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MMA DFS Fight Breakdown + Analysis UFC Vegas 8 | Anthony Smith vs. Aleksandar Rakic

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Hello, UFC fans. This weekend we have an 11-card in Las Vegas, including a main event between Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic. The main GPP has $100,000 going to first place with a total of $400,000 being paid out. Here I will offer the fighters I feel have the most upside and value. Let’s dig into some MMA DFS picks.


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MMA DFS Fight Breakdown + Analysis: Vegas 8

Sean Brady $9,300 vs. Christian Aguilera $6,900

 Sean Brady

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5-foot-8
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Reach: 72 in.
  • Record: 12-0-0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: -380

Brady was the Cage Fury Fighting Championship welterweight champion. He is coming in on a two-fight win streak in his UFC career thus far. He is a solid grappler, and though he has excellent striking skills, he should look to take this fight to the mat. Aguilera has several grappling issues. I expect Brady to be able to take advantage of these issues and gain long stretches of control.

 Christian Aguilera

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5-foot-8
  • Weight: 170 lbs
  • Reach: 72 in.
  • Record: 14-6-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 80%
  • Betting Odds: +310

Aguilera is coming in off of an impressive knockout performance against Anthony Ivy. Six of Aguilera’s last seven fights have ended via knockout. He showed in his last fight that his power striking can finish his opponents in a hurry. But I expect Brady will be the better striker and have a clear advantage if this fight hits the canvas.

My preferred play is Brady. He should be the better fighter everywhere, and his striking skills will allow him to close the distance and get this fight to the mat where he will grind out a decision.

MMA DFS Pick: Sean Brady via Unanimous Decision.

Alex Caceres $7,400 vs. Austin Springer $7,200

Alex Caceres

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5-foot-8
  • Weight: 145 lbs
  • Reach: 73.5 in.
  • Record: 16-12-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 50%
  • Betting Odds: -200

Caceres fights from the south paw stance. He is a solid striker and has the solid submission skills to ruin his opponents night. He will throw nasty right and left hooks, which he used to seal a decision win against Chase Hooper in June. In this fight, Caceres should look to take this fight to the mat, where he should have a clear advantage in grappling given his solid jiu-jitsu skills.

Austin Springer

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5-foot-7
  • Weight: 150 lbs
  • Reach: 71.5 in.
  • Record: 12-3-0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: +170

Springer is stepping in on short notice. He defeated Caceres’ original opponent Giga Chikadze on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018. He missed weight by 6 pounds and will have to forfeit 30% of his purse to Caceres, therefor he is ineligible for any fight bonuses. Springer will be the bigger fighter, although he could have issues if this one goes to the mat. Caceres’ jiu-jitsu is solid enough to be able to control Springer on the mat. Springer did submit Chikadze, but Caceres is a more well-rounded grappler. In this fight, Springer should look to make this a striking battle.

My preferred play is Caceres, his grappling skills will be enough to edge out a decision win.

MMA DFS Pick: Alex Caceres via Unanimous Decision.


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Maki Pitolo $7,700 vs. Impa Kasanganay  $8,500

Maki Pitolo

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5-foot-8
  • Weight: 185 lbs
  • Reach: 75 in.
  • Record: 13-6-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 42%
  • Betting Odds: +110

Pitolo is a solid fighter. He lands 4.95 significant strike per minute and 2.27 takedowns per 15 minutes. He is coming in on a submission loss against Darren Stewart two weeks ago. Pitolo brutally knocked out Charles Byrd  in June, which happens to be his biggest win in his career. In this fight, Pitolo will need to keep Kasanganay at distance, using his jab while looking to set up one of his power shots to test Kasanganay’s chin.

Impa Kasanganay  

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5-foot-9
  • Weight: 185 lbs
  • Reach: 75 in.
  • Record: 7-0-0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: -130

Kasanganay is making his UFC debut. He averages 5.53 significant strikes per minute, indicating his fast hands. He earned his UFC contract after impressing Dana White in a unanimous decision win over Anthony Adams. I expect the more explosive Kasanganay to overpower Pitolo for a decision victory.

My preferred play is Kasanganay. His hand speed and explosive fighting style will land first and overpower Pitolo.

MMA DFS Pick: Impa Kasanganay via Unanimous Decision.

Magomed Ankalaev $9,000 vs. Ion Cutelaba $7,200

Magomed Ankalaev

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Reach: 75 in.
  • Record: 13-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 57%
  • Betting Odds: -350

Ankalaev is a southpaw and a very explosive fighter. He likes to throw a jab, overhand right combinations and mixes in uppercuts. He has a dangerous counter left hook, straight-right hand combination, and he throws powerful round kicks to the body and head. This fight is a rematch of one that took place in February. In that first meeting Ankalaev knocked out Cutelaba in the first round.

Ion Cutelaba

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Reach: 75 in.
  • Record: 15-5-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 39%
  • Betting Odds: +290

Cutelaba likes to start fast and is extremely aggressive. He throws a nice jab and overhand right that will knockout any opponent when landed clean. Cutelaba will attack the body with heavy punches and will throw round kicks to the head. He is a Moldovan national champion in judo and Sombo. In this fight, Cutelaba will need to keep Ankalaev at distance so he can slow down his constant pressure.

My preferred play is Ankalaev. I expect his constant forward pressure and powerful kicks to be too much for Cutelaba to withstand.

MMA DFS Pick: Magomed Ankalaev via Second-Round KO/TKO.


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Anthony Smith $7,200 vs. Aleksandar Rakic $8,700

Anthony Smith

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Reach: 76 in.
  • Record: 33-15-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 48%
  • Betting Odds: +265

Smith is an aggressive fighter. He will need to utilize his low kicks to slow down Rakic’s aggressive fighting style. In his fifth-round knockout loss to Glover Teixeira in May, Smith was doing well in the early going, pushing a blistering pace. But when he failed to put Teixeira away, he slowed down dramatically. Smith will need to slow the pace in this fight while bringing forward pressure and walking Rakic down.

Aleksandar Rakic

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Reach: 78 in.
  • Record: 12-2-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 52%
  • Betting Odds: -325

Rakic is a dangerous striker. His kickboxing and boxing are elite. He is coming in on a controversial split-decision loss against Volkan Oezdemir this past December. Rakic will be looking to get back on track for his light heavyweight championship run. This is the fight that could put him back as a top contender. I expect Rakic to push the pace and be explosive while looking  to finish Smith early.

My preferred play is Rakic. He will be looking to make a statement to the UFC crowd by putting Smith to sleep in early round 2.

MMA DFS Pick: Aleksandar Rakic via Second-Round KO/TKO.


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