This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
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 $333k MMA Throwdown with $100k to first place. Players get a $50,000 budget to select six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:
Note: Scoring has been updated as of early-2021! Please review the scoring changes below.
Strikes: +0.2 PTS
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Control Time: +0.03 PTS/SECOND
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
Quick Win Bonus: +25 PTS
(fight is finished in 60 seconds or less)
- Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
- A Significant Strike will count as both a strike and a significant strike and will be worth a total of 0.4 Pts
- Control Time is the time spent in the dominant position on the ground or in the clinch. +0.03 points are awarded per second.
- A Knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.
- A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.
Main Event - Women's Featherweight
This was originally scheduled to be Dumont v. Holly Holm before the latter was forced to withdraw due to a knee issue.
Dumont will be making her fourth UFC appearance. She started her run with a knockout defeat at the hands of Megan Anderson and has since taken decisions from Ashlee Evans-Smith (unanimous) and Felicia Spencer (split). Nothing in Dumont's background would lead you to believe there is any sort of breakthrough forthcoming. She doesn't have a single knockout victory in her pro career and missed weight for the Evans-Smith fight, although that bout was contested at bantamweight. I imagine she will be fine here in terms of the weight cut.
Ladd has been on the sidelines for nearly two years due to a torn ACL and MCL. Her most recent bout came against Yana Kunitskaya on December 7, 2019. Ladd was due to fight Macy Chiasson twice in the past three months. Chiasson withdrew the first time and the second scheduled bout, which would have taken place just a couple weeks ago, was cancelled following health concerns regarding Ladd following her weigh cut. As a result, she may be looking at a permanent move to 145 pounds.
Ladd has won four of her first five UFC bouts, with three of those wins being earned via knockout. The defeat came at the hands of Germaine de Randamie in what was a poor stylistic matchup for Ladd. Her biggest concern is her stand-up defense, which is why she was hammered by a high-level kickboxer in de Randamie. She should be okay against Dumont as long as she doesn't do anything foolish.
The original scheduled main event for this card was Miesha Tate v. Ketlen Vieira. A couple changes later, we have arrived at Ladd and Dumont. You will be hard pressed to find a headliner with less of an impact on the title picture.
Ladd appears to be undervalued relative to her skill set, but she hasn't fought in so long that I wouldn't be crazy about using her, either. She's still the pick against a fringe opponent in Dumont, albeit with less confidence than usual.
THE PICK: Ladd
Co-Main Event - Heavyweight
Regular readers of this column know I love to jokingly take jabs at Arlovski, and of course, he continues to throw it back in my face by winning three of his past four fights. Arlovski will be 43 years old this coming February. Unlike many other aging fighters on the UFC roster, the company has been exceedingly careful about who they have matched Arlovski up against. Those three previously mentioned wins came over Chase Sherman, Tanner Boser and Philipe Lins – three guys who fall into the tier of opposition "The Pit Bull" should be facing at his advanced age.
Felipe is the rare heavyweight who sees the final bell with regularity. All four of his UFC bouts have gone to a decision, with Felipe winning his past three after dropping his debut. All three have come against subpar competition (Jake Collier, Justin Tafa, Yorgan de Castro), and the past two were of the "split" variety. Felipe does have power, but he's the type of fighter who is willing to eat a shot in order to land two of his own, and that never works over the long term. There's a lack of technical skill here. It still might be enough to defeat Arlovski, however.
Arlovski is nearly 16 years older than Felipe. That is not a misprint. On the flip side, Arlovski is three inches taller in addition to entering with a two-inch reach edge. Both could easily come into play in a fight which appears likely to be contested entirely on the feet.
This is a pure pick 'em for me. If they fight ten times, I imagine each guy wins five.
I REALLY want to pick Arlovski since I find it nearly impossible to believe there is ever another fight in which I'd consider him, but I ultimately can't bring myself to do it. It's a mental thing at this point. The $200 in saving with Felipe pushed me over the edge.
THE PICK: Felipe
In a matchup of two of the best nicknames in the game, "The Cuban Missile Crisis" (Marquez) will be taking on "The Beverly Hills Ninja" (Wright).
The 31-year-old Marquez earned his UFC opportunity with a knockout win over Phil Hawes on Dana White's Contender Series in August 2017. He has since gone on to earn three submission wins (Sam Alvey, Maki Pitolo, Darren Stewart) and a split decision defeat (Alessio Di Chirico). He is by no means a title contender, but Marquez has plenty of things going for him. He's big for the division (6-foot-2), physical, has a solid ground game, and is tough as nails. It should allow him to remain competitive most every time out.
Wright has alternated wins and losses in his first three UFC fights, each of which ended via knockout. The wins were over Jamie Pickett and Ike Villanueva while the defeat came at the hands of Joaquin Buckley. Wright possesses high-level explosiveness. The power here is legitimate and he's more than capable of mixing in a submission. Wright turned 30 years of age just last week, so there should also be some staying power despite his relative inexperience with the company.
The big question for this fight is how Wright looks in a fight which goes an extended period of time. 12 of Wright's first 14 professional bouts have ended in the first round, including four in less than a minute and and six more in less than two minutes. Wright's two UFC knockout victories have come in a combined 2 minutes and 35 seconds.
Marquez will have to watch out from an blitz attack by Wright early on, but Marquez is the more durable fighter and will have a massive edge if this fight gets out of the first couple minutes. I'm wagering that will be enough to get it done over the long term.
THE PICK: Marquez
The picture of inconsistency, Roberts is 4-4 in his past eight bouts dating back to July 2017. He has put together a couple of nice performances, but has generally struggled against anything approaching better competition. Time would appear to be running out for the 34-year-old Londoner to get on any type of streak. This will not be an easy fight for him.
Six fights into his UFC run, Emeev is sporting a 5-1 record. The lone defeat came at the hands of Anthony Rocco Martin, while all six fights went the distance. The strong record aside, the obvious concern here is Emeev's apparent inability to stop his opposition. He racked up a ton of stoppages early in his career on the regional circuit, which leads me to believe those victories were simply the result of facing lesser competition. Of course, that doesn't mean Emeev isn't any good. He's long for the division, has a tendency to keep things simple on the feet and averages 2.33 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Roberts is going to have to figure out a way to generate consistent offense on the feet, because his takedown defense is a paltry 53 percent, and he may not be able to get back up if Emeev drags him to the mat.
This is a thin card and we have to make a stand somewhere. I'm willing to wager on Emeev's grappling edge in addition to Roberts' inconsistency. The price tag on Emeev is highly prohibitive to say the least, but I advocate getting a piece of him in some form of fashion, because there are a limited amount of attractive options here.
THE PICK: Emeev
Istela Nunes (7-1-0, 1NC) v. Ariane Carnelossi (13-2-0)
DK Salaries: Nunes ($7,700), Carnelossi ($8,500)
Vegas Odds: Nunes (+130), Carnelosi (-155)
Odds to Finish: +110
THE PICK: Carnelosi