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UFC Picks: Top DraftKings DFS Fantasy MMA Targets, Values for UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland

Stephie Haynes gives her top picks and predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night DraftKings slate.

After taking Easter weekend off, the UFC is back in Las Vegas for the second show airing Saturday afternoon on ABC. The card features 14 fights (originally slated for 15, but one fell off due to COVID-19 protocols)—six on the main card and eight on the prelims—all thoughtfully matched and likely to provide plenty of entertainment and excitement.

Sitting in the headliner position is Marvin Vettori facing off against fellow middleweight contender Kevin Holland. Holland is a late replacement after Darren Till suffered a collarbone injury, forcing him from the card. Holland and Vettori is an interesting contest that pits the dynamic striking style of Holland against the tough, gritty, wrestle-heavy style of Vettori. The rest of the bout sheet is supported by intriguing matchups between longtime veterans, as well as some fantastic prospect vs. prospect battles.

We’ve selected four fighters from the event that will illustrate why they are worthy of their lofty or budget-conscious price tags in an effort to help you select your DraftKings fantasy lineups. Let’s get started.


DraftKings is hosting a big UFC Fight Night fantasy MMA tournament that pays out $350K in guaranteed prizes, including $100,000 to first place. The fantasy MMA contest locks at 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday. Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $350K Throwdown [$100K to 1st].


TARGETS

Joe Solecki, $9,100

Joe Solecki is a 27-year-old orthodox fighter with an excellent ground game and great instincts. He’s facing off against the battle-tested Jim Miller, 10 years his senior and with 36 more fights on his resume. There’s no doubt Miller is still dangerous, and he has a knack for spoiling the hot streaks rising prospects, forcing them to the back of the pecking order. And he’s done it with pinache, submitting the last four prospects that dared to think they could use him as a stepping stone.

So, why am I sticking with this particular prospect? For starters, he’s got better fight IQ than the previous four, he’s got great cardio, and even his standup isn’t too shabby. He won’t be making any boxing crossovers, but it’s solid, serviceable striking. Most importantly, Miller is really starting to show his age, and his own gas tank, once lauded for being among the deepest, has now shown to be much shallower.

Pricing: The price point is a little steep for Solecki considering his prospect status.

Mateusz Gamrot, $9,200

Mateusz Gamrot is the Polish Southpaw former KSW champion that came into the UFC with a ton of hype, only to be let down by his first career loss to Guram Kutateladze last October. I expect him to rebound from that loss in a big way, though. He has a crispy, crunchy jab that finds its mark frequently, he has stamina in droves, and he has marvelous wrestling.

His opponent, former hockey player Scott Holtzman, is a stout, powerful athlete with solid wrestling chops of his own and good standup. He has power and does fine work in the phone booth, even if he does get wild in the pocket. The problem is that Holtzman came to the sport very late, notching his first pro fight at the age of 28. Now he’s 37 with Father Time right over his shoulder, and while he’s turned out to be a very good fighter, Beneil Dariush likely proved that his ceiling has already been achieved and ultra-talented prospects like Gamrot will probably get by him.

Pricing: Entirely too wide considering how tough “Hot Sauce” is.


VALUES

Arnold Allen $7,700

The pairing of Sodiq Yusuff and Arnold Allen is the pinnacle of good matchmaking, in my humble opinion. Two very dangerous fighters vying for contendership is very much my cup of tea. Yusuff may be the more well-rounded of the two, but Allen’s grappling is what I feel sets him apart and could be the tool by which he gets the job done. Yusuff is the busier fighter, but his defense is more porous, allowing easy points of entry for Allen.

Arnold has outstanding footwork, and an uncanny ability to keep the fight exactly where he wants it while he peppers stingers from range, so I’d look for that infamous “octagon control” from him, even if that criteria is no longer a thing. He’ll need to be mindful of Yusuff’s power, but I’m confident Allen can pull off the upset.

Pricing: Just right.

Jordan Griffin, $7,600

Jordan Griffin is a 31-year-old Southpaw with one of the most durable chins in the division. This guy has a titanium block where his chin should be, I’m certain of it. He doesn’t have much in the way of defense, absorbing more than he lands, but there’s no denying that he goes in there to win big. His stand-and-bang style hasn’t seen him through to much octagon success, but in this contest, I’m thinking he’ll be okay thanks to being a better overall athlete. He was pretty much thrown into the deep end with the likes of Dan Ige and Chas Skelly right off the bat, so it’s no surprise that his record took a hit.

Where Griffin shines is his grappling and he has legitimate submission chops, even if he is a tad susceptible to getting submitted himself. His opponent, Luis Saldana, is also a decent grappler and has shown good standup, as well. This is a pick ‘em fight if ever there was one, a real coin toss, but I’m going to go with the more dynamic, durable fighter.

Pricing: Just right.

Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $350K Throwdown [$100K to 1st]


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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.


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