Hello UFC fans. This weekend, we have a 13-fight card in Vegas, including a main event between Conor McGregor and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The main GPP has $100,000 going to first place with a total of $324,624.60 being paid out. Let’s dig in to some MMA DFS analysis.
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Sabina Mazo $8,000 vs. J.J. Aldrich $8.200
Cash: Sabina Mazo is playable.
Mazo is 22 years old, measures 5-foot-7 and is landing 5.73 significant strikes per minute at 52% rate. She is known as the “Colombian Queen” and has solid grappling skills. Her last fight was a unanimous decision win against Shana Dobson, and she landed 108 Significant strikes plus four takedowns.
Aldrich is 27 years old. She is an orthodox fighter who lands 3.88 significant strikes per minute and is landing 40% of her strikes. In Aldrich’s last bout, she fought Lauren Mueller and won by unanimous decision. She landed 74 Significant strikes and lands plus one takedown.
Pick: Sabina Mazo via Unanimous Decision
Brian Kelleher $7,600 vs Ode Osbourne $8,600
Cash: Ode Osbourne is playable.
Osbourne had three consecutive first-round finishes, which brought him to Dana White’s Contender Series, where he tapped Armando Villareal to seal his UFC contract. He has seven finishes in his career and six of them in the first round. That said, Osbourne has a few holes in his game including weak takedown defense and holding his hands low.
Kelleher is coming off consecutive losses to John Lineker and Montel Jackson by stoppage. He is coming off over a year layoff due to injury. Kelleher will need to shake off some rust if he has a chance in this one, but I expect Osborne will be too much to handle.
Pick: Ode Osbourne via First-Round Submission
Tim Elliott $7,500 vs Askar Askarov $8.700
Cash: Askar Askarov is playable.
Askarov made a name for himself by taking Brandon Moreno to a split decision draw. Before this, Askarov was 10-0 with all 10 wins being finishes.
Elliott return to the Octagon this past October for the first time since Dec. 30, 2017, where he faced Deiveson Figueiredo and he tapped from a guillotine choke. Elliott once said he is the type of fighter that prefers a knockout loss than competing in a boring, long fight.
Pick: Askar Askarov via First-Round TKO/KO
Aleksa Camur $8,800 vs Justin Ledet $7,400
The preferred MMA DFS play is Camur. He earned his UFC contract by finishing Fabio Cherant with a flying knee on last season’s Dana White’s Contender Series. Camur said he respects Ledet after Ledet fought Alesksandar Rakic and Johnny Walker, who are tough opponents. He also said Ledet is tough and gritty.
Justin Ledet is coming off back-to-back losses to Rakic by decision and Walker by knockout. He will be making his return to the Octagon after 11 months off due to injury. Ledet will have to shake off some rust if he wants to have a shot, but I am not sure where his head is after his first-ever knockout loss.
Pick: Aleksa Camur via Second-Round TKO/KO
Chas Skelly $7,000 vs Grant Dawson $9,200
Drew Dober $6,900 vs Nasrat Haqparast $9,300
Cash: Drew Dober is playable (due to price)
My preferred MMA DFS play here is Haqparast. He is currently sporting a three-fight win streak with the most recent being a knockout win in the second round versus Joaquim Silva. Haqparast scored fight night bonuses in his last two outings and his first six career knockouts came in the first round.
Dober is a UFC veteran, joining the promotion in 2013. Dober went on three-fight win streak from 2017 to 2018, but a loss to Beneil Dariush ended his streak in March of 2019. Dover got back on track in June with a 67-second TKO win over Marco Polo Reyes.
Pick: Nasrat Haqparast via Unanimous Decision
Andre Fili $7,700 vs Sodiq Yusuff $8,500
My preferred MMA DFS play here is Yusuff. He is on a three-fight win streak, two coming by first-round knockout. Yusuff is a phenomenal athlete; his hand speed is quick and he is powerful and explosive. He has nasty one-twos and left hook combinations.
Fili is on a two-fight win streak with the last one coming by way of knockout, which earned him Performance of the Night bonuses. Fili has struggled in the featherweight division, never winning more than two fights in a row. He is expecting this fight to get him his first three-fight win streak but I am not sure if that’s going to be the outcome.
Pick: Sodiq Yusuff via Second-Round TKO/KO
Roxanne Modafferi $6,700 vs. Maycee Barber $9,500
Cash; Maycee Barber is playable.
Barber is on a three-fight win streak, all coming by way of knockout. Barber, at just 21 years old, has put tremendous pressure on herself by claiming that she wants to be the youngest UFC champion. She is currently ranked the No. 9 fighter in the official UFC women’s flyweight rankings.
Modafferi is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jennifer Maia in July. Over her last six fights, her record is 2-4 with one knockout win versus Barb Honchak.
Pick: Maycee Barber via First-Round TKO/KO
Anthony Pettis $7,200 vs Carlos Diego Ferreira $9,000
Cash: Carlos Diego Ferreira is playable.
Ferreira is on a five-fight win streak and seems to be underrated in the lightweight division. He is an excellent grappler and he hits hard. Ferreira also has a nasty ground and pound from the top position and will need to take this fight to the mat.
Pettis is coming in on a one-fight losing streak following a unanimous decision loss to Nate Diaz. For this fight, he is moving down to lightweight. Pettis is one of the most exciting kickboxers in the game but he is not very efficient with his kicks. Pettis moved up to the welterweight division and took on Stephen “Wonder boy” Thompson, handing him his first ever knockout loss by way of Superman punch.
Pick: Carlos Diego Ferreria via Unanimous Decision
Claudia Gadelha $8,300 vs Alexa Grasso $7,900
Cash: Claudia Gadelha is playable.
Gadelha is coming in off a decision win over Randa Markos. She will want to get this fight to the mat where she will use her excellent grappling skills to grind out a decision win. She’ll be hoping that a win puts her in the position to take on the winner of Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Grasso Is looking to bounce back after a loss to Carla Esparza by unanimous decision. Grasso has good striking volume and striking defense but she is not a very good grappler. She will be looking to keep this fight standing but Gadelha will have too much advantage taking this to the mat.
Pick: Claudia Gadelha via Unanimous Decision
Aleksei Oleinik $7,800 vs Maurice Greene $8,400
My preferred MMA DFS play is Greene. He is coming off the first knockout of his career at the hands of Sergel Pavlovich. Greene will look to keep this fight standing and keep Oleinik at a distance with his jab. Green will have powerful counterstrikes when Oleinik shoots.
Oleinik is a dangerous, unorthodox striker that will find a way to shoot and take this fight to the mat. Oleinik is a jiu-jitsu specialist and has 45 submission victories in his career. He has power in his overhand right, plus he will throw knees and uppercuts. You should have both sides of this fight.
Pick: Maurice Greene via Third-Round TKO/KO
Holly Holm $8,900 vs Raquel Pennington $7,300
My preferred MMA DFS play is Holm. She is coming off a knockout loss to Amanda Nunes and will be looking to get back on track. Holm is expected to keep this fight standing and use her great movement and cardio to outwork and out-strike Pennington.
Pennington has struggled to get back to her top fighting form ever since her serious injury. She is, however, coming off a split decision win versus Irene Aldana in July. She will be looking to take this fight to the mat where she has a clear advantage in grappling, but Holm has strong takedown defense.
Pick: Holly Holm via Unanimous Decision
Conor McGregor $9,400 vs Donald Cerrone $6,800
Cash: Both are playable.
Before I proceed with my article, I want to let everyone know that this is completely my take on this fight. I think this fight can go either way honestly, but with McGregor coming off a 15-month layoff, it will be tough for me to lean in his favor.
That is why my preferred MMA DFS play is Cerrone. He is coming off a two-fight losing streak to Tony Ferguson by TKO and Justin Gaethje by knockout. Cerrone is more of a traditional Muay Thai striker and relies heavily on his jab. He has lightning quick head kicks that can be dangerous to his opponent. Cerrone also has elite grappling skills and is honestly one of the most well-rounded UFC fighters.
McGregor is returning to the UFC after a 15-month layoff and his last fight was a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov by submission. McGregor basically relies on his hands for offense but earlier in his career, he would throw spinning kicks. In his last few fights, that seems to have disappeared from his game. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of McGregor we get in his return: more patient, still guns blazing or more well-rounded with takedowns grappling?
Pick: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone via Third-Round TKO/KO