UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen is an event with a baker’s dozen of compelling fights culminating with the main event, a surefire barn-burner featuring Marlon Moraes taking on Cory Sandhagen for dibs on a future bantamweight showdown with whomever happens to be holding the title (after the brass works out the particulars of whom current champion Petr Yan will be facing next). When you have a card with this many fights, it becomes a chore to find the athletes worth their big DraftKings price tags and the ones that might be absolute steals for their DraftKings value pricing.
We’ve taken most of the work out of your DraftKings selection process with this handy guide. Let’s take a look at which five fighters made it onto our lists for this UFC Fight Island card.
DraftKings users can enter to win big prizes in Saturday’s fantasy MMA $400K Throwdown contest, which pays out a guaranteed $400,000, including $100K to first place. Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $400K Throwdown [$100K to 1st].
Tom Aspinall, $9,400
Tom Aspinall wowed UFC fans this past July when he knocked out Jake Collier. At 6’5”, Aspinall will carry a two-inch height advantage into this bout with the “Black Samourai” Alan Baudot ($6,800). Aspinall is fast and accurate, with power to match, but admittedly, it was easy to look really good against an overblown former middleweight who clearly let himself go. However, Baudot is also fighting up a weight class, so this could absolutely end up being a repeat performance. Baudot is about as defensively solid as a sponge, so that also fits the bill for an Aspinall win. I’m not saying Baudot can’t pull off the upset, because he certainly can. I’m just saying the disparity in pricing is warranted here.
Rodrigo Nascimento, $9,200
Rodrigo Nascimento is a low-end orthodox volume striker. He averages around 4.44 strikes per minute while absorbing around 3.38 shots in that same 60 seconds. A masterful grappler with an unblemished 8-0 record, Rodrigo has stopped every opponent inside eight minutes—the last five by submission. Chris Daukaus ($7,000) is also coming off an impressive TKO victory of Parker Porter, making this a very exciting heavyweight matchup. Daukaus has legitimate power, so Rodrigo will need to get this on the ground quickly, as Nascimento is way too seasoned there for Chris to test himself unnecessarily against. This is a very big gap to bridge in pricing, but unlike the Aspinall fight, I think this one is a little closer than it suggests. Still more upside for the favorite, but a much closer contest.
Impa Kasanganay, $8,900
Impa Kasanganay is a well-rounded, technically sound fighter who impressed mightily in his debut this past August against Maki Pitolo. Kasanganay might not be overly powerful, but his volume striking is very impressive, with an average of 5.58 strikes landed per minute while only absorbing 3.42 in the same time period. He has a very sturdy chin and cardio for days, so the X-factor here is how well Buckley will fare under his assault. Joaquin is coming off a TKO loss to Kevin Holland, and his absorption rate is an astounding 7.5 strikes per minute, a stat nobody wants on their resume. Considering that he only lands 3.8 strikes per minute with 33% accuracy, I’m hard pressed to figure out how Buckley can win this fight.
KB Bhullar, $7,100
KB Bhullar is a heavy hitter with an unsullied 8-0 record. He fights from a switch stance and will come into this fight with an inch in height and five inches in reach over the Southpaw Tom Breese ($9,100). Bhullar has excellent cardio, a solid chin and while known for his power, he also has a pair of submissions on his record, as well as a five-round unanimous decision win over Matt Dwyer. Tom Breese is going to be a super tough fight, but it kind of seems like he’s hit his ceiling, especially since he has had two losses over his last three fights, and to less than stellar competition. His one win in that trio is over an aged Daniel Kelly nearly two-and-a-half years ago. Considering his admitted issues with anxiety leading to his sparse octagon time, and his recent run, I’m thinking Bhullar is perfectly ripe to get the upset in this contest.
Giga Chikadze, $7,900
Giga Chikadze is an ultra-tough kickboxer fighting from the orthodox stance. He’s a bit of a blue-collar fighter, with average output and durable chin, grabbing six knockouts, a submission and a trio of decisions (all in his last three fights) over his five years as a pro. Inside the octagon, his record is unblemished, and against the late bloomer Omar Morales ($8,300), he should prove dependable for the win against the Venezuelan. Morales was never a small lightweight, but here, he is dropping to featherweight for the first time, and that might not be the best move against the stalwart Chikadze. Morales has capable wrestling, but he doesn’t rely on it, and that’s another issue. This will be a very tough out for Giga, but I’m thinking he’ll be exactly the foil to disrupt Morales’ perfect record.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.