This article is part of our UFC Picks 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.
David Onama (8-1) vs. Gabriel Benitez (22-9)
Weight Class: Featherweight
David Onama was a relative unknown when he made his UFC debut on short notice against Mason Jones. He was a +325 underdog but made the fight super close and nearly beat Jones in a razor-close decision. Onama showed off his impressive striking and good chin.
Benitez, meanwhile, was beaten up by Billy Quarantillo last time out, and it's the kind of fight that changes a fighter's career. Both Benitez and Onama are kill-or-be-killed fighters, but the gas tank and output of Onama will be the difference.
In his fight against Jones, he landed an absurd 6 significant strikes per minute, while Benitez lands 4.35. Onama will also be able to keep this fight standing and eventually the damage will be too much and he will get the TKO win, similar to what Quarantillo did.
The Play: David Onama (-150)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (11-4) vs. Joaquin Buckley (13-4)
Weight Class: Middleweight
Both Alhassan and Buckley have explosive power and can end the fight with one punch or kick, while they can also have their lights shut out. To me, this is a pick'em fight, so to get plus-money on Alhassan makes it a play here. Both men have poor striking defense, as they are willing to take a shot to give one, but I do think you will see both of them be more tentative this time around.
Ultimately, we have seen Buckley get knocked out plenty of times before and be rocked quite often. Alhassan has also fought higher-level of competition and had success against them, so I'm taking Alhassan to land the KO shot in the first.
The Play: Abdul Razak Alhassan (+125)
Parker Porter (12-6) vs. Alan Baudot (8-2)
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Not often do you see a heavyweight that is above -200 be plus-money to win inside the distance, but that is the case here for Parker Porter, which is due to recency bias.
Porter won each of his last two fights by decision, but he gets a step-down in competition here against Baudot, who is the perfect opponent to get the finish. Porter told me in the lead-up to this fight he is putting pressure on himself to get the finish.
In Baudot's two UFC fights, he was finished in both. Even in his fight to get to the UFC, he actually lost, but the commission in Quebec put it as a win for him after Todd Stoute tested positive for marijuana. Baudot's gas tank is also a concern, while Porter has great cardio. I expect Baudot to have a good first round and then gas out in the second, allowing Porter to pick up that first UFC finish.
The Play: Parker Porter inside the distance (+110)
Kyle Daukaus (10-2) vs. Jamie Pickett (13-6) &
Jonathan Pearce (11-4) vs. Christian Rodriguez (7-0)
Weight Class: 195lbs Catchweight & Featherweight
Both Daukaus and Pearce were supposed to be on this card, while Pickett stepped up on 10 days' notice and Rodriguez about a week. With that, both of their cardios could be a concern, and they are up against tough matchups.
Daukaus told me Pickett requested this fight be at 195, as he wouldn't make 185. That's a potential concern, as it shows he may not be in the best of shape. Given the circumstances, I expect Daukaus to use his wrestling to take Pickett down and eventually find the stoppage win on the ground.
As for Pearce, Rodriguez is a solid opponent, but on a weeks' notice, it will be tough for him to handle. Pearce should be able to use his wrestling to take Rodriguez down and overwhelm him with his strength to eventually get a ground-and-pound TKO win. Rodriguez will have success in the UFC -- it just won't be this fight.