Fight Study (3/27/21)
UFC 260’s Main Card gets off to a great start when Khama Worthy takes on Jamie Mullarkey in a lightweight bout from Las Vegas. Both fighters are looking to rebound from losses and Worthy is the small favorite in this matchup. He will carry the higher salaries in DFS contests and he is available for $8,600 on DraftKings and for $17 on Fanduel. Mullarkey can be rostered for $7,600 and $14 respectively. This fight has been set for 3 rounds of MMA action although the oddsmakers have made it a -165 favorite to finish prior to the final bell.
Worthy is 16-7 as a professional with 9 wins by KO/TKO, 3 wins by submission and 4 wins by decision. He is a versatile fighter and despite losing his last fight to Ottman Azaitar, he is 2-1 in the UFC with impressive wins over Devonte Smith and Luis Peña. In fact, before his TKO loss to Azaitar last September, Worthy was on a 7 fight win streak dating back to March of 2018. During that win streak, he had 5 finishes including finishes in both of his UFC victories. Although he will give up one inch in height on Saturday, his reach is equal to Mullarkey’s. His power is less than his opponent’s, but his speed makes him the better striker in my opinion. He will need to keep striking from the edge of his distance and keep safely away from Mullarkey’s power.
Mullarkey is 12-4 with 8 wins by KO/TKO, 3 wins by submission and 1 win by decision. Prior to entering the UFC, Mullarkey had been on a 4 fight win streak with each of those wins coming by TKO. However, since joining the UFC, he is winless in two visits to the octagon. Both Brad Riddell and Fares Ziam were able to outstrike Mullarkey and get the unanimous decisions over him. In fact, Mullarkey is just 1-2 in decisions for his career. To win, he must be able to put his power to good use. If given the chance to trade with Worthy in close range, Mullarkey will have a good chance at finishing his opponent. Although both fighters have multiple submissions to their credit, Mullarkey must use care when grappling with Worthy who has shown the ability to submit UFC level opponents while Mullarkey has not submitted an opponent in over 5 years.
In his 3 UFC fights to date, Worthy has yet to attempt a takedown. He is very content to stand and strike with his opponents. Look for him to try to keep this fight upright where his hand speed should cause Mullarkey trouble. Mullarkey, however, has attempted 26 takedowns in his first 2 UFC fights (he was successful on 8 of his attempts). It figures that he will stick to this strategy again on Saturday, but doing so will make him vulnerable to Worthy’s submission capabilities. Also, although he was able to execute some takedowns in these fights, they were ultimately unsuccessful and his takedown rate is a meager 30%. Despite going the distance in both of his fights, he only managed to accumulate one significant strike from the ground. To be successful, he will need to take care of business on his feet.
In DFS contests, Mullarkey figures to disappoint unless he is able to land a big shot on Worthy. Although Worthy did fall short against Azaitar, Mullarkey has not shown that he is on the same level and his chances of hurting Worthy is much too small for my taste. I expect Worthy’s speed will frustrate Mullarkey and force him to take his chances at changing levels on Worthy. This should present Worthy with chances at landing a big shot instead. The oddsmakers have made Worthy a +160 dog to score a finish in this fight, but I makes his chances a bit better than that. This fight is no guarantee to put up big fantasy numbers, but I do think Worthy could find a finish in this one. Still, although I expect Worthy to win this one fairly easily, a finish (and a high fantasy score) is not a given. For this reason, I will prefer Worthy as a cash play, but will give him measured exposure in GPP contests as well.
For more Fight Study, be sure to keep your eye on FantasyCruncher.com leading up to UFC 260 on March 27.
UFC 260: FIGHT #5, Worthy vs Mullarkey
For Fight Study on UFC 260: FIGHT #4, Maverick vs Robertson, click HERE.
For Fight Study on UFC 260: FIGHT #6, Cherant vs Menifield, click HERE.