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Fantasy MMA DFS Picks: UFC on ESPN+ 18, Jack Hermansson vs. Jared Cannonier

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Josh Engleman is back with his MMA DFS Picks for UFC on ESPN+ 18, including thoughts on Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier.

Take a break from football and get your MMA DFS Picks for UFC on ESPN+17, with a main-card featuring Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier.

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[#5] Jack Hermansson (-250) vs. Jared Cannonier (+230)

Hermansson is back in the cage riding a four-fight winning streak with a victory over Middleweight stalwart Jacare Souza being the cherry on top. Meanwhile, Cannonier is on a two-fight win streak of his own now that he is fighting at 185. Hermansson is a solid favorite with a greater than 50% chance of finishing the fight inside of distance. He provides solid volume (4.9 SSpM) for a middleweight and rarely gets hit. The fact that he was able to go the full 25 with Jacare is a major feather in his cap.

He’ll also look to drag this fight to the ground, something Cannonier hasn’t been great at stopping. Of the $9K fighters, Hermansson is absolutely my favorite. Barring any major ownership gaps between him and Michal Oleksiejczuk, I expect Hermansson to be my most exposed fighter. A victory in this spot firmly cements his place near the top of the Middleweight ranks. I don’t have a ton of interest in Cannonier, although he’s certainly more appealing than the two fighters cheaper than him. He worth a small shot in GPPs, but Hermansson is the clear play in both cash and GPPs.

Michal Oleksiejczuk (-240) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (+200)

If I don’t have Hermansson, I’m looking to Oleksiejczuk. He’s 3-0 in the UFC (I don’t care that he tested positive against Khalil Rountree. He won the fight.). He’s fought twice in 2019 and won both fights rather quickly. He’s landed 5.4 SSpM across those three fights, compared to OSP’s 2.6 for his career. While the experience is certainly in OSP’s favor, he’s also a 36-year-old fighter who has lost three of his last four fights. Oleksiejczuk is going to let his hands go, and the odds back that up.

He has a 52% chance of winning this fight inside of distance. He’s a bit less likely to win the fight overall compared to Mark Madsen and Macy Chiasson, but I think that’s worth the savings given his finish odds. On the flip side, OSP looks similar to Cannonier in odds to win and odds to finish. They’re both fine in small doses in GPPs, but I can’t see them garnering too much ownership. The only way I get a lot of OSP is if DraftKings starts offering bonus points for Von Flue chokes.

Other Options

I mentioned Madsen and Chiasson above. I like them both more in cash games compared to GPPs, although both are obviously in play. Madsen should run straight through Danilo Belluardo, but we haven’t seen him on the big stage yet. It’s certainly possible he lets his wrestling shine while controlling every second of the fight. That’s great from a win perspective, but we need the finish to truly pay off. Khalil Rountree is a slight favorite against Ion Cutelaba, but I like Cutelaba a lot more in GPPs. he has better odds to finish the fight than Rountree while also saving you $600. That works for me. Skip Lina Lansberg and Belluardo. I’ll have zero.

As always, I’ll be back once our projections and ownership are posted to add my cheat sheet for the card. Feel free to hop into our premium Slack tomorrow morning to talk shop and watch the card. Don’t forget, this card locks at 11AM EST as they’re fighting in Denmark. Good luck!

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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