus odds, which is all you can ask for out of a fighter this cheap.
Khama Worthy ($11): "The Death Star" is a huge underdog on FanDuel Sportsbook, coming in at +225 to Luis Pena Saturday, but it is far from the first time he finds himself in a spot like this. Devonte Smith was a -900 favorite against Worthy in 2019 and lost in the first round by knockout, so Worthy has no issue playing spoiler. His frantic, unorthodox pace (4.97 significant strikes per minute) has been enough to finish four of his last five wins early, and Pena's reserved pace built on defense (2.41 strikes per minute) will be challenged. Pena may be able to wrestle Worthy and neutralize him, but with limited fantasy potential on the favorite's side regardless, Worthy's aggressiveness and scoring potential is worth rolling the dice on amidst the challenge to find value on this slate.
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.