UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 3/20/21
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.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland, taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Gregor Gillespie ($21): Responding from your first professional setback can prove difficult, but in this specific case, Gregor Gillespie looks to be in a positive spot as a -260 favorite over City Kickboxing's Brad Riddell. Gillespie was unable to get his wrestling going against Kevin Lee and paid dearly for it, but Gillespie's elite volume wrestling (7.02 takedowns per match) on 47% efficiency should have an easier day at the office against Riddell, who defends just 60% of attempts historically. Gillespie 60% striking defense on the feet also usually keeps him out of danger, and he is worth heavy MVP consideration considering he boasts a card-high 5.23 FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses.
Adrian Yanez ($19): Adrian Yanez is a budding bantamweight star. Yanez enters his Saturday bout with Gustavo Lopez with card-best marks in striking volume (7.02 significant strikes per minute) and striking success rate (+4.39), and has not seen a second round yet thanks to two knockout wins. Lopez rebounded with a submission win after a disappointing debut last July, but he still has worrying striking peripherals with a -2.72 striking success rate and just a 46% striking defense. That wouldn't bode well versus any opponent, but Yanez has quickly put his first two challengers to sleep, and defense lapses like Lopez has shown could make him the third straight.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Montel Jackson ($23): Against his two toughest opponents, Montel Jackson lost as a heavy favorite, and that makes him a little difficult to trust at MVP, even with newcomer Jesse Strader on the other side of him Saturday. Still, Jackson's +2.32 striking success rate and 4.26 takedowns per match have him as the fourth-most productive fighter on the card in terms of FanDuel points per minute -- trailing just Gillespie, Yanez, and Grant Dawson. That means he is still definitely in the mix with a well-rounded toolkit against a UFC rookie, but tread lightly with "Quik" in the multiplier slot on FanDuel.
Tai Tuivasa ($18): Tai Tuivasa's +0.75 striking success rate with just a 50% striking defense is not the mark of an elite striker, and his 46% takedown defense has had him flopping like a fish at spots in his career. Tuivasa originally had a great matchup against Don'Tale Mayes this weekend, and new opponent Harry Hunsucker is an even better spot for Tuivasa. Hunsucker had one appearance on Dana White's Contender Series and got knocked out in the first round by Jared Vanderaa, whose debut three weeks ago was hideous. As a result, Tuivasa is -120 to score a first-round knockout, and it would be the fourth first-round knockout in his eight fight career.
Derek Brunson ($16): The main event? In the value tier? In a surprising development, Derek Brunson as a moderate +142 underdog -- in the five-round main event -- can be rostered on FanDuel for just $16. Brunson's scoring potential is not exactly low, either, as the veteran middleweight has 12 career early-finish UFC wins from his explosive athleticism. Even at 37, Brunson turned away prospect Edmen Shahbazyan in a main-event shock last August and could do the same against Kevin Holland this weekend. The key dichotomy to watch in this fight is the style. While Holland should have an edge on the feet (+1.97 striking success rate), Brunson has wrestled incredibly well (3.02 takedowns per match), and Holland's defense against much worse competition has been very suspect (52%).
Marion Reneau ($10): The value tier below Brunson and Roman Dolidze ($16) is not for the weak. I sit here with no definitive feeling that a single fighter under $16 on FanDuel has a great chance to win their fight -- much less with any scoring upside. When evaluating the options, Marion Reneau stands out because her win condition is certainly on the table. Reneau has substantial power at women's bantamweight with five knockouts in nine pro wins, and Macy Chiasson's 44% striking defense is the worst mark on the entire card. Reneau will have to improve her 51% takedown defense to stay on her feet and win striking exchanges, but she is certainly capable of doing so.
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.