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MMA DFS Fight Breakdown + Analysis | UFC Vegas 9 | Alistair Overeem vs. Augusto Sakai

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Hello, UFC fans. This weekend, we have a 10-fight card in Las Vegas, including a main event between Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai. 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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Cole Smith $7, 100 vs. Hunter Azure $9,100

 Cole Smith

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5-foot-9
  • Weight: 135 lbs
  • Reach: 67 in.
  • Record: 7-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: +175

This will be Smith’s first fight in almost a year. He is coming in on a loss to Miles Johns via split decision. Smith was signed to the UFC in 2019 and won his debut against Mitch Gagnon. A grinder, Smith racked up back control time in his fight against Johns, and I expect Smith to look to take this fight to the mat. Smith will look to use his wrestling and grappling to grind out a decision win. That said, Azure should be able to hold his own when this fight hits the mat.

 Hunter Azure

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5-foot-7
  • Weight: 135 lbs
  • Reach: 69 in.
  • Record: 8-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds:-210

Azure won his UFC contract by beating Chris Ocon via decision on Dana White’s Contender Series. He is coming in off a knockout loss against Brian Kelleher in May. Azure’s wrestling will give Smith problems. Azure is also the better striker thanks to his reach advantage on Smith. In this fight, I expect Azure to use striking and better grappling to edge out Smith in a decision victory.

My preferred play is Azure. His striking and grappling will help him grind out a decision victory.

MMA DFS Pick: Hunter Azure via Unanimous Decision.  

Alexandr Romanov $8,400 vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima $7,800

Alexandr Romanov

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 265 lbs
  • Reach: N/A
  • Record: 11-0–0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: -115

Romanov will be the bigger fighter in this fight. His wrestling is elite, and his ground and pound is dangerous. He has five wins by knockout and six wins by submission, and he has finished six opponents in less than two minutes. I expect Romanov to ragdoll de Lima once he backs him against the cage and slams him to the mat. If Romanov gets top control in this fight, he will either finish de Lima with ground and pound or choke him out.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 253 lbs
  • Reach: 75 in.
  • Record: 17-7-1
  • Striking Accuracy: 57%
  • Betting Odds: -105

De Lima has knockout power in his hands. He owns 12 wins via knockout and three via submission. He has weak takedown defense, which he has shown numerous times. De Lima is a former light heavyweight, which is a key element to suggest that Romanov, as a natural heavyweight, will have a huge size advantage over de Lima.

My preferred play is Romanov. I expect his wrestling and size advantage to be too much for de Lima to overcome.

MMA DFS Pick: Alexandr Romanov via First-Round Submission.


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Brain Kelleher $9,200 vs. Kevin Natividad  $7,000

Brain Kelleher

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5-foot-5
  • Weight: 145 lbs
  • Reach: 66 in.
  • Record: 21-11-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 41%
  • Betting Odds: -225

Kelleher will be looking to take this fight to the mat, where he should be able to use his solid ground game and dangerous submission attack. In addition, I also  expect Kelleher could to stay upright while focusing on his striking and accurate combinations. This will be Kelleher’s fourth fight this year, and he will be looking to spoil the debut of Natividad.

Kevin Natividad    

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5-foot-5
  • Weight: 145 lbs
  • Reach: 70.5 in.
  • Record: 9-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: +175

Natividad is making his UFC debut, stepping in for Ricky Simon, who was forced off the card due to his cornerman testing positive for COVID-19. Natividad is coming in on a five-fight win streak. He has finished six opponents in his nine victories. This will be a step up in competition for Natividad, and he will be looking to make a big statement in his UFC debut.

My preferred play is Kelleher. His experience and dangerous striking will be more than the debuting Natividad will be able to withstand.

MMA DFS Pick: Brain Kelleher via Unanimous Decision.

Alistair Overeem $9,000 vs. Augusto Sakai $7,400

Alistair Overeem

  • Age: 40
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 265 lbs
  • Reach: 80 in.
  • Record: 46-18-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 73%
  • Betting Odds: -145

Overeem is an elite striker, and he throws a dangerous straight-right hand. He has a nice jab, overhand right combination, and he will throw kicks to the body and head. Overeem is dangerous from the clinch, throwing throw nasty knees to the body and head that can finish his opponents. I expect Overeem to make this a striking battle. He looked good in his last fight against Harris, winning via knockout in the second round.

 Augusto Sakai

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 265 lbs
  • Reach: 77 in.
  • Record: 15-1 -0
  • Striking Accuracy: N/A
  • Betting Odds: +125

Sakai is a solid striker. He lands 5.45 significant strikers per minute while absorbing 3.89 and also defends 81% of takedowns against him. He has 11 knockouts and no submissions. His last fight was against Blagoy Ivanov, where he won via decision. Sakai is very hittable due to the lack of footwork and movement in the Octagon. He throws heavy hooks that have huge power. I expect this to be a striking battle.

My preferred play is Sakai. His power striking and nasty heavy hooks should be enough too hurt Overeem and keep him at distance.

MMA DFS Pick: Augusto Sakai via Second-Round KO/TKO.


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