Drake's Takes: UFC Vegas 78 Luque vs. Dos Anjos

Drake's Takes: UFC Vegas 78 Luque vs. Dos Anjos

This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.

The top MMA betting and DFS plays for this weekend's UFC Vegas 78 card are up and courtesy of Drake Burden, who breaks down betting and lineup strategy, as well as offers predictions for the entire event.

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Juliana Miller (3-2-0) v. Luana Santos (5-1-0)

Juliana Miller - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 66" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 3 finishes in 3 wins

Luana Santos - Height: 5'5" - Reach: N/A – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 3 finishes in 5 wins

DFS Perspective: It is difficult to know what we will get from Miller after she dominated her debut and then got dominated herself in her next fight. Santos is making her debut after successfully starting her career in the LFA promotion. Miller can keep this close on the feet, but I expect this to primarily be on the mat, where Santos should make quick work of Miller.  

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Santos

Da'Mon Blackshear (13-5-1) v. Jose Johnson (15-7-0)

Da'Mon Blackshear - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 72" - Switch
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 13 wins

Jose Johnson - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 71" – Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Johnson will finally debut, but he will find himself in a difficult matchup with Blackshear. I expect this to be closer to a striker vs. grappler matchup. Johnson will have the edge on the feet, while Blackshear will have the advantage on the mat. It should only take a takedown or two for Blackshear to wrap this up, making him one of my favorite plays for DFS.

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Blackshear

Montserrat Ruiz (10-2-0) v. Jaqueline Amorim (6-1-0)

Montserrat Ruiz - Height: 5'0" - Reach: 61" – Southpaw
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 10 wins

Jaqueline Amorim - Height: 5'3" - Reach: 68" - Orthodox
~ Low volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 6 finishes in 6 wins

DFS Perspective: This is a lower-level fight. "Conejo" has not fought in over two years, and cardio could be an issue. Amorim struggled in her debut, but she should be able to right the ship here. She will have the edge everywhere, particularly with reach and grappling. Without an early finish, I do not expect a high score to come out of this fight.

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Amorim

Josh Parisian (15-6-0) v. Martin Buday (12-1-0)

Josh Parisian - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 79" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 15 wins

Martin Buday - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 77" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 12 wins

DFS Perspective: Buday is better in every facet of the game. I expect him to put on a striking clinic. However, a high DFS is unlikely as there is little to no ground game from either fighter, and a knockout may be hard to come by. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Buday

Francis Marshall (7-1-0) v. Isaac Dulgarian (5-0-0)

Francis Marshall - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 72" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 7 wins

Isaac Dulgarian - Height: 5'7" - Reach: N/A – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 5 wins

DFS Perspective: Dulgarian is making his UFC debut after a run of five wins by finish in the FAC promotion. He is dangerous everywhere but has not fought the greatest of competition. Marshall struggled to a split-decision loss in his most recent fight and will look to right the ship against the newcomer. I expect the striking to be close in the matchup, but I would give Francis the edge on the mat. A finish is likely, making this an excellent fight to target for GPP contests.

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Marshall

Terrance McKinney (13-6-0) v. Mike Breeden (10-5-0)

Terrance McKinney - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 73" - Switch
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 13 wins

Mike Breeden - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 70" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 10 wins

DFS Perspective: A loss in this fight could lead to walking papers for one of the fighters. Breeden has lost both of his UFC fights, while McKinney has lost three of his last four. McKinney was submitted just under a month ago, so this is a quick rebound fight. He will have a considerable edge on the mat and would be wise to get there as soon as possible. Breeden is a solid striker and could give McKinney issues on the feet if it stays there too long. This should be another solid fight to target for GPP contests.

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: McKinney

Marcus McGhee (7-1-0) v. JP Buys (9-5-0)

JP Buys - Height: 5'5" - Reach: 67" - Orthodox
~ Low volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 9 wins

Marcus McGhee - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 69" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 7 wins

DFS Perspective: Until Buys shows he can handle UFC-level competition, I will fade him every fight, though this could be his last fight in the promotion if he loses. McGhee shined in his UFC debut, earning his first submission win of his career. He would be wise to keep this on the feet, as he will have a significant edge there. Due to Buy's past performances, McGhee will likely be moderately owned in all contests. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: McGhee

Josh Fremd (10-4-0) v. Jamie Pickett (13-9-0)

Josh Fremd - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 76" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 10 wins

Jamie Pickett - Height: 6'2" - Reach: 80" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 9 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: Pickett is another guy entering with a bad losing streak and could be handed his papers with another loss. Fremd finally got into the win column in the UFC after his third try in his most recent fight, recording a submission midway through round two. I like Fremd to continue that streak in a big way in this fight. He should have the edge everywhere the fight goes, and I expect him to finish this early. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Fremd

Tafon Nchukwi (6-3-0) v. A.J. Dobson (6-2-0)

Tafon Nchukwi - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 77" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 4 finishes in 6 wins

A.J. Dobson - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 76" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 6 wins

DFS Perspective: Dobson is looking for his first UFC win, while Nchuki is riding a two-fight losing streak. This should be a tightly contested fight and could go either way. I would give Nchukwi a slight edge on the feet with volume, but I would give Dobson an advantage everywhere else. Nchukwi has been knocked out twice in a row, and I expect Dobson to make it a third time. Dobson could also threaten a submission when this hits the mat. He makes an excellent dog play for GPP contests.

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Dobson

Polyana Viana (13-5-0) v. Iasmin Lucindo (14-5-0)

Polyana Viana - Height: 5'5" - Reach: 67" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 13 wins

Iasmin Lucindo - Height: 5'3" - Reach: 66" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 14 wins

DFS Perspective: Both ladies come in having won their most recent fights. I disagree with the odds in this fight. Lucinco is currently the favorite, but I expect Viana to be better everywhere but in volume. Viana is once again one of my favorite dog plays and is a lock for cash and GPP contests. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Viana

Khalil Rountree (11-5-0) v. Chris Daukaus (12-6-0)

Khalil Rountree - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 76" - Southpaw
~ Moderate volume 
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

Chris Daukaus - Height: 6'3" - Reach: 76" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 11 finishes in 12 wins

DFS Perspective: Daukaus has been knocked out in three straight, and he now runs into another guy with massive power. Rountree has run off three consecutive wins and will look for another statement in this one. He will have the edge in power and has devastating kicks. I want to mention that Daukaus's three knockouts were all against top-five competitors. Prior to that, he had been wreaking havoc in the division. I expect this to be a popular fight to target, as someone is getting knocked out. I will back Daukaus to get back on track. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Daukaus

Cub Swanson (28-13-0) v. Hakeem Dawodu (13-3-1)

Cub Swanson - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 70" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 17 finishes in 28 wins

Hakeem Dawodu - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 73" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: I expect this to be another close fight. Swanson's is nearing 40, and you have to wonder how much is left in the tank. He still carries significant power in his hands, but the rest of his game has been slowly declining. If he wrestles, however, he will have a considerable edge on the mat. Dawodu will look to keep this on the feet and overwhelm Swanson with volume. Swanson makes a solid dart throw for GPP, but Dawodu is the pick. I do not expect a high score from this fight without a finish. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Dawodu

Vicente Luque (21-9-1) v. Rafael dos Anjos (32-14-0)

Vicente Luque - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 76" - Orthodox
~ High volume 
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 19 finishes in 21 wins

Rafael dos Anjos - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 70" – Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 16 finishes in 32 wins

DFS Perspective: This fight should be an absolute banger and potentially the Fight of the Night. Luque comes in as the dog, but I feel he has the advantage anywhere the fight goes. RDA has solid takedowns and good top control. However, Luque is not easy to control and has excellent grappling. I expect this to be a tight fight that goes all five rounds and for Luque to win at least three of those rounds. 

UFC Vegas 78 Pick: Luque

 

For more MMA DFS-specific content, check out our UFC Vegas 78 DraftKings preview, or test your favorite combinations of fighters on our DFS MMA Lineup Optimizer.

FANDUEL MMA SCORING

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes = 0.6 pts
Takedown = 6 pts
Takedown Defense = 3 pts
Knockdown = 12 pts
Submission Attempt = 5 pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win = 100 pts
2nd Round Win = 75 pts
3rd Round Win = 50 pts
4th Round Win = 35 pts
5th Round Win = 25 pts
Decision Win = 20 pts

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are distance strikes or clinch/ground strikes that are considered "power strikes" by official scorers.
  • A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider a substantial time.

DRAFTKINGS MMA SCORING

Moves Scoring
Strikes: +0.2 pts
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.2 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)

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any distance strikes 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 time.
  • A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.

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. Drake Burden plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Dburdz, DraftKings: Dburdz.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drake Burden
Drake is a proven DFS winner with multiple four-figure paydays under his belt. He took an interest to writing MMA during the pandemic and is active in various Discords and other social media communities.
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