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UFC Fight Night Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker Main Card (ESPN) Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy MMA Fighters, Betting Odds, Predictions

The UFC is hosting a Saturday card for the fifth consecutive week, with this Saturday’s Fight Night action headlined by a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker. Like last week, the card is getting started a little earlier than normal, with the main card beginning at 8:00…

The UFC is hosting a Saturday card for the fifth consecutive week, with this Saturday’s Fight Night action headlined by a lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker. Like last week, the card is getting started a little earlier than normal, with the main card beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET and the preliminary card getting underway at 6:00 p.m. ET. The slate on DraftKings will lock with the start of the prelims.

There has already been some fight shuffling, as heavy favorite Miranda Maverick is out of her scheduled fight against Mara Romero Borella. The news was first reported by Combate’s Raphael Marinho. Maverick began the week as the second highest priced fighter on the slate at $9,100, and DraftKings Sportsbook placed her moneyline at -305, which would have made her one of the card’s biggest favorites. The UFC was reportedly looking for a replacement for Romero Borella to face, but both fighters have been taken off the card, so it appears that neither will take the cage on Saturday. Ramiz Brahimaj has also been removed from Saturday’s UFC fight against Takashi Sato after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. Jason Witt will replace Brahimaj against Sato.

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 6:00 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.


Which fighter are you fading for UFC Fight Night?


Biggest Favorite: Sean Woodson ($8,800)

Woodson was originally set to face Kyle Nelson ($7,400), but visa issues have prevented Nelson from fighting. Woodson is now scheduled to face a late replacement in Julian Erosa ($6,800), who is taking the fight on very short notice. The weaker late replacement will likely give Woodson significantly boosted fantasy value. Woodson is now a huge -480 favorite, and despite having easily the strongest DraftKings Sportsbook moneyline odds to win, Woodson is only the fifth most expensive fighter on this slate. In Woodson’s only UFC fight, he was able to post a solid 85.5 DKFP performance after accumulating a strong 111 significant strikes over three rounds in a decision win. Erosa did not perform well in his most recent UFC stint, losing all four of his most recent UFC fights, three of which were knockout losses. Given Erosa’s lack of UFC success and tendency to get knocked out, this could be a smash spot for Woodson at a discounted rate.


Bargain Bin: Mara Romero Borella ($7,100)

Editor’s note: Mara Romero Borella is no longer listed on the fight card and will not accumulate fantasy points.

This situation will need to be closely monitored. Like Woodson, a potential late replacement could give Romero Borella boosted fantasy value. Romero Borella was originally priced to face heavy favorite Miranda Maverick, who carried a -305 moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook. However, Maverick is out of the fight, and multiple reports state that the UFC is searching for a new opponent for Romero Borella to face. If the UFC is able to find a replacement, Romero Borrella would be in line to face a weaker opponent, which should give her a much better chance to win and accumulate fantasy points. Romero Borella is the third cheapest fighter on this slate and originally opened as +230 underdog to Maverick at the time of the price release. Check back before the slate locks at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday to make sure that Romero Borella is indeed facing a new opponent, because if she does not fight, she will not accumulate any fantasy points. The DK Live twitter account (@dklive) will have you covered.


Is Dustin Poirier a must roster this weekend?


Main Event: Dustin Poirier ($8,700) vs. Dan Hooker ($7,500)

This fight has the makings of a stand up battle that could feature a lot of striking volume. Poirier’s striking stats are excellent at lightweight in terms of volume, ranking second in the division in strikes landed per minute (6.51). Poirier has posted huge striking volume recently, landing over 170 significant strikes in two of his last four fights. Hooker has also posted plus striking volume, ranking fifth in the division in strikes landed per minute (5.75).

Hooker does not spend much time on his back, which allows him to keep a steady offensive game. Hooker ranks in the top eight in the division in both bottom position percentage and bottom position time and has been excellent at preventing takedowns, stopping a strong 78% of takedown attempts. Hooker has been taken down only once over his last eight fights. Poirier has also generally prevented takedowns well with the exception of his fight against undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has basically an unstoppable takedown game. Poirier had been taken down just three total times in 13 fights prior to his fight against Nurmagomedov. Both of these marks point towards the fight likely staying on the feet.

Poirier’s most recent fight was a title shot against the aforementioned Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier had his moments in the fight, getting the better of Nurmagomedov on a striking exchange in the second round that had Nurmagomedov retreating. Poirier also threatened Nurmagomedov with a guillotine choke in the third round, although since it was an arm-in guillotine choke, Poirier did not quite have the leverage to apply a tight enough squeeze to cut off the air or blood supply. Poirier appeared to burn himself out chasing the guillotine choke and Nurmagomedov capitalized, passing Poirier’s guard and securing a rear naked choke to win the fight. There’s no shame in losing a fight to Nurmagomedov, who is the kingpin of his division. Prior to his loss to Nurmagomedov, Poirier had several highly impressive wins, which was coupled with big fantasy output. Poirier recorded over 100 DKFP in four straight fights, including wins over Max Holloway and Justin Gaethje where he posted titanic significant strike volume, landing over 170 significant strikes in each fight. Poirier’s 85.2 DKFP per fight is excellent and one of the top marks on the entire card.

Hooker has also had plus fantasy performances lately, scoring at least 95 DKFP in five of his last six fights. He hasn’t recorded quite the same level of significant strike volume as Poirier, but he lands a 10-DKFP knockdown frequently, recording five total knockdowns over his last six fights. He averages over one knockdown per 15 minutes, the fifth best rate among all lightweight fighters since the metric began being tracked. Hooker jumps to second best by that metric among active lightweights, ahead of Poirier’s 0.86 knockdowns per 15 minutes at lightweight, which ranks third among active fighters in the division.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the most likely outcome of this fight is Poirier to win by KO, TKO or DQ (+105). A KO/TKO finish combined with a knockdown and significant strike volume would make Poirier an appealing fantasy play at his $8,700 price tag.


Full Salary list with DraftKings Sportsbook Moneyline

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

Editor’s note: Ramiz Brahimaj has been removed from Saturday’s UFC fight against Takashi Sato after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. Jason Witt will replace Brahimaj against Sato.


  • Dustin Poirier ($8,700; -220) vs. Dan Hooker ($7,500; +176)
  • Mike Perry ($9,000; -315) vs. Mickey Gall ($7,200; +235)
  • Brendan Allen ($9,200; -305) vs. Kyle Daukaus ($7,000; +235)
  • Maurice Greene ($8,600; -240) vs. Gian Villante ($7,600; +188)
  • Luis Pena ($8,900; -265) vs. Khama Worthy ($7,300; +205)
  • Philipe Lins ($8,300; -112) vs. Tanner Boser ($7,900; -112)
  • Takashi Sato ($8,400; -137) vs. Ramiz Brahimaj ($7,800; +110)
  • Takashi Sato ($8,400; TBD) vs. Jason Witt (TBD)
  • Jordan Griffin ($8,200; +107) vs. Youssef Zalal ($8,000; -134)
  • Kay Hansen ($8,500; -175) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (+138)
  • Sean Woodson ($8,800; -480) vs Julian Erosa ($6,800; +333)
  • Mara Romero Borella ($7,100; TBD) vs. TBD

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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