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Fantasy MMA DFS Picks: UFC 243, Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya

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Take a break from football and get your MMA DFS Picks for UFC 243, with a main card featuring Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya.

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[C] Robert Whittaker (-113) vs. [IC] Israel Adesanya (+101)

This is going to be fantastic.

Whittaker enters the cage to fight someone other than Yoel Romero for the first time since April 2017. I thought Romero won the most recent fight, but that’s really not important here. Whittaker is one of the best in the business. His last true loss was back in February 2014 when he was finished at welterweight by Stephen Thompson.

Meanwhile, Adesanya enters the cage undefeated. He’s coming off of the war with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236. Prior to that, he easily dispatched Anderson Silva and finished Derek Brunson. He’s won a fight bonus in five of his six UFC bouts. A win here would cement him as one of the most marketable stars the UFC has to offer.

This is a difficult fight to break down. The odds have it essentially even. Even their finish odds are the same. I can’t imagine having less than 100% exposure to this fight. The real interesting piece will be the projected ownership. I would assume Adesanya is slightly higher due to the $200 discount and the name recognition. I am leaning to Whittaker in the fight, although I say that with very little confidence. My only true concern is that all of the surgeries and time off has negatively impacted him. Ultimately, I recommend having one of these guys in every lineup. The winner is coming out of the fight with a score that will likely be necessary in a GPP. The price point basically guarantees that.

[#15] Dan Hooker (-161) vs. [#6] Al Iaquinta (+144)

Well, this isn’t the most fun DFS fight I’ve seen. Hooker comes in as the favorite, even though Iaquinta is ranked a laughable sixth based on a win against Kevin Lee and a robbery decision win against Jorge Masvidal. Hooker is coming in off of a win against James Vick.

Neither fighter has particularly good odds of finishing this fight inside of distance. Iaquinta is super tough, so it’s hard to see Hooker getting a finish. That finish will be necessary for him to pay off $8500. In a way, I sort of like Iaquinta. He hasn’t recorded a takedown in any of his last five fights, but he has the clear advantage in that department. His best chance at picking up a victory is to grind Hooker to the ground. That is easier said than done, obviously, but that’s really the only way I see either fighter being viable. This is one of my least favorite fights on the card. I anticipate little exposure.

[#14] Tai Tuivasa (-434) vs. Sergey Spivak (+332)

“Shoeyvasa” is back in the cage on a two-fight losing streak. Lucky for him, the odds are in his favor. He’s the second biggest favorite on the card and the most likely to finish the fight inside of distance. Spivak is back after dropping his UFC debut to the illustrious Walt Harris.

If I’m paying up, Tuiavasa is the guy to grab. He has better fight odds than Megan Anderson to go along with the $100 savings. He’s significantly more likely to finish the fight than Jake Matthews at $9100. As long as the ownership stays under control, he’s my favorite fighter at the top. I love him in both GPPs and cash games. Because of Spivak’s low odds of finishing the fight, the chances of Tuivasa giving you a bagel are low.

Other Fighters

Maki Pitolo has super similar odds to Tuivasa, so if Tuivasa’s ownership gets out of hand, Pitolo is the natural pivot. Also, his nickname is “Coconut Bombz”. Justin Tafa’s finish odds are too high for his price point. He’ll be one of my most owned fighters in GPPs. Unfortunately, the cheap options on the card are largely inept. Bruno Silva has the best odds of the guys at the bottom of the barrel.

Based on the current odds to finish a fight, there is a 50/50 chance than one of the five cheapest fighters get a finish. When that happens, you’ll need to be right. I believe Silva gives you the best chance at securing that outcome.

Josh is the Director of Content for Awesemo.com where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections across all sports. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Awesemo's Premium Slack. You can contact Josh by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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