UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 3/13/21
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 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. In addition to this helper, Brandon Gdula's betting guide breaks down where you should be placing your sharp dollars on Saturday's bouts. I also dove deeper into this weekend's card on the latest UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad, taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday night.
Angela Hill ($23): After a two-week delay, Hill finally gets to square off against Ashley Yoder in a fight that is a product of bizarre matchmaking. "Overkill" Angela Hill is coming off split-decision losses to two ranked opponents and slides all the way back to Yoder, who holds just a 3-5 UFC record. Hill should have significant advantages on the feet in this fight, as her 5.70 significant strikes per minute at a +0.77 striking success rate against good competition should make it tough for Yoder to keep pace. Yoder is at just 2.81 significant strikes per minute historically. Yoder figures to primarily use her strong wrestling to overcome this, but Hill has defended 20 of her last 22 takedown attempts and 77% of overall attempts as one of the hardest strawweight fighters to take down.
Belal Muhammad ($17): This is going to be surprising to some, as Leon Edwards has won eight straight fights and is a -265 favorite to win his ninth over Belal Muhammad. Muhammad, however, has substantial statistical advantages with similar mixed competition on both sides. Muhammad posts the fourth-best significant strikes per minute on the card (4.86), whereas Edwards' slower pace (2.53) leaves him fourth-worst. Muhammad also has a higher striking accuracy (43%) and striking defense (60%) rate than Edwards, so in a fight that profiles to stay standing, Muhammad is historically more aggressive and accurate. His one downside has been finishing his opponents, with only one early win in his last eight bouts, but the two extra rounds of volume in the main event help his fantasy prospects considerably.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Rani Yahya ($20): One of the sport's most accomplished bantamweights is Rani Yahya. The original submission ace at 135 pounds has finished 20 of his 26 pro wins by submission as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt specialist. That helps some to offset his mediocre 1.59 significant strikes per minute and -0.15 striking success rate, but his opponent this weekend fully alleviates those concerns. Ray Rodriguez has been pummeled in two UFC appearances, sporting a -4.49 striking success rate and 40% takedown defense. Rodriguez has two losses by early finish as a result. Rodriguez does finally get a full training camp for this fight, but he will need every ounce of it to turn away Yahya, who is listed as a whopping -340 favorite.
Gloria De Paula ($19): It is harder to make a better impression on Dana White's Contender Series than De Paula did, posting 69 significant strikes, 2 submission attempts, and 7:57 in control time to earn this UFC debut. De Paula has a well-rounded arsenal that is at its strongest on the mat, but what might be terrifying for her opponent, Jinh-Yu Frey, is that she has the edge striking, as well. At distance, De Paula posted both a 42% striking accuracy and 72% striking defense in her debut, and both categories are more efficient than Frey's UFC sample as primarily a striker. Entering this fight with an edge on paper in all three elements, De Paula could be in for a special showing.
Gavin Tucker ($13): Tucker and Dan Ige ($18) have the best fight environment on the card, and the winner will likely be determined by how well Tucker adjusts to ranked competition. Since his return from an injury layoff, Tucker has looked sensational, posting 96.5 significant strikes per match and 4.0 takedowns per match in the process of cooling off prospects Justin Jaynes and Billy Quarantillo. From a fantasy scoring perspective, Tucker has the statistical advantages in significant strikes per minute (4.40), takedowns per match (3.00), and submission attempts per match (1.50). But Ige will look to turn him away on the basis of a higher level of competition and a five-inch reach advantage. Tucker's well-rounded approach should prove fruitful in a fight with a 67.7% implied probability to go the distance.
Davey Grant ($8): Grant might get more love if he were more active, as he has fought just twice in the last two years (both were wins). He is a substantial underdog this weekend to Jonathan Martinez, who is one of the rising stars in the UFC with 2020 wins over Frankie Saenz and Thomas Almeida. Those two wins, however, were at featherweight, and Martinez returns to bantamweight 10 pounds lighter this weekend. Martinez's fatal flaw could again prove to be his poor 61% takedown defense, especially considering Grant is a high-volume wrestler at 2.59 takedowns per match. Martinez has also never offered a UFC submission attempt, which is delightful news for Grant, as all three of Grant's UFC losses have come via submission.
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.