UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC 270
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 most unique DFS sweats available, UFC daily fantasy is now live on FanDuel.
numberFire is always the best spot to get you ready for any UFC card. If you would rather bet the fights, our betting guide is a great place to find value on Saturday's card. In addition to this primer, I also dove deeper into the slate on this week's UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane, which will take place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA on Saturday.
Jack Della Maddalena ($22): Even though he failed to record a knockout on Dana White's Contender Series, Della Maddalena's efficiency earned him the best odds to finish his opponent inside the distance (-195) this weekend. Della Maddalena combined superb volume (7.20 significant strikes per minute) with a 65% striking defense to earn his contract. He presents one of the largest steps up in competition for his opponent, Pete Rodriguez, then I can ever recall. Rodriguez's previous opponents are just 4-13 in professional MMA fights. Della Maddalena is a proven striker already at the promotion's level.
Michel Pereira ($21): "Demolidor" draws a late-notice change like Della Maddalena does. He sees Andre Fialho on just one week's notice, and with welterweight wins over Khaos Williams and Niko Price, Pereira has faced much stiffer tests than the UFC newcomer. Always with a flair for the dramatic, Periera strikes (+0.94 striking success rate), wrestles (2.01 takedowns per 15 minutes), and grapples (0.80 submission attempts per match) at plus levels for the division. He has +115 odds to finish Fialho on Saturday.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Tony Gravely ($20): With other closely contested fights on the card, the inexperienced opponents are the ones to target. Gravely faces one, as well; his opponent, Saimon Oliveria, earned a split-decision win on the Contender Series to barely squeak into a UFC contract. As a three-time UFC winner who averages 5.57 takedowns per 15 minutes, Gravely has a fairly high floor of points, and Oliveria's equal desire to wrestle helps alleviate the concerns that come with Gravely's below-average 46% striking defense.
Francis Ngannou ($17): Ngannou has won by knockout in every fight in which he's landed 25 significant strikes. That's a pretty low bar to clear -- even considering Ciryl Gane may be the best striking heavyweight in UFC history. That earth-shattering power has Ngannou with +145 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook to win by knockout as the underdog. Ciryl Gane's path to victory over Ngannou is outpointing him carefully in 25 minutes, and Ngannou has never absorbed more than 70 significant strikes as a result. Ngannou's path to upside is much clearer.
Others to Consider: Raoni Barcelos ($22), Kay Hansen ($20), Brandon Moreno ($17), Vanessa Demopolous ($16)
Deiveson Figueiredo ($14): After Brandon Moreno ($17) scored a dominant win in their rematch, many will turn to him for a repeat performance. I'd expect something similar to their first match -- a draw where Figueiredo outstruck Moreno in significant strikes 137 to 132. In the second fight, Figueredo claimed he had a health problem, and with just 36 significant strike attempts in 12.5 minutes, there's probably some legitimacy to that claim. At a value salary, the all-time UFC flyweight leader in knockdowns (eight) has gigantic upside in this five-rounder.
Victor Henry ($8): While I don't believe Henry wins as a +410 underdog to Raoni Barcelos ($22), he's by far the best low-salary punt on this card. Henry has never been finished in 24 pro fights, and this fight has short +128 odds to see all 15 minutes. With a split decision win over Kyler Phillips overseas, Henry has shown the skill to stick at the UFC level, and although he has a tough first assignment with Barcelos, he can hang around and post FanDuel points. With a 66% professional finishing rate, Henry's upside shouldn't be discounted, either.
Others to Consider: Trevin Giles ($15), Genaro Valdez ($14), Cody Stamann ($13)