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Fantasy MMA – UFC DraftKings Picks – UFC on ESPN 15

High Priced

Pedro Munhoz

Munhoz is one of my favorite fighters in the bantamweight division. He fights at an extremely fast pace, landing 5.29 significant strikes per minute in the UFC. He often gets in brawls, displaying the chin and power to win those exchanges. Munhoz has great takedown defense with an elite guillotine choke. 

Frankie Edgar will drop bantamweight for the first time this weekend. Can his chin hold up? Will his speed and power translate? There are plenty of question marks surrounding his career at this point, including whether he still has the athleticism to compete at this level or not. Edgar has outstanding boxing and wrestling, allowing him to at least have a chance on the feet or grappling. The issue is that this is an extremely tough matchup. 

Munhoz is a -270 favorite with a -130 line to win inside the distance. Munhoz has the takedown defense and guillotine threat to keep this fight standing. He has the volume and power to rock Edgar on the feet, as well. Edgar has power in his hands, but Munhoz has flashed an elite chin, suggesting Edgar won’t have the ability to finish him. Munhoz’s volume and pressure give him elite upside and I expect him to find a finish in this fight. 

 

Mid-Priced

Ike Villanueva

Villanueva is a fighter that has grappling potential when he needs it but relies heavily on his hands. He has won 13 of his 16 fights by (T)KO, including a win against Rashad Coulter to get into the UFC. He lost his initial fight against Chase Sherman in a disappointing way. The problem with Villanueva is his durability. He’s been finished in 9 of his 10 losses, including 4 (T)KO and 5 submission losses. 

Jordan Wright is a versatile fighter, winning half of his fights by (T)KO and half by submission. He hasn’t fought UFC-level competition, though. He fought Anthony Hernandez but was immediately knocked out. That fight has since been overturned by the NSAC. One of the biggest issues with Wright taking this fight is that he’s more to light heavyweight from his normal middleweight division. 

Villanueva is currently a +107 underdog. He owns a +145 line to win inside the distance, though. He’s the higher-priced fighter on DraftKings, though, likely moving ownership to Wright. I’m more interested in taking a shot on the bigger, more powerful option against a fighter who’s chin needs to be tested. Villanueva at lower ownership than Wright is an elite GPP play.  

 

Low Priced

Ovince Saint Preux

Ovince Saint Preux is a well-rounded fighter with elite athleticism. He isn’t always the most active in the octagon, but he does come with quite a bit of power in his hands. Saint Preux has been on a tough streak in his career, but he’s only lost to solid competition at this point. He’s a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and possesses solid cardio, which may be his best two attributes. 

Alonzo Menifield boasts elite power, finishing seven of his nine wins in the first round. He has only made it out of the first round in three fights with two of them ending within the first minute of the second round. With the ability to finish a fight in quick time comes problems, though. His cardio is lacking, and we found that out against Devin Clark. Menifield looked elite early on but lost a decision after gassing. He may have worked on his cardio from them until now, but it’s still a massive question mark. 

Ovince Saint Preux is a +105 underdog with a +175 line to win inside the distance. I expect Menifield to throw power early and gas if he can’t knockout OSP. Saint Preux hasn’t been knocked out since 2016, though, and he’s a veteran that knows how to handle difficult situations. There is always a threat of a knockout, but Saint Preux feels like he should be a slight favorite rather than a small underdog.

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