DraftKings MMA Mixed Martial Arts DFS Analysis Picks Plays Advice Strategy

UFC 236 – April 13, 2019


The UFC took the week off last week but resumes in Atlanta for some great action and two title fights. We will take a look at three fights and offer some advice on how to approach them in Saturday’s DFS contests.

BRANDON DAVIS (DK $8,700) vs RANDY COSTA (DK $7,500)

Randy Costa will make his UFC against an experienced fighter in Brandon Davis. Costa brings with him a good deal of hype into the octagon. In four professional fights he has four first round finishes. Upon further examination, however, the quality of opponent he has faced is some of the weakest I’ve seen. Of the four fighters he’s faced so far, only Chris Thorne has ever won a professional fight. Thorne’s profession record against regional level competition is 5-9. On Saturday he faces Davis who is 9-5 as a professional, although he has only one win in the UFC. Davis has yet to lose by KO/TKO and is the biggest favorite under $9,000 in salary.

Caveman’s advice: The desire to find good underdog plays can lead DFS players to overplay fighters like Costa. It remains important to keep perspective, however. The quality of his competition to this point is very, very low. Brandon Davis is by far the best competition he has faced. It is entirely unknown how Costa will perform outside of the first round as he has never been pushed that far in his brief career. Use care with Costa. He certainly has potential for finishes and deserves some consideration in MME contests. I would use this fight conservatively in MME contests. Give the fight 20-30% exposure with a 70/30 split going to the cheaper Costa. His salary and penchant for finishes make him the better DFS play, but he is still a underdog. I would pass on this fight in cash play.


This fight is the fight least likely to go the distance on Saturday. Current odds make it a -350 favorite to end by early finish. Nikita Krylov has never gone to decision in his 30 professional fights. In fact, he has only gone to the third round in one of those fights. In those fights, he has 10 wins by KO/TKO and 14 wins by submission. OSP has only gone to decision once in his past 6 fights but has gone the distance in 13 of his 35 career fights. He does have 11 wins by KO/TKO and 7 submission victories to his credit, including 3 submissions and one KO in his last 4 victories.

Caveman’s advice: These two fighters are currently dead even with the oddsmakers. This fight, however, has some of the best potential to end with a good conclusion bonus for the victor. This fight deserves heavy use in MME contests. I prefer the younger fighter Krylov here, but wouldn’t ignore OSP in MME contests. With only a $200 separation in salary, they both carry good potential for the cost. I would use this fight in 80-90% of lineups in MME contests with a 60/40 split in favor of Krylov.


These two fighters combine for the highest FPPF of any fight on Saturday. The fact that this fight is scheduled for 5 rounds only makes the fight even better for DFS purposes. Poirier was the winner the last time these two faced each other back in February of 2012. Max Holloway isn’t the same fighter seven years later. He is undefeated since January of 2014 and has dominated the competition in a weight class with loads of talent. He is coming off of four consecutive TKO’s and is looking for revenge against Poirier in Atlanta. Poirier is also coming off an impressive streak with 4 wins and 1 no contest in his last 5 fights. Three of those fights were by early finish.

Caveman’s advice: Until someone proves me wrong, I’m going with Max Holloway. I made the mistake of favoring Ortega over him in his last fight and that is the last time I’m doing that. His hand speed is unrivaled and his pressure is relentless. Should this fight go the distance, he is likely to collect in the range of 200 significant strikes. Poirier is a good fighter, but he is meeting one of the best ever at this weight at the top of his game. I would seriously consider going all-in on Max in MME contests, but would more likely recommend a significant portion of lineups with a heavy use of this fight. Conservatively, I would use this fight in 80% of lineups and have no issue using it in 100%. It is a full contact sport and anything can happen, so I’d split the fights 80/20 in favor of Holloway allowing for some lineups for Dustin simply because Poirier is such a good fighter at such a low salary. I expect the winner of this fight to be in the top 3 in fantasy scoring.

That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!

About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and NASCAR. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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