DraftKings MMA: UFC Shanghai Preview
DraftKings MMA: UFC Shanghai Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

With an announced start time of 3:45 ET on Saturday, Nov. 25, DraftKings Players will need to have lineups locked in before hitting the pillow Friday night. On a card full of uncertainty, it's important to closely watch odds movement throughout the week, as the numbers will play a big role in lineup construction.

If you're hoping to turn the event into an opportunity to build your DFS bankroll, DraftKings.com has you covered with a full slate of contests. Players get a $50,000 budget to select six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

(Please note that DraftKings altered their scoring system in December 2016 to add a new fighter to the lineup and adjust scoring. The most recent point values are listed below.)

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +3 PT
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

Scoring Notes
Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.

Advances include: To Half Guard, To Side Control, To Mount, To Back Control

Now, on to the fights...

Main Event - Middleweight

Michael Bisping (31-8-0) v. Kelvin Gastelum (14-3-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Bisping ($7,200), Gastelum ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Bisping (+245), Gastelum (-290)
Odds to Finish: -220

Anderson Silva's potential second USADA violation creates an opening for The Count to get back into action less than three weeks after dropping his UFC Middleweight Championship to Georges St-Pierre at Madison Square Garden. On the surface, taking a fight so soon after the GSP loss may seem like a strange move by Bisping, but when you delver deeper into the matter, it makes perfect sense. Bisping, who turns 39 in February, knows full well that it's highly unlikely he will ever enter the title picture again and this gives him another opportunity to headline an event. My guess is that he retires early next year after a fight in his native England and slides full time into a broadcast role. He doesn't have much to give anymore other than supreme grit and toughness, and a fight against a younger, supremely talented opponent in Gastelum is a bad matchup for Bisping.

I strongly advocate Gastelum remaining at middleweight. He has said on multiple occasions that he hopes to drop back down to welterweight eventually, but his body was drawn out at 170 pounds and he struggled both to make weight and with his energy level. Gastelum was submitted by Chris Weidman in his last fight in July, but he fought better than the final result would lead you to believe. Kelvin struggled with the size and physicality of Weidman, but Bisping, at least at this point in his career, is a pure brawler. Gastelum is a potent striker with a background in wrestling. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about his future if he continues to fight at a weight class that doesn't destroy his body.

My guess is that Bisping can't come close to matching the hand speed of Gastelum and I don't see how he will be able to get him to the mat on a regular basis given Kelvin's wrestling pedigree and the age difference between the two. Bisping is intelligent, marketable, and you can't really blame the guy for trying to earn a couple more massive paychecks before he steps aside, but this is a tough fight for him. If this is a kickboxing match, and I expect it to be, I think Kelvin wins fairly easily. He better, because this fight is far more important for him than it is for the fading former champion. That being said, Bisping is so tough that it is entirely possible that he sees the final bell.

THE PICK: Gastelum

Heavyweight

Chase Sherman (11-3-0) v. Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Sherman ($8,000), Abdurakhamiov ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Sherman (+115), Abdurakhimov (-135)
Odds to Finish: TBD

Having quickly built a strong following on Twitter, Sherman seeks his third win in a row on Saturday. After dropping his first two UFC bouts to Justin Ledet and Walt Harris, Sherman has rebounded to take back-to-back fights over Rashad Coulter and Damian Grabowski. Sherman is a very good athlete for such a big man and he has a strong standup game. Nine of his 11 career victories have come via first-round stoppage. It doesn't appear as if Sherman has much of a ceiling, but I see no reason that he can't develop into useful roster depth in the UFC's heavyweight division. He remains just 27 years old.

2-2 in his run with the UFC, Abdurakhimov got the main event spotlight in his most recent fight and lasted until the fourth round before being knocked out by an exhausted Derrick Lewis. Shamil didn't appear to have a ton left in the tank in his own right and he should perform better here in a three-round bout. The big Russian has proven to be competent, if not elite, in all areas of the sport. The issue for Shamil is that at age 36, his movements are slowing and he could easily have issues with a younger, more athletic opponent such as Sherman.

Heavyweight fights are tricky because they rarely last the distance but if you are undecided it's always a good idea to go with the younger, more athletic fighter and in this case that would be Sherman. On a card full of unknowns, I highly advise using someone from both this fight and the main event in your lineup.

THE PICK: Sherman

Other Bouts

Welterweight

Li Jingliang (13-4-0) v. Zak Ottow (15-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Li ($8,800), Ottow ($7,400)
Vegas Odds: Li (-185), Ottow (+160)
Odds to Finish: +110
THE PICK: Li

Featherweight

Wang Guan (16-1-1) v. Alex Caceres (13-10-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Guan ($7,700), Caceres ($8,500)
Vegas Odds: Guan (+135), Caceres (-155)
Odds to Finish: +100
THE PICK: Caceres

Welterweight

Muslim Salikhov (12-1-0) v. Alex Garcia (14-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Salikhov ($8,900), Garcia ($7,300)
Vegas Odds: Salikhov (-220), Garcia (+180)
Odds to Finish: -335
THE PICK: Salikhov

Featherweight

Zabit Magomedsharipov (12-1-0) v. Sheymon Moraes (9-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Magomedsharipov ($9,300), Moraes ($6,900)
Vegas Odds: Magomedsharipov (-500), Moraes (+400)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Magomedsharipov

Welterweight

Kenan Song (11-3-0) v. Bobby Nash (8-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Song ($7,100), Nash ($9,100)
Vegas Odds: Song (+260), Nash (-320)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Nash

Women's Strawweight

Kailin Curran (4-5-0) v. Xiaonan Yan (7-1-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Curran ($8,300), Yan ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: Curran (+120), Yan (-140)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Yan

Bantamweight

Pingyuan Liu (10-5-0) v. Bharat Khandare (5-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Liu ($8,600), Khandare ($7,600)
Vegas Odds: Liu (-135), Khandare (+115)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Liu

Women's Bantamweight

Yanan Wu (9-1-0) v. Gina Mazany (4-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Wu ($7,800), Mazany ($8,400)
Vegas Odds:Wu (+115), Mazany (-135)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Wu

Featherweight

Wuliji Buren (10-4-0) v. Rolando Dy (8-6-1, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Buren ($7,500), Dy ($8,700)
Vegas Odds: Buren (+140), Dy (-160)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Dy

Heavyweight

Cyril Asker (8-3-0) v. Hu Yaozong 3-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Asker ($9,200), Hu ($7,000)
Vegas Odds: Asker (-260), Hu (+220)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Asker

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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