Combat sports are one of America’s longest-standing active sports to wager on. This was evident throughout the late 1900s as boxing took the sports world by storm. From Muhammed Ali to Mike Tyson, several stars were born, and Americans around the country placed bets on who would win boxing matches. Nowadays, with boxing much smaller than it was throughout the 1900s, mixed martial arts have taken the lead as America’s favorite combat sport.
By far, the largest and most successful MMA organization in North America is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, commonly known as the UFC. The UFC lays claim to the best mixed martial artists in the world and is showcased on both cable and pay-per-view events every month. As one of the most unique DFS sweats available, UFC daily fantasy is now live on FanDuel.
numberFire is always the best spot to get you ready for any UFC card. If you would rather bet the fights, our betting guide is a great place to find value on Saturday’s card. In addition to this primer, I also dove deeper into the slate on this week’s UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let’s break down UFC Vegas 47: Hermansson vs. Stricklandtaking place from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday.
Julian Erosa ($23): Erosa’s lone drawback as an MVP candidate is an iffy 50% striking defense. Still, with decision outcomes in six of seven UFC appearances, his opponent Steve Peterson may not be able to make him pay for one single mistake. With that the case, Erosa is a high-paced featherweight (4.21 FanDuel points per minute; third-best on the card) with short +120 odds to finish this fight inside the distance. Unlike other favorites, we’re also not questioning his level of competition from him with a 2-1 record since returning to the UFC in 2020.
Sean Strickland ($21): Of the 40 main event fighters in 2021 with a higher striking success rate than their opponent, 17 made the perfect FanDuel lineup. That should have Strickland in play by default, but it’s not hard to visualize his path to the perfect lineup here. He was the optimal FanDuel MVP in his last fight with 186 significant strikes and 4 takedowns in a bludgeoning of Uriah Hall. Strickland hasn’t faced a takedown attempt since his UFC return in 2020, and Jack Hermansson ($15) is a quality wrestler, but if he’s able to stay on his feet, his volume is as safe as it gets on the card.
Other High-Salared Fighters
Punahele Soriano ($18): Even in a loss last time out, Soriano’s analytical profile got better. Soriano’s concerning striking accuracy was at least 44% in the loss by decision to Brendan Allen ($22), and “Puna” is in a great position to get back on track. He’s a -200 favorite over Nick Maximov, a wrestler who defeated a late-notice opponent in his lone appearance. Soriano’s elite power has knocked out three previous UFC opponents — all of whom quality enough to go on to grab a UFC win of their own. Maximov’s 49% striking defense could result in a massive first-round mistake.
Miles Johns ($17): Although the Fortis MMA product was a slow plodder early in his UFC career, his significant strikes per minute mark sits at 4.03 after a third-round finish of Anderson Dos Santos in August 2021. His 71% striking defense is a testament to his acumen on the feet, and he’ll probably see a pace-up environment against the more-reckless John Castaneda (5.07 significant strikes absorbed per minute). Tresean Gore ($17) probably has greater upside at the same mark, but the debutant also has a lower floor. Johns is great for cash games.
Others to Consider: Brendan Allen ($22), Shavkat Rakhmonov ($19), Alexis Davis ($18), Tresean Gore ($17), Phil Rowe ($16)
Carlston Harris ($11): The best fantasy environment of the weekend — other than the main event — is Harris’ battle with Shavkat Rakhmonov ($19). The pair have combined for four first-round finishes, and the underdog Harris is fourth on the card in FanDuel points per minute (4.06). Rakhmonov has a perfect 14-for-14 record of wins by finish in his pro career. This fight has a 73.3% implied chance to get stopped before the final bell based on its odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook. Don’t stack the pair together as a result, but feel free to use this fight in bunches for tournaments.
Danilo Marques ($8): Okay, hear me out on taking the largest underdog on the card (+370) in this spot. Marques gets UFC rookie Jailton Almeida in a projected grappling match. That’s what Marques has done at an elite level on his way to a 2-1 UFC record. He’s posted at least seven minutes of control time in all three fights, and he’s never been controlled for just 94 seconds total operating on the ground. Almeida ceded 134 seconds of control time to a non-UFC opponent during his appearance from him on the Contend Series. Personally, I trust the record inside the octagon with Marques a great deal more.
Both Marques and Malcolm Gordon ($10) are massive underdogs to opponents with zero professional wins over opponents with a UFC appearance. Either could pay off handsomely should the jump in competition prove to be too much.
Others to Consider: Chidi Njokuani ($15), Jack Hermansson ($15), Malcolm Gordon ($10)