This article is part of our FanDuel MMA series.
After a week-long hiatus, we are back with another UFC event! UFC Vegas 23 features fifteen bouts, 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
Marvin Vettori ($23)
Marvin Vettori is looking to climb the ranks and get a title shot. Standing in his way is Kevin Holland, who defends takedowns at a rate of 51 percent. Not only that, but Holland has been controlled on the ground for multiple large stretches in past fights where he's been finished (or nearly been) via ground and pound (i.e., against Darren Stewart in Round 3) and submission (i.e., against Gerald Meerschaert, Brendan Allen, and Derek Brunson).
Vettori is a good technical boxer and BJJ Brown Belt who can dominate this fight if he takes it to the mat. He is an enormous betting favorite on the card, partly due to his massive grappling advantage. With one of the best wins inside the distance lines on the card, striking volume, and grappling upside with five rounds to work with, I am very interested in rostering "The Italian Dream."
Yorgan De Castro ($21)
Yorgan de Castro has the most significant wins inside the distance line on the card in part because he is a dangerous and athletic fighter. He is also facing Jarjis Danho, who has not fought inside the UFC's Octagon since September 2016. Danho has shown to want to close distance, get the clinch and drag the fight to the ground, but has struggled to land takedowns in two UFC fights.
De Castro has shown good enough takedown defense and athleticism to where he very likely keeps this fight standing and has a legitimate chance to win by TKO/KO. In the film, Danho was hurt multiple times by Christian Columbo, who was not as threatening as De Castro. I am rolling with "The Mad Titan" as one of my main MVP plays.
Cash Game Underdogs
Erin Blanchfield ($9)
Erin Blanchfield will be making her UFC debut on short notice stepping in for Bea Malecki when she takes on Norma Dumont. Blanchfield is just 21 years of age and has seven professional fights. Still, I think she's very talented and has potential. This fight has a solid chance to go to the judges' scorecards per the betting odds, and Dumont's takedown defense remains largely an unknown.
Excelling as a grappler who's a BJJ Brown Belt, I expect Blanchfield to want to take this fight to the ground, where she looks to pass the opponent's guard and look for a finish. Erin has shown some power in her strikes on the regional scene, so perhaps she earns a TKO/KO stoppage in a win scenario. Still, I like her for cash games as an underdog that is likely to go all three rounds where she can potentially make the fight competitive.
Scott Holtzman ($10)
More than anything, I think the fight between Scott Holtzman and Mateusz Gamrot is more competitive than betting odds currently indicate. Gamrot is a high-level submission grappler and a technical striker who trains at American Top Team.
However, Scott Holtzman is a BJJ Brown Belt with solid MMA wrestling who is far more UFC tested, so it looks pretty possible Holtzman can pose resistance to what Gamrot does best. Not only that, they're both strikers who have substantial volume. Gamrot is more technical, and that's ultimately why I favor him to win the fight, but this fight is likely to go the distance per the betting odds. Holtzman is an exciting cash game consideration for me.
William Knight ($15)
William Knight will try to improve to 2-0 in the UFC when he takes on Da Un Jung. This fight as a whole is one of the more attractive targets for me in GPPs, considering the high probability of finishing mixed with the competitive moneyline. Despite being an underdog, Knight has a solid finish prop. If Knight wins this matchup, it's likely either because he catches Jung with a big shot while standing (i.e., Jung has shown to leave his chin in the air and be a reasonably predictable striker) OR takes this fight to the ground and imposes his grappling.
Jung was taken down a few times in his UFC debut by Khadis Ibragimov (even when Ibragimov was exhausted) and tended to back straight into the fence. Knight has shown the ability to land takedowns with an outside trip in the clinch and a level change against the fence. Knight's physicality and technical grappling will be compelling should he get the top position, and that could spell a finish. "The Knightmare" is one of the more intriguing underdogs for me to target in GPPs this weekend.
Mike Perry ($12)
I am taking some chances on Mike Perry this weekend in GPPs for a couple of reasons. He is a "headhunter" who has an immense amount of power in his hands and carries one of the better wins inside the distance lines amongst the underdogs in this slate. Perry's opponent, Daniel Rodriguez, is also a brawler who tends to leave his chin high, which led to him getting countered hard and nearly finished by Dwight Grant. "D-Rod" also absorbs 6.12 significant strikes per minute, so it seems likely Perry will have plenty of opportunities to land a hard strike that can potentially end the fight. For the finish upside, I am willing to target "Platinum" Mike Perry.
Julian Marquez ($19)
Sam Alvey and Julian Marquez may fight each other at a meager pace where no finish materializes. However, it's also very possible "The Cuban Missile Crisis" earns his third finish in the UFC's Octagon. Marquez carries a vital win inside the distance line, and his opponent "Smile'n" has gone winless in five straight bouts where he was hurt multiple times in that stretch. Granted, Alvey has generally shown to be durable throughout his career. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see the younger, more athletic and aggressive fighter in Marquez earn another stoppage victory on Saturday.
Da-Un Jung ($17)
The matchup between Da-Un Jung and William Knight is a classic "striker versus grappler" matchup. Jung, the striker, will hold a five-inch reach advantage and be the more technical striker, as Knight is still very green with his standup. Knight has been stopped via strikes professionally once and defends strikes at a rate of 33 percent, which is a shallow rate. "Sseda" has shown enough power in his hands to where it seems like a possible outcome that he can earn a TKO/KO stoppage should he get his hand raised. The betting odds agree with this sentiment as well as holds a viable win inside the distance line.
GPP Fades/Fighters To Be Light On
All three combatants carry a wins inside the distance betting line near +300. None of them may dominate their respective stylistic matchups, as their opposition is also capable at the areas where they are each most successful. It's not that I want 0 percent exposure to any of these fighters if making 150 lineups. However, I'd rather roster fighters in similar price ranges and cheaper for a higher probability of hitting their upside.