This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
A rematch of a July 2017 bout between Marlon Moraes and Raphael Assuncao will be Saturday's headliner from Fortaleza, with one of the sport's legends setting the stage in the co-main event.
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 - BantamweightRaphael Assuncao (27-5-0) v. Marlon Moraes (21-5-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Assuncao ($7,400), Moraes ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Assuncao (+160), Moraes (-185)
Odds to Finish: +150
As alluded to above, this is a rematch of a July 2017 matchup. That was Moraes's first fight with the UFC and a fight which Assuncao won (controversially) via split decision. The two have combined to go 5-0 since then, and the winner of this fight could very well be next in line for a shot at the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Moraes is coming off a 33-second KO win over Jimmie Rivera in June. The former WSOF Bantamweight Champion is a legitimate all-around threat. He has 10 career wins via knockout in addition to five wins via submission. Moraes is a BJJ black belt under the highly respected Ricardo "Big Dog" Almeida. Moraes still doesn't get the recognition he deserves amongst causal fans because he hasn't been in the company all that long, but I would wager that the odds are at least 50/50 that he will fight for UFC gold within the next 12 months.
Speaking of not getting much recognition, Assuncao just continues to go about his business. The 36-year-old has won 11 of his last 12 fights dating back to March 2011 and the only setback during that time period was to current UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw. Assuncao also has a victory over T.J. under his belt in addition to victories over Moraes, Aljamain Sterling, Rob Font, and Pedro Munhoz. In other words, he's very good. Assuncao does his best work on the mat. He's a decent striker, but he makes his living with his grappling.
I really hate picking against Assuncao given everything he has accomplished of late, but I'm all-in on Moraes. I thought he won the first fight between the two and I think he has more ways to end this one. He definitely has more power. As good as Assuncao has been, he has stopped just one of his last seven opponents. That might work against lesser competition, but it's difficult to outpoint the best opposition in the world. I expect another close bout just like the first time around, but I think Moraes evens the score this time around.
THE PICK: Moraes
Co-Main Event - FeatherweightJose Aldo (27-4-0) v. Renato Moicano (13-1-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Aldo ($7,900), Moicano ($8,300)
Vegas Odds: Aldo (+110), Moicano (-130)
Odds to Finish: +160
Fresh of a first-round knockout win over hard-hitting Jeremy Stephens in July, Aldo looks to insert his name back into title contention with a victory over his fellow countryman. While the win was great, a closer look reveals a continued concerning pattern for Aldo. Much like both of his fights against Max Holloway, Jose was hit way too much in the Stephens fight. His chin held up, but that won't always be the case. I'm not worried about his offensive game. He looks as sharp as ever and he is still moving well at 32. His defense is a different story altogether.
Moicano's only UFC loss (5-1) came against recent title challenger Brian Ortega in a fight in which he was faring very well before getting stopped with a guillotine with just over 90 seconds remaining. Moicano is a wizard on the mat with very little finishing power in his hands. In fact, he doesn't have a single career win via knockout. He remains quite effective regardless, but I like to see a fighter who can at least threaten to end his opponent with strikes.
Moicano has two things going for him. First, he has never been knocked out and the only time he has ever been stopped was the Ortega fight. "T-City" is legitimately one of the very best submission specialists in the world in any weight class, so Moicano get a pass there. Secondly, is the fact at 5-foot-11, he is massive for the 145-pound division. He has a four-inch height and two-inch reach advantage over Aldo. He is going to have to use both because he's giving up a bunch of natural ability on the feet. I'm going to give Jose one last shot. While he isn't the same fighter we saw for many years, I think there's still something there. He better show up ready to go on Saturday because Moicano is excellent.
THE PICK: Also
WelterweightDemian Maia (25-9-0) v. Lyman Good (20-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Maia ($8,700), Good ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Maia (-165), Good (+145)
Odds to Finish: -215
Fresh off three straight unanimous decision setbacks and without a win in well over a year and a half, it's possible – if not probable – that the 41-year-old Maia is fighting for his job on Saturday. It must be mentioned that those three losses came against literally the best three men the division has to offer (champion Tyron Woodley, top contenders Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman), but Maia wasn't competitive in any of the fights and he is clearly trending in the wrong direction. Maia's ground exploits are legendary, and he still retains the ability to submit any man in the world if he can get them into an advantageous position on the mat, but the rest of his game looks so poor at the moment that I have a difficult time believing a rebound is in order.
Good has shown more good (no pun intended) than bad in his first three UFC bouts. His record is 2-1, and the loss was of the split-decision variety against a very tough customer in Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Good, a former Bellator Welterweight Champion, has a ton of power and is an underrated athlete. He's explosive, moves well and has never lost by any method other than decision.
Good is well aware of the discrepancy between the two men on the mat and I expect him to do whatever is necessary to keep this fight standing. His takedown defense is a brilliant 86 percent throughout his brief run with the company, and he is going to have a massive power and speed advantage during the striking exchanges between he and Maia. As sad as it may be, Maia has reached gatekeeper status at this point in his career, and a matchup between another plus athlete (like Woodley, Covington, and Usman) seems like a worse case scenario for the former title challenger.
THE PICK: Good
WelterweightThiago Alves (27-13-0) v. Max Griffin (14-5-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Alves ($7,200), Griffin ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Alves (+175), Griffin (-210)
Odds to Finish: +135
Having turned 35 years old in October and sporting a 1-4 record in his last five fights dating back to May 2015, Alves is nearing the end of the line. Alves is your typical brawler who pays little attention to the defensive aspect of the sport, and those are the type of fighters who suffer the fastest, sudden decline in performance as they age.
Griffin followed up a solid performance over Mike Perry last February with a lousy effort in a unanimous decision setback to Curtis Millender in July. Like Alves, Griffin prefers to stand and trade, and defense is usually the furthest thing from his mind.
The man who can flip the script in this fight might be the one who wins. If Alves or Griffin can mix it up and work in a takedown here and there, that could be enough to earn a decision in a fight in which the two combatants employ similar styles. I haven't been impressed with Griffin and I think his ceiling is very limited, but Alves may not have enough gas left in the tank to take advantage of his shortcomings. My pick of Griffin is more of a pick against Alves than anything else. I would probably try to avoid this fight if at all possible – there seems to be too many unknowns for my liking.
THE PICK: Griffin
Charles Oliveira (24-8-0, 1NC) v. David Teymur (8-1-0)
DK Salaries: Oliveira ($8,500), Teymur ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Oliveira (-115), Teymur (-105)
Odds to Finish: -185
THE PICK: Oliveira
Johnny Walker (15-3-0) v. Justin Ledet (9-1-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Walker ($9,200), Ledet ($7,000)
Vegas Odds: Walker (-210), Ledet (+175)
Odds to Finish: -165
THE PICK: Walker
Livinha Souza (12-1-0) v. Sarah Frota (9-0-0)
DK Salaries: Souza ($9,100), Frota ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Souza (-220), Frota (+180)
Odds to Finish: -170
THE PICK: Souza
Markus Perez (10-2-0) v. Anthony Hernandez (7-0-0)
DK Salaries Perez ($7,300), Hernandez ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Perez (+155), Hernandez (-175)
Odds to Finish: -150
THE PICK: Hernandez
Mara Romero Borella (11-5-0, 1NC) v. Taila Santos (15-0-0)
DK Salaries: Borella ($7,600), Santos ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Borella (+140), Santos (-160)
Odds to Finish: +165
THE PICK: Santos
Junior Albini (14-4-0) v. Jairzinho Rozenstriuk (5-0-0)
DK Salaries: Albini ($8,100), Rozenstriuk ($8,100)
Vegas Odds: Albini (-115), Rozenstriuk (-105)
Odds to Finish: -240
THE PICK: Rozenstriuk
Ricardo Ramos (12-1-0) v. Said Nurmagomedov (12-1-0)
DK Salaries: Ramos ($8,000), Nurmagomedov ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Ramos (-115), Nurmagomedov (-105)
Odds to Finish: +155
THE PICK: Nurmagomedov
Rogerio Bontorin (14-1-0) v. Magomed Bibulatov (14-1-0)
DK Salaris: Bontorin ($6,900), Bibulatov ($9,400)
Vegas Odds: Botorin (+340), Bibulatov (-425)
Odds to Finish: +145
THE PICK: Bibulatov
Felipe Colares (8-0-0) v. Geraldo de Freitas (11-4-0)
DK Salaries: Colares ($7,800), de Freitas ($8,400)
Vegas Odds: Colares (+110), de Freitas (-140)
Odds to Finish: -130
THE PICK: Colares