This article is part of our MMA Best Bets series.
In this series of articles, I'll share my favorite play, an underdog pick, a prop, and a two-fighter parlay I like. All lines are taken from DraftKings online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Joanderson Brito (12-2-1) vs. Bill Algeo (14-6)
Weight Class: Featherweight
Brito looked impressive on the Contender Series, as he was able to mix in his wrestling and striking. Algeo, meanwhile, has struggled to keep the fights standing as in his three UFC fights, where he has gone 1-2 . He has been taken down 17 times, which averages to 5.6 times per fight. On the Contender Series, he was also taken down three times, while Brito earned three takedowns in 10 minutes and 12 seconds.
I expect Brito to get Algeo down at will and use his ground-and-pound to either control the fight to win a decision or get the stoppage. To me, Brito should be around a (-180) favorite, so to get him at (-135) makes it a must-play for me.
The Play: Joanderson Brito (-135)
Chase Sherman (15-8) vs. Jake Collier (12-6)
Weight Class: Heavyweight
This is a low-level heavyweight fight, and in these fights, either of them can win. However, I have to back Sherman, who throws a ton of volume and has legit KO power. Plus, he can get the win with one punch, while Collier doesn't have that power.
Sherman lands 6.24 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6.33, Collier, meanwhile lands 5.52 and absorbs 4.44. Both men throw more volume than most heavyweights and are there to be hit, so give me the one who can end this fight by KO at plus money.
The Play: Chase Sherman (+110)
Katlyn Chookagian (16-4) vs. Jennifer Maia (19-7-1)
Weight Class: Women's Flyweight
If it ain't broke don't fix it, and that's how I go about betting Katlyn Chookagian's fights when I think she's going to come away victorious.
Chookagian has picked up nine UFC wins and has won all of them by decision, including a decision victory over Jennifer Maia at UFC 244 in 2019. In the rematch, I'm expecting the same result, and that is Chookagian to win by decision.
As we saw in the first fight, Chookagian was able to keep it standing and just out-volume Maia, and I think that happens again here. I like Chookagian straight at (-180), but her by decision at (-120) is the better way to attack this fight/ Chookagian can become the first fighter in UFC history to earn her first 10 Octagon victories by decision if she wins again on the scorecards.
The Play: Katlyn Chookagian by decision (-120)
Giga Chikadze (14-2) vs. Calvin Kattar (22-5) &
Viacheslav Borshchev (5-1) vs. Dakota Bush (8-3)
Weight Class: Featherweight and lightweight
Kattar returns after a year-long layoff and has a tough matchup against Chikadze, who is a phenomenal kickboxer. On the feet, Chikadze is the better striker, and I do believe Kattar will try and wrestle the Georgian. I don't think it will work. Then, in the fight against Holloway, we saw Kattar is there to be hit, so I expect Chikadze to piece up and out-volume Kattar for a decision win or a late stoppage.
For my other leg, I'm taking Borshchev to win his debut, as he gets a favorable matchup against Bush. Borshchev is a phenomenal striker who knocked out the undefeated Chris Duncan on DWCS. Although he gets hit a lot, he throws an absurd amount of volume, and I expect to keep it standing and eventually catch Bush and finish him with strikes.
The Play: Chikadze and Borshchev parlay (+113)