DraftKings MMA: UFC Boise
DraftKings MMA: UFC Boise

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

A pair of heavyweights may be headlining the show, but be sure not to overlook several intriguing undercard bouts when the UFC heads to Boise, Idaho on Saturday.

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 - Heavyweight

Junior Dos Santos (18-5-0) v. Blagoy Ivanov (16-1-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Dos Santos ($8,700), Ivanov ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Dos Santos (-185), Ivanov (+160)
Odds to Finish: TBD

It will be about 14 months in between bouts by the time JDS steps into the octagon on Saturday in what is a must-win fight for the 34-year-old former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Dos Santos received a title shot against Stipe Miocic at UFC 211, only to be knocked out cold in 2:22. He was then due to face Francis Ngannou in September before a potential USADA violation forced him from the card. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, and not having to go up against Ngannou was probably for the best (this was a pre-UFC 226 Ngannou, remember). Even a novice MMA fan can tell that JDS doesn't possess the skills that he did in his heyday. He has taken a lot of beatings over the years and they are starting to take their toll. Dos Santos has been knocked out in three of his last five fights after never having been stopped via strikes prior to that in his entire career. He's a well-known name and the lack of depth in the division will keep him relevant for as long as he wants to fight, but JDS might be done.

Ivanov's story is a remarkable one. In early 2012, he was stabbed during a bar fight in his native Bulgaria. By all accounts, Ivanov should have passed away. He spent more than three months in ICU. Ivanov made a miraculous recovery and returned to fighting in November 2013. He has gone 9-1 in his ten fights since coming back and won the WSOF (now PFL) Heavyweight Championship in June 2015. He went on to successfully defend the title four times before signing with the UFC in late April. Ivanov is a true all-around mixed martial artist. He has six wins via knockout and six via submission. He's short for the division at 5-foot-11, but he has a black belt in judo and possesses great balance. I can't wait to see how he fares against better competition.

This is the rare main event in which it may be wise to avoid using either man in your DK lineup. There's no shame in being knocked out by Miocic, but JDS was trending downhill well before that. There's still plenty of heavyweights he can beat, but I have little confidence in his ability to handle anyone good these days, and Ivanov is darn good. The case against Blagoy is that we don't know what to expect from him on the big stage. You would think that any man that spent three months in ICU and was placed in a medically induced coma can handle anything thrown his way, but we don't know that for sure. Based upon recent performance, I think Ivanov must be the pick. This fight is going to tell us a lot about both fighters moving forward. I'm going to have a difficult time believing Ivanov can beat anyone of note if he is steamrolled by JDS.

THE PICK: Ivanov

Featherweight

Dennis Bermudez (17-8-0) v. Rick Glenn (20-5-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Bermudez ($9,000), Glenn ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Bermudez (-245), Glenn (+205)
Odds to Finish: TBD

Coming off back-to-back spllt decision losses and sporting a 2-5 record in his last five fights dating back to November 2015, Saturday is last call for Bermudez. The Menace continues to be a one-dimensional fighter and it is hurting him against better competition. Bermudez does just fine when he is landing plenty of takedowns and can use his brute strength to control his opposition on the mat, but his striking skills are reckless and rudimentary, and he is in legitimate trouble in any bout that turns into an extended kickboxing match.

Glenn followed up a brilliant effort against Gavin Tucker last September with a dreadful performance in a unanimous decision loss to Myles Jury in late December. Glenn is your typical old-school, throwback fighter. His biggest assets are his grit and determination and he has just enough skill to get by. Glenn will have to maximize his six-inch height advantage if he hopes to win this one. If he allows Bermudez to fight in close and repeatedly drag him to the mat, Glenn is toast.

The days of Bermudez being a possible title contender in the UFC's featherweight division are over, but he needs this fight more than Glenn does and at least Bermudez has a clear path to victory if he can implement his wrestling skills. Glenn's takedown defense over the course of his UFC career is an average 72 percent and that's not going to cut it against an opponent with the relentless motor of Bermudez. The Menace may fail on his first six or seven attempts, but if that eight or ninth try is successful, he's fine. I think Bermudez takes a decision.

THE PICK: Bermudez

Featherweight

Myles Jury (17-2-0) v. Chad Mendes (17-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Jury ($7,300), Mendes ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Jury (+185), Mendes (-225)
Odds to Finish: TBD
Fresh off a two-year suspension handed down by the USADA, Mendes returns to the octagon on Saturday for the first time since December 2015. He hasn't won a fight since April of that year. When you combine the time away with the fact he has lost his last two fights, this is a must-win for Mendes. He has been knocked out just three times in his career, but two of the three were in the last two bouts. Granted, there's no shame in getting finished by Frankie Edgar and Conor McGregor, but you have to begin to wonder if Mendes' durability is suddenly an issue. He has been fighting the best in the world for nearly eight years, it's entirely possible his body is just beginning to give out on him.

Jury has had a strange career. He's missed a lot of time with injuries and he's bounced between weight classes. Jury will show flashes of brilliance now and then, only to struggle his next time out. I think he looks more comfortable and fluid at featherweight than he did at lightweight and this is the division that figures to be his long-term home. He gets a tough opponent on Saturday in Mendes, so he better come ready to fight. Jury is a mat wizard with underrated power. He has five career wins via submission and eight via knockout. He's a terrific athlete and possesses exceptional footwork. Jury is also a giant for the division at 5-foot-11. If Jury could shake the injury bug and fight on a semi-regular basis, I imagine he would be in title-implicating fights within the next 18 months. He has that much natural ability.

Good luck picking a winner in this one. Mendes is clearly one of the top fighters in the division and has been for seemingly ever, but he has fought in more than two and a half years and he was showing signs of decline prior to his time away. Jury is injury prone and is competing in just his third fight at featherweight. Ultimately, the discount on Jury is too much for me to ignore. Mendes deserves to be favored, but I'm picking the upset.

THE PICK: Mendes

Women's Bantamweight

Cat Zingano (9-3-0) v. Marion Reneau (9-3-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Zingano ($8,100), Reneau ($8,100)
Vegas Odds: Zingano (+100), Reneau (-120)
Odds to Finish: TBD

It's a real shame considering all she has meant to the sport of women's MMA, but Zingano looks finished. Without a win in nearly three years, Zingano enters Saturday riding a three-fight losing streak. She has dealt with injuries and personal tragedy and I don't see her suddenly turning it around at age 36. Known for her strength and aggressiveness, Cat is getting outmuscled at the point of attack more than ever before. She is struggling to defend takedowns and her punches don't have the same zip on them that they did earlier in her career.

Reneau turned 41 years old last month and is undefeated in her last four (3-0-1) fights. She is one of the few fighters in the division capable of matching Zingano's upper-body strength. She keeps herself in elite shape and has sneaky power to go along with an underrated submission game. Her technique isn't the greatest, but she mixes things up well and she doesn't beat herself. Reneau's age limits her ceiling but she's valuable roster depth.

I'm worried about Cat. Her performances of late have been dreadful and it almost seems at times as if she doesn't want to be inside the octagon. I don't know if that's the case for sure, but you can't win in this sport if you aren't totally invested. I think Reneau will be able to drag her to the mat with relative ease and earn the decision. If Zingano does indeed come up short, she should start thinking about retirement. A loss here would leave her in a hole in which she would be unable to dig herself out of. Cat is unusable from a DraftKings perspective until she shows she has something left.

THE PICK: Reneau

Other Bouts

Welterweight

Sage Northcutt (10-2-0) v. Zak Ottow (16-5-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Northcutt ($8,400), Ottow ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Northcutt (-130), Ottow (+110)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Northcutt

Welterweight

Randy Brown (10-2-0) v. Niko Price (11-1-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Brown ($8,300), Price ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: Brown (-115), Price (-105)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Brown

Bantamweight

Eddie Wineland (23-12-1) v. Alejandro Perez (22-6-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Wineland ($7,100), Perez ($9,100)
Vegas Odds: Wineland (+180), Perez (-220)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Perez

Featherweight

Darren Elkins (24-5-0) v. Alexander Volkanovski (17-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Elkins ($7,000), Volkanovski ($9,200)
Vegas Odds: Elkins (+285), Volkanovski (-345)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Volkanovski

Flyweight

Justin Scoggins (11-4-0) v. Said Nurmagomedov (11-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Scoggins ($7,700), Nurmagomedov ($8,500)
Vegas Odds: Scoggins (+135), Nurmagomedov (-155)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Nurmagomedov

Featherweight

Kurt Holobaugh (17-4-0) v. Raoni Barcelos (11-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Holobaugh ($8,800), Barcelos ($7,400)
Vegas Odds: Holobaugh (-200), Barcelos (+170)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Holobaugh

Women's Flyweight

Liz Carmouche (10-6-0) v. Jennifer Maia (15-4-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Carmouche ($8,200), Maia ($8,000)
Vegas Odds: Carmouche (-115), Maia (-105)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Maia

Flyweight

Mark De La Rosa (9-1-0) v. Elias Garcia (3-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: De La Rosa ($7,600), Garcia ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: De La Rosa (+100), Garcia (-120)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Garcia

Women's Strawweight

Jessica Aguilar (19-6-0) v. Jodie Esquibel (6-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Aguilar ($7,900), Esquibel ($8,300)
Vegas Odds: Aguilar (+120), Esquibel (-140)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Aguilar

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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