UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC 260
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 slate on this week's UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC 260: Miocic vs. Ngannou 2, taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Sean O'Malley ($23): "The Suga Show" is one of many of UFC's budding bantamweight stars, but the Twitch streamer and rainbow-haired striker is on the shortlist of hottest prospects in the entire promotion. He rolled his ankle and suffered a TKO loss against Marlon Vera last August, but his peripherals remain as strong as anyone's at 135 pounds. Sean O'Malley has top-five marks on this card in significant strikes per minute (6.35), striking success rate (+2.59), and submission attempts per match (1.1). Opponent Thomas Almeida is a quick puzzle to solve. Almeida has never secured a UFC takedown or submission attempt, so he is entering this striking battle at a deficit of two inches in reach and not near the striking success rate (+0.70) of "Suga." That is how O'Malley is the largest moneyline favorite (-340) on the entire card Saturday.
Stipe Miocic ($19): The million-dollar question in this weekend's main event is how well UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic can still take a punch. His opponent, Francis Ngannou, is statistically a poor striker at just 2.23 significant strikes per minute with a 37% accuracy, but when he has connected, Ngannou has put people to sleep with rate a 1.83 knockdowns per match. However, he was unable to find Miocic with a terrible 18% accuracy clip in their first meeting, and Saturday could be more of the same. Miocic used 92 significant strikes and 6 takedowns to dominate Ngannou in 2018, and Miocic is still the stronger striker (+1.92 success rate) on paper. And he is the only one of the two who has landed and secured UFC takedowns. If Ngannou cannot find his one true opening, Miocic should turn him away again and add to his resume as the most accomplished heavyweight in UFC history.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Michael Oleksiejczuk ($17): It should bring comfort to Poland's Michael Oleksiejczuk that opponent Modestas Bukauskas has never attempted a UFC submission. Oleksiejczuk has been submitted in back-to-back fights after opening his UFC career with three straight knockouts, but amazingly, Oleksiejczuk has still outstruck all five of his UFC opponents despite the poor grappling outcomes. In a fight that profiles to stay a striking match, Oleksiejczuk should be comfortable. He lands 4.83 significant strikes per minute at a 56% accuracy -- which is the top accuracy mark on this entire card and is especially impressive considering Oleksiejczuk is a light heavyweight. With grappling not on the menu, Oleksiejczuk should rebound on Saturday.
Miranda Maverick ($16): Miranda Maverick's in-octagon scowl is a direct throwback to legend Ronda Rousey, and much like the former women's bantamweight star, Maverick has plenty of game behind it. She opened her UFC career with a doctor's stoppage of Liana Jojua on "Fight Island" last November, and she posted some gaudy statistics behind it. She is tops on this entire card in significant strikes per minute (9.80) and striking success rate (+3.80 strikes), and while opponent Gillian Robertson is expected to have a grappling advantage to overcome her own personal poor striking (-0.05 striking success rate), Maverick should not be lost grappling with four submission wins in her last six fights with Invicta FC. Maverick's +320 inside-the-distance odds present tremendous value given how easily she dispensed Jojua as well as her six wins by finish in eight career pro victories.
Jamie Mullarkey ($14): The silver lining in a dicey tier of high-salary options means we have plenty of great choices in the value tier. Jamie Mullarkey stands out due to the sizable gap in identity that he and opponent Khama Worthy have. Worthy has been average to below average in several categories, with just a +0.43 striking success rate, zero career UFC takedowns, and a 57% takedown defense. That last aspect is particularly concerning against Mullarkey, who averages a card-best 4.00 takedowns per match as a clear wrestling base. Mullarkey has absorbed way too much damage (42% striking defense) so far, but he also has not been finished. If his chin proves durable against Worthy, he should be able to find openings in Worthy's takedown defense and control this fight.
Shane Young ($10): Shane Young entered his last bout fresh off winning six of seven fights -- with his only blemish to current featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski by decision -- and those results vaulted Young right to the top of the featherweight names to watch. Ludovit Klein's shin had different plans for Young last September on "Fight Island," but Young is looking to rebound against Omar Morales. Young is definitely a higher-volume striker (6.01 significant strikes per minute) than Morales is (3.29), and with both fighters averaging fewer than a takedown per match, neither should have the inclination to turn this bout away from a striking match. Morales had a -31 striking differential in his first bout at 145 pounds. Young is a great value at +164 on the moneyline if Morales is once again hampered in volume and speed by the additional weight cut.
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.