Drake's Takes: UFC Vegas 82 Allen vs. Craig

Drake's Takes: UFC Vegas 82 Allen vs. Craig

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

The top MMA betting and DFS plays for this weekend's UFC Vegas 82 card are up and courtesy of Drake Burden, who breaks down betting and lineup strategy, as well as offers predictions for the entire event.

Christian Leroy Duncan (8-1-0) v. Denis Tiuliulin (11-8-0)

Christian Leroy Duncan - Height: 6'2" - Reach: 79" - Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 11 wins

Denis Tiuliulin - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 77" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 9 finishes in 10 wins

DFS Perspective: After a thrilling UFC debut, Duncan was set back after losing a unanimous decision after 15 minutes. Tiuliulin has lost consecutive fights by early stoppage and is taking this fight on a week's notice. Tiuliulin has an outside show of a knockout win, but that would likely be the only way. I expect Duncan to get himself right and end this one early.

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Duncan

Lucas Alexander (8-3-0) v. Jeka Saragih (13-3-0)

Lucas Alexander - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 73" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 3 finishes in 8 wins

Jeka Saragih - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 69" – Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 12 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: Alexander earned his first UFC win in his most recent fight, while Saragih was dominated in his debut. I expect this to primarily remain on the feet, where Alexander will have a considerable edge in power and volume. Should Saragih get this to the mat, he likely finds some success with control, but I do not see it happening often. A lower-scoring decision is likely. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Alexander

Charles Johnson (13-5-0) v. Rafael Estevam (11-0-0)

Charles Johnson - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 70" - Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 9 finishes in 13 wins

Rafael Estevam - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 69" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

DFS Perspective: After rattling off two consecutive wins, Johnson is now on a two-fight slide, most recently getting dominated on the mat. Estevam is making his UFC debut after a beautiful performance on the Contender Series. I see this fight going one of two ways: Johnson fights defensively and makes this a dull decision, or Estevam ragdolls Johnson and smashes his tag. It is tough to envision debutants to smash experienced vets, but I think that is precisely what happens here. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Estevam

Chad Anheliger (12-6-0) v. Jose Johnson (15-8-0)

Chad Anheliger - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 64" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 12 wins

Jose Johnson - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 71" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Anheliger was handed his first UFC loss in his most recent bout, dropping a unanimous decision to move to 1-1 in the promotion. Johnson struggled in his debut, albeit against very high-level competition. He has a much less difficult fight this time and should indicate what we will see moving forward. On paper, Johnson is better everywhere and should dictate where the fight takes place. I expect him to earn his first UFC win in exciting fashion.

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Johnson

Jonathan Pearce (14-4-0) v. Joanderson Brito (15-3-1)

Jonathan Pearce - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 71" - Switch
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 11 finishes in 14 wins

Joanderson Brito - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 72" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Both fighters lost their UFC debuts and have since gone on winning streaks, Pearce on five and Brito on three. This should be an excellent fight to target for DFS, as the winner likely smashes value. Pearce has fought a slightly better level of competition, and I expect him to shoot early for control and either keep control or look for heavy ground and pound

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Pearce

Mick Parkin (14-4-0) v. Caio Machado (8-1-1)

Michael Parkin - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 79" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 6 finishes in 7 wins

Caio Machado - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 78" – Southpaw
~ High volume
~ Plus grappling
~ 6 finishes in 8 wins

DFS Perspective: I am not sure what to expect out of this fight. Anything can happen in heavyweight bouts, and I do not expect this to be any different. It's a lower-level fight, and I would expect both fighters to have their chances. Parkin has a slight edge, having already fought in the UFC, but Caio was impressive in his Contender Series fight. I will ride with the dog.

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Machado

Lucie Pudilova (14-8-0) v. Ailin Perez (8-2-0)

Lucie Pudilova - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 67" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 14 wins

Ailin Perez - Height: 5'5" - Reach: 66" – Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 8 wins

DFS Perspective: Pudilova has lost five of her last six UFC fights, making it difficult to trust her against any fighter. Perez earned her first one after a sour debut in her most recent fight and will be looking to make the statement she is capable of in this one. I expect Perez to come out hot and put her skills on display against much weaker competition. If she chains takedowns again, she will smash her tag. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Perez

Nikolas Motta (13-5-0) v. Trey Ogden (16-6-0)

Nikolas Motta - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 70" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 9 finishes in 13 wins

Trey Ogden - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 72" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 11 finishes in 16 wins

DFS Perspective: Traditional striker vs. grappler fight. Motta will have a considerable edge on the feet, while Ogden will have the edge on the mat. I would not expect a high score to come out of this fight unless there is a finish. I expect Motta's takedown defense to play a huge part in this fight, defending several takedowns and eventually wearing Ogden down. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Motta

Amanda Ribas (11-4-0) v. Luana Pinheiro (11-1-0)

Amanda Ribas - Height: 5'3" - Reach: 66" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 6 finishes in 11 wins

Luana Pinheiro  - Height: 5'2" - Reach: 62" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

DFS Perspective: Pinheiro moved to 3-0 in the UFC, although her last fight was debatable. Ribas took an unfortunate loss last fight, getting knocked out in the second round. I expect the fight to be close for maybe a round and then for Ribas to take over. The level of competition is leagues higher, and this is an excellent get-right spot for Ribas. Pinheiro must step up her game to win this fight, and I do not see it happening. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Ribas

Payton Talbott (6-0-0) v. Nick Aguirre (7-1-0)

Payton Talbott - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 70" - Switch
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 6 wins

Nick Aguirre - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 74" – Southpaw
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 7 wins

DFS Perspective: Talbott will make his UFC debut after a thrilling fight on the Contender Series. Aguirre is taking his second UFC fight, having been dominated for 15 minutes in his debut. If Aguirre can get this fight to the mat, he will likely find success with control and a potential finish. However, Talbott displayed elite takedown defense in his Contender Series fight. Talbott will also have a significant edge on the feet. I expect this to stay upright and for Talbott to cruise to a volume-based decision. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Talbott

Jordan Leavitt (11-2-0) v. Chase Hooper (12-3-1)

Jordan Leavitt - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 71" - Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 11 wins

Chase Hooper - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 74" – Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 9 finishes in 12 wins

DFS Perspective: Both fighters are elite grapplers and not easy to submit or control on the mat. I would expect this to come down to the better striker, which should be Hooper. Hooper has shown significant growth in accuracy, volume, and power and should have the edge there. I do not see a high score coming out of this fight without a finish, but both guys have the tools to end this early. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Hooper

Jake Matthews (19-6-0) v. Michael Morales (15-0-0)

Jake Matthews - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 73" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 19 wins

Michael Morales - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 79" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 12 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Matthews's best path to victory is to get this to the mat and keep Morales from striking. He is a dangerous submission threat and has solid ground and pound. Morales will have a considerable edge on the feet with volume, power, and reach. This is another step up for Morales, and I think he strikes his way to another win. However, aside from his debut first-round finish, he has not scored well for his price point, and this could go the same way. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Morales

Brendan Allen (22-5-0) v. Paul Craig (17-6-1)

Brendan Allen - Height: 6'2" - Reach: 75" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 18 finishes in 22 wins

Paul Craig - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 76" – Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 17 finishes in 17 wins

DFS Perspective: Allen is better anywhere this fight goes. So long as he does not make a mistake, he should cruise to a victory. Craig has shown tendencies to tire out and accept being on his back, which will only play into Allen's plans. Allen is one of my favorite plays on the slate. 

UFC Vegas 82 Pick: Allen

 

For more MMA DFS-specific content, check out our UFC Vegas 82 DraftKings preview, or test your favorite combinations of fighters on our DFS MMA Lineup Optimizer.

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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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