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DFS lineup advice for UFC Fight Night, MMA $400k Throwdown Special

The UFC has a 12-fight card starting at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ tonight. We’ve got picks and lineup strategy to help you in the DFS $400k Throwdown Special.

Opponents Derrick Lewis and Aleksei Oleinik of Russia face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on August 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s not the most exciting card, but the UFC on ESPN matchups this evening starting at 6:00 p.m. ET., are a nice appetizer ahead of next weeks’ UFC 252 pay-per-view. And you can be the big winner in DraftKings MMA $400k Throwdown Special, with $100,000 guaranteed for first place via just an $15 entry.

Each fighter is given a salary, usually in balance with their opponent but not always due to replacement fighters, and rosters can’t exceed a salary cap of $50,000. With bonus points for stopping opponents early, picking effective strikers and submission specialists that can end things in a hurry is crucial. So is being an active fighter that shoots for takedowns and lands significant strikes.

Here’s how the scoring works, and notice how heavily it leans towards winning big and early:


Significant Strikes: +0.5 Pts
Advance: +3 Pts
Takedown: +5 Pts
Reversal/Sweep: +5 Pts
Knockdown: +10 Pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses

1st Round Win: +90 Pts
2nd Round Win: +70 Pts
3rd Round Win: +45 Pts
4th Round Win: +40 Pts
5th Round Win: +40 Pts
Decision Win: +30 Pts

And as we head to tonight’s card, here are some best bets for your roster.

Youssef Zalal ($9,300)

Just too much of a talent disparity here, and he’s taking on a UFC rookie in Peter Barrett that should be at a significant disadvantage considering the upgrade in opponent he got at the last minute here. “The Moroccan Devil” should be looking for his first UFC stoppage, as he’s never let a fight go to the judges outside the promotion, but has yet to end things early inside it. With a 6.0 strikes per round and six takedowns in his first UFC fight, his activity level helps too.

Kevin Holland ($9,400)

He’s finally going to get a fight, and it should be for plenty of points. Holland’s price is still pretty good considering he’s such a massive favorite (-500 on the money line), and you almost have to hope he lands a few blows before getting the first-round stoppage for scoring purposes. His 39 second KO last time only scored 107 and you’ll want more here if possible, but $1000 over par value still works as long as he lands in the triple digits of DFS when it’s done.

Justin Jaynes ($7,800)

Dropping from 170 lbs. to 155 here, but looked very comfortable on the scale yesterday. He’s only a +112 underdog to his opponent Gavin Tucker, but his first round KO of Frank Camacho at lightweight came in 41 seconds. Tucker might catch the same fate from a fighter coming down to compete that made the cut in six weeks. We’ll save a few bucks here and hope for a big stoppage.