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UFC Fight Night Picks: DraftKings Fantasy MMA Fights to Target, Predictions, Betting Odds

Greg Ehrenberg takes a look at the fights where he thinks the winner has a chance to score big DraftKings fantasy points and break the UFC slate, which gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 15.

UFC Fight Night Kattar vs. Ige is taking place at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 15, and in this article, I am looking at the fights where I think the winner has a chance to score big DraftKings fantasy points and break the MMA slate.

DraftKings is hosting a massive fantasy MMA Throwdown Special that gives out $500K in total prizes and pays out $100K to the winner. The contest locks at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Set your lineups here: MMA $500K Throwdown Special [$100K to 1st]

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

UFC Fight Island continues and if you bet on DraftKings Sportsbook on Wednesday and Saturday, you’ll get a Free Bet for 7/25! See more here at the DraftKings Sportsbook promo page or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app!

Abdul Razak Alhassan ($9,200; -345) vs. Mounir Lazzez ($7,000; +260)

Away from the octagon, Alhassan has been involved in some legal troubles that have prevented him from being able to compete. It’s been nearly two years since he’s fought in the UFC. The last time we saw Alhassan compete, he knocked out Niko Price in just 43 seconds, which is about the normal result we are used to seeing from him. He’s won four of his five UFC bouts by a first-round KO/TKO. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that this fight is -400 to finish inside the distance. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, this is the fight most likely to end in a finish.

Fighting a UFC newcomer in Lazzez, Alhassan would be a fighter that I would consider a lock in normal circumstances. Due to the layoff, it’s fair to consider that Alhassan might not be the same fighter he once was, so this is far from normal circumstances. At the very least it’s a red flag that he missed weight by three pounds. This makes me question how much he’s been training and what his conditioning is like. Alhassan turns 35 in a month and I am really curious to see how good he looks after the time off.

Due to the skills and power we have seen from Alhassan in the past, I have to think the most likely outcome is a quick knockout, as we have seen in the majority of his UFC fights. However, there is enough uncertainty that I am willing to play Lazzez in a lineup or two. Alhassan often marches forward and fights recklessly while landing 4.59 significant strikes per minute. He also often gets hit, absorbing 4.2 significant strikes per minute. Lazzez has won eight of his nine professional fights by KO/TKO and it’s not out of the question that he could land something to put out Alhassan at both a cheap price and low ownership. To summarize, I will be much heavier on Alhassan, but will have some exposure to Lazzez as a hedge.

Prediction: Abdul Razak Alhassan by first-round KO/TKO

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.

Jared Gordon ($8,300; -150) vs. Chris Fishgold ($7,900; +120)

First off, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the odd narrative surrounding this fight. Due to all the circumstances with COVID-19 and travel issues, none of Gordon’s coaches were able to make the trip with him to Abu Dhabi. As a result, he was left without a cornerman for his bout. This has led to Paul Felder stepping in to corner him. The reason this is so strange is that Felder is doing color commentary for the card. So Felder will call the fights before Gordon’s, briefly leave his post to work the corner and then return to his commentating duties for the rest of the night. 2020!

Now as for the actual fight, I can’t put any actual weight into what is going on with Gordon’s corner situation. Could it play a factor? Sure, but we really won’t know until after the fight ends and there isn’t a proper way to handicap the info. We are best off assuming that this is baked into the betting line. On DraftKings, Gordon is a stud. He lands 6.26 significant strikes per minute and 2.98 takedowns per 15 minutes. This kind of output gives Gordon elite upside in wins. In three UFC victories, Gordon has scored 138.5, 102.5 and 89 DKFP. If he wins, it’s nearly a guarantee for a big score.

The issue with Gordon is his durability. His three UFC losses have all been via KO/TKO and it’s fair to question if his chin is shot. Against Fishgold, Gordon is likely going to be winning the majority of the exchanges, although there is always a possibility that he could have his lights turned out. The biggest risk is going to be in the early going of this fight. Fishgold is extremely dangerous in the first round but typically starts to run out of gas as the fight wears on. This is not an issue for Gordon since he has shown himself to have elite cardio. As long as he can avoid getting finished early, I expect Gordon should be able to outwork Fishgold and either finish him late or win a one-sided decision.

Prediction: Jared Gordon by third-round KO/TKO

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Tim Elliott ($8,500; -125) vs. Ryan Benoit ($7,700; +100)

Hi, my name is Greg and I have a Tim Elliott problem. No matter how many times I have sworn off this guy, he keeps reeling me back in. Here’s the reality with Elliott, he’s a skilled grappler and extremely aggressive. This is an ideal skill set for DraftKings and his fantasy scores are insane in wins. His past two wins have netted 109 and 175.5 DKFP. If Elliott wins, there is a very good chance he will be in the optimal lineup and he is also a slight favorite to win.

Now here’s the downside to Elliott: Nobody and I mean NOBODY is less trustworthy. In his last fight against UFC newcomer Brandon Royval, Elliott was cruising. He landed four takedowns and racked up some advances before gassing out toward the end of the second round and getting caught in an arm triangle. This is about what I have come to expect from Elliott. He looks great, a huge fantasy score seems inevitable and then he finds a way to beat himself. The thing about this matchup is that he should have the advantage just about everywhere against Benoit. Elliott is the better fighter and Benoit is a step down in competition from what Elliott usually sees. A few years ago, he fought a relatively competitive fight against Demetrious Johnson for the title. Elliott should win, he should score well, I can’t trust him, but I also can’t quit him. The upside is too tantalizing for me to look past Elliott.

Prediction: Tim Elliott by unanimous decision

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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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