Hello, UFC fans. This weekend, we have a 12-fight card in Houston, including a main event between Jon “Bones” Jones and Dominick Reyes. The main GPP has $100,000 going to first place with a total of $300,000 being paid out. Let’s dig into some MMA DFS analysis.
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Austin Lingo $8,900 vs. Youssef Zalal $7,300
Cash: Austin Lingo is playable in all formats.
Lingo is coming in on short notice and making his UFC debut. He is undefeated and spent the last two years with Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). Lingo has nice power and decent grappling skills and five of his seven wins have come via knockout.
Zalal will also be making his UFC debut after going 1-2 in LFA in his last three fights. He was undefeated up until those losses. Zalal is solid on the mat with five submission victories in seven pro fights. He also has power, showcased by two knockout wins.
MMA DFS Pick: Austin Lingo via Second-Round KO/TKO.
Andre Ewell $8,400 vs. Jonathan Martinez $8,000
Ewell is coming in off a ground-and-pound stoppage loss to Marlon Vera at UFC 239 this past July. He is the former CES MMA champion but he has lost two of his past three fights. He will be looking to get back in the win column in this bantamweight bout. Ewell lands 3.31 Significant strikes per minute, but he is also effective on the ground.
Martinez is coming in off back-to-back wins after losing his debut to Andre Soukhamthath in October of 2018. His last bout was a knee knockout of Pingyuan Liu. The southpaw fighter is connecting on 49% of his significant strikes, landing 3.41 per minute and adsorbing 3.82 per minute.
MMA DFS Pick: Jonathan Martinez via Unanimous Decision.
Domingo Pilarte $8,200 vs. Journey Newson $8,000
Newson made his UFC debut at ESPN 3 last June, losing by way of unanimous decision to Ricardo Ramos. That loss snapped his six-fight win streak. This will be a hard fight for Newson, but he could win on the feet. The one area he could have an advantage is with his hand power.
Pilarte made his UFC debut at ESPN 4 last July with a split-decision loss to Felipe Colares. He made his way to the UFC via Dana White’s Contender Series. Pilarte is the more skilled wrestler and should have the advantage if the fight hits the mat.
MMA DFS Pick: Domingo Pilarte via Unanimous Decision.
Miles Johns $8,600 vs. Mario Bautista $7,600
Cash: Miles Johns is playable.
Johns is coming in off a split-decision win over Cole Smith. He is a top bantamweight division prospect and will be looking to make a big statement at UFC 247 to further his case for a place in the rankings. This should be a good fight to watch as Johns is the former LFA bantamweight champion
Bautista is coming in off a win over Jin Soo Son by way of unanimous decision. He wrestled all four years of high school, began training in jiu-jitsu and started his path to the MMA. I expect him to be aggressive with high output, as he is always throwing one-twos and landing 7.45 significant strikes per minute.
MMA DFS Pick: Miles Johns via Unanimous Decision.
Alex Morono $9,100 vs. Kalinn Williams $7,100
Morono was set to meet Dhiego Lima, but an unfortunate injury has forced Lima out and now Morono will face Williams, making his UFC debut. Morono is on a three-fight win streak with a decision win over Kenan Song, a TKO win over Zak Ottow and a decision win over Max Griffin.
Williams is stepping in for injured Lima and is hoping to make his UFC debut one not to forget. He has decent power and heavy hands which has led to five stoppage wins. He will be looking to make it seven wins in a row.
MMA DFS Pick: Alex Morono via Unanimous Decision.
Lauren Murphy $7,000 vs. Andrea Lee $9,200
Cash: Andrea Lee is playable in all formats.
Murphy is coming off a win over Mara Romero Borella by way of knockout. She is looking to get a shot at the title and a win over Lee would put her in the top five. She is the former FC bantamweight queen and I have a feeling that she will bring her A-game in this fight.
Lee is coming in off a loss to Joanne Calderwood via split decision. She is the former Legacy flyweight champion and was on a seven -fight win streak until the loss to Calderwood. Lee will be hoping to rebound from the loss and get herself back into contention, but I think she has a big task in front of her facing Murphy.
MMA DFS Pick: Andrea Lee via Unanimous Decision.
Trevin Giles $8,500 vs. Antonio Arroyo $7,700
Cash: Trevin Giles is playable in all formats.
Giles is coming in off back-to-back submission losses to Gerald Meerschaert and Zak Cummings. Giles has nice power and a solid submission game and he will be trying to put himself back in the win column after two consecutive losses. I see this fight ending up on the mat with Giles outworking Arroyo.
Arroyo is coming in off a loss to Andre Muniz by way of unanimous decision. I feel Arroyo will be trying to rectify his UFC debut loss and get back in good standing with Dana White. Arroyo has solid power and a nice submission game as well, but I think Giles will be too much for him
MMA DFS Pick: Trevin Giles via Second-Round Submission (Giles’ wrestling should be enough to get the submission).
Derrick Lewis $9,000 vs. llir Latifi $7,200
Cash: Derrick Lewis is playable in all formats.
Lewis is a powerful fighter and is athletic contrary to what people may think of his ability. He is a destroyer inside the octagon; he can cover distance quickly and he consistently delivers knockouts. Lewis has been struggling of late with losses to Daniel Cormier by way of submission and knockout loss to Junior dos Santos. But he has recently gotten back in the win column with a decision win verses Blagoy Ivanov.
Latifi is coming off back-to-back losses to Volkan Oezdemir by way of knockout and a decision loss to Corey Anderson. He is an explosive fighter with thunderous power in his hands while also being a solid grappler. His bad misfortune at light heavyweight has led him to try his hand at the heavyweight division, but he is facing a huge task going against Lewis.
MMA DFS Pick: Derrick Lewis via Second-Round KO/TKO (Lewis’ power should be enough to put Latifi to sleep).
Mirsad Bektic $8,300 vs. Dan Ige $7,900
Cash: Dan Ige is playable in all formats.
Ige is coming into this fight on fire, sporting a four-fight win streak with two coming by finish. I think Ige will push the pace and make this a blood brawl, as he possesses a powerful body kick that he should use frequently. He is a black belt in jiu-jitsu and a brown in judo, so he has strong grappling skills.
Bektic is coming in off a loss to Josh Emmett by way of knockout and he will be looking to get back in the win column. He should have the wrestling edge in this fight so I think his gameplan will involve getting his fight to the mat. His main weakness in past fights has been his inability to maintain pace for the full 15 minutes.
MMA DFS Pick: Dan Ige via Third-Round KO/TKO (Ige’s powerful body kicks should be enough to put Bektic out).
Juan Adams $8,800 vs. Justin Tafa $7,400
Adams is coming in off back-to-back losses to Greg Hardy by knockout and Arjan Bhullar by decision. He has knockout power which he showed in his debut, but he has not showed much in his last two bouts. I think Adams will try to use his wrestling to get the fight to safety and if he is successful at doing so, he should record the ground-and-pound knockout.
Tafa is coming off a hellacious knockout loss to Yorgan De Castro. He won his first three fights for the XFC promotion, showing knockout power in all three. Hopefully he has recovered from the devastating knockout suffered in his last fight. I see a path to victory for Tafa by keeping the fight off the mat and throwing his bombs with power, but he will have to avoid Adams’ strikes as well.
MMA DFS Pick: Juan Adams via Second-Round KO/TKO (Adams’ ground and pound will be too much for Tafa).
Valentina Shevchenko $9,500 vs. Katlyn Chookagian $6,700
Cash: Valentina Shevchenko is playable in all formats.
Shevchenko is coming in on a four-fight winning streak with two coming by way of finish. She is mostly a stand-up fighter with fast hands, spinning back kicks and elbows that are extremely dangerous to her opponents. She is a world kickboxing champion and her Muay Thai is phenomenal.
Chookagian is coming in off a two-fight winning streak, both by decision. She is an aggressive fighter that is always pushing forward and pushing the pace. She will stand and mix in some unusual strikes at times, the most frequent being the side kick to the head. I’m sure she will bring her best effort, but it will not be enough to beat Shevchenko.
MMA DFS Pick: Valentina Shevchenko via Second-Round KO/TKO (Shevchenko’s spinning back kicks should put Chookagian to sleep).
Jon Jones $9,400 vs. Dominick Reyes $6,800
Cash: Jon Jones is playable in all formats (stacking is fine in cash).
Jones is coming in off a split-decision win over Thiago Santos this past July. Jones has been unstoppable since joining the UFC in April of 2008, but there has been a lot of talk of late as to the decline of his form. From what I’ve seen, Jones seems to still have what it takes to perform at this level, as he has not been in any great trouble in his last few fights.
Reyes is coming in unbeaten and seems to be the real deal for this division. His last fight was an impressive knockout of Chris Weidman and he thinks he’s the one to beat Jones. He has proven that he can grapple with the best of the best, but Jones will want to get in the clinch and unleash hellacious elbows and dirty boxing. Reyes has a chance at becoming champion, but Jones will be far too motivated.
MMA DFS Pick: Jon “Bones” Jones Via Third-Round Submission (Jones’ grappling skills should get the job done).