UFC Daily Fantasy Helper for UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3
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. If you would rather bet the fights, Brandon Gdula's betting guide is a great place to find value on Saturday's card. In addition to this primer, 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 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3, taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday night.
Sean O'Malley ($23): This is not a declaration of O'Malley being a good play as much as O'Malley being a once-a-year opportunity to roster in UFC DFS. O'Malley has a 75% implied probability to win inside-the-distance Saturday, which is the highest in all of UFC since July 2020 (Khamzat Chimaev; 81.8%).
How he arrived in this position is a rookie injury replacement in Kris Moutinho, as the regional fighter is now being dropped in to face "Suga" -- one of the brightest prospects in the sport.
O'Malley is 2nd on the card in both significant strikes per minute (6.31) and striking success rate (+3.03), and while several questions remain about his grappling and wrestling, the striker Moutinho is poised to give O'Malley the fight he thrives in.
Dustin Poirier ($20): While all eyes are on Conor McGregor, his opponent, their winner of their January 2021 matchup deserves love as well. Poirier was a hefty underdog before he landed 86% of his leg strikes to take out McGregor's lead leg and knock him out shortly after.
Poirier has been an excellent, all-around MMA fighter on his way to the championship picture, posting 4.38 FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses in his career, which is third on this card through a hefty sample littered with championship contenders.
McGregor's power and takedown defense supplied his original rise to stardom, but with just 1 knockdown in his last 26 minutes of fight time and a 50% takedown defense in his last three fights, he has yet to prove those same qualities at this higher weight class.
"The Diamond" punches a date with Charles Oliveria for the lightweight title with a win Saturday.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Ilia Topuria ($22): One of the more intriguing battles on the card is between grapplers Topuria and "The Wizard" Ryan Hall. Hall is especially bizarre given that his style revolves around inactivity on the mat to force grappling exchanges, which ultimately has led to very little danger for his opponents, averaging just 1.82 FanDuel points per minute.
At 4.60 FanDuel points per minute himself, Topuria has been the opposite through a pair of dominant UFC wins, and the Georgian grappling prodigy has not disappointed with an absurd 4.20 submission attempts per match thus far.
While Hall is always capable of a trick submission, the -260 moneyline favorite is Topuria. That's justified on the basis of his overall activity -- especially his advantage in the striking department over the one-dimensional Hall.
Dricus Du Plessis ($15): Du Plessis opened as a slight underdog to middleweight Trevin Giles but has ascended to a -118 favorite and rising on FanDuel Sportsbook. Du Plessis and Giles share a $15 salary on FanDuel, but Du Plessis has nearly exclusively the upside to win with fireworks.
The South African has 17 pro fights, and 15 have ended inside the distance with Du Plessis getting his hand raised by way of an early finish. He lived up to that claim by knocking out Markus Perez in his UFC debut, and his pace of 7.72 significant strikes per minute in his debut is far and away better than that of the efficient-yet-inactive Giles, who just posts 3.26 per minute in the same category.
Niko Price ($14): The only underdog inside the top-five spots in overall FanDuel points per minute is Niko "The Hybrid" Price, who is best known for his absorption of damage in UFC's first pay-per-view after the COVID-19 layoff. While his efficiency both offensively and defensively leaves some to be desired, he is an interesting value play by volume against Michel Pereira.
Pereira is seen as technical and more efficient, yet his 3.74 significant strikes per minute mark has dropped in three straight outings. Price, however, has elite cardio behind his 3.85 FanDuel points per minute, and he has scored well against ranked welterweights like Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal.
Pereira has never faced a ranked opponent, and Price represents his toughest test to date. With an elite gas tank and a propensity for violence himself, Price absolutely has finishing upside to win a tournament from this spot.
Greg Hardy ($12): On a card filled with plenty of bizarre storylines, the former NFL player having a skill advantage over another experienced UFC fighter might take the cake. Hardy has had a better UFC career than anyone could have expected, with his only three losses to two current top-10 heavyweights and a disqualification in a fight he was handily winning.
Hardy's 4.83 significant strikes per minute and 56% striking defense are actually both superior to his opponent Tai Tuivasa in this spot, and he holds a five-inch reach advantage as well. While Hardy has shown some severe weaknesses on the mat or grappling, Tuivasa is in the exact same boat, never offering a career UFC takedown attempt and only defending 43% of his opponent's takedown attempts.
With a 68.8% implied probability this fight ends early from a knockout, Hardy shares a good chunk of that upside as a slight +112 underdog.
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.