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UFC Fight Night Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker (ESPN) Fight Card Picks: Top DraftKings DFS Fantasy MMA Targets, Values

Saturday night brings around another UFC fight card and this one is headlined by a PPV-worthy main event. Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker is no doubt going to be an action-packed banger. If you ever wanted to introduce a friend or family member to live MMA,…

Saturday night brings around another UFC fight card and this one is headlined by a PPV-worthy main event. Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker is no doubt going to be an action-packed banger. If you ever wanted to introduce a friend or family member to live MMA, this fight would be a great place to start.

The rest of the card has had a few late replacements, but there are still some interesting bouts, case in point, Jinh Yu Frey vs. Kay Hansen and Luis Pena vs. Khama Worthy. This event will be the last show before UFC 251 (which takes place on July 11th), so the two-week stretch between fight cards should act as a bit of a catalyst to make fans appreciate it a little more, despite its hiccups.


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 $600K Fantasy MMA 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.


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


Is Dustin Poirier a must roster this weekend?


Studs

Dustin Poirier, $8,700 —“The Diamond” is a big favorite in this contest for a reason. He’s an experienced, high-level striker with tremendous output and plenty of steam behind his punches. He has excellent combinations, but his straights down the middle are a force to be reckoned with, and he routinely boxes up his opponents with that straightforward, highly aggressive approach.

He’s more than capable on the ground, and if the fight ends up there, one should definitely give him the edge in that regard. He’s got a limitless gas tank, and he often looks as fresh in the last round as he did in the first. When he fought Max Holloway, he was the more invigorated of the two going into round five, and that’s saying something because Holloway’s cardio has always been highly touted. Hooker is no slouch, and this will likely end up being a battle for the ages, but Poirier has everything he needs in his arsenal to claim a victory over the New Zealander.


Mike Perry, $9,000 — Mike Perry might seem like a man on the edge lately, but if we look back at his antics over the years, he’s always been a bit of a wild man, so I put very little stock in who works his corner or what his training camp has looked like. A few factors will always remain: he knows how to fight, he hits stupidly hard and he has a durable chin (Geoff Neal fight notwithstanding).

Perry is a brawler, and he wastes no time getting in the pocket and going hell for leather. He’s fought a much higher caliber of competition and perhaps most importantly, he seems to make weight with relative ease, a factor that Mickey Gall has had trouble with historically. Gall will have a distinct size advantage over Perry, but unless he somehow gets this fight immediately to the ground, I don’t see him having much luck. If the fight does end up on the canvas, Perry isn’t helpless there and should be able to stay out of harm’s way. This is Perry’s fight to lose.


Sean Woodson, $8,800 — Sean Woodson is a highly touted prospect we should all be keeping an eye on. At 6’2”, he’s a rangy featherweight, and he makes great use of that range advantage. He’s quick and light on his feet, using his jab well, and covering distance in the blink of an eye (see his flying knee KO of Terrance McKinney). His win over the super tough Kyle Bochniak showed plenty of savvy and an excellent fight IQ. His aggressive left jab is a stinger and he also has excellent countering ability, as well. For someone with just seven fights under his belt, he fights like he’s been doing it all his life. With late replacement Julian Erosa filling in for Kyle Nelson, Woodson should have no problem keeping his 0.


Which fighter are you fading for UFC Fight Night?


Values

Dan Hooker, $7,500 — Dan Hooker is a well-rounded, rapidly improving pressure fighter with a long, lanky frame that has seen him learn how to control the distance and pace much better over the last couple years. He’s grown into his style to a point where he looks smooth and loose, unflappable even. This turning point was evident in masterful performances over Al Iaquinta and James Vick. His razor-close win over Paul Felder was perhaps the biggest signifier that his striking had become much more polished, earning him a shot at the crème de la crème of the lightweight division, starting with Dustin Poirier.

Defeating Poirier will be a massive undertaking, but “The Hangman” has been looking pretty sharp lately, and could get the upset if he utilizes the forward pressure he’s become known for, using his kickboxing to keep Dustin moving backward and working in the clinch when the distance is closed. It’s a tall order, but tall orders sometimes get served.


Khama Worthy, $7,300 — Khama Worthy is a steal at this price. I know people are high on Pena’s skillset, particularly his grappling, but Worthy is a legitimate threat on the feet, and he’s actually the more experienced fighter in this contest. When he fought Devonte Smith, he feinted and faked leg kicks to gauge Smith’s timing, but when his kicks were landing, they were with quite a bit of authority. He’s got good instincts and reacts well under pressure, as he was very calm under the barrage of kicks Smith attacked him with in the early goings of their short fight. He possesses nasty power and if one of his heat-seekers lands, we’ll probably be able to get a pretty accurate count of the ceiling lights in the APEX Center from Pena. Bonus points for his nickname, “The Deathstar.”


Jinh Yu Frey, $7,700 — Jinh Yu Frey is a tiny powerhouse moving up from atomweight to make her UFC strawweight debut, a move she herself has said was long overdue. She’s an experienced veteran with wins over very solid competition (Ashley Cummins, Herica Tiburcio, Minna Grusander). She’s not particularly powerful on the feet, but she has a high-volume output and plenty of sting on those punches. She’s also an Energizer Bunny with excellent cardio, doing very well down the stretch in the latter rounds (see her last fight with Ashley Cummins where she poured it on in the 5th round). She’ll have her hands full with Kay Hansen, who has the better wrestling and top game, but Frey is a scrappy, durable go-getter, and she has an excellent chance of getting the W.

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 crooklyn949) 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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