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UFC Fight Night Curtis Blaydes vs. Alexander Volkov Main Card (ESPN) Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy MMA Fighters in Salary, Betting Odds

The UFC is taking advantage of most sports still being sidelined, hosting their third event in three weeks. Another UFC Fight Night card will take place this Saturday, and it will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov. The main card is…

The UFC is taking advantage of most sports still being sidelined, hosting their third event in three weeks. Another UFC Fight Night card will take place this Saturday, and it will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov. The main card is getting underway earlier than normal, with an 8:00 p.m. ET start time. The preliminary card is set to start at 5:00 p.m. ET, which is the time that DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups will lock.

DraftKings is offering multiple ways for mixed martial arts fans to get in on this weekend’s UFC 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.

DraftKings released fantasy MMA salaries for the event during the middle of the week and below, we will take an early look at the slate. But first, here’s a look at the DraftKings fantasy MMA scoring criteria for mixed martial arts fans who may be new to fantasy MMA.


Scoring Criteria

Moves

  • A significant strike is worth 0.5 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP). A significant strike is defined as any distance strike or clinch/ground strike that is considered a “power strike” by official scorers.
  • Advances on the ground are worth 3.0 DKFP. Advances include to half guard, to side control, to mount and to back control.
  • A takedown is worth 5.0 DKFP.
  • A reversal or sweep is worth 5.0 DKFP.
  • A knockdown is worth 10.0 DKFP. A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.


Fight Conclusion Bonuses

DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) are awarded based on how quickly a fighter is able to finish the fight. Here’s a round-by-round breakdown:


  • 1st round win: 90 DKFP
  • 2nd round win: 70 DKFP
  • 3rd round win: 45 DKFP
  • 4th round win: 40 DKFP
  • 5th round win: 40 DKFP
  • Decision win: 30 DKFP


Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.


UFC Fight Night Insurance: Bet on any Main Card fighter to win on June 20 and get your money back as a free bet if they lose by any KO, submission, or DQ, up to $25! Get access to this promo here at the DraftKings Sportsbook promotions page. (Opt-in required)


Is this Curtis Blaydes fight to lose against Alexander Volkov?


Biggest Favorite: Curtis Blaydes ($9,400)

Blaydes enters the main event of this card as a huge favorite over Alexander Volkov ($6,800). DraftKings Sportsbook has the moneyline on Blaydes set at -455, and nobody else on this card is larger than a -250 favorite. Blaydes’ UFC record over 11 fights is strong, with his only two losses coming to monster heavyweight Francis Ngannou. There’s no shame in losing to Ngannou, as Ngannou is one of the most powerful and dangerous fighters in the history of the sport. Blaydes has scored over 100 DKFP in six of his 11 UFC fights, most recently recording a second round TKO win over former heavyweight champion Junios dos Santos. Blaydes has another impressive win on his resume over contender Alistair Overeem.

Blaydes moves well, especially by the standards of the heavyweight division, and is lengthy at 6’4″ with an 80″ reach. He has a strong wrestling background, winning a national title in JUCO wrestling, and his takedown stats in recent fights are elite. Over Blaydes’ last nine fights, he has not been taken down once and has recorded 38 total takedowns of opponents, a ridiculous 38-to-0 ratio. Blaydes is averaging about seven takedowns per 15 minutes, an excellent number. Blaydes has showcased the ability to record takedowns via shots from the outside and greco-like clinches from the inside, giving him multiple ways of taking down his opponent. Blaydes will have a significant edge in wrestling against Volkov and could record a lot of 5.0-DKFP takedowns in this fight.

Even if Blaydes does not generate a lot of takedowns, the threat of the takedown allows his striking to play up, which was seen in his most recent fight against Junior dos Santos. In that fight, persistent takedown attempts from the outside got dos Santos to lower his hands and guard in anticipation of defending the takedown, which opened up room for Blaydes to strike the head and finish the fight via TKO with standing punches.

Volkov’s one way to win is on the feet, but he’ll have to withstand frequent takedown attempts from Blaydes, who is a much better wrestler and more athletic. Volkoff does have the edge in height at 6’7″, but using his long legs via kicks could further expose him to takedown attempts if Blaydes times his shot while Volkoff is off balanced. In terms of fantasy scoring, Volkoff has been plus at generating DKFP on the back of expanded significant strike volume. Volkoff has not finished fights quickly, with all six of his UFC fights lasting until at least the third round, but he has made up for a lack of first-round wins by accumulating more than 100 significant strikes in three of his last five fights. If Volkoff is going to pull the upset here, it could be by dragging Blaydes into the deeper rounds by stopping takedowns and working him over on the feet.


Bargain Bin: Lyman Good ($7,300)

Good is currently carrying a +105 moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook, which appears to make him underpriced based on the betting odds. Good’s $7,300 price tag is fifth cheapest on the slate and is a worthy salary relief consideration against Belal Muhammad ($8,900), who comes in at the fifth highest salary despite only being a -130 favorite and ranking ninth in average DKFP per fight on this card. Good has been the slightly better fantasy performer, averaging a nice 69.8 DKFP per fight, compared to 68.5 DKFP per fight for Muhammad.


Does Roosevelt Roberts deserve to be the favorite over Jim Miller?


Tournament Play: Jim Miller ($7,000)

At just $7,000, Miller is the second cheapest fighter on this slate. DraftKings Sportsbook has Miller as a +185 underdog against Roosevelt Roberts ($9,200), who is the second largest favorite on this slate at -240 and the second most expensive fighter. There are some reasons that fantasy owners can consider looking to Miller as a lower-owned salary relief play in tournaments. Miller is a highly experienced veteran who is capable of finishing fights and has had more success lately after successfully treating a bout with Lyme disease. From February 2017 to April 2018, Miller lost four consecutive fights as he fought through undiagnosed Lyme disease that left him feeling weak and lethargic and significantly impacted his training for the fights. Since clearing his illness up before his fight at UFC 228 in September 2018, Miller has recorded three first round finishes in five fights and scored over 100 DKFP in two of those fights. Miller is an excellent grappler with a solid wrestling and submission base and is capable of ending a fight with a submission. All three of his first round finishes over his last five fights have been submission wins.


Full Salary list with DraftKings Sportsbook Moneyline

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


Editor’s Note: Matt Frevola announced that he has been pulled from Saturday’s UFC fight against Frank Camacho after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. Frevola will be replaced by Justin Jaynes.


  • Curtis Blaydes ($9,400; -455) vs. Alexander Volkov ($6,800; +333)
  • Shane Burgos ($8,700; -143) vs. Josh Emmett ($7,500; +115)
  • Raquel Pennington ($8,800; -152) vs. Marion Reneau ($7,400; +120)
  • Belal Muhammad ($8,900; -130) vs. Lyman Good ($7,300; +105)
  • Roosevelt Roberts ($9,200; -240) vs. Jim Miller ($7,000; +185)
  • Bobby Green ($9,100; -240) vs. Clay Guida ($7,100; +185)
  • Brianna Van Buren ($9,000; -210) vs. Tecia Torres ($7,200; +165)
  • Oskar Piechota ($8,600; -129) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault ($7,600; +103)
  • Gillian Robertson ($8,300; -118) vs. Cortney Casey ($7,900; -106)
  • Justin Jaynes (TBD) vs. Frank Camacho ($8,000; TBD)
  • Roxanne Modafferi ($8,500; -124) vs. Lauren Murphy ($7,700; +100)
  • Max Rohskopf ($8,400; -195) vs. Austin Hubbard ($7,800; +150)

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


For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DK Sportsbook app.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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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