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Welcome to the JaguarDFS MMA Breakdown for this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw. Every week, Louis will be going over his top UFC DFS selections. The analysis and research done for this article is specifically meant for daily fantasy success, not conventional gambling. For example, a fighter could be heavily favored but may not be in a position to reach daily fantasy point value. This upcoming Saturday (7/24) we have an 11-fight card. DraftKings has a $100,000 first-place prize for their $500,000 “MMA Throwdown” while FanDuel has $10,000 going to first place in their “UFC Octagon” GPP tournament. There’s no time to waste, let’s get started.
Diana Belbita DK: $6,900 FD: $14 (-115) vs. Hannah Goldy DK: $8,300 FD: $16 (-110)
These two fighters might not be the most skilled but that doesn’t mean that they’re irrelevant DFS wise. Belbita has started her UFC career with two consecutive losses, one to Molly McCann in 2019 and more recently to Liana Jojua in July of 2020. Goldy is my pick for this bout. She simply displays more volume than Belbita, Belbita is averaging 5.81 significant strikes landed per minute while Goldy has landed an average of 6.53. Goldy has a professional record of 5 -1, most recently losing to Mirando Granger back in August of 2019. This fight should score well. With Goldy significantly more expensive, paired with the fact that she opened at -160 (and the line is currently at -115), Belbita should be the more popular DFS roster. Goldy is my leverage play on this slate. With many investing in the logical line/salary value in Belbita, give me the more expensive, lower-rostered GPP option in Hannah Goldy.
Sijara Eubanks DK: $9,300 FD: $23 (-350) vs. Elise Reed DK: $6,900 FD: $8 (+260)
At a massive salary of $9,300 on Draftkings, Eubanks comes in as the largest favorite on the slate. The question is, can she reach value at her current salaries of $9,300 on Draftkings and $23 on FanDuel? This fight is currently -135 to go the distance. Finishing Elise Reed is a difficult task. Reed is durable and throws volume. I am interested in Reed for multiple reasons. Assuming this fight goes the distance, Reed should be able to score in a win or a loss. Can Reed win? Sure. Eubanks has lost her last two fights by decision. Finishing Eubanks will be a tough ask as well. This fight should go to decision. Assuming she stays active for all three rounds, I really don't mind exposure to Elise Reed. Regardless of who wins, Eubanks is a fade for me. Her salary is way too high. She will need an early finish or 100+ significant strikes to pay off at $9,300 on Draftkings.
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Julio Arce DK: $9,100 FD: $20 (-200) vs. Andre Ewell DK: $7,100 FD: $10 (+160)
Arce averages 63.2 DK FP per fight. This is not high enough to justify his salary of $9,100. Arce’s most recent wins include the following totals: 90, 76, 63, & 97. Even a 90-99 point effort will not be enough for this Saturday’s slate. This fight is -200 to go the distance. This is important. Both fighters are averaging slightly over 4.20 significant strikes per minute but with a .58 TD average paired with a 30 % accuracy rate (as well as a .58 sub-average), I give the advantage to Arce. With that said, I am not expecting high DFS scores here. Full fade..
Mickey Gall DK: $7,500 FD: $9 (+142) vs. Jordan Williams DK: $8,700 FD: $21 (-180)
This one is easy, Mickey Gall is on the lesser end of the UFC talent spectrum. Most recently losing to Mike Perry, Gall is behind the eightball in almost every category. Gall averages 2.55 significant strikes per minute while Williams averages 6.07. This fight is -160 to finish inside the distance. Gall’s path to victory is by submission. His current odds to win by submission in Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3 are +800, +1100, and +1600. His current money line odds are at +142. This seems low. I expect the money line to shift significantly overnight. Don’t be surprised if Gall ends up at +200 (or worse) by the time the fight starts. Williams' salary of $8,700 on Draftkings and $21 on FanDuel is very reasonable in my opinion.
Nassourdine Imavov DK: $7,700 FD: $13 (+128) vs. Ian Heinisch DK: $8,500 FD: $18 (-160)
Imavov is seven years younger than Heinisch. Imavov has a 3-inch reach advantage and is the more physical fighter. Imavov carries a raw size and strength advantage. After beating Jordan Williams and losing by a hair to Phil Hawes, I was convinced. Imavov averages 4.17 significant strikes landed per minute while Heinisch averages just 3.18. Heinisch averages a low 58.3 DK FP per fight, making him a fade for me this week. At $8,500 on Draftkings, I do not like him as a DFS investment. I am not on Heinisch this week but I am higher on Imavov than most.
Punahele Soriano DK: $8,200 FD: $15 (-120) vs. Brendan Allen DK: $8,000 FD: $16 (-105)
Allen wants this fight on the mat while Soriano will be looking for a first-round finish (likely by TKO/KO). This matchup is -350 to finish inside the distance and is a must-play one way or the other. If Soriano can’t finish Allen with a KO in round one (maybe two), I expect him to tire. Allen is expected to take over if this fight makes round three. Allen has the cardio advantage while Soriano has the power. Clash of fighting styles. Remember, you need to invest in one of these two fighters, Allen or Soriano (whoever wins) will reach value, I can guarantee you that.
Adrian Yanez DK: $9,000 FD: $20 (-230) vs. Randy Costa DK: $7,200 FD: $9 (+180)
Yanez is coming off of two solid victories, one against Gustavo Lopez by 3rd round TKO and Victor Hernandez by 1st round TKO. This fight is -300 to not go to decision, another must-have matchup. Yanez is the better striker and this matchup sets up perfectly for Yanez. Easy pick, lock in Yanez. With this said, Costa’s most likely path to victory is by 1st round KO (+800). 70-30 percent split for multi-entry GPP purposes.
Miranda Maverick DK: $8,400 FD: $18 (-155) vs. Maycee Barber DK: $7,800 FD: $12 (+125)
Knockout potential for both fighters here. Expect a high-paced, exciting fight here. Barber is an aggressive finisher and Maverick is very talented. This matchup is expected to go to a decision at -230. This is potentially the closest fight of the night. Don’t count out Barber but given her salary at -155, Miranda is the play for me. It’s worth monitoring this money line up until lock, it should be telling. This is a close call, it could go either way. Invest in both sides of this fight.
Darren Elkins DK: $7,600 FD: $12 (+128) vs. Darrick Minner DK: $8,600 FD: $19 (-160)
Another fight that you’re going to want exposure to. Minner will be attempting to submit Elkins early on in the fight. Minner comes out strong but is susceptible to gassing out. Minner by submission in the first round is the most likely outcome at +450. Elkins is not an exceptional fighter. He could win. His most likely path is a 3rd round finish or by unanimous or split decision. Against a potential gasser, Elkins' could be playing the long game. This fight is currently -105 to go the distance. if this is accurate, Elkins is worth some shots. If he wins this by decision, he should reach value at a salary of $7,600 but still give me the better overall fighter in Minner.
Kyler Phillips DK: $9,200 FD: $22 (-280) vs. Raulian Paiva DK: $7,000 FD: $8 (+215)
Paiva at $7,000 is a low salary on Draftkings. This price concerns me. It’s enticing because this is a good fight. Paiva is no slouch. It surprised me that he was priced at $7,000 for this matchup. Paiva is a live dog and if he wins, he will be in the DFS nuts. With that said, this screams trap to me. Long story short, Phillips is the better fighter and has a clear path to victory. It's his fight to lose. Don’t let this enticingly low salary draw you in. Lock in Kyler Phillips for GPP or cash.
Cory Sandhagen DK: $8,800 FD: $22 (-190) vs. TJ Dillashaw DK: $7,400 FD: $17 (+150)
TJ Dillashaw is +150 yet still carries a low salary of $7,400. Dillashaw has averaged 87.3 DK FPPF but in his losses, he’s only averaging 38.0 DK FPPF. Dillashaw averages less significant strikes landed per minute. He averages a slightly higher TD average at 1.68 but carries a significantly lower accuracy rating in both takedowns and striking. Dillashaw is coming off of a loss to Henry Cejudo back in January of 2019. I don’t see much to love about Dillashaw.
This leaves us with Sandhagen. Cory is coming off of 2020 wins against Frankie Edgar, Marlon Moraes, and Aljamain Sterling. Sandhagen averages 92.2 DK FPPF. His salary is reasonable to low and he should be the most popular roster in the field. Even if we're looking at 60 + % ownership percentage, Sandhagen is a daily fantasy bullet that you’re going to have to eat. Find your value options, lock in Sandhagen and then go from there.