This article is part of our FanDuel MMA series.
We are back at it with another UFC Pay-Per-View event! UFC 260 features nine bouts, including a title fight, which makes for plenty of opportunities to roster fighters in our FanDuel lineups!
If I do not mention a fighter in this article, it does not mean I am not considering them for a specific category. Still, I am putting fighters in these categories out of respect for prioritization.
Let's get into it!
FanDuel Scoring System:
Moves Scoring (MVP 1.5X)
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.9 PTS
Takedown (TD): +9 PTS
Takedown Defense (TDEF): +4.5 PTS
Submission Attempt (SA): +7.5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +18 PTS
Moves Scoring (Standard)
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.6 PTS
Takedown (TD): +6 PTS
Takedown Defense (TDEF): 3
Submission Attempt (SA): 5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +12 PTS
Fight Conclusion Bonuses (MVP 1.5X)
1st Round Win (1stW): +150 PTS
2nd Round Win (2ndW): +112.5 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rdW): +75 PTS
4th Round Win (4thW): +52.5 PTS
5th Round Win (5thW): +37.5 PTS
Decision Win (DecW): +30 PTS
Fight Conclusion Bonuses (Standard)
1st Round Win (1stW): +100 PTS
2nd Round Win (2ndW): +75 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rdW): +50 PTS
4th Round Win (4thW): +35 PTS
5th Round Win (5thW): +25 PTS
Decision Win (DecW): +20 PTS
MVP Top Plays
Vicente Luque ($21)
Vicente Luque is one of the biggest favorites on the card and will be taking on former champion Tyron Woodley. In his prime, Woodley's athleticism and power were a real threat to all comers. However, his fighting style has always been very passive, so if he cannot hurt the opposition significantly, he struggles to win rounds. Woodley did not cause significant damage to Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns or Colby Covington, so he lost every round of each fight.
Vicente Luque is hittable in striking exchanges (i.e., absorbs 5.82 significant strikes per minute per ufcstats.com) but has never been knocked out in pro-MMA. Luque is a better technical striker than Woodley, who's fought at a far high pace (i.e., landed 130 significant strikes against Niko Price, landed 163 significant strikes against Brian Barberena). Also, I think Luque is a better counter striker who can have a lot of success with low kicks (i.e., Woodley stands very heavy on his lead leg). As long as Luque avoids getting hurt and finished with a big KO shot from Woodley, I think he comfortably wins this fight and can potentially end the fight (i.e., 17 of Luque's 19 professional wins are via stoppage).
Sean O'Malley ($23)
Coming off his first professional MMA loss, Sean O'Malley will be looking to get back in the win column as he faces veteran Thomas Almeida. Despite the loss to Marlon Vera and leg injuries, I still consider O'Malley a promising talent, as one failure should not mean that his potential has gone down. We've seen champions lose some fights early on in their UFC careers (i.e., Max Holloway, Robert Whittaker, and Dustin Poirier).
I am still optimistic about O'Malley's future in the UFC. O'Malley's opponent, Thomas Almeida, has shown questionable durability throughout his UFC career (i.e., has been knocked down six times, rocked by Jonathan Martinez, and has been knocked out twice professionally). O'Malley fights better at range (i.e., utilizes oblique kicks and other various kicks at range while showcasing excellent range management) and is dangerous enough to hurt Almeida, which can lead to a stoppage victory.
Cash Game Underdogs
Stipe Miocic ($19)
A rematch where Stipe Miocic previously won at UFC 220 (i.e., 50-44 x 3 on the judges' scorecards), I believe he has the tools to win the rematch again. The key here for Miocic, which is much easier said than done, is to avoid the extreme power strikes of Ngannou as much as possible in the early striking exchanges to tire Ngannou out by out grappling him for as long as the fight goes. In the first meeting, Miocic earned six takedowns and 15:05 of control time in the grappling exchanges. Miocic is the better technical striker (i.e., Golden Gloves Boxing Champion) with the superior combination striking who fights at a far higher pace. Still, I trust he'll want to get this fight to the ground as a path of least resistance. I like Miocic as a fighter with five rounds to accrue a sizeable FanDuel score with the ability to grapple, strike in volume and potentially finish.
Gillian Robertson ($13)
Like Derek Brunson in the last event, Gillian Robertson's path to victory and advantage in this matchup against bright prospect Miranda Maverick is clear. Robertson has shown the ability to pursue takedowns (i.e., single-leg, double leg, body lock, and trip takedowns with the ability to chain wrestle) where she looks to impose her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (i.e., excellent guard passing ability, solid pressure in the top position, BJJ Black Belt). Maverick is the superior striker (i.e., Muay Thai background, varied striking with excellent combos and solid footwork) in the matchup. Still, she's been taken down (i.e., did not sprawl) and controlled (i.e., did not dig for an under hook) on the regional scene.
I am sure Maverick has improved since we last saw her defensive grappling tested. Still, there's a legitimate chance it's not on the level of Robertson's, in which case Robertson can dominate the grappling exchanges. In the outcomes where Robertson controls the grappling exchanges, she can land takedowns, pass guard and potentially finish, leading to a big FanDuel score.
Modestas Bukauskas ($12)
There is some additional risk with this consideration, but it's a chance I am willing to take. Modestas Bukauskas is taking on Michal Oleksiejczuk, who's shown to have cardio issues (i.e., started to tire towards the end of Round 1 against Saint Preux). The heavy-handed, Oleksiejczuk will be a threat to TKO/KO finish Bukauskas (i.e., the chin is high when engaging in pocket exchanges, has been knocked out twice professionally). Still, assuming Bukauskas survives the early onslaught, I think he can win and potentially by way of finish. Bukauskas is the more varied striker (i.e., Oleksiejczuk does not often throw kicks) who will hold a four-inch reach advantage. Oleksiejczuk has enough holes in his game, and Bukauskas, a talented enough striker to where I think he can exploit the weaknesses of Oleksiejczuk.
Jamie Mullarkey ($14)
The fight between Jamie Mullarkey and Khama Worthy is a striker versus grappler stylistic matchup. Mullarkey is the better grappler here. He has an excellent reactive takedown, chain wrestling, scrambling, trip takedown, double leg takedown while setting them up well by faking going high and dropping his level for the takedown. Furthermore, Mullarkey looks to advance position in the top position once he gets fights to the mat. Worthy has shown to have a defensive grappling weakness both on the regional scene (i.e., his back was taken) and against Luis Pena. Against Pena, Worthy was taken down, mounted, and nearly finished with submission attempts while getting controlled on the ground. I believe Mullarkey can dominate the grappling exchanges similar or better to how Pena did, which is why I like him as a FanDuel target.
Michael Oleksiejczuk ($17)
A fighter who's shown to pursue the early finish and succeed multiple times aggressively is always valuable in DFS. Michael Oleksiejczuk is a southpaw pressure striker with many feints and footwork who possesses a lot of power in his hands (i.e., he has four knockdowns in the UFC). His opponent Modestas Bukauskas tends to throw naked low kicks leaving him very susceptible to counters (i.e., was knocked down and finished by Jim Crute because of this tendency). Bukausas also leaves his chin high in the pocket where he's willing to trade punches. Oleksiejczuk has shown enough power, technique, and aggression to where I believe he has a legitimate chance to finish this fight early (i.e., Bukauskas has been knocked out twice professionally).
Francis Ngannou ($20)
It wouldn't be wise of me not to consider Francis Ngannou in GPPs, considering IF he wins this fight, it's very likely to be by an early finish (i.e., all of his wins in the UFC have come in either the first or second round). Ngannou is the most dangerous combatant inside the Octagon in the UFC's history. His power, athleticism, and speed are unmatched for the heavyweight division. If Ngannou keeps this fight standing long enough to land a big shot on Miocic, he can win by TKO/KO stoppage. Miocic absorbed 105 significant strikes to Daniel Cormier at UFC 252, so Ngannou will undoubtedly have opportunities to land, and based on the freakish power, he has opportunities to earn a TKO/KO stoppage. I am willing to target Ngannou despite being a popular GPP target due to his upside.
Khama Worthy ($17)
I like the fight between Khama Worthy and Jamie Mullarkey in GPPs because there's a chance one fighter can dominate the other if they're able to play to their strengths. Worthy is a better striker (i.e., is more dangerous, superior counter striker) than Mullarkey. Mullarkey has been finished via strikes twice on the regional scene. Additionally, Mullarkey was severely hurt by Brad Riddell and nearly finished in his UFC debut. If the fight stays standing for an extended time, Worthy will have opportunities to land a powerful strike to finish the fight. This fight is unlikely to go the distance per the betting odds, which has me intrigued with it as a whole for GPPs.
GPP Fades/Fighters To Be Light On
Miranda Maverick ($16)
Miranda Maverick is a very talented prospect. I see her as the superior striker in this matchup against Gillian Robertson, so she can win the fight if she keeps it standing long enough to do sufficient damage. However, I think Maverick's upside is mainly tied to a standing TKO/KO victory which the betting odds suggest is unlikely. While Maverick may earn a standing TKO/KO victory, her only professional TKO/KO victory was in her UFC debut, which was a doctor's stoppage, so it seems unlikely to happen here. There are other spots I'd instead target in my FanDuel lineups than Maverick this weekend.