DraftKings MMA: UFC Moscow Preview

DraftKings MMA: UFC Moscow Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

After some main card shuffling, UFC Moscow is ready to kick off at 11 a.m. EST 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 - Featherweight

Zabit Magomedsharipov (17-1-0) v. Calvin Kattar (20-3-0)
DK Salaries: Magomedsharipov ($9,100), Kattar ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Magomedsharipov (-300), Kattar (+250)
Odds to Finish: +115

This fight was originally scheduled to take place in Boston last month but the company ended up rescheduling it for this card instead. Kattar asked for this fight, and considering you can probably count on one hand the number of 145-pounders who are willing to step into the Octagon with Zabit, the UFC granted Kattar's request.

It's not a stretch to say Zabit is one of the most unique and unorthodox fighters in the history of the sport. For starters, he stands 6-foot-1. It's nothing short of a miraculous that he is able to make the 146-pound featherweight limit, but he has done so for more than five years without issue. He's a legitimate threat in all areas. He has six career wins via knockout and seven via submission. Zabit is averaging a whopping 6.23 takedowns per 15 minutes over the course of his brief time with the UFC. He excels at wrapping his long limbs around his opposition and dragging them to the mat. He is impossible to train for because there's no one in the sport who fights like he does. 

Kattar is fresh off a stunning and impressive first-round knockout win over Ricardo Lamas in June. The 31-year-old has proven to be a legitimate power puncher with finishing ability throughout his first five (4-1) UFC bouts. Kattar is most comfortable in a brawl. He is the type of fighter who is willing to eat a shot in order to land two of his own. Those kind of guys tend to struggle when the competition level rises, but Kattar possesses good footwork and he has proven to be durable. There's definitely something here, but defeating Zabit is a tall order for any 145-pounder.

My one concern about Zabit is that he gets hit a bit much on the feet. He has eaten all the shots that have come his way without issue, but Kattar has the power to potentially turn the tide of this fight. I don't see that being enough and I think you have to pick Zabit given what we have seen from him lately, but I think Kattar puts up a solid performance as an underdog and makes this fight competitive. He might get swept on the judge's scorecards, but I don't think he gets run out of CSKA Arena. I think he has some low-end underdog DraftKings value if you are the type to make many lineups. 

THE PICK: Magomedsharipov

Co-Main Event - Heavyweight

Alexander Volkov (30-7-0) v. Greg Hardy (5-1-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Volkov ($9,200), Hardy ($7,000)
Vegas Odds: Volkov (-260), Hardy (+220)
Odds to Finish: -300

This was originally supposed to Volkov vs. Junior dos Santos, and it was supposed to be the main event of this card, but JDS was forced to withdraw. Hardy then asked for and received this fight on just a few weeks notice.

Hardy most recently fought October 18 in Boston, taking a lackluster unanimous decision over Ben Sosoli. Hardy's victory was later changed to a no-contest due to the fact Hardy used an inhaler in between rounds. The inhaler didn't help Hardy's performance at all. He looked slow and his cardio was poor. Hardy is obviously a terrific athlete – he was a second-team All-Pro in the NFL – but he has just seven fights of professional MMA experience under his belt at age 31. Not even getting into Hardy's previous issues outside of the Octagon, there are a ton of reasons for pessimism moving forward. 

Volkov hasn't fought in more than 13 months and his most recent bout was one of the most difficult losses any fighter has suffered in recent memory. The big Russian was mere seconds from taking a guaranteed unanimous decision from Derrick Lewis before getting popped with one huge combination and finished with just 11 seconds remaining in the fight. Volkov may have very well earned a title shot if he won that fight, and it's not a stretch to say that the last-minute loss changed the entire trajectory of his career. Volkov is really talented. He's very tall (6-foot-7) and unlike most men his size, he actually knows how to use his length to his advantage. I've been a fan of the former Bellator Heavyweight Champion for quite a while. I'm not sure he's a future champion or anything like that, but he's an easy top-five guy. 

Spoiler alert: I was going to pick Volkov over JDS, so I'm clearly taking him over Hardy. Hardy is a one-dimensional power-puncher. He fought less than a month ago and now has to get on a plane to travel to the other side of the world to fight a talented opponent who he has hasn't fully prepared for. The fact this is a five-round bout clearly favors Volkov. Hardy was so tired in the Sosoli fight (three rounds) that he could barely put together a combination in the later stages of the bout. His best, and as far as I can tell, only, chance to win this fight is to go for broke right off the bat. Hardy's power is 100 percent legitimate and Volkov has been knocked out before, so it could easily happen again. Hardy isn't the worst tournament play, and if you are the type to mass-enter lineups, it's probably worth getting a little exposure. However, he's giving up a boatload of overall talent and it's abundantly clear he's not suited to fight for 25 minutes. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's always a good idea to bet on athleticism in this sport, but just because you're a great athlete doesn't mean you're a great fighter. If Volkov survives the first round and fights at distance – which he is good at – he should be able to cruise to a decision. 

THE PICK: Volkov


Anthony Rocco Martin (16-5-0) v. Ramazan Emeev (18-3-0)
DK Salaries: Martin ($7,800), Emeev ($8,400)
Vegas Odds: Martin (+130), Emeev (-150)
Odds to Finish: +180

Martin's four-fight win streak came to an abrupt halt in July when he was schooled by Demian Maia from opening bell to close. Martin had nothing for the BJJ wizard and while the loss was expected by many, the fact he wasn't the least bit competitive is concerning. Of course, Maia has made a ton of guys look bad over the years so we shouldn't write the former "Tony" Martin off just yet. His recently successes aside, Martin's lack of stopping power in his hands is a long term concern. He has just one knockout victory – over Ryan LaFlare in October 2018 – in 21 career fights and he's not much of a wrestler (0.75 takedowns per 15 minutes). He's a respectable fighter, but I'd wager the odds are better than 50/50 that we have already seen the best he has to offer.

Emeev spent his entire pre-UFC run and his first fight with the company at middleweight before dropping down to 170 pounds for his last two bouts. He has responded with unanimous decision wins over "Alberto Mina" and "Stefan Sekulic". No offense to either, but that's not exactly a murderer's row of competition. Martin will be a considerable step up. Like seemingly ever Russian UFC fighter, Emeev owns an International Master of Sports in Combat Sambo, and like Martin, does his best work (seven career submission wins) on the mat. 

The first and most obvious thing that stands out about this fight is the fact Emeev gets a "home game" while Martin has to get on a plane and travel halfway around the world into enemy territory. That's a definite negative for the former "Tony Martin", but I think he is being overlooked because of the Maia loss. I don't think Martin is a top-10 guy or anything like that, but he's better than he showed in that fight and I like the unexpected salary relief here. No offense to Emmev, who I feel is a perfectly capable fighter.

THE PICK: Martin


Roosevelt Roberts (8-1-0) v. Alexander Yakovlev (24-8-1)
DK Salaries: R. Roberts ($8,500), Yakovlev ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: R. Roberts (-160), Yakovlev (+145)
Odds to Finish:

This matchup was originally scheduled to by Yakovlev v. Vinc Pichel before the later was forced to step aside in late-October.

Long on talent and short on performance, Yakovlev is a fighter who returned recently for an extended layoff, He came back  in April from more than 2.5 years on the sidelines to earn a submission win over Alex Da Silva. I thought Yakovlev had quite a bit of potential early in his UFC career, but the results have been inconsistent and I have little hope for further improvement at age 35. Virtually all of Yakovlev's stoppage victories came early in his career. His knockout power has vanished and his submission win over Da Silva was his first stoppage win of any variety in more than eight years. Yakovlev looks like he should be better than he actually performs.

Roberts's last fight, strangely enough, came against Pichel in June and he lost via unanimous decision. He hasn't shown very much in his first three fights with the UFC despite the fact his record is above .500 at 2-1. The one thing Roberts has going for him here is the fact he is more than 10 years Yakovlev's junior. I think he's the better athlete of the two men, but I don't think there's enough of a gap in any one area to make either man a significant favorite. 

I'm actually looking forward to this fight for one reason and one reason only, and that's the sheer size of the two men. Roberts checks in at 6-foot-1 and Yakovlev is 6-foot-3. It's exceedingly rare to see a pair of 155-pounders that size competing against each other. I'm not terribly excited about Roberts, but his salary worries me. I wouldn't advocate using him in many DK lineups, but I think he wins. There appears to be a wide range of potential outcomes for this fight and that always scares me.

THE PICK: Roberts

Other Fights

Zelim Imadeev (8-1-0) v. Danny Roberts (16-5-0)
DK Salaries: Imadeev ($8,800), D. Roberts ($7.400)
Vegas Odds: Imadeev (-225), D. Roberts (+185)
Odds to Finish: -210
THE PICK: Imadeev

Light Heavyweight
Khadis Ibragimov (8-1-0) v. Ed Herman (25-14-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Ibragimov ($8,700), Herman ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Ibragimov (-160), Herman (+130)
Odds to Finish: -285
THE PICK: Ibragimov

Light Heavyweight
Shamil Gamzatov (13-0-0) v. Klidson Abreu (15-3-0)
DK Salaries: Gamzatov ($8,900), Abreu ($7,300)
Vegas Odds: Gamzatov (-210), Abreu (+175)
Odds to Finish: +135
THE PICK: Gamzatov

Light Heavyweight
Magomed Ankalaev (11-1-0) v. Dalcha Lungiambula (10-1-0)
DK Salaries: Ankalaev ($9,400), Lungiambula ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Ankalaev (-370), Lungiambula (+315)
Odds to Finish: -160
THE PICK: Ankalaev

Rustam Khabilov (23-4-0) v. Sergey Khandozhko (27-5-1)
DK Salaries: Khabilov ($8,600), Khandozhko ($7,600)
Vegas Odds: Khabilov (-175), Khandozhko (+155)
Odds to Finish: +175
THE PICK: Khabilov

Roman Kopylov (8-0-0) v. Karl Roberson (8-2-0)
DK Salaries: Kopylov ($8,300), Robertson ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: Kopylov (-105), Roberson (-115)
Odds to Finish: -120
THE PICK: Roberson

Abubakar Nurmagomedov (15-2-1) v. David Zawada (16-5-0)
DK Salaries: Nurmagomedov ($9,300), Zawada ($6,900)
Vegas Odds: Nurmagomedov (-275), Zawada (+235)
Odds to Finish: +170
THE PICK: Nurmagomedov

Women's Bantamweight
Jessica-Rose Clark (9-5-0, 1NC) v. Pannie Kianzad (12-5-0)
DK Salaries: Clark ($8,200), Kianzad ($8,000)
Vegas Odds: Clark (-115), Kianzad (-105)
Odds to Finish: +255
THE PICK: Kianzad

Grigorii Popov (13-2-0) v. Davey Grant (10-4-0)
DK Salaries: Popov ($9,000), Grant ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Popov (-200), Grant (+170)
Odds to Finish: -105

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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