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Fantasy MMA DFS Picks: UFC on ESPN+ 14: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche

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Josh Engleman gives out his FREE MMA DFS Picks for UFC ESPN+: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche for DraftKings.

Not a member of Awesemo+? Sign up HERE to gain access to Awesemo’s industry leading MMA DFS Picks, fantasy and ownership projections. Let’s dive into the UFC ESPN+ slate, with a Valentina Shevchenko vs. Liz Carmouche main attraction.

[C] Valentina Shevchenko (-1000) vs. [#3] Liz Carmouche (+800)

Shevchenko makes her return to the cage to defend her Flyweight title in a rematch of her 2010 fight with Carmouche. Carmouche actually won that fight via doctor’s stoppage. It was the last time Shevchenko lost a non-decision. In Shevchenko’s first defense, she turned off Jessica Eye’s lights with a nasty head kick KO. Meanwhile, Carmouche enters the cage on a two fight winning streak and 4-1 in her past five. The last time Carmouche was finished was February 23, 2013 against…Ronda Rousey. Feels like a lifetime ago.

Shevchenko is a massive favorite. She currently has an 89% chance of winning based on the betting line which is the highest number on the card. She has the third highest odds of finishing inside of distance. She’s gone for 100+ DK points in each of her last three fights, and she picks up those points in a variety of ways. I expect her to be highly owned, even as the highest priced fighter on the card. I certainly like Shevchenko, and I have no problem using her in cash games, but I’m more likely to make an ownership play to have less than the field in GPPs.

As for Carmouche, I just can’t justify it. For her to win this fight, she’s going to need to grind out a decision. Obviously if she wins, she’s going to pay off her price, but I just have very little interest in any format. She’s likely to simply get steamrolled.

Vicente Luque (-230) vs. Mike Perry (+190)

This fight is a lot different than the main event. These guys are going to go out there and bang. Luque has won five straight fights, all with finishes. He had four finishes in a row prior to his only loss, a decision against the surging Leon Edwards. Perry, on the other hand, is 2-3 in his last five, but is coming off of a win against Alex Oliveira back in April.

Luque has gone over 100 DK points in all of his last five fights, plus the three before the Edwards loss. That’s what happens when you violently finish everyone in front of you. This feels like no exception. Currently, Luque has a 44% chance to finish inside distance. I’m assuming he gets less ownership than Shevchenko. With his odds of a finish not being all that different than Valentina’s, I’ll take the price discount a grab a large share of Luque. I assume he’s be my most exposed fighter. Not sure I love him in cash games as much, but in GPPs, he’s my guy.

Meanwhile, Perry is certainly a live dog since he’s not exactly afraid of a scrap. the problem is, he’s simply not a good enough fighter. Even in his wins against Oliveira and Felder, his fantasy output left something to be desired. I won’t be getting to much Perry at $7200. I just don’t think he has the skills to finish Luque, outside of a flash KO.

Other Fighters

Ciryl Gane is making his UFC debut and the hype is real for this one. He’s the second most expensive fighter on the card, but he also has the highest odds of finishing this fight inside distance. Gane fights out of the MMA Factory in France, which is the same camp as Francis N’Gannou. I’m really anxious to see how he looks. I’ll be using him heavily in GPPs and wouldn’t be shocked to see him make my cash lineup.

Speaking of UFC debuts, Rodolfo Vieira is making his debut against Oskar Piechota. Piechota dropped his last fight to Gerald Meershaert back in July 2018. Unfortunately for Piechota, he’s going up against a bit of a grappler. Vierira is one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners on the planet. He won the IBJJF world championship in both his weight class and in absolutes from 2011-2014. He won the ADCC in 2015. You’ll want to tune in to this one, as you should get to see a grappling masterclass. Vierira has a 67% chance to win the fight, coupled with a 60% chance to finish inside distance. He, along with Luque and Gane, are the reasons I expect to be under the field on Shevchenko. The extra money is just that much more important to me.

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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