UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs Lewis – 2.20.2021 – Staff Predictions, Picks, and DFS Analysis (FREE)

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Hello Daily Play Action! Welcome to our collaborative coverage of UFC Vegas 19: Blaydes vs Lewis. We have returned to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and get a very fun card this evening, stacked with some excellent heavyweight fights. Our analysis includes a pick for every bout from Anthony Marro, Nicholas Marro and GB. We also feature write-ups that will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for takedown defense and submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those two stats and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

As coverage continues, we will keep our Daily Play Action records up to date. Be sure to check out our reasoning though as records will not reflect confidence, we will be picking all fights regardless of if we are betting on them. I highly recommend using Bovada for their user-friendly format and awesome deposit bonuses if you want to bet on any of these picks!

If you are looking for even more UFC content, be sure to also check out Daily Play Action on YouTube where we have begun streaming breakdowns of most cards.

Current Record

  • Anthony: 32-25-0 (Last Year 223-145-6)
  • Nick: 33-24-0 (Last Year 235-133-6)
  • GB: 29-28-0 (Last Year 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:00 AM EST 2-20-2021

Preliminary Card- Start 5:00pm EST

Serghei Spivac -250 (DK $9100, FD $21) vs Jared Vanderaa +195 (DK $7100, FD $8)

  • Anthony: On a card full of heavyweights, we open the day with this bout between Serghei Spivac and Jared Vanderaa. This is the UFC debut for Vanderaa who just won a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series this past fall. He is a guy who may have some success in this heavyweight division, but we see him thrown to the wolves in his debut. Spivac has put together a much better resume and is three years the junior of Vaneraa. His striking still leaves a little bit to be desired but the grappling of Spivac can change a lot of fights. I think he needs to get this bout to the mat just once in order to lock up a  submission. We have seen Vanderaa caught in triangle chokes and kimuras in the past. The more agile Spivac will give him a lot of problems here and I think we get a very lopsided opening fight. He looked to be the far more confident fighter yesterday and certainly has the higher ceiling of the two. Spivac will certainly be a name I consider when building my lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. Serghei Spivac by Round One Submission
  • Nick: We have a decent match-up here between two of the fresher but more questionable faces we have at heavyweight. Spivac was highly touted coming into the UFC, but he really hasn’t shown anything overly impressive outside of his win over Tai Tuivasa. He has a solid ground game, with most of his wins coming via submission. He is also decent in the clinch, but seems hesitant at times which can keep inferior opponents in fights he should be dominating. Vanderaa is coming off a nice Dana White’s Contender Series win over Harry Hunsucker. It was an extremely ugly fight, but he showed a lot of grit and power which can sometimes be enough to win in this division. He has a solid chin and he throws a lot of leg kicks, but his striking is far from crisp and he takes just as much damage as he gives. Vanderaa has a wrestling base and was recently awarded his BJJ black belt. He’s effective against inferior competition on the mat, but he’d be better offer just standing and trading with Spivac. On the feet, I expect Spivac to have a significant technical edge over Vanderaa. Additionally, he should be able to get this fight to the mat if he wants to. Two of Vanderaa’s professional losses have come via submission. Five of Spivac’s eleven professional wins have come by the same method. Vanderaa could look alright early, but I expect Spivac to eventually work this fight to the canvas. Serghei Spivac by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Serghei Spivac by Decision

Drako Rodriguez -190 (DK $8700, FD $19) vs Aiemann Zahabi +155 (DK $7500, FD $12)

  • Anthony: Next up is a good bantamweight bout between Drako Rodriguez and Aiemann Zahabi. Rodriguez came in four pounds heavy yesterday which gives me a lot of pause. It certainly does not look good to miss weight in your UFC debut. Rodriguez had an incredible submission victory on Dana White’s Contender Series but otherwise lacks quality wins. I could see him pressuring Zahabi in this fight and catching his with enough power finish the fight. However, Zahabi is a very unique opponent and I feel he is being a bit disrespected here. His last fight was in 2019 against Vince Morales in a very close bout that could have gone either way. The inactivity is concerning, but Zahabi has a path to victory in this fight by simply outpointing and outstriking Rodriguez. If he is able to stay mobile and keep Rodriguez at range, I see this fight swaying into Zahabi’s favor the later it gets. I am willing to roll the dice on him here as a small underdog. Aiemann Zahabi by Decision
  • Nick: Rodriguez is coming off a nice Dana White’s Contender Series victory over Mana Martinez. His only loss came against a Tony Gravely and many who consider him have a high ceiling in this division. Zahabi hasn’t fought since he lost to Vince Morales back in May of 2019. He’s likely fighting for his job here, as a loss to Rodriguez would be his third in a row. Zahabi trains with his brother out of a solid camp in Tristar Gym, but it seems he spends more time training others than preparing for his own fight camps. Zahabi is very active in the octagon. He moves around constantly, circles away from the strengths of his opponents, but he never really shows enough urgency to take control of a fight at this level. Rodriguez missed weight which is a bit of a red flag, but he looked rehydrated at face-offs and I still expect he’s going to be the much more athletic and explosive fighter here. On the feet, he’s far more powerful. He’s likely to push the pace and out-volume Zahabi and he should be able to control position as well if this fight hits the mat. Zahabi is far more experienced so I wouldn’t go overboard on Rodriguez here, especially considering he missed weight. However, he’s the rightful favorite in this spot and I expect he’s more than likely going to find a way to end it inside the distance. Drako Rodriguez by Round Three KO
  • GB: Drako Rodriguez by Round Three Submission

Jamall Emmers vs Chas Skelly

*This fight has been scratched from today’s card

Casey O’Neill -160 (DK $8500, FD $18) vs Shana Dobson +130 (DK $7700, FD $13)

  • Anthony: This fight takes place at women’s flyweight between Casey O’Neill and Shana Dobson. King Casey is an undefeated prospect training with George Hickman and the team at Tiger Muay Thai. She has improved her striking dramatically and has a more than serviceable ground game that is likely put to use here. Dobson’s big upset win over Maria Agapova last year certainly came as a shock. Credit to her for winning that bout, but it also has to be noted how badly Agapova gassed herself out. It is a good test for O’Neill right away in the UFC but I am not buying Dobson’s resurgence quite yet. She remains just 4-4 in professional MMA and has a clear deficiency in the grappling department. Dobson has zero percent takedown defense in the UFC, so just a few well timed attempts from O’Neill likely brings this fight to the mat. We could get a good fifteen-minute brawl, but instead I predict a more technical victory for the newcomer. Casey O’Neill by Decision
  • Nick: Shana Dobson is coming off one of the bigger upset victories of the past several years, defeating Maria Agapova via second round knockout as a +950 underdog. Dobson is a well-rounded fighter, but her greatest strength is her ability to push a pace. She has excellent cardio training out of Team Elevation in Colorado, and she’s more than willing to take a fight into deep waters if that’s where it needs to go. Casey O’Neill has trained at excellent camps Tiger Muay Thai, Xtreme Couture and 10th Planet BJJ. Still, she seems extremely green when you watch her on film as her striking is far from developed. Her grappling is effective against inferior opponents, but it’s still totally untested at this level. Dobson has a zero percent takedown defense in the UFC. She’s been taken down all eight times her opponents have tried to ground her. I was very close to taking Dobson here as the underdog, but I feel that O’Neill is likely going to be able to take her down at will. My confidence level is extremely low for this one. Casey O’Neill by Decision
  • GB: Shana Dobson by Decision

Nate Landwehr -125 (DK $8100, FD $16) vs Julian Erosa -105 (DK $8100, FD $15)

  • Anthony: This featherweight bout is a quiet contender for Fight of the Night as Nate Landwehr takes on Julian Erosa. You are never going to get a boring fight with Nate Landwehr. He constantly pressures forward and mixes rather unorthodox striking with a good wrestling base. Both of these fighters have had ups and downs in the UFC, but Erosa is the far longer tenured of the two. He is coming off two consecutive victories both by submission. In this fight I think he will certainly have the chance to jump a guillotine on a shooting Landwehr, which could very well be enough to end things. If not, I expect this to be rather back and forth. Erosa is not quite as proficient a striker, but his size advantage certainly makes things a bit easier than usual on the feet today. He has four inches of height and of reach on Landwehr. This is lined appropriately as a coin flip but I am more than happy to bet Erosa here at the current odds. Julian Erosa by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: Nate Landwehr is a brawler, but he’s fairly well-rounded. He likes to fight on the feet, but he has a solid wrestling base and his overall athleticism allows him to escape tough positions against advanced grapplers. We saw him score a nice win his last time out against Darren Elkins. He fought an entertaining fight, throwing a ton of strikes and pushing the pace for the better part of fifteen minutes. Landwehr is extremely tough, but his toughness sometimes puts him into bad positions as he isn’t afraid to get hit. Erosa is coming off a nice win over Sean Woodson which he was clearly losing early, but ultimately came back and dominated late as Woodson started to gas. Erosa’s greatest quality as a fighter may be his willingness to eat shots and keep moving forward. He’s very tough and gritty, which suggests this match-up against a brawler in Landwehr is not one you want to miss. Landwehr is likely the more technical striker and I expect him to push the pace for the majority of this one. Erosa does throw powerful knees up the middle, which is especially notable here as we’ve seen Nate Landwehr stopped by knees before in his fight against Herbert Burns. However, as long as he avoids that big shot I feel like this is his fight two lose. These are two prospects that both have flaws in their respective games, but Landwehr just seems more dangerous. Nate Landwehr by Round Three KO
  • GB: Nate Landwehr by Round One KO

John Castaneda -130 (DK $8300, FD $16) vs Eddie Wineland +100 (DK $7900, FD $15)

  • Anthony: Next up is a fight at bantamweight that I will go ahead and call the most difficult bout to handicap. John Castaneda versus Eddie Wineland will likely be a stand up affair where both guys have their moments. Castaneda is a very good boxer who will stand and trade with anyone if he needs to. Neither one of these fighters have the best defense but Castaneda does land at a higher rate than Wineland. I really do not think highly of either one of these guys, but Wineland is more clearly on the decline. A loss to Sean O’Malley really does not hurt his stock, but recent performances just have me eager to fade him again here. He holds his hands far too low and I do not think he can handle this young man’s division anymore at the old age of 36 years. Sure Wineland has the power to knockout Castaneda but I really do not see him holding a technical striking advantage here. He bit on a lot of feints in his last bout and I am not ready to put my money on him in this spot. It is a tough one but I lean ever so slightly the way of Castaneda who I trust to fight more conservatively. John Castaneda by Decision
  • Nick: Eddie Wineland is a former WEC Champion. He’s still tough, but he’s in the twilight of his career as he has indicated while doing media. Wineland keeps his hands low which tends to give him trouble against highly technical and powerful strikers. We saw him completely starched his last time out, KO’d in the first round against Sean O’Malley. Luckily for him, Castaneda doesn’t seem to have either the power or the technical prowess to put him away here. Castaneda has decent boxing ability. He fights out of the southpaw stance, he mixes in kicks fairly well but there’s really nothing that stands out about his game. He hasn’t scored a knockout victory since 2017, and that feels like his only real path against Wineland here. Across his long tenure in the UFC, Wineland carries an impressive 69 percent striking defense. He’s a more powerful striker than Castenada and in a fight I expect to stay on the feet I see him getting back into the win column. I’m lacking some confidence here as Wineland is definitely on the way out. However, the value is on him in this one. Eddie Wineland by Decision
  • GB: John Castaneda by Decision

Drakkar Klose vs Luis Pena

*This fight has been scratched from today’s card

Danny Chavez -145 (DK $8400, FD $17) vs Jared Gordon +115 (DK $7800, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Our featured prelim takes place at featherweight between Danny Chavez and Jared Gordon. Yesterday we saw Gordon miss weight by four pounds. Chavez was visibly upset with his opponents lack of effort and stated at faceoffs that Gordon will not hold him on the mat all fight. Gordon is a wrestle-boxer who usually does have that long, grinding game plan to win fights by controlling position. I think the weight miss could spell trouble for him here as a motivated Chavez is scary. The Columbian Warrior has very good boxing and we got to see him deny the grappling of TJ Brown in his most recent bout. He will likely be stuffing early takedowns once again here but if successful, I expect him to pick apart Gordon on the feet. Chavez throws excellent kicks that should slow down Gordon and we have seen the chin of his opponent cracked many times in the past. Chavez likely gets the job done here and I am fairly confident in saying that. It will come down to takedowns, but I trust his defense in this matchup. Danny Chavez by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Chavez most recently won against T.J. Brown, which was good to see as prior we hadn’t really seen him test his cardio. He throws a powerful leg-kick, has crisp boxing and enough power to demand the respect of his opponents. While his experience is still somewhat in question, Chavez is surely the better striker in this spot. Gordon is a wrestle-boxer who primarily likes to grapple. He’s coming off an impressive win over Chris Fishgold. He looked great in that fight, controlling Fishgold for almost the entirety of fifteen minutes. He doesn’t push much of a pace, but he does a good job forcing his opponents to fight at his speed. Gordon is one of the more accurate strikers in the UFC at lightweight. He lands a highly impressive 54 percent of his shots. On paper he seems like the better fighter here, but I’m concerned that he missed weight badly. He missed by four pounds and looked terrible on the scales. I was initially going to take Gordon here, but I’m siding with the seemingly hungrier and more aggressive fighter in Chavez. As long as he can stuff Gordon’s takedown attempts early he should manage to weaponize his cardio on the way to a victory on the feet. Danny Chavez by Decision
  • GB: Jared Gordon by Decision

Main Card- Starts 8:00pm EST

Tom Aspinall -250 (DK $9200, FD $22) vs Andrei Arlovski +195 (DK $7000, FD $8)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with a good heavyweight scrap between Tom Aspinall and Andrei Arlovski. We have seen a bit of a resurgence as of late from the former champion Arlovski. He has won two consecutive fights by decision against rising heavyweights Phillipe Lins and Tanner Boser. He draws a similar matchup here, but Aspinall has a much higher ceiling than the aforementioned fighters. Every win has come by first round knockout for the boxing phenom, training with elite strikers Tyson Fury and Darren Till. I see him being a real problem in the heavyweight division and doubt Arlovski slows down the hype train here today. In such small gloves, I am convinced Aspinall can put anyone out with just a few clean shots. Arlovski will have a lot more trouble stealing a decision here as moving in on Aspinall hurts far more than pressuring someone like Boser or Lins. Only the best have been able to knockout Arlovski, but Aspinall may seriously have a ceiling that high. Chances are slim that Arlovski counterpunches his way to another decision win here. Aspinall is one of my favorite plays this slate and certainly a spot worth paying up for DFS. Tom Aspinall by Round One KO
  • Nick: Aspinall doesn’t really have a ton of experience, but he’s coming off four-straight 1st round knockouts and he’s a surprisingly well-rounded heavyweight considering he only has ten other fights on his record. A former training partner of Tyson Fury, Aspinall has excellent footwork for a heavyweight. We’ve never seen Aspinall dragged deep into a fight, so the questions that remain on his ability mostly center around his cardio. Arlovski is definitely a live dog here and this line is too wide knowing what he is capable of. Arlovski is a shell of who he was when he reigned as UFC Heavyweight Champion back in 2005. He’s lost a lot of speed and power over the years, but he still has solid head movement and he generally does a good job circling away from his opponents and counterstriking. This is a fun match-up as Aspinall is a very similar fighter to what Arlovski was in his prime. He’s a speedy heavyweight with a knack for boxing. This is a match-up between two high volume point fighters, but Aspinall is the one in his prime. Arlovski still has a very high fight IQ, but I don’t think he’ll be able to match Aspinall’s speed, power or volume at this stage of his career. Aspinall is known as a striker, but he has a black belt in BJJ. He’s competent enough on the mat that he could take this fight to the ground if he isn’t finding his expected success on the feet. The line is too wide and it wouldn’t shock me if Arlovski pulled off a decision. Still, I’m siding with the youth here. Tom Aspinall by Round One KO
  • GB: Tom Aspinall by Round One KO

Phil Hawes -125 (DK $8200, FD $17) vs Nassourdine Imavov -105 (DK $8000, FD $15)

  • Anthony: Next on the card is a bout at middleweight between Phil Hawes and Nassourdine Imavov. This fight was scheduled for January, but Hawes was forced to withdraw due to injury. We saw him most recently get a huge win over Jacob Malkoun at UFC 254, knocking him out in the first twenty seconds of that bout. He clearly has a lot of power, but I still question his cardio, even now eleven fights into his professional career. His last two fights that saw the second round resulted in Hawes being finished, once by knockout and once by choke. Conversely, we have Imavov who is a far more technical mixed martial artist. Even though both fighters have well rounded skill sets, this really boils down to power versus precision. I really like the striking of Imavov and think his grappling both offensively and defensively will be a decisive factor here if he can survive the first round. I think you want exposure to both of these guys when building your DFS lineups but my pick is fairly confidently going to be Imavov here. Nassourdine Imavov by Round Three KO
  • Nick: Hawes has been considered a developing prospect for a while now, but he’s getting up there in age. He’s a physical specimen with serious knockout power, but we’ve yet to really see him take that next step against a higher level of competition. He is coming off five consecutive knockout victories. However, none of them were against an opponent on the level of Imavov. Imavov is coming off an impressive UFC debut in which he won against a highly regarded prospect in Jordan Williams. He leaned on his striking in that one, carrying a measured but effective approach through fifteen minutes. He has advanced footwork and excellent head-movement. Imavov also does a good job circling away from the strengths of his opponents and swinging out of his wide stance. Hawes has a decent jab, but he’s predictable as a striker. He puts a lot into his hooks and sometimes leaves himself open to counters. He leans on a standard boxing style, but it has worked well for him against low-middle level competition. This is a tough fight to call, as there are still a lot of question marks around both guys. The longer it lasts, the better I think Imavov’s chances will be. However, I think Hawes has enough power to close distance and end this one early. Phil Hawes by Round One KO
  • GB: Phil Hawes by Round Two KO

Christopher Daukaus -200 (DK $8600, FD $20) vs Aleksei Oleinik +160 (DK $7600, FD $11)

  • Anthony: We return to heavyweight here for a bout between Aleksei Oleinik and Chris Daukaus. I am a very big fan of Oleinik. He has been choking out high level UFC heavyweights for the past several years and began mixed martial arts fighting before I was even born. At this stage of his career, Oleinik lacks the speed and athleticism to threaten opponents on the feet. His ground game is still lethal, but we have seen him struggle to take fights to the mat as of late. Daukaus is a prospect who I am extremely excited about. He is a BJJ black belt with fast hands and a lot of advantages in this weight class. It really hurts me to fade The Boa Constrictor and root against him earning his 60th career win here. I just believe Daukaus has the physical edge over him and a grappling acumen sharp enough to avoid getting submitted. Daukaus should keep his distance in this fight and a knockout will likely materialize. It is very difficult to trust Oleinik in this spot, but he is certainly a live underdog. Chris Daukaus by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Olenik’s clearest path to victory is to grind Daukaus to the mat, advance position and ultimately find that submission he’s made a career on. He’s perfected the Ezekiel Choke to the point that he can find it from almost any position. He has several other submissions in his arsenal as well, but his chokes and his grappling ability are definitely the bread and butter. Daukaus has fast hands for a heavyweight, he’s a bit undersized for the division – but he’s been adding size and muscle and it seems that he’s only going to continue to build into this frame. Daukaus is going to have an athleticism advantage here. He’s far from a physical specimen, but he’s already in much better shape than he was when he made his UFC debut and his speed can definitely be weaponized here against an aging Oleinik. He’s going to have a significant advantage on the feet and it wouldn’t shock me if he scored an early knockout, but Oleinik just needs one takedown to win this fight. My confidence is low on this one and I’ll definitely have exposure to Daukaus for his KO upside on DraftKings and FanDuel. I’m siding with the value and experience of the underdog though. Aleksei Oleinik by Round One Submission
  • GB: Chris Daukaus by Round One KO

Charles Rosa -190 (DK $8800, FD $20) vs Darrick Minner +155 (DK $7400, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Next up is a featherweight bout between Charles Rosa and Darrick Minner. It is a bit strange to see this bout so high up the card but nonetheless it should be a good scrap that I am looking forward to. Rosa is not the highest level mixed martial artist but he has proven on multiple occasions he belongs in the UFC. I do not see him beating many upper echelon fighters in the promotion, but this matchup seems like a relatively easy one for him. He likely will not need to rely on striking nearly as much as usual against the primary grappler Minner. Rosa has a very unique karate stance and some unorthodox striking that makes him a tough fighter to trust. However, he is the superior grappler between these too. I really like what he has shown as far as submission defense and just defensive grappling in general. Minner usually does not have the gas tank to engage opponents for a full fifteen minutes. I see Rosa eventually taking this fight to the mat and winning by submission. It is not a bet I am comfortable making at these odds, but Rosa is the clear pick in this fight. Charles Rosa by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: There’s a good chance that this match-up between two grapplers is primarily a striking affair, as neither wants to play into the others’ strength. Minner is live for a submission as the underdog here, he has an outstanding guillotine choke and he’s very opportunistic in scrambles. Rosa is coming off a nice win over Kevin Aguilar. He won the striking exchanges in that one, showing major improvements when fighting on the feet. Rosa fights very light-footed out of a karate style stance. He seems to finally have his timing down, and against an inferior striker like Minner I expect him to find success. Almost all of Minner’s wins have come via submission. He’s going to work for the submission early, but Rosa is advanced enough a BJJ practitioner that I don’t expect him to find the opening. Minner is tough, but I have trouble expecting him to submit Rosa knowing Bryce Mitchell was never able to. Mitchell is one of the more advanced BJJ players in this division and while Minner’s chokes are definitely capable of catching anyone – Rosa has shown an extremely high level of defensive grappling. As long as he protects his neck, this feels like Rosa’s fight to lose. He’s the better fighter pretty much everywhere. Charles Rosa by Decision
  • GB: Charles Rosa by Round Two Submission

Ketlen Vieira -275 (DK $9300, FD $22) vs Yana Kunitskaya +215 (DK $6900, FD $8)

  • Anthony: For some reason this co-main event is a women’s bantamweight bout between Ketlen Vieira and Yana Kunitskaya. It is really tough to be confident on either side of this one. Yunitskaya is strong and may be able control clinching and grappling in this bout. She is the superior striker and certainly has a path to victory. Vieira is a very good grappler but I have not seen enough out of her to warrant this absurd price tag. Looking drained and missing weight yesterday, there is no way I am laying nearly three to one of the Brazilian. Vieira should probably still be the slight favorite, but I am betting Kunitskaya here in hopes of an upset. It will be a difficult task but stuffing takedowns may be all she needs to do for a convincing decision win. Yana Kunitskaya by Decision
  • Nick: Before getting dropped back in 2019 against Irene Aldana, Viera was building hype as a potential title contender at bantamweight. She is coming off a nice bounce-back win against Sijara Eubanks, and she’ll have a chance to take another step towards that title shot with a win over Kunitskaya here. Viera is going to have advantage if this fight hits the mat. She’s a blackbelt in both BJJ and Judo. She has strong takedown and submission ability and if she finds herself falling behind on strikes, she should be able to control position. Kunitskaya is the better striker in this match-up. She has crisp boxing and pushes a solid pace, but she’s fairly one dimensional. Kunitskaya is tall which helps her stuff takedowns, but Vieira can be relentless in pursuit. Vieira has excellent takedown ability. She uses timely trips and leg sweeps to trick her opponents and I expect her to find success that way here. Kunitskaya has just a 33 percent takedown defense. Viera feels a bit expensive for DFS purposes, but I expect her to take Kunitskaya down if she starts to fall behind on the feet. She should be able to control position for long enough to pull out a decision. Ketlen Vieira by Decision
  • GB: Ketlen Vieira by Decision

Curtis Blaydes -400 (DK $9400, FD $23) vs Derrick Lewis +300 (DK $6800, FD $17)

  • Anthony: The main event of the evening is a heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis. We pretty much know what to expect in this fight. Lewis has the most heavyweight knockouts in UFC history. He is a dangerous striker that carries power into the later rounds of his fights. Unfortunately, Lewis has a deficiency when it comes to grappling. He can usually force his way back to the feet but struggles to defend most takedown attempts. Blaydes has already said that this is going to be a boring fight. He averages eleven takedown per five rounds and faces an opponent with just 53 percent takedown defense. Lewis certainly could land the knockout, but he has no path to victory any second his ass is touching the mat. This feels like a tougher fight than the odds imply, but a win here cements Blaydes at the top of the heavyweight division. His style provides a huge roadblock for Lewis and I am very doubtful The Black Beast can keep things standing, especially inside the smaller cage. Blaydes is an elite play on both sites despite his astronomical price tag. On FanDuel, he is the clear choice at MVP. Curtis Blaydes by Round Four KO
  • Nick: Blaydes will finally get to square off with Derrick Lewis here after asking for this fight for the better part of the past two years. Lewis is a power puncher with extremely heavy hands. He’s going to throw bombs on Blaydes early and often, but if he doesn’t find that KO his cardio depletes quickly and he’s likely to fall behind. Blaydes is primarily a wrestler and one of the best heavyweights in the world in terms of grappling ability. He has excellent takedown entries and averages more takedowns per minute than any other heavyweight in UFC history. Blaydes says he’s been working more on conditioning leading into this fight. I expect him to lean on his grappling to ware on Lewis here until he eventually puts him away. Lewis has a shaky 52 percent takedown defense, likely the reason he is such a large underdog. The line is getting a bit ridiculous here, but Blaydes is one of my favorite plays on the board for DFS or otherwise. Curtis Blaydes by Round Three KO
  • GB: Derrick Lewis by Round Two KO

*Anthony, Nick and GB play on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and although they express their opinions, they may also implement other plays and strategies without notice