UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Fight Night 10/31/20
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 has 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 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 first sports to return with compliance of social distancing, UFC daily fantasy is now live on FanDuel.
As always, we have you covered in many different formats for UFC content on numberFire. To dive deeper into this week's card, also make sure to check out my thoughts on this week's UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
With those tools at our disposal, let's break down UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Silva, which will take place from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Alexander Hernandez ($23): A less-than-stellar main event -- from a fantasy perspective -- has the MVP section of a FanDuel lineup wide open, and a natural first place to turn is the highest-salaried fighter in the player pool in Alexander Hernandez. He currently stands as a sizable -460 favorite, and it largely has to do with level of competition. Hernandez is Tapology's 16th-ranked lightweight in the world, and opponent Chris Gruetzmacher is ranked 100th due to a sluggish 1-2 start in the UFC before a two-year hiatus. Hernandez is second on the card in takedowns per match (2.15), and he will likely look to use that against Gruetzmacher's below average 62% takedown defense. Gruetzmacher's two losses are both by submission, which makes the fact he is projected to spend so much time on the mat in this one that much more promising for "Alexander the Great."
Sean Strickland ($19): Strickland's promising UFC career took a downturn due to a motorcycle accident in 2018, and this is his return from a two-year layoff as a result. When he left, he was a far superior fighter to Jack Marshman, and that plays out statistically in nearly every category. Strickland left UFC with a +0.72 striking success rate, compared to Marshman's -0.90 rating, and "Tarzan" also posts a healthy 1.37 takedowns per match and 0.50 submission per match, while Marshman has never successfully scored one of either. That explains Strickland's standing as -375 favorite, including favorable +140 odds to win inside the distance.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Kevin Holland ($17): Holland was in for a great striking match with Makhmud Muradov, but Muradov is now off this card and Holland picks up last-minute opponent Charles Ontiveros. Ontiveros brings two consecutive finishes on the Fury FC promotion into his UFC debut, but he is the largest underdog on the card (+540) in a huge step up versus Holland, who is a welterweight on the fringe of the ranks at 170 pounds with three straight wins. Holland has graded out well statistically inside the UFC with a striking success rate of +1.84 strikes, and he has yet to have to utilize his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu on this winning streak. It is likely a short night for Ontiveros, which vaults the mid-range salary of Holland into MVP consideration.
Bryce Mitchell ($17): The co-main event is the best fight on this card, as the main event saying goodbye to Anderson Silva ($18) is more of a celebration than a fight with title implications. Bryce Mitchell is currently the 15th-ranked featherweight in the world, and coming off a dominant win over Charles Rosa, Mitchell is being pointed to as a potential title challenger on the strength of his incredible grappling. Mitchell, with that grappling, has seven takedowns and eight submission attempts in four fights in the UFC, and that provides a stylistic changeup to Andre Fili. Fili is used to facing other strikers, taking only five takedown attempts and one submission attempt in his last six fights. Mitchell is not only different but also elite at the style -- which should make for a tough night at the office for Fili and a potential showcase for "Thug Nasty."
Kevin Natividad ($12): Fighters with low salaries and good win potential are tough to come by on this Halloween card, with only three underdogs having better than 2-to-1 odds to win their fight outright. One of those is Kevin Natividad (+140) in the first fight of the card, as he drops to bantamweight to take on Miles Johns this weekend. Johns is a well-rounded, durable fighter but one to avoid using in daily fantasy. Six of his 10 pro wins are by decision, and he has not secured a finish yet against better caliber of competition in the UFC. Natividad has six of his nine professional wins by finish, including his last in July. Aggressiveness with a closely contested underdog at this salary is worth consideration on a tough week.
Maurice Greene ($10): Greene is one of the heavier underdogs on the card, as he is at distant +260 odds to defeat former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy on Saturday. Hardy started training in mixed martial arts in 2017, which makes it interesting to see him such a sizable favorite over Greene, who is a well-seasoned combat sports fighter in kickboxing and amateur MMA since 2011. That skill advantage could be useful against the raw, athletic Hardy, who has struggled greatly if his first-minute flurry of violence does not get his opponent out of there. Hardy is 1-2 with a no contest in his four fights that have gone longer than 60 seconds. Hardy's asthma has led to significant cardio issues that have compromised his ability to fight, and he has never eclipsed 60 strikes in a bout as a result. Greene, coming off a submission win in July, would also have an advantage grappling in this fight, which makes him an interesting dart throw on a slate with limited value.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.