The UFC returns this weekend with UFC 249 which has resulted in DraftKings putting in place some huge prize pools for the event. This includes The MMA Million which has a guaranteed prize pool of $1,000,000 which can be entered for just $20, as well as a range of other tournaments that you can enter for various entry fees.
With the action starting at 8am AEST on Sunday morning we will delve into my DraftKings line up and fighters that should be included in all rosters going into Sundays stacked card.
The first man picked for mine is Vicente Luque, who will set you back $9,000 but is well worth the investment. The market has him as an overwhelming favourite and rightly so. He lands at a strike rate of 53% and has an average of 89.8 FFPF. He won the last meeting between these two and should dominate this clash. Luque should be able to land plenty of strikes in this and Price is quite durable which will provide a great opportunity for Luque to rack up the significant strikes on route to likely a knockout victory. He is the first name in my line up.
This is a fantastic bout and one that should be a war on the feet. Kattar knocked out Lamas in the first round impressively before he lost to Zabit but he will likely land countless significant strikes on route to victory. He has genuine knock out power and even if Stephens does last the distance expect the significant strikes to be around the 100 marks for Kattar. Stephens has been out-landed by 84 total significant strikes in his last three losses and this stat further bodes well for Kattar.
Werdum is my final expensive pick against Oleinik. Oleinik will come forward to pressure Werdum and try to take him down. I think he will struggle and cop a barrage of punches for it. When two adept grapplers take on each other it often ends in a stand-up battle and Werdum has the significant edge there. I am expecting a likely second round knockout by Werdum’s heavy hooks or knees which should rack up the points. His 77.3 FPPF is a bit misleading as he often does happily play of his back and try to submit his opponents but he won’t be doing any of that by choice against the top game of Oleinik.
There is great value to be had in Rozenstruik here. He has high level kickboxing for a heavyweight and showed in his last fight he can take a punch which he will need to be able to do against Ngannou. He may lose this fight but I don’t see Ngannou knocking him out early on so regardless of the result he will likely be able to accumulate some points. For a fight which I think should be closer in the market, Rozenstruik is a bit of a differential that could really rack up the points for a cheap price. Rozenstruik has a real live chance of knocking out Ngannou and if he does expect his score to be in the top five at the end of the night.
This is my riskiest choice, but I believe Souza will be able to dominate this fight. Hall takes unnecessary damage in almost all his fights and often when he manages to pull out a win it is when he is behind on the scorecards. Souza should be able to take this fight to Hall whether it be on the feet or on the ground and get a finish, which should see us accrue a nice amount of points.
My final selection is in the main event where I am siding with Justin Gaethje for a simple reason, win or lose he will score multiple points. He is a safe pick at $7,500 as he is relatively cheaper than my lock picks but will have three rounds in him where he should land plenty of strikes and possibly will be able to knock Ferguson out. I also couldn’t afford anyone higher, as my ideal would have been Carla Esparza but I couldn’t fit her in my $50,000 cap so instead Gaethje is my man.
Good luck fight fans and bring on UFC 249.