UFC 266 Cheat Sheet: Picks, Values, DraftKings MMA DFS Betting Odds For September 25
UFC 266 takes place on Saturday and the event will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event, Alexander Volkanovski defends the UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega. This fight was originally scheduled for UFC 260 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. Volkanovski and Ortega trained against each other in the final season of The ultimate fighter.
In the main co-event, Valentina Shevchenko defends the women’s flyweight title against Lauren Murphy. Shevchenko has devastated the women’s flyweight division, winning seven consecutive fights since returning to flyweight, including six title fights.
Nick Diaz is also returning to the UFC in a rematch against Robbie Lawler. Diaz and Lawler already fought 17 years ago at UFC 47 in 2004. Diaz, who hasn’t fought since 2015, is one of the biggest stars of his time and his rematch against Lawler is very expected. Diaz won the first fight by KO / TKO in an entertaining hitting match.
Below we take a look at the DraftKings Slate UFC and make some fantastic MMA picks and bets to consider DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Alexander Volkanovski (-170) vs. Brian Ortega (+150)
- Valentina Shevchenko (-1500) vs. Lauren Murphy (+850)
- Nick Diaz (+115) vs. Robbie Lawler (-135)
- Curtis Blaydes (-310) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+245)
- Jessica Andrade (-265) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (+215)
For the complete list of available Paris UFC, download the DraftKings Sportsbook app or consult the DraftKings Sportsbook UFC page.
DraftKings hosts a great UFC 266 fantastic MMA tournament which pays out $ 700,000 in total prizes, including $ 150,000 for first place. Define your DraftKings The fantastic MMA ranges here: UFC $ 700K 266 Special [$150K to 1st].
Jairzinho Rozenstruik ($ 7,000)
Rozenstruik (+245) begins his fight against Curtis Blaydes (-310) as a substantial outsider on DraftKings Sportsbook. Blaydes trains in a good camp at Elevation Fight Team and his only losses in the UFC involve fighters who currently rank in the top five heavyweight – champion Francis Ngannou and recent interim title challenger Derrick Lewis.
Blaydes is having a strong fight and has racked up massive takeout volume. Blaydes averages nearly seven eliminations every 15 minutes and holds the record for the most total eliminations in heavyweight division history. Blaydes also holds the heavyweight record for time spent in first place, which makes sense given his large take-out volume. Because Blaydes spends so much time in the high position, he doesn’t absorb a lot of meaningful strikes, as it’s difficult to land meaningful strikes from the low position on the ground. Blaydes absorbed under two significant strokes per minute, an excellent number. All of these factors helped make Blaydes a big bet favorite for this fight.
However, there is a legitimate path to victory for Rozenstruik in this game. Blaydes has just suffered a devastating knockout loss to Derrick Lewis, where Lewis awaited a level change from Blaydes and had a loaded counter-shot when Blaydes shot for an out. Lewis landed on an incoming Blaydes and knocked out Blaydes cold in one of the most vicious knockouts of the year.
Rozenstruik’s fighting style isn’t all that different, he’s a patient counterattacker with a lot of punching power. Rozenstruik’s strength is his kickboxing, and he will have the upper hand in this game. It’s entirely possible that Rozenstruik catches Blaydes with a powerful shot and ends the fight with a knockout, especially since Blaydes has been injured by kicks to the feet before. Blaydes was stopped by strikes in each of his last two UFC losses, and Mark Hunt badly injured Blaydes in the feet before a Blaydes strike allowed him to recover.
Rozenstruik’s six wins in the UFC are by KO / TKO, and Rozenstruik has the power to punch Blaydes on the toes. Rozenstruik’s only two losses were suffered by the division’s most elite fighters – heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane. As the fourth cheapest fighter on the $ 7,000 list, Rozenstruik deserves to be seen as a salary relief game in a clash that is likely closer than the salaries indicate.
DraftKings Sportsbook bet to consider: Jairzinho Rozenstruik to win by KO / TKO / DQ (+380)
Nick Diaz ($ 7,900)
Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler first fought in 2004 at UFC 47, which feels like a different stratosphere. By the time of their first fight, the UFC still hadn’t really hit the mainstream, and Diaz and Lawler were both in their 20s. Now Diaz and Lawler are both approaching their forties. Diaz hasn’t fought since 2015, and because Diaz has been away for so long, there is some uncertainty about his appearance.
Traditionally, Diaz is a volume forward who doesn’t charge up for huge power shots, but is relentless with pressure and is great at working the body. Diaz’s bodywork undermines opponents of their wind and opens up blows to the head. Diaz has a high level jiu jitsu and doesn’t mind being shot down due to his excellent guard and grappling. Diaz has good length and is strong at handling distance on the feet, which he used effectively against Lawler in their first fight. Vintage Diaz also has great cardio and a strong chin. Diaz hasn’t been stopped by strikes since 2002, which was only his fifth professional fight.
At $ 7,900, Diaz is an attractive value game because he’s in a good position to beat Lawler again, and when Diaz wins he usually scores a lot of fantastic points thanks to solid volume. Diaz has an average of 119 DraftKings fantastic points (DKFP) per fight in his last seven wins. Lawler has slowed down considerably and is on a four-game losing streak. Lawler absorbed more strikes than he landed, and this has been especially true in his more recent fights. Lawler also struggled with Diaz’s length in their first fight and Diaz was able to score Lawler multiple times from a distance.
It’s also a five-round fight despite being an untitled fight, potentially creating an extra 10 minutes to generate a fantastic score. For this reason, getting exposure to Brian Ortega ($ 7,600) could also result in a value in the range of $ 7,000, as Ortega’s fight with Volkanovski is also five rounds.
DraftKings Sportsbook bet to consider: Nick Diaz’s Silver Line (+115)
DraftKings Favorite Sportsbook to Build Around: Valentina Shevchenko ($ 9,500)
Shevchenko is a titanic favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, wearing an obscene moneyline of -1500. Shevchenko left a mark of destruction in the women’s flyweight division and won seven consecutive fights, including six title fights. Shevchenko is incredibly well balanced, having the advantage almost everywhere against any opponent she faces at flyweight.
Shevchenko’s only two losses in the UFC are against Amanda Nunes, who is widely regarded as the greatest female MMA fighter of all time, and both of those fights were at bantamweight, a heavier weight class.
Shevchenko’s opponent Lauren Murphy absorbed more strikes than she landed, posting a ratio of landed strikes to negative absorption. It’s still a big red flag. Murphy has been beaten by her opponents in three of her last four fights. It could give Shevchenko a huge advantage and lead to a knockout. Shevchenko has finished three of his last five fights by KO / TKO, and betting Shevchenko winner by KO / TKO (-120) on DraftKings Sportsbook may be a much more reasonable way to go the -1500 to -120 money line.
Because Shevchenko is a big favorite, she’s easily the safest fighter to build. DraftKings fantastic MMA ranges around. Shevchenko scored over 130 DraftKings Fantasy points (DKFP) in each of his last two fights and peaked at 160 DKFP. Shevchenko has the safest floor on slate and also wears a high ceiling.
DraftKings Sportsbook bet to consider: Valentina Shevchenko to win by KO / TKO / DQ (-120)
Merab Dvalishvili ($ 8,900)
Dvalishvili’s high volume fighting style made him a powerful fantasy scorer. Dvalishvili accumulates a ton of takeout volume and can generate more control time when fighting on the ground, two factors that facilitate his fantastic score. Dvalishvili averages seven elite eliminations every 15 minutes and has recorded double-digit eliminations in three of his eight UFC fights. Dvalishvili also throws more punch volume, landing around four important strikes per minute. Its landed / absorbed strike ratio is also high, absorbing only about two significant strikes per minute.
Dvalishvili faces Marlon Moraes in a favorable match. Moraes absorbed more strikes than he landed, which is a red flag. Moraes also stopped 66% of opponent’s takedown attempts, which is not the highest rate. At -260, Dvalishvili is a solid moneyline favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook and wear the fantasy inside out. Dvalishvili has scored over 120 DKFP in four of his last six fights and has one of the best fantasy average scores on the slate.
Seven of Dvalishvili’s eight UFC fights have come the distance, and all of his UFC wins are by decision, so Dvalishvili by decision (-110) and Fight to go the distance: Yes (-190) are bets that can be considered. Dvalishvili’s fighting style makes him prone to go the distance, as he is a crusher who wears down opponents over a period of time.
DraftKings Sportsbook bet to consider: Merab Dvalishvili to win by decision (-110)
Define your DraftKings The fantastic MMA ranges here: UFC $ 700K 266 Special [$150K to 1st]
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