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Fantasy MMA – UFC DraftKings Picks – UFC 252

High Priced

Merab Dvalishvili

Dvalishvili is one of my favorite fantasy options whenever he is on a card. He’s a black belt in Judo with elite cardio. His game plan is generally very simple: pressure his opponent and take them down. Through 6 UFC fights, he has totaled 52 takedowns and 24 advances. He lost a questionable decision and an unlucky submission as the fight ended. He’ll look to put the pressure on John Dodson throughout this fight while securing takedowns and working to better his position on the ground. 

Dodson is no walk in the park for anyone, as top prospect Nathaniel Wood found out in his last fight. Dodson is an extremely quick fighter with great footwork and elite takedown defense. Dodson also has tremendous power in his hands, winning 10 of his fights via (T)KO. It comes down to whether or not he can control the distance and stop Dvalishvili’s takedowns. 

Dvalishvili is a -245 favorite in this fight. He has +700 odds to win inside the distance, but he doesn’t have to finish this fight to score well. I don’t fully expect him to land double-digit takedowns. He should be able to land a few, though, and his volume will likely be enough to win a decision. He has yet to score less than 70 fantasy points in a fight and 90 fantasy points in a loss. He’s a relatively safe option with elite upside. Dvalishvili is one of the problems with DraftKings solely making their prices off of Vegas lines. 

 

Mid-Priced

Stipe Miocic

There isn’t much to say about this fight. We’ve seen it twice before and Miocic and Daniel Cormier are two of the greatest heavyweights ever. Either fighter can be used and this fight should be stacked in cash games after they both scored at an elite level in their last bout. From a game theory perspective, I’ll lean toward Miocic in tournaments. I expect this fight to finish with one of the two likely winning via knockout. 

Miocic is the underdog but he’s priced as the favorite. Most fantasy players, specifically casual players will follow Vegas lines. Furthermore, Cormier is seen as the better fighters of the duo. He’ll likely feature significantly more ownership in GPPs, making Miocic a better option in what is essentially a coin flip fight. 

 

Low Priced

Junior Dos Santos

Dos Santos is an outstanding boxer who mainly uses that in his fights. He owns 15 knockouts with the most recent coming in 2019 against Derrick Lewis. He does have a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to fall back on, but that likely won’t be used in this fight. Dos Santos is extremely active and technical in his fights. His main issue is his chin, losing each of his last five losses by (T)KO. He’s also coming off of a pair of (T)KO losses to Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou. 

Jairzinho Ruzenstruik is another fighter coming off of a devastating loss to Ngannou. He’s a dominant kickboxer, posting a 76-8-1 kickboxing record. Rozenstruick has won 9 of his 10 fights in the UFC via (T)KO. He isn’t as active as Dos Santos, but he possesses the ability to finish a fight at any moment, as we saw against Alistair Overeem. Overeem was winning the fight before getting knocked out in a devastating fashion with only a few seconds left in the fight. 

Dos Santos is a +112 underdog with +205 inside the distance odds. I don’t fully expect him to win this fight inside the distance, although I believe he can. If he wins, he likely out boxes Rozenstruik for three rounds without getting clipped. I believe Rozenstruik likely wins this fight via (T)KO but I don’t love many underdogs on this card. Dos Santos comes with upside and realistic shot at winning, so I may take my shot here.

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