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UFC Fight Night Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov (ESPN) Fight Card Picks: DraftKings Fantasy MMA Fights to Target, Betting Odds and Predictions

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Volkov is taking place on Saturday night, and DraftKings is offering multiple ways for mixed martial arts fans to get in on the action. DraftKings users can enter for their chance to win big prizes in Saturday’s fantasy MMA $600k Throwdown Special contest, which pays out a guaranteed $600,000, including $150k…

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Volkov is taking place on Saturday night, and DraftKings is offering multiple ways for mixed martial arts fans to get in on the action. DraftKings users can enter for their chance to win big prizes in Saturday’s fantasy MMA $600k Throwdown Special contest, which pays out a guaranteed $600,000, including $150k to first place. The slate locks at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Set your lineups here: MMA $600K Throwdown Special [$150K to 1st].

DraftKings users can also get in on the UFC action by betting on DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app.

In this article, I am looking at the fights that I think the winner has a chance to score big fantasy points and break the slate.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change. For the full list of available bets, download the DK Sportsbook app or check out the DraftKings Sportsbook website.

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Frank Camacho ($8,000; -360) vs. Justin Jaynes ($6,900; +260)

Yet again, we have a late replacement leading to a great value spot. This seems to happen just about every card these days and the benefactors have been coming through in a big way on DraftKings. Most recently, we saw Merab Dvalishvili take on Gustavo Lopez, who was a late fill in. The result was Dvalishvili breaking the slate and landing 13 takedowns.

While I don’t expect Camacho to have quite as big of a performance as Dvalishvili, this is a really good spot for him. Jaynes is taking this fight on just two days notice, is making his UFC debut and hasn’t fought in over a year. Putting all of this information together, it seems unlikely to me that Jaynes is going to be in great shape. Jaynes is really up against it given all these circumstances surrounding him taking this bout.

As far as DraftKings goes, Camacho fights always score well. There is no such thing as a boring Frank Camacho fight due to the pace he fights at. He lands 6.68 significant strikes per minute and mixes in some wrestling as well. Camacho has scored exactly 120 DKFP in each of his UFC wins. The kind of pace he keeps should be able to break Jaynes on late notice. At a moneyline of -360, Camacho is one of the biggest favorites on the card on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Prediction: Frank Camacho by third round TKO

Is there anything Josh Emmett can do to hand Shane Burgos his second loss?

Shane Burgos ($8,700; -143) vs. Josh Emmett ($7,500; +115)

The co-main event of the card should be a fire fight. The fight is -190 to finish inside the distance, making this one of the fights most likely to end in a finish. This shouldn’t come as a shock since three of Burgos’ last four fights have ended with a finish and Emmett’s last four fights have all ended in knockouts.

The metrics favor Burgos in this spot. He lands with much more volume than Emmett. Burgos lands 7.09 significant strikes per minute compared to 3.63 significant strikes per minute from Emmett. Emmett does wrestle at a higher volume and lands 1.5 takedowns per 15 minutes, although I don’t expect this element of his game to come into play since Burgos has a 90% takedown defense. I think this fight is going to take place on the feet and Burgos only has one speed. He’s going to march forward and throw at volume as we always see from him.

From what I said above, it seems like I would favor Burgos. If this fight goes to decision, I have little doubt that Burgos would win due to his output in this spot. Here’s the issue I have with Burgos and why I am siding with Emmett to knock him out. Burgos is not defensively sound on the feet. He has a positive striking differential, but he constantly puts himself in harms way and absorbs 5.34 significant strikes per minute. Against a guy with elite power like Emmett, I think Burgos is going to get reckless and walk into a big power shot, putting his light out. Burgos has been knocked down in two of his last four fights, so his chin is a bit questionable. It’s hard to be overwhelmingly confident in either side, so this is a good spot to get exposure to both sides. With that said, I will have more of Emmett in my lineups due his upside at a cheap price.

Prediction: Josh Emmett by second round TKO

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Gillian Robertson ($8,300; -118) vs. Cortney Casey ($7,900; -106)

It’s no secret that women’s MMA fights typically go to decision. Women’s flyweight fights go the distance over 60% of the time, which often leads to a bit of bias in DFS ownership. I think this fight could be an exception and has a good chance to end with a finish. All six of Robertson’s UFC fights have ended inside the distance and she was finished by Maycee Barber via TKO in her last bout. As for Casey, she’s finished three of her last five wins and is coming off a submission win over Mara Romero Borella in May.

On paper, this is a really interesting matchup. I expect Robertson to be extremely aggressive and hunt for takedowns early since that is her usual strategy. Fighting in a smaller cage at the UFC Apex, this is going to make it even easier for her to close distance. This is likely going to mean this fight ends up on the ground fairly quickly. One stat that really stands out is the takedown defense of these two. It’s a department both of them struggle in. Casey only has 39% takedown defense and Robertson has actually never successfully defended a takedown in the UFC.

Assuming this fight winds up on the ground, both of these women have good MMA grappling. However, it’s an area I slightly favor Casey in. We also have to consider that Robertson has lost a UFC fight via armbar after landing takedown and that’s exactly how Casey won her last fight. She submitted Romero Borella with an armbar from her guard. I don’t think this is an impossible situation in this fight, and despite the odds, I actually think Casey has the advantage on the feet and on the mat. Robertson has a offensive wrestling advantage although that could lead to her downfall.

Prediction: Cortney Casey by second round submission

Set your $600K Fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $600K Throwdown Special [$150K to 1st].

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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