UFC 260 may be headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou, but there are plenty of other great fights to keep an eye on. This weekly Fight Analysis article will break down and analyze every matchup on the card. Below you’ll find my data-driven analysis for each match and a pick to win; this info will help us make the most informed UFC DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel MMA lineups.
UFC DFS Picks: Miocic vs Ngannou 2 DraftKings + FanDuel
Miocic vs Ngannou
Let me start by saying this- the main event is a fantasy-friendly matchup, and maybe even a must-roster fight. I will be heavily invested in both guys due to their cheap salaries and paths to victory in the matchup. In their first outing, we watched Miocic outclass the one-dimensional Ngannou, showcasing excellent fight-IQ and wrestling throughout. At a cheap salary of $7800, Miocic is hands-down the best value on the slate and could replicate that same type of performance. Miocic is arguably the greatest heavyweight of all time, but he’s also been overlooked and counted out on a consistent basis.
Ngannou is a special talent, though, with the most power we’ve ever seen in the octagon. Since their first encounter, Ngannou has been working diligently to patch his weaknesses. Although, that hasn’t been able to accrue much time in the cage with that ridiculous 100% finish rate. I will be smashing exposure to both sides and recommend safe DFS players investing in the champion Miocic at a discount of $7800. With my striker bias and risky style, I will slightly lean in Ngannou’s favor at a 55/45 split.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Ngannou ($8,400)
Luque vs Woodley
In the co-main event of the evening, Vicente Luque takes on the former champion Tyron Woodley. If you haven’t listened to the strategy show, I have grown extremely frustrated with Woodley over the years. The former champion will concede octagon control, back himself up against the cage, glance at the clock throughout the contest and occasionally throw an explosive combination. Woodley has looked like a shell of himself since the Usman fight and shouldn’t be trusted. Woodley is an interesting GPP longshot due to his resume, but I can’t recommend it outside of 10% lineups. Luque is a phenomenal talent in the division, possessing high-level striking and good jiu-jitsu. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Luque outclass Woodley from bell to bell and coast to a decision win.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Luque ($9,100)
O’Malley vs Almeida
Next, we have a clash between Sean O’Malley and Thomas Almeida. This is an important fight for each combatant, as O’Malley looks to recover from his first defeat while Almeida is looking to rebound from three straight losses. This is not an easy fight for either fighter, and I could poke holes in each of their games. O’Malley has proven to be untrustworthy, suffering ankle injuries in two contests now. Outside of his durability, he does have the skills to pay the bills. Almeida was once a force to be reckoned with. However, he has now suffered several KO defeats and demonstrated chin issues from his previous wars in the cage. I believe O’Malley will have a significant speed advantage in this fight; as long as he can avoid leg kicks, that should outclass Almeida at distance. If Almeida is able to close the gap and make this an ugly fight, an upset wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. I would recommend splitting exposure in this matchup, because it screams GPP. Even so, I have to favor O’Malley to walk away with the victory.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: O’Malley ($9,200)
Maverick vs Robertson
This will be an exciting fight between Miranda Maverick and Gillian Robertson. I won’t make this one hard to understand, as Robertson should look to close distance and implement takedowns from the start. Robertson is an excellent grappler but has proven to be a liability on the feet, and that worries me here against Maverick. I was impressed with Maverick in her debut, as she displayed excellent striking and good physicality for the division. There are obvious concerns in this matchup with Robertson’s takedowns and Maverick’s defense, so I think the underdog should warrant consideration. I view this fight as a sneaky GPP target and will have plenty of exposure to the underdog; but I do favor the striking and aggression of Maverick.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Maverick ($8,800)
Worthy vs. Mullarkey
In a featherweight matchup, we have Khama Worthy taking on Jamie Mullarkey. Throughout Worthy’s career, he has had a kill or be-killed mentality, often times finding the knockout or getting knocked out himself. Worthy has performed well in the UFC to this point, whereas Mullarkey is starving to find his first victory with the promotion. I always have a difficult time recommending fighters coming off a knockout defeat. Despite the obvious striking advantage, I’ll be underweight on Worthy. I think Mullarkey is a sneaky find in this matchup, with decent striking and strong grappling to make things interesting. Split your exposure here, as we could be looking at a slate-breaking performance.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Mullarkey ($7,600)
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Menifield vs. Cherant
In a light heavyweight banger, we have my friend Fabio Cherant stepping up to the plate on three days notice and taking on Alonzo Menifield. This fight should be fireworks and, at their affordable salaries, should have your attention. Menifield might be the highest-owned fighter on the slate at $8100 because of his ferocity; he’s got a 100% finish rate and now has the advantage of facing a short-notice opponent who just missed weight. I’m here to shed light on the underdog Cherant, because there is definitely a path to victory- despite what the odds suggest. Cherant most recently captured a title for LFA and has been actively training throughout the pandemic. If you glance at his record, you will view him as just a submission guy. However, his striking has improved a great deal. Cherant’s strategy in this fight should be to selectively strike while mixing in takedowns, wearing on Menifield in the clinch and stretching this fight outside of Round 1. Personally, I will have plenty of exposure to Cherant since he’ll be an extremely contrarian pick. Not to mention, Cherant could be one of the best leverage picks on the slate. I believe in his game for the division, but there are obvious concerns whenever a fighter steps up on short-notice. If you’re a safe player, Menifield is going to be hard to get away from at $8100.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Menifield ($8,100)
Nurmagomedov vs. Gooden
In what could be an interesting welterweight bout, we have Abubakar Nurmagomedov taking on Jared Gooden. With a last name of Nurmagomedov, ownership will naturally be inflated and odds will be skewed. I would tread carefully with this fight. Nurmagomedov does have quality grappling skills, and under the tutelage of Khabib Nurmagomedov you would like to see some improvements. Gooden is a striker who was outclassed in his recent performance against Alan Jouban, a fighter likely retiring in the near future. In the striking department Nurmagomedov is a liability, making Gooden a strong GPP target. I will still favor the Nurmagomedov wrestling en route to a decision win.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Nurmagomedov ($9,000)
Oleksiejczuk vs. Bukauskas
In an exciting light heavyweight contest we have Michal Oleksiejczuk facing Modestas Bukauskas. Both gentlemen have incredible finishing ability in their careers, and we could be looking at a pivotal GPP pick. I like the discount on Bukauskas in this matchup, and think his aggressive striking could lead to a finish. Oleksiejczuk hasn’t looked good since he popped for a banned substance, but could easily catch Bukauskas with a big shot. I am still leaning towards the underdog Bukauskas to pull off the victory.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Bukauskas ($7,700)
Morales vs. Young
In this featherweight bout we have two strikers locking horns, as Omar Morales and Shane Young will do battle. Each combatant is representing a powerhouse MMA gym, and I am personally excited for this matchup. I think Morales possesses the more complete striking skills, whereas Young utilizes heavy volume to outwork his opponents. It will be interesting to see Young rebound from a knockout defeat, but this isn’t an easy matchup by any means. Morales is a big featherweight with underrated power and a dynamic kicking attack to keep his opponents guessing. Volume alone isn’t enough to attract me towards picking Young, considering I believe it’ll be Morales walking away with the victory.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Morales ($8,700)
Barriault vs. Azaitar
Kicking off UFC 260 is a middleweight bout between Marc-Andre Barriault and Abu Azaitar. Regionally, Barriault was an exciting fighter with high expectations, but he hasn’t lived up to the hype under the UFC lights. This isn’t my favorite fight to target but, given their respective salaries of $8200/$8000, it’s hard to avoid. I like what I’ve seen on film with Azaitar, an aggressive striker who throws powerful combinations to the head and body, often rocking his opponents. It’s tough to trust Barriault at this point; he hasn’t looked good in the UFC and is facing a ferocious competitor in Azaitar. I will lean Azaitar’s direction because he’s been working a lot with Khabib’s team.
UFC DFS pick for DraftKings & FanDuel MMA: Azaitar ($8,000)
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