DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC Las Vegas

Welcome to the Quick Picks version of UFC Las Vegas!

The UFC just announced an incredible card on July 11th, which will be the first event that takes place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, but for now, the MMA promotion heads back to Las Vegas Saturday for a card featuring two contenders in the women’s Flyweight division. Follow along as I break down some free DraftKings MMA DFS picks for Saturday’s UFC Las Vegas fight card.

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DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC Las Vegas

Merab Dvalishvili, $9,200

Originally scheduled to take on Ray Borg, the UFC called up Gustavo Lopez on short notice to be the replacement against Merab Dvalishvili, which is an extremely tough task.

Dvalishvili is one of the premier takedown artists in MMA, averaging 7.8 takedowns per 15 minutes and more than one takedown attempt per minute throughout his career. That has translated into some outstanding DraftKings scores, including 131, 92 and 98 in his three most recent victories.

Even in his two losses, Dvalishvili has scored well, putting up 71 and 79 DraftKings points respectively. Considering DraftKings awards five points per takedown and three points per advance, we can expect those high numbers to continue.

With the late replacement, Dvalishvili is now a massive -780 favorite, and even priced at 9.2k, our projections indicate he carries one of the highest floors and ceilings on the entire slate.

Expect Dvalishvili to be a popular target come Saturday, but if you have the salary to spend in both cash games and tournaments, Dvalishvili is clearly the number one option.

Cynthia Calvillo, $7,900

It’s always important to consider both sides of the Main Event when playing MMA on DraftKings, as that is generally the only fight with potential to go a full 25 minutes.

Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo headline the card Saturday, and based on our projections, Calvillo carries the higher ceiling at 7.9k.

Calvillo has landed 4.12 significant strikes per minute in the UFC, but she also lands 1.83 takedowns per 15 minutes and has a very strong submission grappling game. Eye will be looking to keep the fight standing where she can throw punches at range, and Calvillo will likely want to take the fight to the mat.

Calvillo is only -110 to win this fight and she’s a decent value at 7.9k for that reason, and she also carries the higher ITD prop at +310, compared to +500 of Eye. In her past wins, Calvillo has scored 108, 87, 73, 117 and 71 points, which is fairly strong for her weight class.

Given the five round potential with some added upside to win inside the distance, Calvillo is the slightly preferred Main Event target at 7.9k

Jordan Espinosa, $8,500

With only 11 fights on the slate, there are few fighters that I am ruling out of my player pool, but one option that does not stand out is Jordan Espinosa at 8.5k.

Our projections don’t consider Espinosa a strong cash game or tournament option, and a fighter who will very likely need to win inside the distance to have any chance of being on a winning tournament lineup.

Espinosa is -165 to win but carries a poor ITD line, and is likely facing a superior submission grappler in Mark De La Rosa. Considering the options in the surrounding price tier, including Jessica Eye, Andre Fili and more, Espinosa will likely need a score of 90 or more points to pay off his price tag.

His path to a finish is simply too limited in this particular matchup to consider a heavy investment, and with a limited number of lineups, he’s a fighter that you can consider ruling out of your player pool.

More MMA DFS Picks for UFC Las Vegas

For more DraftKings MMA DFS picks and projections for UFC Las Vegas contests, remember to sign up for RotoGrinders Premium. You don’t want to miss out on in-depth fighter breakdowns, optimal GPP strategy discussions, fighter rankings, and our premium video and audio podcasts with expert MMA picks, all available exclusively to RG Premium subscribers.

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About the Author

  • Brett Appley (bbbomb)

  • One of the top MMA minds in the DFS industry, Brett Appley a.k.a bbbomb has been writing his weekly “Beat Down” article for RotoGrinders since the sport launched on DraftKings in 2015. Brett has earned multiple Top 10 rankings in MMA since that time and has taken down a handful of tournaments as well.

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