DraftKings MMA: UFC London Preview
DraftKings MMA: UFC London Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

One of England's favorite native sons gets his shot at arguably the greatest fighter of all time in the main event Saturday in London.

If you're hoping to turn the event into an opportunity to build your DFS bankroll, DraftKings.com has you covered with a full slate of contests. Players get a $50,000 budget to select five fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +1 PT
Takedown (TD): +2 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +2 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +3 PTS

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +100 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +50 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +25 PTS

Scoring Notes
Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.

Advances include: To Half Guard, To Side Control, To Mount, To Back Control

Now, on to the fights...

Main Event – Middleweight

Anderson Silva (34-6-0) v. Michael Bisping (28-7-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Silva ($10,800), Bisping ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Silva (-310), Bisping (+255)

This fight is taking place about five years too late, but it still makes for an awfully intriguing main event. Between his back-to-back loses to Chris Weidman and due to his recent drug suspension, Silva hasn't officially won a fight since October 2012. It will be nearly 13 months in between fights by the time Silva steps into the octagon on Saturday. Bisping is 3-1 in his last four bouts, with that only loss coming against current UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. At 40 and 36 years old respectively, both Silva and Bisping are in the tail end of their careers. Bisping is pretty much relying on his cardio and output these days. He is still a top-10 middleweight, although I'd rank him behind younger fighters such as Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson. I think the days of Silva blowing past opponents based on his natural skills and athleticism is long gone. I believe the combination of his age, the broken leg suffered in the second Weidman fight and his inactivity due to his recent positive drug test will result in Silva looking less dominant than he has for the majority of his career. Still, unless his skills have completely eroded over the past year-plus, he should have enough to get past Bisping. Bisping has virtually no power to speak of these days and unless he severely outworks Silva over 25 minutes, it's hard to see how he wins this fight. Still, it's an awfully tempting DK salary. I think there are too many other talented fighters in the middleweight division for Silva to make another run at the title, but I expect him to win Saturday.

THE PICK: Silva

Co-Main Event – Middleweight

Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2) v. Thales Leites (25-5-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Mousasi ($11,000), Leites ($8,400)
Vegas Odds: Mousasi (-325), Leites (+265)

These two middleweights have similar records and a ranked similarly (Mousasi is No. 9 in the UFC rankings and Leites is No. 10), but there is a clear discrepancy in regards to their talent level. Mousasi lost his last fight to Uriah Hall when he caught one huge shot and was unable to recover. He is just 2-2 in his last four bouts but remains one of the best middleweights in the world. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is a terrific submission artist and he has more power than he gets credit for. The biggest weakness in Mousasi's game is probably his wrestling, but Leites is notoriously sloppy in his takedown attempts. Leites had won five fights in a row prior to a split decision loss to Michael Bisping in July. The fight was close, although Bisping clearly won. Virtually all of Leites' wins have come against nobodies and he would seemingly to have little chance to win this fight any way other than submission. It's a problem in a fight against a guy who has only been submitted three times in 45 career fights. Leites has just one loss in the last five-plus years, but the level of competition he has faced in a real concern. Mousasi is also four years younger than Leites. There are underdogs on this card who provide far more bang for their buck than Leites. I just have a hard time seeing Mousasi dropping back-to-back fights. He's far too talented.
THE PICK: Mousasi

Welterweight

Tom Breese (9-0-0) v. Keita Nakamura (31-6-2, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Breese ($11,400), Nakamura ($8,000)
Vegas Odds: Breese (-1000), Nakamura (+650)

Breese has had two fights in the UFC and racked up first round stoppage wins over Luiz Dutra and Cathal Pendred. Both fighters are terrible, but Breese is a rising 24-year-old prospect with terrific all-around skills. Nakamura won his UFC debut in September, but he is in this position on this card due to the fact he's fighting Breese. Breese should win this fight and win easily, but as I always say, it's nearly impossible to put a guy in a DraftKings lineup when his salary is this high. Breese is uber-talented and he trains with a great team in TriStar. This is like Ronda Rousey during her dominant streak, where everyone knew she was going to finish every woman she saw in under a minute. Breese should win this fight easily, but we haven't seen enough from him to be able to endorse him at such a high level. It goes without saying that it's also virtually impossible to bet on him from a Vegas odds standpoint.
THE PICK: Breese

Bantamweight

Francisco Rivera (11-5-0, 1NC) v. Brad Pickett (25-11-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Rivera ($10,400), Pickett ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Rivera (-210), Pickett (+175)

This has the potential to be a highly entertaining fight. Both of these guys love to stand and bang, Rivera especially. A proven fighter for well over a decade, the 37-year-old Pickett is likely fighting for his job on Saturday night. He has lost three fights in a row, although he looked terrific in his last bout against top prospect Thomas Almeida before being knocked out cold with a flying knee early in Round 2. Pickett has fought in four different weight classes during his career and owns a 2010 win over currently flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, the man who this writer currently considers to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today. Pickett is pretty much getting by with grit, determination and experience right now. Rivera is 3-3 in his last six fights, although he tends to really struggle when facing better fighters. Pickett is by no means elite, but he is as tough as they come and those are the type of guys that Rivera has had problems with in the past. He has a tendency to get wild with his striking attempts and it often ends up hurting him. Pickett is too old, and Rivera is too wild for either man to realistically be a top-10 fighter in the bantamweight division at this point. Rivera has shown zero ability to tailor his game to his opponent's weaknesses, something I think Pickett would be willing to do, especially with the fact his job is likely on the line. This fight means nothing in terms of the future title picture at 135-pounds, but it should be worth tuning in early for.
THE PICK: Pickett

Other Bouts


Featherweight

Mike Wilkinson (9-1-0) v. Makwan Amirkhani (12-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Wilkinson ($9,200), Amirkhani ($10,200)
Vegas Odds: Wilkinson (+160), Amirkhani (-185)
THE PICK: Amirkhani

Bantamweight

Davey Grant (9-2-0) v. Marlon Vera (7-2-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Grant ($10,500), Vera ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Grant (-175), Vera (+155)
THE PICK: Grant

Middleweight

Scott Askham (13-2-0) v. Chris Dempsey (11-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Askham ($10,600), Dempsey ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Askham (-335), Dempsey (+275)
THE PICK: Askham

Featherweight

Arnold Allen (10-1-0) v. Yaotzin Meza (21-10-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Allen ($10,900), Meza ($8,500)
Vegas Odds: Allen (-330), Meza (+270)
THE PICK: Allen

Middleweight

Bradley Scott (11-3-0) v. Krzysztof Jotko (16-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Scott ($9,300), Jotko ($10,100)
Vegas Odds: Scott (+140), Jotko (-160)
THE PICK: Jotko

Lightweight

Norman Parke (22-4-1) v. Rustam Khabilov (17-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries:Parke ($8,700) Khabilov ($10,700)
Vegas Odds: Parke (+210), Khabilov (-250)
THE PICK: Khabilov

Heavyweight

Daniel Omielanczuk (17-5-1) v. Jarjis Danho (6-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Omielanczuk ($9,600), Danho ($9,800)
Vegas Odds: Omielanczuk (-110), Danho (-110)
THE PICK: Danho

Lightweight

Teemu Packalen (7-1-0) v. Thibault Gouti (11-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Packalen ($9,500), Gouti ($9,900)
Vegas Odds: Packalen (+115), Gouti (-135)
THE PICK: Gouti

Lightweight

David Teymur (3-1-0) v. Martin Svensson (14-5-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Teymur ($10,000), Svensson ($9,400)
Vegas Odds: Teymur (-145), Svensson (+125)
THE PICK: Svensson

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jon Litterine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: JLitterine.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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