This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
Be sure to set your lineups a day early this week, as Saturday's card from Singapore kicks off during what is essentially Friday night U.S. time.
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 six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:
(Please note that DraftKings altered their scoring system in December 2016 to add a new fighter to the lineup and adjust scoring. The most recent point values are listed below.)
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +3 PT
Takedown (TD): +5 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +10 PTS
Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 PTS
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 - WelterweightDonald Cerrone (33-10-0, 1NC) v. Leon Edwards (14-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Cerrone ($7,600), Edwards ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Cerrone (-200), Edwards (+170)
Odds to Finish: -225
At a career crossroads after losing all three fights in which he participated in 2017, Cerrone rebounded to score a first-round knockout win over Yancy Medeiros in February. It was Cowboy's 20th UFC win, tied for the most in company history. Cerrone will never be the type of fighter than takes a year or more off at a time, but at age 35, he is at the point where he should probably only be fighting twice a year as opposed to his quarterly appearances that we have become accustomed to. Cowboy is getting hit more than ever and his footwork has slowed considerably. He remains durable, well conditioned, and retains most of the power that he displayed in his hey day, but it's quite clear that Cerrone is on the downside of his prestigious career.
Edwards remains a virtual unknown despite the fact he has been one of the more underrated fighters in the company since arriving in November 2014. He is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, although Cerrone will be by far the most difficult test of Edwards' career. Edwards has displayed respectable all-around skills, but he doesn't land a whole heck of a lot (2.17 significant strikes per minute) on the feet. He counters that by rarely getting hit (1.9 significant strikes per minute). By comparison, Cowboy lands 4.24 strikes per minute and eats 4.09.
Cowboy has a massive experience edge and he should have a considerable advantage on the mat. I can certainly see a scenario in which Edwards is able to hit Cerrone with regularity throughout the course of the fight, but I'm not entirely convinced that he has enough power in his hands to truly damage Cowboy. There's a good 8-to-10 welterweights that I would pick over Cerrone at this point, but Edwards isn't one of them. Yet.
THE PICK: Cerrone
Co-Main Event - Light HeavyweightOvince Saint Preux (22-11-0) v. Tyson Pedro (7-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Saint Preux ($8,000), Pedro ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Saint Preux (+135), Pedro (-155)
Odds to Finish: -195
Coming off a first-round submission loss to Ilir Latifi in February and sporting a below .500 record in his last seven (3-4) fights, this is last call for OSP in terms of him making a legitimate run in the UFC's light heavyweight division. As has been the case for years, Saint Preux's MMA skills simply don't match his overall athletic ability. While he will display flashes of brilliance at times, OSP has never been able to put it all together. He turned 35 years old in April and is running out of time to make an impact.
Pedro is 3-1 since joining the company in November 2016, and like OSP, his only loss came against Latifi. A black belt in both jiu-jitsu and karate, Pedro has five career wins via submission and is a legitimate threat wherever the fight takes place. He isn't going to be able to match the explosiveness of Saint Preux, but OSP for the most part has shown no ability to use athletic gifts to his advantage over the course of an extended fight. What Pedro is giving up in the speed department, he can make up for by fighting intelligently.
Pedro still possesses upside, while I think we have seen the best that OSP has to offer. Saint Preux is essentially a high-level athlete masquerading as a mixed martial artist. That doesn't mean he can't and won't win his fair share of fights, but he never figures to be able to compete against the best the sport has to offer. Pedro gets the edge for me given the fact it's reasonable to expect improvement from him moving forward. That being said, OSP has plenty of DK value as an underdog. There doesn't figure to be much separating these two.
THE PICK: Pedro
Women's FlyweightJessica-Rose Clark (8-4-0, 1NC) v. Jessica Eye (12-6-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Clark ($8,500), Eye ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Clark (-150), Eye (+130)
Odds to Finish: +325
Coming off the most impressive win of her career – a unanimous decision victory over Paige VanZant in January – Clark is in a prime spot her to improve her record with the company to 3-0 against the perennially-overrated Eye.
Clark's biggest asset is her toughness and durability. She doesn't possess any standout physical traits, but she has yet to be stopped as a professional and is at least average in all areas offensively. Her biggest weakness is the fact she has missed weight twice in her career, including her UFC debut against Bec Rawlings in December. While Clark should certainly be fighting at bantamweight, she might as well keep making a go of it at in the thinner flyweight division until the UFC tells her otherwise.
Eye's four-fight losing streak was stopped with a split decision win over Kalindra Faria on the same January card in which Clark defeated PVZ. Whether or not Eye deserved to win the fight is open to debate, but it almost certainly saved her job for the moment. Eye has been in the Octagon with a ton of big names (Miesha Tate, Julianna Pena, Sarah Kaufman, Alexis Davis, etc), but the truth of the matter is that she just isn't very good. Eye does a terrible job of defending herself on the feet, her footwork is non-existent, and she fights like she has massive power in her hands despite the fact she has just three career wins via knockout, two of which came in her first three professional fights.
I'm not all that high on Clark's long-term potential despite her win over VanZant, but it doesn't take a whole heck of a lot to defeat Eye these days. She generally beats herself over the course of a fight. Should you insert Eye in your DraftKings lineup, all you can realistically hope for is plenty of strikes landed in an all-out brawl. If Eye no-shows on Saturday, the company has little reason to keep her around. She's proven time and time again that she can't beat anyone of note.
THE PICK: Clark
WelterweightShinsho Anzai (10-2-0) v. Jake Matthews (13-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Matthews ($9,400), Anzai ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Anzai (+400), Matthews (-500)
Odds to Finish: +155
This is a curious bit of matchmaking and a fight that doesn't seem to do a whole lot for Matthews even if he wins. The Celtic Kid moved up to welterweight last November and has since picked up decision wins over Bojan Velickovic and Li Jingliang. While Matthews' athletic ability and mixed martial arts skills are evident when watching him fight, he still fights a bit too aggressively for my liking and sometimes takes too many chances on the feet. He has been knocked out just once in 16 career pro fights, so it's not as if his aggressiveness has cost him up to this point.
Anzai, who will be giving up four inches in height and three inches in reach to Matthews, has won his last two bouts after dropping his UFC debut. Despite having a background in wrestling, virtually all of Anzai's success in MMA has come due to the power in his hands. Seven of the 32-year-old's 10 career wins are via knockout, although he has never faced anyone remotely close to Matthews level before.
Don't overthink this one. Matthews is younger, bigger, stronger, and has the better all-around game. He sure as heck better win because a loss to the unknown Anzai is going to send him plummeting down the welterweight rankings.
THE PICK: Matthews
WelterweightLi Jingliang (14-5-0) v. Daichi Abe (6-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Jingliang ($9,200), Abe ($7,000)
Vegas Odds: Li (-360), Abe (+300)
Odds to Finish: -115
THE PICK: Li
BantamweightTeruto Ishihara (11-5-2) v. Petr Yan (8-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Ishihara ($6,900), Yan ($9,300)
Vegas Odds: Ishihara (+375), Yan (-470)
Odds to Finish: +165
THE PICK: Yan
FeatherweightFelipe Arantes (18-9-1, 2NC) v. Song Yadong (10-3-0, 2NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Arantes ($8,300), Yadong ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: Arantes (-125), Yadong (+105)
Odds to Finish: -105
THE PICK: Yadong
FeatherweightRolando Dy (9-6-1, 1NC) v. Shane Young (11-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Dy ($7,500), Young ($8,700)
Vegas Odds: Dy (+145), Young (-165)
Odds to Finish: +205
THE PICK: Young
WelterweightSong Kenan (13-4-0) v. Hector Aldana (4-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Kenan ($9,100), Aldana ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Kenan (-280), Aldana (+240)
Odds to Finish: -250
THE PICK: Kenan
Women's StrawweightViviane Pereira (13-1-0) v. Yan Xionan (8-1-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Pereira ($8,800), Xionan ($7,400)
Vegas Odds: Pereira (-210), Xionan (+175)
Odds to Finish: +285
THE PICK: Xionan
FlyweightMatt Schnell (11-4-0) v. Naoki Inoue (11-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Schnell ($7,300), Inoue ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Schnell (+165), Inoue (-190)
Odds to Finish: +105
THE PICK: Inoue
FlyweightJenel Lausa (7-4-0) v. Ulka Sasaki (20-5-2)
DraftKings Salaries: Lausa ($7,200), Sasaki ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Lausa (+240), Sasaki (-280)
Odds to Finish: -160
THE PICK: Sasaki
Women's FlyweightJi Yeon Kim (7-1-2) v. Melinda Fabian (4-3-2)
DraftKings Salaries: Kim ($8,400), Fabian ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Not Listed
Odds to Finish: Not Listed
THE PICK: Kim