UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Fight Night 1/20/21
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.
This rare Wednesday card comes as a small appetizer for the pay-per-view card this weekend at UFC 257. For podcasts, articles, and guides on UFC 257 all week, keep it tuned to numberFire's UFC page for the latest news and analysis.
With those tools at our disposal, let's break down UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Magny, taking place live in Abu Dhabi on "Fight Island" on Wednesday.
Ricky Simon ($21): With several heavy favorites on the card, the key to success will be force ranking the studs. Simon stands out even among the loaded tier, both for his own merit and looking at his matchup. Simon has an incredibly high floor due to his wrestling base as he leads this card (and would several other cards) at 6.61 takedowns per match. Simon has also landed at least four takedowns in five of seven career UFC fights against various levels of bantamweight competition, which brings his matchup into discussion. Gaetano Pirrello is making his UFC debut against Simon, a nearly ranked fighter who has turned away two ranked bantamweights, and that is the thought process behind Simon's -450 odds to win on Wednesday.
Mounir Lazzez ($20): The last Wednesday UFC card was July 15th on Fight Island, and Mounir Lazzez was the biggest surprise of the night. Not only did Lazzez cash as a +260 underdog, he really dominated Abdul Razak-Alhassan to the tune of 98 significant strikes and 4 takedowns in a decision win. Lazzez gets another UFC veteran in the co-main event, taking on Warlley Alves, but Alves pushes a very different pace for fantasy. Alves averages only 2.70 FanDuel points per minute between low-volume striking and wrestling, and the striking has not been incredibly efficient as he holds a -0.68 striking success rate. Lazzez will look to make good on his showcase spot by becoming the third man in four tries to finish Alves before the final bell.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Su Mudaejri ($23): Admittedly, I doubted Su Mudaejri in his fight against Malcolm Gordon -- until the ninth punch he landed dropped Gordon like a sack of potatoes, that is. Every bit of Mudaejri's striking efficiency carried over from bantamweight as he ranks third on this card in significant strikes per minute (5.25), first in striking success rate (2.84), and fourth in FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses (3.85). "The Tibetan Eagle" might be one of the most dangerous flyweights in the world at his new weight class, and that explains his card-best -190 odds to finish his fight early. There still is not much data on Mudaejri with 44 seconds of action in 16 months, which is slightly worrisome when it comes to considering him for the MVP slot, but he profiles to do very well in this spot.
Neil Magny ($18): It is beyond rare to get a five-round main event with such affordable salaries due to the organic boost of two additional rounds, but that benefits both Magny and Michael Chiesa ($15) on this card. It becomes even more surprising when considering this fight's 57.6% implied probability to go the entire distance -- as well as Magny and Chiesa entering with a combined five straight decisions. Both sides of this fight are viable, but the favored Magny appears to have more tools available to win. He owns the fourth-best striking success rate (+1.81) on the card and will likely try to stay striking and avoid Chiesa's high-volume grappling (3.84 takedowns per match). Chiesa's striking success rate is a pedestrian +0.12 strikes per minute, which means his path to victory will be exploiting Magny's 59% takedown defense. In a surprising development, the best strategy in cash games Wednesday might be to stack the high-floor main event.
Matt Schnell ($14): Despite being -126 to win coming off a knockout victory, Tyson Nam has some of the worst peripheral statistics of any favorite on the card. Nam's 32% striking accuracy is second-worst on the card, and his -2.16 striking success rate is also second-worst. He posts just 2.13 FanDuel points per minute, and none of this disappears just because of a knockout of Jerome Rivera. He is moving down to flyweight for this fight, which means he should be stronger than Matt Schnell, but Nam will also likely be slower. Schnell is far from perfect, but he at least posts a higher 35% accuracy and has shown a clear offensive game-plan since moving to flyweight, where he has five submission attempts in as many fights.
Vinicius Moreira ($14): At the same salary, Moreira has a similar story to Schnell's. With a personal -2.55 striking success rate, Moreira has not exactly flourished inside the UFC, but his opponent and favorite "Big" Ike Villanueva has had one of the roughest starts to a UFC career you could imagine. Villanueva was battered to a knockout by Chase Sherman and was stopped by a doctor against Jordan Wright -- and those guys are 2-6 in the UFC when not facing Villanueva. Moreira will work submissions for his offense, with a card-best 1.70 submission attempts per match. While Moreira's UFC schedule has been brutal with knockout artists and submission experts like Paul Craig, this fight is much closer to Moreira's skill range, and he will finally have an opportunity for his second career win.
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.