DraftKings MMA: UFC Uruguay Preview

DraftKings MMA: UFC Uruguay Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

The wheels of a busy UFC schedule keep spinning with a trip to Uruguay that allows the promotion to showcase some of their South American talent. As an added bonus, fight fans will be treated to a contest where a belt is on the line, without having to fork over the pay-per-view price.

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 - Women's Flyweight Championship

(C) Valentina Shevchenko (17-3-0) v. Liz Carmouche (13-6-0)
DK Salaries: Shevchenko ($9,600), Carmouche ($6,600)
Vegas Odds: Shevchenko (-1250), Carmouche (+800)
Odds to Finish: -145

With the company struggling to find a main event for this card and no better alternatives available, the UFC will run Shevchenko out there to defend her title for the second time in the past eight weeks. 

Valentina has the look of a long-time champion. The UFC has yet to find any woman who can realistically challenge her at 125 pounds, and Shevchenko proved that with a dominant head kick knockout win over an extremely overmatched Jessica Eye at UFC 238 in June. Shevchenko does everything well. She has legitimate power, moves well and she possesses an underrated ground game. Simply put, it's going to take some type of fluke finish or superhuman performance in order to defeat her at flyweight.

The UFC will say Carmouche is a legitimate contender for Shevchenko's title because she actually beat Valentina when the two first met back in September 2010 in a fight which took place in a place called Concho, Oklahoma. Let's just say both women are in a different place than they were nine years ago. Liz is 4-1 in her past five fights. She is very strong and extremely durable. Outside of the first bout between the two women and a victory over UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Jessica Andrade back when she fought at bantamweight, Carmouche has typically struggled when tasked with facing quality competition. 

Carmouche has a couple things going for her. One, as I mentioned earlier, is her durability. She has never been stopped via strikes in her professional career. The second, is the fact Liz has been in there against some of the most talented women (Shevchenko, Andrade, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufman, Marloes Coenen) this sport has ever produced. She's not going to be overwhelmed by the moment and she's not going to beat herself. That being said, she's giving up a on of athleticism and pure ability to Shevchenko. I wouldn't be shocked if she lasts the entire 25 minutes, but I doubt she pulls another upset. Valentina is that good.

THE PICK: Shevchenko 

Co-Main Event - Welterweight

Vicente Luque (16-6-1) v. Mike Perry (13-4-0)
DK Salaries: Luque ($9,000), Perry ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Luque (-230), Perry (+190)
Odds to Finish: -245

If you're looking for a potential contender for Fight of the Night, this would be it. Luque and Perry are two guys who love to stand and bang. Luque offers far more on the mat than Perry, but I don't expect either man to make a concerted effort to turn this thing into a ground battle. 

Luque continues to go about his business. The winner of five fights in a row and sporting a 9-1 record dating back to December 2015, Luque has to be closing in on title-implicating fights. It doesn't help that his only loss during that span came against rising star Leon Edwards, but Luque's recent body of work speaks for itself. He's calm, composed and a legitimate all-around threat. Luque is going to be a top-10 guy at 170 pounds – if he isn't there already. 

Perry enters having alternated wins and losses in his past four bouts. "Platinum" is highly entertaining to watch given his aggressive, brawling style of fighting, and his brash personality has made him a popular figure despite nothing more than average (6-4) results in his first 10 UFC fights. Perry is probably a better grappler/wrestler than he gets credit for, but he refuses to use those skills so they might as well not exist. His power is absolutely legitimate and his chin is insane (Perry has never been knocked out), but the shelf life of one-dimensional power punchers is short. 

Perry always makes for an interesting DraftKings play, if for no other reason than the fact he can absorb so much punishment makes it a near certainty that he will land plenty of power shots of his own. I'd have interest in him at this discounted price if I were making multiple DraftKings lineups, but if forced to pick outright, I don't think he wins.


Light Heavyweight

Ilir Latifi (14-6-0) v. Volkan Oezdemir (15-4-0)
DK Salaries: Latifi ($7,700), Oezdemir ($8,500)
Vegas Odds: Latifi (+125), Oezdemir (-145)
Odds to Finish: -185

This fight was originally scheduled to take place in June in Latifi's native Sweden before he was forced to withdraw due to a back injury. Then it was scheduled for the Colby Covington v. Robbie Lawler card last week in Newark before visa issues forced the bout to be moved to Uruguay. 

Latifi's most recent fight was a lopsided, unanimous-decision loss to Corey Anderson in December on the same card in which Jon Jones quickly finished Alexander Gustafsson in their rematch. The big Swede entered the bout on a two-fight winning streak and had an opportunity to create some separation in the division, but was unable to do so. Latifi possesses a ton of upper-body strength and does a good portion of his damage from top position, but despite averaging close to two takedowns per 15 minutes (1.89), his takedown accuracy is a paltry 32 percent. He turns 37 years old in July and is extremely undersized for the division at just 5-foot-8.

A loser of three in a row and without a victory in nearly two years, Oezdemir is probably fighting for his job on Saturday. Although he racked up some vicious knockout wins early in his career, the concern all along was that Volkan was nothing more than a one-dimensional knockout artist and those fears have proven to be true. Oezdemir's power gives him a reasonable chance of winning any fight in which he competes, but the odds of consistently scoring knockouts are slim and that's why he's in the midst of this losing streak.

Latifi is by far the better mixed martial artist while Oezdemir is the bigger of the two men and has more power. I'm worried about Volkan being forced up against the cage by the powerful Latifi, but at that point, Ilir has to watch for short shots to the head (we have seen Volkan do a ton of damage from that position). In a situation I view as closer to a pick'em than the odds suggest, I always go with the fighter who provides the bigger payoff. In this case, that's Latifi. I simply don't think Volkan varies his attacks enough to truly be a threat at 205 pounds.

THE PICK: Latifi

Women's Strawweight

Tecia Torres (10-4-0) v. Marina Rodriguez (11-0-1)
DK Salaries: Torres ($8,700), Rodriguez ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Torres (-150), Rodriguez (+130)
Odds to Finish: +255

Torres was seemingly on the verge of a title shot following an impressive unanimous decision victory over Michelle Waterson in December 2017. She never got her chance, and now, less than two years later, she enters this bout the loser of three in a row and possibly fighting for her roster spot. Torres is talented. She has wins over plenty of high-level opponents – Rose Namajunas, Angela Hill, Felice Herrig, Waterson – on her docket. The issue for the "Tiny Tornado" is her lack of stopping power. Torres is just 5-foot-1, and as one would expect, has very limited thunder in her hands. In fact, Torres doesn't have a knockout win in her entire career, which spans nearly seven years. It's a major issue for a woman who relies on striking to be successful. Torres looks awkward and uncomfortable on the mat, so that's not an option either. 

A product of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series, Rodriguez has a draw (Randa Markos) and a victory (unanimous decision over Jessica Aguilar) in her first two official UFC bouts. The 32-year-old Brazilian has developed the reputation of being a creative striker with some power (five career wins via knockout). Torres's recent struggles aside, this will be by far the biggest test of Rodriguez's career. Torres was in the top-five at 115 pounds not all that long ago, and Rodriguez has never gone up again an opponent of that caliber.

Rodriguez's five-inch edge in both height and reach isn't going to help Torres any. Tecia's lack of power makes getting inside against her opposition a requirement, and Rodriguez's massive size advantage will make that game plan that much more difficult to implement. Still, I'll take Torres in a kickboxing match over most anyone in the division. Her lack of stopping power makes me more likely to use Rodriguez in my lineups, but I like Torres to win on points.

THE PICK: Torres

Other Fights

Luiz Garagorri (11-0-0) v. Humberto Bandenay (14-6-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Garagorri ($8,400), Bandenay ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Garagorri (-130), Bandenay (+110)
Odds to Finish: -230
THE PICK: Garagorri

Rodolfo Vieira (5-0-0) v. Oskar Piechota (11-1-1)
DK Salaries: Vieira ($9,100), Piechota ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Vieira (-230), Piechota (+190)
Odds to Finish: -380
THE PICK: Vieira

Enrique Barzola (16-4-1) v. Bobby Moffett (14-4-0)
DK Salaries: Barzola ($8,900), Moffett ($7,300)
Vegas Odds: Barzola (-145), Moffett (+125)
Odds to Finish: +165
THE PICK: Moffett

Ciryl Gane (2-0-0) v. Raphael Pessoa (9-0-0)
DK Salaries: Gane ($9,400), Pessoa ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Gane (-430), Pessoa (+345)
Odds to Finish: -615

Gilbert Burns (15-3-0) v. Aleksei Kunchenko (20-0-0)
DK Salaries: Burns ($7,400), Kunchenko ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Burns (+125), Kunchenko (-145)
Odds to Finish: -110
THE PICK: Kunchenko

Rogerio Bontorin (15-1-0, 1NC) v. Raulian Paiva (18-2-0)
DK Salaries: Bontorin ($8,200), Paiva ($8,000)
Vegas Odds: Bontorin (-110), Paiva (-110)
Odds to Finish: +160

Geraldo de Freitas (12-4-0) v. Chris Gutierrez (13-3-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: de Freitas ($8,300), Gutierrez ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: de Freitas (-140), Gutierrez (+120)
Odds to Finish: +130
THE PICK: de Freitas

Kazula Vargas (10-2-0) v. Alex Da Silva (20-2-0)
DK Salaries: Vargas ($7,000), Da Silva ($9,200)
Vegas Odds: Vargas (+225), Da Silva (-265)
Odds to Finish: -120
THE PICK: Da Silva

Women's Flyweight
Veronica Macedo (5-3-1) v. Polyana Viana (10-3-0)
DK Salaries: Macedo ($7,600), Viana ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Macedo (-105), Viana (-115)
Odds to Finish: +125

Odds last updated on the afternoon of Aug. 6. Please see the RotoWire MMA Lineup Optimizer for the latest MMA odds.

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. Jon Litterine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: JLitterine.
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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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