UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Vegas 50

With plenty of options at the top, Gillian Robertson's potential mismatch might go unnoticed. Which fighters are key priorities on Saturday's card?

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 Vegas 50: Santos vs. Ankalaev from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.

MVP Considerations

Song Yadong ($22): Marlon "Magic" Moraes has been magic for opposing fighters in daily fantasy. Moraes has lost four of his last five fights by knockout due to energy-management issues we've yet to see corrected. That'd be a concern against any fighter, but Yadong has been stellar. A close decision loss to Kyler Phillips is his lone UFC blemish, and Yadong strikes with tremendous pace (4.88 significant strikes landed per minute) and efficiency (+1.11 striking success rate). Given Yadong has never been professionally submitted, it's hard to see the path to victory for Moraes outside of a wild, unexpected knockout.

Alex Pereira ($20): Pereira defeated current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in professional kickboxing, so he believes he can hold the UFC belt if he gets to it. As a 33-7 pro kickboxer, his grappling is still a work in progress, but opponent and countryman Bruno Silva has never attempted a UFC takedown, either. As a result, you have two lethally-efficient strikers (both with a striking accuracy north of 60%), but only Pereira plays defense. His 71% striking defense is stellar, and Silva's 32% mark is awful. Pereira is -140 to win by knockout for a reason.

Other High-Salaried Fighters

Magomed Ankalaev ($23): Pace is likely the only thing to derail the dominant -650 main-event favorite in DFS. Thiago Santos has generated a criminal lack of offense (2.29 significant strikes landed per minute) in the four fights since injuring his knee early against Jon Jones. At just 2.62 FanDuel points per minute himself, Ankalaev is more than willing to match Santos' glacial pace. Ankalev's absurd efficiency (+1.55 striking success rate) should carry him to a win, and he does have two extra rounds to score volume, but he'll likely need to cash the -120 odds he finds a finish to be relevant on FanDuel.

Gillian Robertson ($17): There are plenty of fighters with finishing upside on this card, but don't forget about Gillian Robertson. She's a surprisingly-short +140 inside-the-distance in a fight that's she's just a -128 favorite overall. This matchup with J.J. Aldrich is a fascinating one because Robertson is Aldrich's first wrestling opponent of her entire official UFC tenure. Roberson averages 2.56 takedowns per 15 minutes; her next-highest previous opponent sat at 1.36. Aldrich has just a 68% takedown defense against poorer wrestlers. There's sneaky round-one upside here for "The Savage."

Others to Consider: Miranda Maverick ($22), Sodiq Yusuff ($21), Dalcha Lunigambula ($17), Karl Roberson ($17)

Value Fighters

Terrance McKinney ($11): Guess who's back. McKinney scored a first-round submission in the value section at UFC Vegas 49, and he's snagged this spot two weeks later against Drew Dober. I'm shocked to see this line (and public sentiment) so against McKinney. Fares Ziam was a bigger guy (6'1") with a 68% takedown defense, and the athletic McKinney mowed through him with no issue. Dober (5'8" tall) has just a 55% takedown defense, and he's ceded at least three takedowns in the straight fights. Short of a quick knockout blow, this fight profiles -- to me -- as another dominant ground display on short notice from "T-Wrecks."

Alex Caceras ($9): Caceras and Sodiq Yusuff ($21) have a 57.4% implied probability to go the distance based on their odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, and as strikers that average over 4.00 significant strikes landed per minute, this environment could be a solid one for fantasy purposes. As the substantial underdog, Caceras has the edge on paper in terms of offensive (51% striking accuracy) and defensive (65% striking defense) efficiency, and that's no small nugget given Caceras' massive sample of 25 UFC-affiliated fights. Caceras is on a five-fight winning streak and even scored a surprise submission in his last fight. Don't count him out of this one.

Others to Consider: Kamuela Kirk ($15), Guido Cannetti ($12), Tafon Nchuwki ($10), A.J. Fletcher ($10)