If you followed my fantasy advice for this past Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Ige, I sincerely apologize. We’ll chalk it up to a bad night at the office. But I’ll make it up to you with a winning Draft Kings lineup for this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2, ok?
For this card I’m going with three high-priced pickups ($9,000+) and three value purchases (under $8,000) for hopefully a winning combination.
Grant Dawson – $9,200
$9,200 is big bucks for Grant Dawson, but he normally delivers big points. He averages 106.5 fantasy points per outing, second best on Saturday’s card behind Luana Carolina (more on her in a bit). His last three fights he’s gone 106, 111 and 104 points. I’m liking him to win his fight this week against Nad Narimani, which hopefully will bring us 100+ points once again.
Montel Jackson – $9,100
‘Quik’ Montel Jackson is also a pricey pickup for a relative unknown at $9,100, but there’s a good chance he won’t be unknown for much longer. The 28-year-old is a rising prospect in the bantamweight division, winning three-straight after dropping his UFC debut. He averages 89.6 fantasy points per fight, and earned an eye-popping 142 in his last fight: 75 significant strikes, one knockdown, 11(!!) takedowns, and three advancing. He’s bigger, better and younger than Saturday’s opponent Brett Johns, so I’m liking him to earn his lofty price.
Deiveson Figueiredo – $9,000
For my last big ticket purchase, I’m taking one half of the main event in Deiveson Figueiredo at $9,000. ‘Deus da Guerra’ (God of War) won his first matchup against Joseph Benavidez this past February, knocking him out in the second round. However, there were a lot of ‘buts’ attached to that. Firstly, the Brazilian came in 2.5 pounds overweight, meaning he didn’t win the UFC Flyweight Championship, leaving it still vacant heading into Saturday. Also, he lost the first round to Benavidez and, according to his foe, only won the fight in round two because a headbutt sent Benavidez loopy, after which Figueiredo finished him off. Regardless, I think Figueiredo’s size, power and youth advantages will earn him the W once again, and earn us some nice points.
Luana Carolina – $7,900
Luana ‘Dread’ Carolina is one of the underdogs I’m liking on Saturday night, so getting her at $7,900 looks good to me. In her UFC debut she racked up a hefty 108.5 fantasy points, due to 111 significant strikes landed, one knockdown, two reversals, and one advancing. She throws out a high volume of offense, and Saturday’s opponent Ariane Lipski absorbs a high volume of offense, so it could be a match made in heaven.
Askar Askarov – $7,400
Russian Askar Askarov is one of the best bright young prospects in the UFC flyweight division, so I’m liking him as a value pickup at $7,400 (the photo at the top of his article is him raining down the pain on Tim Elliott). He’ll be going up against perennial contender Alexandre Pantoja on Saturday, the gatekeeper of the 125-pound division. But I think Askarov’s striking and wrestling is on a similar level to the Brazilian, so he’s worth the gamble. Additionally, being 80% deaf as he is, fighting in a near-empty arena shouldn’t throw him as much as someone else used to hearing the roar of a crowd.
Joel Alvarez – $6,900
Here’s my swing for the fences long shot pickup. But hear me out. Joel Alvarez will be much larger and younger than Saturday’s opponent Joe Duffy, and that can never be overlooked in a fight (especially the size). And the size is significant – Alvarez is five inches taller and has four inches of reach on Duffy. And ‘Irish’ Joe Duffy has been slowed over the past few years due to injuries, only fighting once (and losing) since November 2018. Add in the fact that Alvarez scored 88 points in his last outing, and I think he’s worth the risk.