Let’s dive into this week’s DraftKings Breakdown on UFC on ESPN 3.
Cash Game Lock:
Jared Gordon ($9,200)
This weekend, Jared Gordon is scheduled to square off against Dan Moret, who is looking to avoid his third straight UFC loss, a blunder that tends to result in a fighter’s release from the company. Unfortunately for Moret, Gordon is the heavy betting favorite at -325, and for good reason.
Gordon has a fighting style most similar, among Moret’s prior competition, to Gilbert Burns, who possesses elite-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And while Gordon only has a brown belt, he is quite capable of high-level submission offense. Both Burns and Gordon utilize their wrestling as well. Moret lost to Burns via a brutal knockout in the second round, and prior to that, Burns made him look clueless in a few grappling exchanges.
No, Gordon is not at the same level as Burns, especially on the ground, but his relentless pressure should fluster Moret, who loves to flurry-and-move. In a loss to Joaquim Silva, Gordon scored 91 fantasy points. He has a great floor and a high upside, making him a great cash game lock.
Francis Ngannou ($8,800)
The main event this Saturday is going to feature fireworks between two of the heavyweight division’s finest strikers. Francis Ngannou is looking to work his way back into title contention, while Junior Dos Santos attempts to spoil his plan.
Dos Santos has two impressive victories in a row, knocking out both Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis before the start of the third round. Ngannou has much of the same, but he finished both Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez in the first round after a very disappointing decision loss to Derrick Lewis.
It looks like Ngannou fixed whatever was hindering his fighting ability in that loss. He is back on track to square off against either Daniel Cormier or Stipe Miotic sometime later this year. Ngannou is the -250 betting favorite, and more importantly, he has -190 odds to ignore the judge’s scorecards. Dos Santos will likely not be able to take Ngannou to the mat, as Blaydes is a better wrestler and struggled with Ngannou’s massive frame. So this will be a five-round striking bout. Dos Santos will look to utilize volume, but Ngannou only needs to land one punch to end this fight in a hurry. His tournament upside on DraftKings is unmatched at his price tag.
Alonzo Menifield ($9,000)
Alonzo Menifield is a rising star in the UFC right now, and this weekend, he will look to continue his path of destruction against the man who can never be counted out of a fight. Paul Craig is a high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Marcos Nardini. While Menifield does have impressive clinch work and takedown offense, he will likely opt to strike from range as much as possible.
After an impressive first-round knockout against Dashawn Boatwright on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Menifield repeated such a performance against Vinicius Moreira. Craig will be his toughest competition to date. However, as a -300 betting favorite, this fight is more of a formality for Menifield. He has -170 odds to finish inside the distance, and with Craig’s weak chin, that will most likely happen in the first round. His price tag is slightly lower than the other high-upside knockout artists, excluding Francis Ngannou, so Menifield makes a lot of sense in tournaments on DraftKings.
Vegas Odds Value:
Junior Albini ($8,000)
This recommendation should be prefaced with the truth: Junior Albini is not a UFC-caliber fighter. In his last three fights, he has lost to Andrei Arlovski, Alexey Oleynik, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. He has continuously shown a lack of fight IQ, as well as an inability to provide any kind of damaging offense. That said, Maurice Greene has shown higher level of crocheting than fighting. Even so, he is on a two-fight win streak, picking up a submission against Michel Batista and a split decision win over Jeff Hughes.
Both fighters have decent odds to finish inside the distance. It makes sense to target this fight in tournaments on DraftKings. In cash games, Albini provides odds value, as he is currently priced as an underdog, but Vegas has him as a -115 betting favorite over Greene. In a fight between two rather low-level fighters, anything can happen. The odds value edge goes to Albini. Fight analysis, however, suggests Greene should be able to pull off the victory. If Albini loses this one, he will probably be sent packing.
Junior Dos Santos ($7,400)
Francis Ngannou is a great, high-upside tournament option, but so is Junior Dos Santos. For much of the same reasons that Ngannou possesses so much upside, he also possesses quite a bit of downside. If he does not find that single knockout blow, Dos Santos should be able to outlast him for five rounds or find a knockout via volume striking.
It is going to be difficult for Dos Santos to avoid Ngannou’s power shots for 25 minutes, but it is possible, as he sports very impressive footwork and great cardio. As an added bonus, if Ngannou gasses, it could be easier for Dos Santos to find a takedown. Dos Santos is far superior in all ground exchanges, and that could be a massive edge for the +210 betting underdog. While it is unlikely that he picks up the win, a few paths to victory do exist.