DraftKings MMA: UFC Vegas 7 Preview

DraftKings MMA: UFC Vegas 7 Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

A former featherweight king makes his much-anticipated drop down to 135 pounds in Saturday's main event from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. 

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, including a [title of top GPP on DK] with [aforementioned GPP's top prize] to first place. Players get a $50,000 budget to select six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

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 - Bantamweight

Frankie Edgar (22-8-1) v. Pedro Munhoz (18-4-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Edgar ($7,200), Munhoz ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Edgar (+215), Munhoz (-255)
Odds to Finish: -175

This fight has been booked and rescheduled multiple times, but we're finally here.

Edgar has been a professional fighter for more than 15 years, but this will be his first fight at bantamweight. It's an odd time for a change considering Edgar will turn 39 years old in October, but he had dropped three of his past four at featherweight and was looking at a long road back to a potential title shot. Edgar is 4-4 in his past eight fights dating back to December 2015. The victories came against Chad Mendes, Jeremy Stephens, Yair Rodriguez and Cub Swanson, and the setbacks were to Max Holloway, Chan Sung Jung, Brian Ortega and Jose Aldo. In other words, Frankie has been fighting the best the sport has to offer for years and years. Edgar keeps himself in excellent shape, but he's clearly slipping a bit. Offensively, his strikes are coming a bit slower, and defensively, he is getting hit more than ever. I'd be more interested in this drop down to 135 pounds if it had happened earlier in Edgar's career.

Munhoz is fresh off his worst UFC performance – a unanimous decision setback to future-title-challenger Aljamain Sterling just over a year ago. Sterling looks like a future superstar so it's difficult to get on Munhoz for his effort. The Brazilian racked up a bunch of submission victories early in his career, but it's his striking that has carried him throughout his time with the UFC. He has plenty of sneaky power and can still clamp on a submission if the opportunity presents itself. The UFC should push Munhoz aggressively if he handles Edgar with ease. He turns 34 years old in September, and there appears to be little reason to hold him back.

I don't think Edgar is completely washed up by any means, but he's clearly trending in the wrong direction, and Munhoz is a legitimate opponent. I'm also very, very worried about Frankie's chin. This is a guy who has been knocked out twice in his past four fights after never being stopped via strikes in the first 13 years of his pro career. Toss in the age difference between the two, and the fact Edgar is competing in a completely new weight class, and that makes Munhoz the pick. Edgar does appear to be underpriced, however. 

THE PICK: Munhoz
 

Co-Main Event - Light Heavyweight

Ovince Saint Preux (24-14-0) v. Alonzo Menifield (9-1-0)
DK Salaries: Saint Preux ($7,900), Menifield ($8,300)
Vegas Odds: Saint Preux (+115), Menifield (-135)
Odds to Finish: -270

This was originally scheduled to be Saint Preux v. Shamil Gamzatov before the later withdrew a little over a week ago for undisclosed reasons. 

This is last call for OSP at age 37. Sporting a 1-3 record in his past four fights, Saint Preux moved up to heavyweight to challenge Ben Rothwell this past May. He lost via split decision, a highly concerning result given OSP's sheer athleticism in addition to Rothwell's inability to move his feet. OSP has always been an above-average athlete – he played Division I college football – and a below-average mixed martial artist. Virtually all the success he has had in the sport is due to his athleticism as opposed to any technical improvements he has made over the years. That, combined with the fact he is now at an age when his athleticism is expected to deteriorate, leaves his future quite bleak. 

A product of Dana White's Contender Series, Menifield knocked out Dashawn Boatwright in eight seconds on the show and followed that up with knockout wins over Vinicius Moreira and Paul Craig to begin his UFC run. Menifield seemed to be in position to make a legitimate run at light heavyweight before dropping a unanimous decision to Devin Clark in early June. Menifield entered that fight as a -330 favorite and still found a way to lose. Our exposure to Menifield has been small. He has just ten pro fights under his belt and has never fought anyone particularly good. Even a deteriorating OSP would be by far the best guy Menifield has seen to date. 

This is an interesting fight. Menifield has a big-time edge in both the explosiveness and power department, but OSP is a world-class athlete with an underrated submission game. He also has a massive edge in terms of experience. Saint Preux is three inches taller and owns a four-inch edge in the reach department. Both are significant factors when taking into account virtually all of Menifield's offense comes via strikes. I'm going to take OSP as a slight underdog. I am by no means confident about the pick, but the value is definitely there. 

THE PICK: Saint Preux
 

Light Heavyweight

Marcin Prachnio (13-4-0) v. Mike Rodriguez (10-4-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Prachnio ($7,300), Rodriguez ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Prachnio (+195), Rodriguez (-235)
Odds to Finish: -300

Suffering knockout losses in each of his first two UFC bouts, Prachnio is almost certainly fighting for his job on Saturday. The Warsaw native entered the UFC as a big-time, hard-hitting prospect, but his striking defense hasn't been up to par. Although we have only seen him inside the Octagon for a little over a round and a half, Prachnio is absorbing just 2.92 significant strikes per minute. That's actually a reasonable number which places his struggles on his chin and lack of durability, as opposed to anything he is doing incorrectly from a technical standpoint. 

The very definition of roster depth, Rodriguez earned his shot on the Contenders Series and has since gone 1-2 (1C) in his first four UFC bouts. "Slow" Mike spent the vast majority of his pro career on the Northeastern regional circuit, racking up a bunch of knockouts with an occasional submission. He, too, has never fought anyone of note, and there appears to be no chance of sudden improvement given the fact Rodriguez turns 32 years of age in late November.

As crazy as it sounds, I think all DraftKings players need to get a piece of this fight. The odds of it seeing the final bell are extremely small, and there's very little depth on this card. I think Rodriguez has to be the pick to win given how bad Prachnico has looked with the UFC, but any underdog gains significant additional value in a fight that projects as an all-out brawl. 

THE PICK: Rodriguez
 

Women's Flyweight

Mariya Agapova (9-1-0) v. Shana Dobson (3-4-0)
DK Salaries: Agapova ($9,300), Dobson ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Agapova (-1250), Dobson (+800)
Odds to Finish: -425

The UFC women's flyweight division is in desperate need of halfway-decent fighters, and although the sample size is small, Agapova appears to fall into that category. While she dropped a unanimous decision to Tracy Cortez on the Contenders Series, Agapova has since rebounded with a pair of stoppage victories in Invicta, plus an extremely impressive submission win over Hannah Cifers in her official UFC debut in June. She earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for her efforts. I need to see way more from Agapova before forming an accurate opinion of her long-term potential, but she has good size (5-foot-6) for the division and it just 23 years old. Those two factors along make her worth keeping an eye on.

It's never a good thing when a fighter's career record is below .500. Dobson has lost each of her first three UFC fights and quite frankly, I am surprised they are running her back out there. Dobson picked up a fluky knockout win at the TUF 26 finale in December 2017 and hasn't tasted victory since. She has no power, no ground game and isn't athletic. It's a really, really bad combination and that is how you end up a +800 underdog.

I have always believed that if one fighter is as big of a favorite over the other as Agapova is here, then the fight shouldn't be happening. I understand it from Dobson's point of view. The company probably told her she was on the chopping block so she took the fight. It's smart. She has nothing to lose. On the other hand, Agapova has nothing to gain. She'll almost certainly win, but a victory over Dobson means nothing and her stock won't rise as a result. On the other hand, I do like the idea of getting Agapova additional reps inside the Octagon since she is so young. My interest in Dobson as a miracle DraftKings play is non-existent, and although I think there's a scenario in which Agapova can pay out, you have to be very careful when touching any fighter with such an inflated salary. 

THE PICK: Agapova
 

Other Fights

Welterweight
Daniel Rodriguez (12-1-0) v. Takashi Sato (16-3-0)
DK Salaries: Rodriguez ($8,700), Sato ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Rodriguez (-190), Sato (+165)
Odds to Finish: -150
THE PICK: Rodriguez

Women's Strawweight
Amanda Lemos (7-1-1) v. Mizuki Inoue (14-5-0)
DK Salaries: Lemos ($7,600), Inoue ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Lemos (+120), Inoue (-140)
Odds to Finish: +150
THE PICK: Lemos

Lightweight
Austin Hubbard (12-4-0) v. Joe Solecki (9-2-0)
DK Salaries: Hubbard ($7,800), Solecki ($8,400)
Vegas Odds: Hubbard (+130), Solecki (-15)
Odds to Finish: +190
THE PICK: Solecki 

Light Heavyweight
Ike Villanueva (16-10-0) v. Jorge Gonzalez (16-4-0)
DK Salaries: Villanueva ($8,200), Gonzalez ($8,000)
Vegas Odds: Villanueva (-130), Gonzalez (+110)
THE PICK: Gonzalez

Welterweight
Carlton Minus (10-1-0, 1NC) v. Matthew Semelsberger (6-2-0)
DK Salaries: Minus ($8,500), Semelsberger ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Minus (-135), Semelsberger (+110)
Odds to Finish: +125
THE PICK: Minus

Bantamweight
Timur Valiev (16-2-0) v. Mark Striegl (18-2-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Valiev ($9,100), Striegl ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Valiev (-525), Striegl (+415)
Odds to Finish: +160
THE PICK: Valiev 

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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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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