The UFC returns to action this Saturday in Jacksonville, FL. We’re all eager for some DFS with a familiar player pool and UFC 249 delivers. We are being treated to the rare double title fight with the belts at 135 and 155 on the line. That will keep cash games interesting and open some unique GPP builds. It’s going to be an action-packed night so get a sweat going with some of the biggest pools in Draftkings MMA history.

Update (5/8/2020) - Jacare Souza has tested positive for COVID-19. His fight with Uriah Hall is cancelled.

 

Main Event
Fighter(s) Price Opponent Risk Odds ITD
Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje 8700/7500 - Stackability: Moderate -195/ +180 -145/+200
This one is guaranteed to be fast-paced and violent. Ferguson throws an insane volume of strikes. Gaethje comes close to matching it, with more power. He also packs nasty leg kicks that discourage opponents from staying at kicking range. If Tony’s chin holds up I see him taking three rounds in a decision win. That’s a pretty big “if” however. Gaethje is a very live dog and will be a popular play for the salary. It's a stackable fight for cash, even if there's a chance it ends under 2.5 rounds.
           
Expensive
Fighter(s) Price Opponent Risk Odds ITD
Francis Ngannou 9100 Jairzinho Rozenstruik Safe -250 -175
The hardest hitting man in MMA finally gets back to action. He draws an equally dangerous power striker with no grappling to be concerned with. Some have compared this to his fight with Derrick Lewis that was a bust as neither fighter wanted to risk being KO’d. I don’t see that here. It may not be a barnburner but when it opens up don’t blink. Ngannou is just too devastatingly powerful for me to pick against him here.
Fabricio Werdum 9200 Aleksei Oleinik Somewhat-Safe -305 -130
We haven’t seen the former champ in some time. His fitness was declining prior to that as he aged. There’s no question he has the better striking and will tee off on Oleinik at some point. My main concern is what happens if he doesn’t finish the Russian in that moment and gasses. I have more faith in a gassed Olenik than I do a gassed Werdum. All that said, Oleinik has next to no striking defense at this point.
Vicente Luque 9000 Niko Price Somewhat-Safe -255 #N/A
Luque is all offense, lately to his own detriment. That gave him an impressive string of finishes over lesser competition but a losing streak after a step up. This is a rematch against one of those lesser foes in Price, albeit one who has improved. Price still won’t be able to match Luque technically. He will be in trouble often and early. The risk is that a hurt Price is incredibly dangerous with his one-touch power. I’m still wagering Luque is sharp enough to survive possible trouble and find a finish. Hopefully via SUB again.
Ryan Spann 9300 Sam Alvey Moderate -420 +260
Spann has all the tools to be a dominant force in the division: length, athleticism, power, and submissions. He doesn’t put his foot on the gas as hard as he should at times, though. As the most expensive fighter that’s problematic should a slow paced fight go down with the plodding Alvey.
           
Mid-Range
Fighter(s) Price Opponent Risk Odds ITD
Henry Cejudo 8800 Dominick Cruz Safe -200 155
Triple C should be able to win this fight if he doesn’t overlook Cruz as an opponent. It’d be a great fight on Cruz’s best day. The Dominator just can’t train hard enough with his body falling apart at this point, though. He’s likely to be a hair slower and a bit more hittable. Take the extra leverage Cejudo generates by being an unlikeable character, as well.
Calvin Kattar 8900 Jeremy Stephens Somewhat-Safe -255 +200
Kattar is one of the better boxers in the UFC. That is usually trouble for Stephens. If you don’t brawl with him he can’t throw haymakers at max power. You also can’t finish him that way. That may not pay the bills on DK.
Bryce Mitchell 8500 Charles Rosa Moderate -160 -145
There are many bettors assuming Mitchell is better than we know he is. Rosa is somewhat of a step up and Mitchell’s style is one prone to mistakes. I think it’s a coinflip fight and don’t love the line or price on this side. That said, he does have the BJJ to get it done ITD.
Greg Hardy 8600 Yorgan De Castro Risky -200 +130
Hardy’s days as a flash knockout artist are fading into the sunset. Whether it’s adopting a more technical approach or facing legitimate competition, he’s not the fighter the UFC hoped for. That doesn’t mean he can’t win or even win by KO. The price just needs to reflect the odds of those. I don’t believe they do here and he will be popular for name recognition and fight history.
Donald Cerrone 8000 Anthony Pettis Somewhat-Risky +135 +220
Cowboy’s stock is in free-fall after three straight KO losses. Those were to fighters far better than Pettis, however. If you can’t get to his chin his Muay Thai will grind you into a pulp. He also has a sneaky submission game if things get to the mat. I’m leaning heavily towards Cerone based more on the state of Pettis’ current state.
Anthony Pettis 8200 Donald Cerrone Somewhat-Risky -145 +155
At this point Pettis needs to find a spectacular knockout or he’s likely to get taken apart in the striking exchanges. He’s also pulled out some impressive submissions through the years. That makes him live in any fight but a risky proposition.
           
Pay-Downs
Fighter(s) Price Opponent Risk Odds ITD
Yorgan De Castro 7600 Greg Hardy Moderate +185 +250
De Castro is pretty raw. No more raw than Hardy, despite the later’s overexposure. There’s not much way to know who’s the better fighter outisde of putting them into a cage to fight. I’ll take the better price on the fighter I consider more dangerous.
Dominick Cruz 7400 Henry Cejudo Moderate +185 +900
The crowd seems to think Cruz has another return to Championship form in him. I’m more skeptical. His body can’t handle the training required for that level at this point. That makes his matador style a disaster against an equally quick opponent like Cejudo. I’m not sure he survives for the final bell. If he goes four he’s a nice cash play, though.
Charles Rosa 7700 Bryce Mitchell Moderate +150 +285
Jairzinho Rozenstruik 7100 Francis Ngannou Somewhat-Risky +230 +415
Jair has the kickboxing chops and the power striking to back up his run up to top contender status. A date with Ngannou is biting off a lot to chew, though. His best path to victory is leg kicks to set up the rest of his offense. He’ll have to avoid being decapitated in the meantime.
Jeremy Stephens 7300 Calvin Kattar Somewhat-Risky +235 +450
The UFC keeps Stephens around for good reason despite a mountain of loses (and wins). You can count on him to put on an entertaining affair or go out on his shield trying. He’s a perfect gatekeeper. His path to victory is haymakers that leave foes unconscious.
Niko Price 7200 Vicente Luque Risky #N/A #N/A
I’ve come around on Price as an entertainer. I still doubt his striking and grappling defense. You can’t argue he puts on a show, though. Sign me up for any fight of his as a fan. As an analyst, I’ll pick against him as someone too easy to hit. He’s not out of any fight, in any position, as evidenced by multiple KO’s from his back. If you lose focus for just a moment he’s a tightly wound spring that will put out your lights. His popularity could lead me to lower ownership in my own pool.
Sam Alvey 6900 Ryan Spann Risky +375 +550
Smilin’ Sam has a killer left if you sit still long enough for him to uncork it. Or run straight into it. The card’s puncher’s chance.
Aleksei Oleinik 7000 Fabricio Werdum Risky +275 +380
The Old Russian Bear keeps signing fights. Good for him. They aren’t ever boring. His grip in iron if he snatches your neck. However, he takes far too much damage from anyone with capable striking. Werdum will hurt him at some point. If he survives and Werdum gasses, then things get interesting. Werdum leans on takedowns when tired and a mistake on the mat has poor results against Oleinik, even if your own BJJ is world-class.

 

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**Top Monkey Knife Fight Plays For UFC 249**

1) Vicente Luque vs Niko Price 

  • Luque - MORE than 129.5
  • Price - Less than 106.5

2)  Michelle Waterson vs Carla Esparza

  • Waterson - LESS than 305.5
  • Esparza - LESS than 225.5

 

DFS Cash Plays

(Sample lineup)

DFS GPP Plays
(Sample lineup)

 

Vegas Odds

Favorite Bets: De Castro +168, Cerrone +125, Cejudo -210

Favorite Props: Cejudo/Cruz UNDER 4.5 +172, Luque via SUB +365

Long Shot: Fergusson via DEC +500

Live Dogs: Gaethje, De Castro, Cerrone, Cruz, Oleinik, Waterson, Hall, Rosa, Price

 

Stats & Picks

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje
$8,700 DFS Salary $7,500
Record: 26-3-0 Record Record: 21-2-0
12 KO/TKO (48%) Knockouts 18 KO/TKO (86%)
8 SUBMISSIONS (32%) Subs 1 SUBMISSIONS (5%)
-174 Vegas Odds +164
6/10 Lineup Pool 5/10
     
Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz
$8,800 DFS Salary $7,400
Record: 15-2-0 Record Record: 22-2-0
7 KO/TKO (47%) Knockouts 7 KO/TKO (32%)
0 SUBMISSIONS (0%) Subs 1 SUBMISSIONS (5%)
-225 Vegas Odds +205
7/10 Lineup Pool 3/10
     
Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
$9,100 DFS Salary $7,100
Record: 14-3-0 Record Record: 10-0-0
10 KO/TKO (71%) Knockouts 9 KO/TKO (90%)
4 SUBMISSIONS (29%) Subs 0 SUBMISSIONS (0%)
-275 Vegas Odds +250
5/10 Lineup Pool 2/10
     
Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar
$7,300 DFS Salary $8,900
Record: 28-17-0 (1 NC) Record Record: 20-4-0
19 KO/TKO (68%) Knockouts 9 KO/TKO (45%)
2 SUBMISSIONS (7%) Subs 3 SUBMISSIONS (15%)
+225 Vegas Odds -245
2/10 Lineup Pool 6/10
     
Greg Hardy vs Yorgan De Castro
$8,600 DFS Salary $7,600
Record: 5-2-0 (1 NC) Record Record: 6-0-0
5 KO/TKO (100%) Knockouts 5 KO/TKO (83%)
0 SUBMISSIONS (0%) Subs 0 SUBMISSIONS (0%)
-190 Vegas Odds +175
3/10 Lineup Pool 5/10
     
Anthony Pettis vs Donald Cerrone
$8,200 DFS Salary $8,000
Record: 22-10-0 Record Record: 36-14-0 (1 NC)
11 KO/TKO (50%) Knockouts 10 KO/TKO (28%)
7 SUBMISSIONS (32%) Subs 17 SUBMISSIONS (47%)
-135 Vegas Odds +125
3/10 Lineup Pool 6/10
     
Aleksei Oleinik vs Fabricio Werdum
$7,000 DFS Salary $9,200
Record: 58-13-1 Record Record: 23-8-1
8 KO/TKO (14%) Knockouts 6 KO/TKO (26%)
46 SUBMISSIONS (79%) Subs 11 SUBMISSIONS (48%)
+280 Vegas Odds -310
2/10 Lineup Pool 7/10
     
Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson
$8,400 DFS Salary $7,800
Record: 16-6-0 Record Record: 17-7-0
3 KO/TKO (20%) Knockouts 3 KO/TKO (18%)
4 SUBMISSIONS (27%) Subs 9 SUBMISSIONS (53%)
-145 Vegas Odds +135
2/10 Lineup Pool 4/10
     
Uriah Hall vs Jacare Souza
$7,900 DFS Salary $8,300
Record: 16-9-0 Record Record: 26-8-0 (1 NC)
11 KO/TKO (73%) Knockouts 8 KO/TKO (31%)
1 SUBMISSIONS (7%) Subs 14 SUBMISSIONS (54%)
+115 Vegas Odds -125
3/10 Lineup Pool 5/10
     
Vicente Luque vs Niko Price
$9,000 DFS Salary $7,200
Record: 17-7-1 Record Record: 14-3-0 (1 NC)
9 KO/TKO (53%) Knockouts 10 KO/TKO (71%)
6 SUBMISSIONS (35%) Subs 3 SUBMISSIONS (21%)
-275 Vegas Odds +250
7/10 Lineup Pool 2/10
     
Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa
$8,500 DFS Salary $7,700
Record: 12-1-0 Record Record: 12-3-0
0 KO/TKO (0%) Knockouts 3 KO/TKO (25%)
9 SUBMISSIONS (75%) Subs 8 SUBMISSIONS (67%)
-155 Vegas Odds +145
4/10 Lineup Pool 4/10
     
Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey
$9,300 DFS Salary $6,900
Record: 17-5-0 Record Record: 33-13-0 (1 NC)
4 KO/TKO (24%) Knockouts 19 KO/TKO (58%)
11 SUBMISSIONS (65%) Subs 3 SUBMISSIONS (9%)
-400 Vegas Odds +355
6/10 Lineup Pool 2/10