Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Lewis vs. Spivac

Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Lewis vs. Spivac

This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.

The top MMA betting and DFS plays for this weekend's UFC Vegas 65 card are up and courtesy of Drake Burden, who breaks down betting and lineup strategy, as well as offers predictions for the entire event.

Natalia Silva (13-5-1) v. Tereza Bleda (6-0-0)

Natalia Silva - Height: 5'4" - Reach: 65" - Southpaw
~ High volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 13 wins

Tereza Bleda - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 71" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 4 finishes in 6 wins

DFS Perspective: Bleda is huge for a flyweight and typically fights at featherweight (keep an eye on her at weigh-ins). She has great finishing ability and will sport a considerable size advantage in this matchup. Silva will need to find early success with takedowns, and her grappling and striking will be difficult. Silva is the better overall fighter, but I cannot get past the size disadvantage and will take a chance with the dog.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Bleda

Brady Hiestand (6-2-0) v. Fernie Garcia (10-2-0)

Brady Hiestand - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 71" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 4 finishes in 5 wins

Fernie Garcia - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 67" – Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Plus grappling
~ 4 finishes in 10 wins

DFS Perspective: Heistand is one of my favorite young fighters, and I believe the UFC is giving him a winnable fight with Garcia. He will have the edge anywhere the fight goes, and I expect him to have his way with takedowns and control. Garcia does have a little pop in his hands, but I do not expect a good showing from him. 

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Heistand

Vanessa Demopoulos (8-4-0) v. Maria Oliveira (13-5-0)

Vanessa Demopoulos - Height: 5'2" - Reach: 59" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 8 wins

Maria Oliveira - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 69" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling
~ 8 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: This will be a stern test for Demopoulos, and I believe her only path to victory is a sub. Oliveira has faced far better competition and is the better overall fighter. She should smash Demopoulos with volume and could potentially blow her value away.

UFC Vegas 65  Pick: Oliveira

Ricky Turcios (12-3-0) v. Kevin Natividad (9-3-0)

Ricky Turcios - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 71" - Orthodox
~ High volume 
~ Plus wrestling
~ 4 finishes in 11 wins

Kevin Natividad - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 70" – Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 6 finishes in 9 wins

DFS Perspective: Turcios is another up-and-comer with loads of potential. He should dominate this matchup to an easy win, so long as he avoids getting knocked out. Natividad's best chances will come on the feet, where he can show off a little power. However, I do not think he offers much chance in this fight.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Turcios

Jennifer Maia (19-9-1) v. Maryna Moroz (11-3-0)

Jennifer Maia - Height: 5'4" - Reach: 64" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling
~ 9 finishes in 19 wins

Maryna Moroz - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 67" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

DFS Perspective: Maia should offer a stiffer test than Moroz's last couple of fights and should be able to keep this particularly close on the feet. Moroz would be wise to get this fight to the mat, where she would have a considerable advantage, but she should still take over late, even on the feet.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Moroz

Charles Johnson 11-3-0) v. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-7-0)

Charles Johnson - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 70" - Switch
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 11 wins

Zhalgas Zhumagulov - Height: 5'4" - Reach: 66" – Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 14 wins

DFS Perspective: Johnson could not show his talent in his debut after being taken down 12 times and having no room to breathe. I expect to see him more prepared and display his striking and grappling in this one. Zhumagulov was once considered a top prospect and could surprise if that fighter shows up. He has a solid overall game and is not a dog to sleep on.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Johnson

Jack Della Maddalena (12-2-0) v. Danny Roberts (18-6-0)

Jack Della Maddalena - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 73" - Switch
~ High volume 
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 11 finishes in 12 wins

Danny Roberts - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 74" – Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus grappling
~ 13 finishes in 18 wins

DFS Perspective: Maddalena should smash and earn another first-round finish. He should be lightyears ahead in striking, and his immense pressure should be too much for Roberts. Roberts's best path to victory would be to snare a guillotine or find his way to the mat where he could grind out with control or find a submission.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Maddalena

Andre Fialho (16-5-0, 1NC) v. Muslim Salikhov (18-3-0)

Andre Fialho - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 74" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 14 finishes in 16 wins

Muslim Salikhov - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 70" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 14 finishes in 18 wins

DFS Perspective: This is a tough fight to call. Both guys are strong fighters on the feet, and either could score a knockout over the other. I give Salikhov a significant edge on the feet, and should he choose to take it there, he will dominate this matchup. Fialho has defended takedowns at a solid clip, but I expect him to face a stern test against Salikhov.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Salikhov

Chase Sherman (16-10-0) v. Waldo Cortes-Acosta (8-0-0)

Chase Sherman - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 78" - Orthodox
~ High volume 
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 15 finishes in 16 wins

Waldo Cortes-Acosta - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 78" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 5 finishes in 8 wins

DFS Perspective: This will be a fun heavyweight striking match for as long as it lasts. Cortes-Acosta tasted victory in his debut but will need to be more accurate against Sherman or land something clean to make it 2-for-2. Sherman is always an exciting punt because he goes out and fights with everything he has. He will likely throw more volume and needs to avoid getting knocked out to record an upset. 

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Cortes-Acosta

Kennedy Nzechukwu (10-3-0) v. Ion Cutelaba (16-8-1)

Kennedy Nzechukwu - Height: 6'5" - Reach: 83" - Southpaw
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling
~ 7 finishes in 10 wins

Ion Cutelaba - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 75" – Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling
~ 14 finishes in 16 wins

DFS Perspective: This should be pretty straightforward. If Nzechukwu avoids getting taken down, he will win this fight by knockout. If Cutelaba wins, it will be through takedowns, control time and potentially a ground-and-pound finish. Either way, a finish is likely from one of the other, and with a matchup this close, I will side with the dog.

UFC Vegas 65 Pick: Cutelaba

Derrick Lewis (26-10-0) v. Sergey Spivac (14-3-0)

Derrick Lewis - Height: 6'3" - Reach: 79" - Orthodox
~ Low volume 
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 22 finishes in 26 wins

Sergey Spivac - Height: 6'3" - Reach: 78" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Lewis is always a threat to knock someone out, but like in most of his fights nowadays, it is his only path to victory. If he hits it, he will crush value. Unfortunately, Spivac fights at a much higher pace and will likely be the finisher in this one. He will have a considerable edge in volume and a massive edge on the mat. 

UFC Vegas 65: Spivac

 

For more MMA DFS-specific content, check out our DraftKings MMA preview, or play around with your favorite combinations of fighters on our DFS MMA Lineup Optimizer.

FANDUEL MMA SCORING

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes = 0.6 pts
Takedown = 6 pts
Takedown Defense = 3 pts
Knockdown = 12 pts
Submission Attempt = 5 pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win = 100 pts
2nd Round Win = 75 pts
3rd Round Win = 50 pts
4th Round Win = 35 pts
5th Round Win = 25 pts
Decision Win = 20 pts

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are distance strikes or clinch/ground strikes that are considered "power strikes" by official scorers.
  • A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider a substantial time.

DRAFTKINGS MMA SCORING

Moves Scoring
Strikes: +0.2 pts
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.2 pts
Control Time: +0.03 pts/Second
Takedown (TD): +5 pts
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 pts
Knockdown (KD): +10 pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 pts
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 pts
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 pts
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 pts
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 pts
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 pts
Quick Win Bonus: +25 pts
(fight is finished in 60 seconds or less)

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any distance strikes or clinch/ground strikes that are considered "power strikes" by official scorers.
  • A Significant Strike will count as both a strike and a significant strike and will be worth a total of 0.4 pts.
  • Control Time is the time spent in the dominant position on the ground or in the clinch. +0.03 points are awarded per second.
  • A Knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable time.
  • A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Drake Burden plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Dburdz, DraftKings: Dburdz.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drake Burden
Drake is a proven DFS winner with multiple four-figure paydays under his belt. He took an interest to writing MMA during the pandemic and is active in various Discords and other social media communities.
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