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UFC Fight Night Picks: DraftKings MMA DFS Targets for UFC Vegas 66

Jeff Gailius gives his top picks for UFC Vegas 66, headlined by Cannonier vs Strickland, which begins at 4 p.m. ET on December 17.

UFC Fight Night: Cannonier v Strickland Weigh-in Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Where has the year gone? It seems like UFC 270, Ngannou vs Gane, was just yesterday. Yet here we are, just one day away from the last fight of 2022. We’ve had some great moments this year, and its time to make a couple more. Let’s break down UFC Fight Night Vegas 66.


Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: UFC $250K Year Finale [$50K to 1st]


Stud

Michal Oleksiejczuk ($9,400) vs Cody Brundage ($6,800)

Michal Oleksiejczuk has a unique matchup this Saturday against Cody Brundage. While incredibly similar in talent and record, Michal Oleksiejczuk has had a full camp, while Cody took this fight on short notice. When Oleksiejczuk is on, he’s ON. Three of his last four fights have been wins, with two of his three wins earning 110+ Points.

Brundage is primarily a wrestler, and doesn’t yet have the striking props to compete on the feet with Oleksiejczuk. With a two-inch reach advantage, and out striking Brundage 4.95 to 2.65 per minute, I see Oleksiejczuk’s $9,400 price tag as relatively safe, and one that could be optimal if he finishes Brundage early.

Mid Tier

Saidyokub Kakhramonov ($8,000) vs Said Nurmagomedov ($8,200)

I’m nervous at the thought of fading a Nurmagomedov, but here we are at UFC Vegas 66. Said isn’t a typical Nurmagomedov, in that he favors standup striking over offensive wrestling. However, he’s still very dangerous, and the DraftKings Sportsbook odds reflect that. This fight opened as a pick’em, and Nurmagomedov now sits as a slight underdog at -105.

I’m taking the surging Kakhramonov because of his dominant performance in his second and most recent UFC fight against Ronnie Lawrence. This guy looked amazing, hitting 105 strikes and landing 10 total takedowns. In a decision win, he was able to hit the 130 point mark, which shows his incredible ceiling

Main Event

Jared Cannonier ($7,700) vs Sean Strickland ($8,500)

Two UFC 276 Main Card participants face off in the main event of UFC Vegas 66. At UFC 276, both of these men lost to the main event participants of UFC 281, where former Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya lost to current Champion Alex Pereira. I was fortunate enough to be at both events, and do feel strongly enough to call this one in favor of the elder and higher ranked Cannonier.

Strickland is a solid fighter who utilizes heavy offensive pressure and decent wrestling to keep his opponents on the defensive. As a striker, he lands 5.54 per minute, which far outpaces Cannonier’s 3.73. Strickland was on a six fight win streak, four of which were by decision. All of that came crashing down as he ran into the seemingly invincible Alex Periera, and was KO’ed in the very first round.

Similar to Alex Periera, Jared Cannonier has near mythic KO power. 67% of his wins have come by knockout, and his only losses have come to legitimate title contenders. While I typically play younger fighters with higher volume strikers, I’m giving the edge to Cannonier. He’s faced, and beaten, much better competition than Strickland. Additionally, Strickland is coming off a KO, and Cannonier absolutely has the patience, power, and experience to take his shot and sit Strickland down.

Other Plays to Consider:

Julian Erosa ($8,800) vs Alex Caceres ($7,400)

Rinat Fakhretdinov ($8,300) vs Bryan Battle ($7,900)

Bobby Green ($7,600) vs Drew Dober ($8,600)

Good luck this weekend! Feel free to check me out on Twitter for more DFS and MMA content! @JeffGailius


Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: UFC $250K Year Finale [$50K to 1st]


All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.