My favorite picks in the top range are Islam Makhachev, Joanna Jedrzejcyk, Matheus Nicolau, and Dustin Poirier. My favorite options for cash games across the slate are Dustin Poirier, Nina Ansaroff, and Alexis Davis. I do think you can stack the Poirier/Alvarez fight in cash for this event. Lastly, my low-cost top tournament plays are Dustin Ortiz and Austin Arnett.
DraftKings contests for this event will lock on Saturday, July 28th, at 1:00 PM PST/ 4:00 PM EST so make sure you have your lineups set before then.
Top Tier Fighter
Dustin Poirier ($8,800)
When rostering a fighter that costs $9K or more, you’re expecting a 90-100+ point performance with a win. The options on this card for that price range seem questionable to me to hit value. Dustin Poirier, in my opinion, is a 9K fighter so getting him at any price less is a bargain.
This will be his second contest against Eddie Alvarez. The first saw Poirier land over 70SS within two rounds before the fight was stopped. I expect this one to go longer than that giving Dustin a chance to really rack up the points. He does come at a bit of risk.
Poirier has been KO/TKO’d twice in his UFC career and Alvarez does possess the power to finish the fight with strikes. He owns two KO/TKO wins in his UFC career. The matchup with Alvarez is ripe and with five potential rounds of action I think it’s practical to stack in cash games. (Cash & GPP)
Also, consider Islam Makhachev ($9,600) in cash games, although, Johnson has been known to slow down fights by running so that could decrease Makhachev’s roof. (Cash)
Mid Tier Fighter
Olivier Aubin-Mercier ($8,300)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier may be one of the most consistent Canadian fighters to compete in the Octagon outside of George St. Pierre. The Judo black-belt and BJJ brown-belt has shown his grappling expertise on multiple occasions having won more than half his UFC fights by way of submission.
In his last fight, however, OAM displayed an impressive standup game that saw resulted in a first-round KO of durable UFC vet Evan Dunham. Similiar to Poirier, he will take on a bit of risk in his fight with Hernandez.
Hernandez comes into his sophomore appearance having knocked out Beneil Dariush in his debut. The young fighter starts his fights fast so OAM will need to really dictate the pace of the fight early on in order to wrangle in the young buck. I think you need to have exposure to this fight on both sides. I’ll be a bit more heavy on Mercier than Hernandez. (Cash & GPP)
Also, consider Jose Aldo ($8,200) who’s coming off two losses to Holloway but showed flashes of his old self in those fights. Don’t be afraid to have some exposure to Jeremy Stephens at ($8,000) either.
Low Tier Fighter
Alexis Davis ($7,500)
I feel like every time Alexis Davis fights I always write her up. She’s one of the toughest girls in the bantamweight division and has fought the best of the best. She draws a less experienced fighter in Chookagian for this bout and I think many will have her as an anchor in their cash lineup.
At $7.5K, she seems too cheap but her price resembles her Vegas odds (+135). She probably won’t yield more than 80+ points with a win and for that reason, I think she makes sense as a cash play only. (Cash)
Also, consider Tecia Torres ($7,000) for cash games and Kajan Johnson ($6,600) for tournament contests. Also, I think Austin Arnett ($6,800) makes for a very intriguing tournament play. Dawodu got submitted in his first fight so the path to victory is obvious. I would bet that this fight doesn’t go the distance.