UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Vegas 55
With no real offseason, the Ultimate Fighting Championship holds no short of a dozen mixed martial arts bouts nearly every Saturday. As one of the most unique DFS sweats available, UFC daily fantasy is live on FanDuel.
The strategy behind this fantasy sport is intriguing. Given that two fighters face off against each other, and some fights end in seconds, choosing which side to back is crucial, and there is a wide range of outcomes. However, getting the winner fighter isn't all that matters. They've also got to land enough strikes, takedowns, or submission attempts to score points, too!
numberFire is always the best spot to get you ready for any UFC card. If you would rather bet on 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 55: Holm vs. Vieira, taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.
Holly Holm ($23): Despite being a -260 favorite in the five-round main event, Holm will be -- at best -- an alternate choice at MVP. She's a good one, though. The former champion looked the best she's ever been with a battering of Irene Aldana that included 159 significant strikes and 5 takedowns. Aldana knocked out her opponent this weekend, Ketlen Vieira, in the first round. Vieira's 3.07 significant strikes landed per minute accurately reflect an inability to get high-level offense off on her opponent historically. Holm's stick-and-move style could pepper Vieira for five rounds, but don't discount her patented head-kick knockout making a return if Vieira's southpaw defense hasn't improved.
Jailton Almeida ($22): Holm -- and others -- are the variables at MVP in tournaments. Almeida is the control. The Brazilian prospect is a whopping -590 favorite to dispatch heavyweight Parker Porter this weekend. He's +145 to win just in the first round alone. Almeida's blistering finish of Danilo Marques -- the former boogeyman of light heavyweight grappling before Almeida's debut -- was equal parts shocking and backed up by his gaudy 7.61 takedowns per 15 minutes on sharp 71% accuracy. Porter has never faced a UFC takedown attempt, but two regional losses by submission don't provide much hope for the challenger.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Chidi Njokuani ($22): Dusko Todorovic had a grappling advantage in his last fight to secure a first-round finish, but he'll have to best Chidi Njokuani's solid 78% takedown defense to replicate that effort. As a result, this fight with Njokuani is expected to take place a bit more at distance, and Chidi should shine. He has a 72% striking accuracy and 58% striking defense compared to the 54% and 49% respective marks of Dusko. Todorovic has been known to have issues keeping his chin dangerously high for a potential knockout, which is the worst flaw to have considering Njokuani just finished proven middleweight striker Marc-Andre Barriault in 16 seconds.
Joseph Holmes ($19): I don't know a ton about "Uglyman Joe" through his first UFC appearance, but a solid 59% striking defense is a great start in terms of safety. More of his UFC offense has come via his grappling, posting 1.32 takedowns per 15 minutes on 32% accuracy. Importantly, he's not his opponent, Alen Amedovski, entering this bout. Amedovski hasn't had a positive second in UFC thus far, capped by a -2.62 striking success rate that is second-worst on this card. Holmes is a -196 favorite to be the latest fighter to clear this hurdle, and he's a relatively-short +110 to do so inside the full distance.
Others to Consider: Jonathan Martinez ($21), Jun Yong Park ($19)
Michel Pereira ($15): Pereira's fight with Santiago Ponzinibbio ($15) has all the makings of a three-round war, so roster both in bunches. Both fighters have landed at least 90 significant strikes and gone the full distance in each of their past two fights, and in terms of pace, both see a higher-paced opponent via each other than any of the four fights in that sample. Pereira's shenanigans have cost him dearly before, but he's riding a four-fight winning streak with the antics mostly left at home. Pereira's peripherals are remarkable across the board, including a 55% striking accuracy, 55% takedown accuracy, and 60% striking defense. He enters the rankings with a win over Ponzinibbio here.
Uros Medic ($12): If you need offense, just call "The Doctor". Medic has averaged 10.53 significant strikes landed per minute at an absurd 75% accuracy in three UFC-affiliated appearances. He's also balanced it with an above-average 56% striking defense. His first two bouts were knockout wins, but a quick loss to Jalin Turner showed some wide-open holes in his grappling defense. With Omar Morales on the other side here, those holes can be a concern for another day. Morales has posted just three career takedowns in five fights, and he's never tried a submission attempt in UFC. In a striking battle, I'll take the power and pace of Medic over just about any unranked lightweight.
Others to Consider: Santiago Ponzinibbio ($15), Polyana Viana ($14), Sam Hughes ($11), Chase Hooper ($11)