This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
UFC Hamburg was originally scheduled to be headlined by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Volkan Oezdemir, but Oezdemir was pulled from this fight in favor of a bout with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 in early-August. In steps a red-hot Anthony Smith on roughly two weeks notice.
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.)
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
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 - Light HeavyweightMauricio "Shogun" Rua (24-10-0) v. Anthony Smith (29-13-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Rua ($7,500), Smith ($8,700)
Vegas Odds: Rua (+205), Smith (-245)
Odds to Finish: -370
Seemingly facing retirement following a loss to Ovince Saint Preux in November 2014, Shogun has since run off a three-fight winning streak. He hasn't fought in well over a year (March 2017) and this would seem to be a poor matchup for the 36-year-old given Smith's iron chin. Rua made his name as a power striker. He has 20 career wins by knockout, and until recently, had been fairly durable in terms of not being stopped himself. Hand/foot speed and your chin are often the first things that go on aging fighters, and Shogun is understandably showing signs of slowing down.
Smith is next-level tough and sporting a 4-1 record in his last five bouts. All four of those victories have come via knockout, and Smith's ability to take a beating allows him time to dish out punishment of his own. He's not a great athlete, but the power is legitimate and he's seven years younger than Shogun.
The UFC's light heavyweight division is so thin that Shogun is still garnering important fights. He isn't a top-10 guy at this point and I doubt he will ever get there again. Smith puts on entertaining fights and he's trending in the right direction, but he is also sporting a limited long-term ceiling. While this fight isn't going to have any impact on the UFC light heavyweight title picture, it should be pretty entertaining. Smith is the pick simply because I have more confidence in him than Rua to survive a slugfest, but this one could go either way. I do think Rua is the better DraftKings play given the gap in salaries.
THE PICK: Smith
Co-Main Event - Light HeavyweightGlover Teixeira (27-6-0) v. Corey Anderson (10-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Teixeira ($8,600), Anderson ($7,600)
Vegas Odds: Teixeira (-185), Anderson (+155)
Odds to Finish: -195
The UFC's light heavyweight division lacks depth and for that reason alone, Teixeira (38 years old) and Anderson remain on the fringe of the title picture.
Glover has been one of the best 205ers on the roster for years. His record with the company is very strong (10-4) and he keeps himself in excellent condition despite his advanced age. Teixeira's problem is that he has no-showed the biggest fights of his career. Every time he was seemingly on the verge of earning another title opportunity (he got one in April 2014 and dropped a unanimous decision to Jon Jones), Glover has been knocked out. Granted, a lot of people have been knocked out by Alexander Gustafsson and Rumble Johnson, but Teixeira can't afford any more terrible performances at this point in his career. His last fight was a TKO win over Misha Cirkunov in December.
Anderson is in for an injured Ilir Latifi. "25/8" (I refuse to call him 'overtime') is coming off a unanimous decision win over Patrick Cummins in April in which he landed 12 takedowns. Anderson had lost three of his previous four fights prior to that. Anderson is a good wrestler with a questionable chin. He's going to have an athleticism edge over Glover, but he will also be giving up a ton of power to the Brazilian.
I've never been a huge Anderson supporter. He'll show flashes of brilliance here and there but I'm not convinced he will ever put it all together. When you add in the fact Teixeira has a boatload of power and Anderson has a propensity for getting knocked out, Glover is the pick despite the fact Teixeira is a decade older. Anderson does have some value as a DraftKings underdog play given the fact he has displayed an ability to grind out a decision here and there.
THE PICK: Teixeira
HeavyweightMarcin Tybura (16-4-0) v. Stefan Struve (32-10-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Tybura ($9,000), Struve ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Tybura (-240), Struve (+180)
Odds to Finish: -215
A decision loss to Fabricio Werdum and a knockout loss to Derrick Lewis has left Tybura in trouble. Thankfully, he goes up against an opponent on Sunday that is in even worse shape than he is. There has been more bad than good from Tybura in his first six UFC bouts. He has beaten up on lesser competition and struggled when tasked with facing anyone talented. The 32-year-old is competent in all areas of the sport, although elite in none. The only reason he is ranked in the top 10 is because of the lack of depth in the UFC's heavyweight division.
Struve's last bout, a decision loss to Andrei Arlovski in March, was one of the worst performances you will ever see from the "Skyscraper." Facing an opponent that was clearly washed up, Struve landed just 37 total strikes in his unanimous decision setback. Despite being the tallest fighter on the roster at 7-feet, Struve consistently allows his opponents to get inside and dictate the pace of the fight. His takedown defense is lousy (59 percent) and he can't win a fight by any method other than submission.
The fact Tybura is giving up nine inches in height and six inches in reach is irrelevant. Struve has proven time and time again that he doesn't know how to use his frame to his advantage and I see no reason for that to change on Sunday. As long as he doesn't make any glaring mistakes, Tybura should be fine.
THE PICK: Tybura
WelterweightDanny Roberts (14-3-0) v. David Zawada (16-3-0)
DK Salaries: Roberts ($9,400), Zawada ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Roberts (-425), Zawada (+320)
Odds to Finish: -225
THE PICK: Roberts
MiddleweightVitor Miranda (13-6-0) v. Abu Azaitar (13-1-1, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Miranda ($7,400), Azaitar ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Miranda (+140), Azaitar (-170)
Odds to Finish:+110
THE PICK: Azaitar
LightweightNasrat Haqparast (8-2-0) v. Marc Diakiese (12-2-0)
DK Salaries: Haqparast ($7,300), Diakiese ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Haqparast (+150), Diakiese (-180)
Odds to Finish: -145
THE PICK: Diakiese
LightweightNick Hein (14-3-0, 1NC) v. Damir Hadzovic (11-4-0)
DK Salaries: Hein ($8,500), Hadzovic ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Hein (-165), Hadzovic (+135)
Odds to Finish: +170
THE PICK: Hein
WelterweightEmil Meek (9-2-1, 1NC) v. Bartosz Fabinski (13-2-0)
DK Salaries: Meek ($8,400), Fabinski ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Meek (-165), Fabinski (+135)
Odds to Finish: +135
THE PICK: Fabinski
FeatherweightKhalid Taha (12-1-0) v. Nad Narimani (10-2-0)
DK Salaries: Taha ($7,100), Narimani ($9,100)
Vegas Odds: Taha (+200), Narimani (-260)
Odds to Finish: -155
THE PICK: Narimani
Light HeavyweightJustin Ledet (9-0-0, 1NC) v. Aleksandar Rakic (8-1-0)
DK Salaries: Ledet ($8,300), Rakic ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: Ledet (-125), Rakic (-105)
Odds to Finish: -105
THE PICK: Ledet
BantamweightDavey Grant (10-3-0) v. Manny Bermudez (12-0-0)
DK Salaries: Grant ($7,000), Bermudez ($9,200)
Vegas Odds: Grant (+175), Bermudez (-225)
Odds to Finish: -195
THE PICK: Bermudez
Light HeavyweightJeremy Kimball (15-7-0) v. Darko Stosic (12-1-0)
DK Salaries: Kimball ($6,900), Stosic ($9,300)
Vegas Odds: Kimball (+200), Stosic (-260)
Odds to Finish: -250
THE PICK: Stosic
BantamweightDamian Stasiak (10-5-0) v. Pingyuan Lu (10-5-0)
DK Salaries: Stasiak ($8,200), Lu ($8,000)
Vegas Odds: Stasiak (-120), Lu (-110)
Odds to Finish: -145
THE PICK: Lu