DraftKings MMA: UFC Fight Night 78 Preview

DraftKings MMA: UFC Fight Night 78 Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

The UFC returns to Mexico in an event headlined by two men who are looking to make their way up the ranks of the welterweight division.

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. Players get a $50,000 budget to select five fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +1 PT
Takedown (TD): +2 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +2 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +3 PTS

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +100 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +50 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +25 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 – Welterweight

Neil Magny (16-5-0) v. Kelvin Gastelum (12-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Magny ($8,500), Gastelum ($10,900)
Vegas Odds: Magny (+250), Gastelum (-300)

Magny is replacing Matt Brown on roughly three weeks notice. Considering how often Magny fights, it shouldn't affect his game at all. That being said, if Gastelum has a healthy weight cut (something that has been a major problem in the past), he should win this fight. A very powerful striker, Gastelum's only professional loss was a split decision setback to Tyron Woodley in January. His ground game is also underrated, although he doesn't use it much. A winner in eight of his last nine fights, there's nothing fancy about Magny's game. He's gritty and continues to make improvements each time out. Magny is limited athletically, which could hurt him in this fight. The only real weakness we saw from Magny was when Demian Maia dominated him on the ground recently. A ground battle isn't exactly Gastelum's style, so he shouldn't have to worry about that in this fight. Magny's best chance for a win here may be to try and use his wrestling skills. This fight should come down to how healthy Gastelum is after making the cut to 170 pounds. If he had a good camp and doesn't look like a zombie on the weigh-in scale, he should be fine. Not being able to make weight has really been the only blip on the radar in what has otherwise been a stellar young career for Gastelum. Hopefully he has figured that part of his game out because he has a lot of potential.
THE PICK: Gastelum

Co-Main Event – Featherweight

Ricardo Lamas (15-4-0) v. Diego Sanchez (27-7-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Lamas ($11,200), Sanchez ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Lamas (-600), Sanchez (+450)

Everyone loves Diego Sanchez. I love Diego Sanchez, you love Diego Sanchez. Sanchez only knows one way to fight -- 100 percent non-stop, all the time. It makes for very entertaining fights to watch, but it leads to struggles against better fighters. Lamas certainly qualifies as a better fighter. Lamas' only losses in the last four-plus years are against Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes - two of the three best featherweights in the world. Lamas has a remarkably well rounded game. He can win on the feet or on the ground, while Sanchez does his best work in the striking game. Sanchez trains with Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn in New Mexico, who just last week devised the game plan that helped Holly Holm smash Ronda Rousey. While Sanchez is the more entertaining fighter to watch, Lamas is the better fighter. And while I think the Vegas odds are a bit much, there's no doubt that Lamas deserves to be the favorite in this one.


Jussier Formiga (18-3-0) v. Henry Cejudo (9-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Formiga ($8,300), Cejudo ($11,100)
Vegas Odds: Formiga (+400), Cejudo (-500)

This sets up as another chance for Cejudo to cement himself as the next (and perhaps only) threat to Demetrious Johnson's flyweight championship. We all know Cejudo's deal: he is a former Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling who is still learning the fine points of MMA. Cejudo is undefeated in his pro career, including a 3-0 record in the UFC, but all three of those wins have been via unanimous decision, and he looked mediocre in his last fight against the always-tough Chico Camus in June. Formiga will be a tougher test. He isn't a particularly well-known name, but UFC.com currently ranks him as the No. 3 flyweight, and his only losses since February 2011 are against John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez. This is going to be a ground battle. While not on the level of Cejudo, Formiga is a darn good wrestler in his own right. The biggest difference between the two has been the fact that Cejudo has traditionally been far more active in the feet. He lands three more significant strikes per round than Formiga. This is a real test for Cejudo, he will almost certainly get a title shot if he wins impressively. The odds and DK salaries here seem extremely off to me. I fully expect Cejudo to win, but I don't think he should be bet on at those odds and I'd be hesitant to put him in my lineup. .
THE PICK: Cejudo


Efrain Escudero (25-9-0) v. Leandro Silva (18-2-1, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Escudero ($9,500), Silva ($9,900)
Vegas Odds: Escudero (+120), Silva (-140)

This is a fight between two guys who have been notoriously inconsistent throughout their careers, although each has been a bit better lately. Escudero is still just 29 years old, although his UFC debut came way back in December 2008. He is 5-5 through his first 10 UFC bouts, although he has won his last two contests. Silva started his tenure with the company with two straight losses, although he has bounced back to win his last two fights (1NC). The two men have a combined 23 submission wins, so there's a good chance that this one ends on the mat. Escudero is the better wrestler (although Silva's wrestling is very respectable), but Silva is tends to be the more accurate striker. This may be a good fight to stay away from. It's two guys with similar styles and trying to come up with any real advantage for either fighter if difficult.

Other Bouts


Erick Montano (6-3-0) v. Enrique Marin (8-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Montano ($8,800), Marin ($10,600)
Vegas Odds: Montano (+160), Marin (-185)


Hector Gutierrez (3-1-0) v. Enrique Barzola (11-2-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Gutierrez ($9,300), Barzola ($10,100)
Vegas Odds: Gutierrez (-150), Barzola (+130)
THE PICK: Barzola


Erik Perez (14-6-0) v. Taylor Lapilus (10-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Perez ($10,000), Lapilus ($9,400)
Vegas Odds: Perez (-120), Lapilus (+100)
THE PICK: Lapilus


Hector Urbina (17-8-0) v. Bartosz Fabinski (12-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Urbina ($8,900), Fabinski ($10,500)
Vegas Odds: Urbina (+165), Fabinski (-190)
THE PICK: Fabinski


Scott Jorgensen (15-11-0) v. Alejandro Perez (16-6-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Jorgensen ($10,200), Perez ($9,200)
Vegas Odds: Jorgensen (-145), Perez (+125)
THE PICK: Jorgensen


Gabriel Benitez (18-5-0) v. Andre Fili (14-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Benitez ($8,700), Fili ($10,700)
Vegas Odds: Benitez (+165), Fili (-190)


Vernon Ramos (3-0-0) v. Alvaro Herrera (8-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Ramos ($10,300), Herrera ($9,100)
Vegas Odds: Ramos (-165), Herrera (+145)


Cesar Arzamendia (7-2-0) v. Polo Reyes (5-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Arzamendia ($10,400), Reyes ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Arzamendia (-190), Reyes (+165)
THE PICK: Arzamendia


Valmir Lazaro (13-3-0) v. Michel Prazeres (18-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Lazaro ($9,600), Prazeres ($9,800)
Vegas Odds: Lazaro (+100), Prazeres (-120)
THE PICK: Prazeres

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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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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