The MMA Mashup: UFC Vegas 26 Preview

The MMA Mashup: UFC Vegas 26 Preview

This article is part of our The MMA Mashup series.

In this installment of The MMA Mashup, we once again take a look at plays across five different platforms, including a couple of curious Monkey Knife Fight totals and two of the highest multipliers on the SuperDraft slate. (One final note before we begin: all betting lines were taken from the various sportsbooks offered on the RotoWire Sports Betting section).

Without further ado, let's get to it.

Plays to Consider on DraftKings

Gregor Gillespie ($8,900)

A spectacular head kick finish from Kevin Lee notwithstanding, Gillespie has been absolutely dominant in the Octagon, using his wrestling to notch over 100 DraftKings points in six of his seven UFC appearances. The (relatively) low salary here likely reflects not only the layoff but also that Diego Ferreira is a high-level BJJ black belt, which could lead to some tense exchanges while "The Gift" is in top position. While this is a concern, Ferriera doesn't have a submission off of his back in the UFC and will come into the contest sporting just a 68 percent takedown defense rate.

Carlston Harris ($8,600)

His entries aren't always the cleanest, but Harris will go to his takedowns early and often against committed strikers in order to showcase a smothering top game. Christian Aguilera has undeniable power in his hands but was taken down multiple times before being submitted by Sean Brady in August, which should give the debutante a clear path to victory. It should also be noted that Harris does appear to have a functional jab, meaning he won't be completely helpless when this fight is in space.

Jun Yong Park ($7,600)

Tafon Nchukwi is a powerful, athletic fighter who looks to walk his opponents down and land big strikes, but the wide shots he throws leave him open to being body locked, as we saw many times in his fight with Jamie Pickett. Park wrestled a heavy hitter to victory in his fight with John Phillips, and while Nchukwi may possess stronger takedown defense, he still will need to fend off a seasoned veteran who will come into the fight with a clear game plan.  

Kyle Daukaus ($8,300)

Both Daukaus and Phil Hawes will attempt to get the fight to the ground and control their opponent from top position, meaning the winner should score well either way. I'm going with the superior BJJ player in this one, as he should be able to hit sweeps and threaten off of his back when "Megatron" decides to employ his wrestling. Hawes is also a proficient knockout artist, with seven of his 10 wins coming by KO/TKO, but Daukaus has never been stopped by strikes in his MMA career, including his nine amateur bouts.

Plays to Consider on FanDuel

Marina Rodriguez ($20)

Rodriguez is not just a formidable striker (as evidenced by her knockout win against Amanda Ribas), she is also physically strong for the weight class. This should result in more than a few stuffed takedowns against Michelle Waterson, who has only secured 34 percent of her attempts in 12 fights. I expect Waterson to go for plenty of body lock takedowns after she feels the power of Rodriguez, which should be difficult for her as the smaller fighter.

Plays to consider on SuperDraft

Neil Magny - 2.05x Multiplier

It's easy to attribute Geoff Neal's struggles against Stephen Thompson to "Wonderboy's" movement-heavy style, but there were several points in the fight where Neal simply couldn't find his way inside to land shots. This suggests that Neal may have trouble with taller fighters, as he was taking damage against the 6-0 Niko Price before switching to his wrestling. Magny has length in spades and will stand a full four inches taller than Neal in the Octagon. This will allow Magny to use what has become a very effective jab to frustrate Neal and keep him on the outside. There is every chance that "Handz of Steel" will attempt takedowns to try to counteract this, but it should be noted that he was only successful at a 50 percent rate in the fight against Price (2 of 4).

Alex Morono - 1.95x Multiplier

Morono took this fight with just a few days' notice following the release of Diego Sanchez, but there are still things to like about him in the matchup against Donald Cerrone. Namely, that he will constantly be pressing forward and throwing big shots at "Cowboy's" increasingly suspect chin. We have seen Cerrone respond well to pressure in the recent past, but those performances seem like the exception, as they have largely come against inexperienced or unskilled fighters.

Zarrukh Adashev - 2.25x Multiplier

Adashev's 3-3 record (0-2 in the UFC) isn't going to make him a very popular DFS play, but he remains a quick, active kickboxer who looks to put volume on his opponents. Ryan Benoit has some power but frequently allows his opponents to take the center of the Octagon, while being hesitant to throw his own offense. Unless Benoit leans on his wrestling here, it seems likely that Adashev outworks him over three rounds.

Plays to Consider on Monkey Knife Fight

Amanda Ribas UNDER 69.5 Significant Strikes and Angela Hill OVER 47.5 Significant Strikes

Hill has only missed her current projected total in four of 17 UFC fights, which tells me that I should spend the majority of this writeup making the case for Ribas' "under" play. While it's true that her only misses on this total have come in fights she has finished, I don't think Ribas is going to want to stand much with Hill, particularly after getting knocked out in her last fight by another Muay-Thai striker in Marina Rodriguez. This hesitancy should lead to a lot of clinch work, but we have seen "Overkill's" takedown defense improve in recent fights, as she stuffed four of six shots from Ashley Yoder and a whopping 17 of 18 against Michelle Waterson.

Ben Rothwell OVER 53.5 Significant Strikes and Philipe Lins OVER 25.5 Significant Strikes

These totals seem to imply that this fight will finish early, but Rothwell has gone to decision in five of his last six fights and hasn't been stopped by strikes since his bout with Cain Velasquez in 2009. Given this, it's hard to see any other play but "over," as he has landed more than 54 significant strikes in each of his last six fights. Lins will also almost certainly pass his total as long as he can remain conscious.

Bets to Consider

Marcos Rogerio de Lima wins via KO: +145

Maurice Greene is slow and uncoordinated even among lumbering heavyweights, which is likely the reason he has been finished by strikes in two of his seven UFC fights. We should also point out that he was very nearly finished by a visibly out-of-shape Gian Villante after getting knocked down in the third round of that bout. Rogerio de Lima can be hard to trust at times, but he should carry a speed advantage in his hands as a former light heavyweight, and his knockout of Ben Sosoli suggests that he isn't at a power disadvantage in this weight class.

L'udovit Klein wins via KO: +150

Klein's debut against Shane Young didn't last very long, but we saw enough to know that the 26-year-old is incredibly fast and powerful. A cursory glance at his resume tells us that he has just as many submissions (eight) as knockouts, but almost all of those came early in his career, which suggests he either no longer wishes to fight in that style, or is unable to execute against a higher level of competition. Mike Trizano is a functional kickboxer in his own right, but will likely spend far too much time hanging out in the pocket against a lethal striker.

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. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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