The UFC is hosting their second event in four days, as an ESPN Fight Night card is scheduled to get underway at 7:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 15. The event will be hosted on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, also known as “Fight Island”, the same location as UFC 251 over the weekend. The main card is highlighted by a featherweight (145 lb.) fight between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige.
DraftKings is offering multiple ways for mixed martial arts fans to get in on the UFC action. DraftKings users can enter for their chance to win big prizes in Wednesday’s fantasy MMA $500K Throwdown Special contest, which pays out a guaranteed $500,000, including $100K to first place. Set your DraftKings MMA lineups here: MMA $500K Throwdown Special [$100K to 1st].
DraftKings released fantasy MMA salaries for the event over the weekend and below, we will take a look at the slate. But first, here’s a look at the DraftKings fantasy MMA scoring criteria for mixed martial arts fans who may be new to fantasy MMA.
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- A significant strike is worth 0.5 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP). A significant strike is defined as any distance strike or clinch/ground strike that is considered a “power strike” by official scorers.
- Advances on the ground are worth 3.0 DKFP. Advances include to half guard, to side control, to mount and to back control.
- A takedown is worth 5.0 DKFP.
- A reversal or sweep is worth 5.0 DKFP.
- A knockdown is worth 10.0 DKFP. A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.
Fight Conclusion Bonuses
DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) are awarded based on how quickly a fighter is able to finish the fight. Here’s a round-by-round breakdown:
- 1st round win: 90 DKFP
- 2nd round win: 70 DKFP
- 3rd round win: 45 DKFP
- 4th round win: 40 DKFP
- 5th round win: 40 DKFP
- Decision win: 30 DKFP
Biggest Favorite: Jack Shore ($9,400)
Shore is a gigantic -715 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook over Aaron Phillips ($6,800), putting him in his own category among elite plays on this slate. Nobody else on this card is higher than a -345 favorite.
Shore lacks UFC experience, as he has only fought in the promotion once, but he had an impressive UFC debut in which he showcased very well-rounded skills. In that fight, Shore displayed a quality jab, strong distance management and good defense, closing the distance with his legs rather than lunging forward into strikes. This showed up in the UFC metrics, as 83% of Shore’s opponent strikes did not land in the fight, an elite number. Possessing good defense gives Shore more margin for error, as he would be less susceptible to an unexpected knockout.
Shore’s takedown attempts in the fight weren’t particularly explosive, but he timed them well, most notably shooting for a takedown immediately after his opponent threw a low kick. By attempting takedowns when his opponent is off-balanced, Shore increases the probability of a successful takedown. Once Shore had his opponent on his back, he methodically advanced to half guard and then passed to full mount or full back control multiple times, showcasing impressive guard-passing skills. Shore also showcased good scrambling ability, quickly getting to his feet after being reversed onto his back. Shore ultimately won the fight by rear-naked choke after advancing to full back control with a tight body triangle.
Shore’s guard passing ability and well-timed takedowns resulted in huge fantasy volume. Shore recorded four total takedowns and a massive 11 advances to finish with 121 DKFP.
Shore’s grappling scoring is particularly noteworthy against Aaron Phillips, who has terrible grappling metrics. Phillips has stopped just 35% of opponent takedown attempts through two UFC fights and has been taken down a total of 11 times. Phillips’ guard has also been passed a total of 13 times in those two fights. Shore could be set up for a monster fantasy performance on the back of big takedown and advance volume in this matchup. Shore is the safest and most elite fighter to build DraftKings lineups around on Wednesday.
Abdul Razak Alhassan ($9,200) vs. Mounir Lazzez ($7,000)
Razak Alhassan is the slate’s second biggest favorite with a -345 moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook. What jumps out most about Razak Alhassan is his ridiculous power metrics. Razak Alhassan averages a lethal 3.64 knockdowns per 15 minutes, the best rate among any fighter currently on the active UFC roster. Four of Razak Alhassan’s five UFC fights have been first-round knockout wins, and all 10 of Razak Alhassan’s career wins have been by KO or TKO. He hits really, really hard, and has the type of one-punch knockout power that ends fights fast, which is notable given DraftKings awards a 90-DKFP bonus for a first-round finish.
Because Razak Alhassan knocks most of his opponents out so quickly, he has one of the top five shortest average fight times among current UFC fighters. Razak Alhassan has scored over 100 DKFP in all four of his UFC wins, making him a highly productive fantasy asset.
Razak Alhassan is facing Mounir Lazzez ($7,000), who is making his UFC debut. Lazzez is not a pushover, as he is 9-1 in his career and has generated some buzz as a prospect based in an Arab country. Lazzez is also a finisher, as eight of his nine career wins have been by KO or TKO, and he made quick work of his most recent opponent in less than one minute in the Probellum MMA promotion in Dubai. However, I didn’t particularly like Lazzez’s defense in the fight, as he was leaning forward and dropping his hands while throwing strikes, which could be a huge problem against the power of Razak Alhassan. Razak Alhassan’s explosive power and quick knockout potential makes him a strong second option to build lineups around after Shore.
Main Event: Calvin Kattar ($9,100) vs. Dan Ige ($7,100)
Both Kattar and Ige have fought recently, each fighting in May during the series of events in Jacksonville, Florida. Kattar got off to a slow start, but turned it on in the second round and brutally finished Jeremy Stephens with an explosive standing elbow strike to the jaw. Ige also won his fight over Edson Barboza, but it was a controversial decision win that many people felt he should have lost.
Kattar’s best strength is his strong boxing. He has finished three of his last four opponents by TKO/KO and has recorded more than 100 DKFP in each of those three wins. Kattar has plus striking volume by strikes per minute among featherweights, and his hands make him a dangerous opponent.
However, of the three most expensive options on this slate, Kattar is the one I like paying up for the least. Kattar barely records any of his fantasy production through grappling. Kattar has not attempted a single takedown in any of his last four fights, and because he does not put opponents on their back through takedowns, he does not have many opportunities to record advances via guard passing. Kattar’s lack of grappling offense can limit his fantasy upside to some degree, as he generally gives himself less ways of accumulating fantasy points. This gives him less margin for error if his striking isn’t on point.
Full Salary list with DraftKings Sportsbook Moneyline
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Editor’s note: Kenneth Bergh is out of Wednesday’s UFC fight due to weight cutting issues and his fight against Jorge Gonzalez has been canceled.
- Calvin Kattar (-335; $9,100) vs. Dan Ige (+250; $7,100)
- Tim Elliott (-125; $8,500) vs. Ryan Benoit (+100; $7,700)
- Jimmie Rivera (-141; $8,400) vs. Cody Stamann (+112; $7,800)
- Molly McCann (-125; $8,200) vs. Taila Santos (+100; $8,000)
- Abdul Razak Alhassan (-345; $9,200) vs. Mounir Lazzez (+260; $7,000)
- John Phillips (+260; $7,300) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (-345; $8,900)
- Ricardo Ramos (-162; $8,800) vs. Lerone Murphy (+130; $7,400)
- Modestas Bukauskas (-210; $9,000) vs. Andreas Michailidis (+165; $7,200)
- Jared Gordon (-150; $8,300) vs. Chris Fishgold (+120; $7,900)
- Diana Belbita (-167; $8,600) vs. Liana Jojua (+135; $7,600)
- Jack Shore (-715; $9,400) vs. Aaron Phillips (+475; $6,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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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