This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
Two exciting title fights sit atop the UFC 275 fight card, but bettors and DFS players shouldn't neglect the rest of this 12-fight slate, which appears ripe with opportunity for underdogs, as well as significant edges for those in closely-lined bouts. We'll cover every matchup across five platforms, including a grappler with a reasonable price tag and three juicy multipliers on SuperDraft. Our betting line was taken from William Hill online sportsbook and is accurate as of the post date of this article.
Without further ado, let's get to it.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Glover Teixeira ($7,300)
I get the sense that Glover will be an underdog for as long as he has the belt. Though he's on a seven-fight winning streak (six finishes), it remains hard to trust a 42-year-old champion in a division that features so many powerful, athletic fighters. Teixeira hasn't let that stop him, having used his smothering pressure, underrated boxing and wrestling to control bouts. Jiri Prochazka's power and creative striking have seen him rocket up the rankings, but seeing him lay flat on his back after being taken down by a kickboxer in Dominick Reyes doesn't inspire confidence that he will have answers if brought to the floor by the BJJ black belt. He may need to rely on his toughness early on, but Glover's rise to the top has been characterized by getting rocked by younger opponents, which makes me think the resiliency will be there when he needs it.
Valentina Shevchenko ($9,600)
Shevchenko didn't use her wrestling much as a bantamweight, but her strength advantage as a flyweight has allowed her to add a new wrinkle to her game, having secured at least three takedowns in each of her last four fights. While Taila Santos is an athletic striker with an active guard, we have seen "Bullet" hold her own on the ground with jiu-jitsu fighters in the past, famously sweeping and submitting current bantamweight champion Julianna Pena in 2017. It may seem as though Santos will be her toughest opponent, but she tends to look mechanical in her striking, which may be a death sentence against a fast and accurate striker like Valentina.
Ramazan Emeev ($8,000)
It's a welcome change to see Emeev priced at the lower end of the mid-range, as his past designations as a heavy favorite made it difficult to play him given his slow-paced, clinch-heavy style. Jack Della Maddalena made quick work of Pete Rodriguez due to his power and ability to mix targets, but I haven't seen anything in his regional tape to make me think he can deal with the suffocating, relentless pace of Emmev. The Australian fighter will attempt to come forward early, and sometimes stands upright in the pocket, which will leave him open to reactive takedowns from "Gorets."
Steve Garcia ($8,400)
Hayisaer Maheshate seems like the type of fighter who excelled on the regional scene purely due to size and athleticism. Even in his win on the Contender Series, the Chinese fighter was put on his heels repeatedly and rocked early before working his way back into the fight. Garcia will apply more ferocious pressure than Achilles Estremadura, while also mixing in his wrestling for good measure. Maheshate could be fun to watch in the right matchup, but his game has too many holes to trust against a fighter that won't give him any space to breathe.
Na Liang ($7,600)
Liang couldn't have had a better start in her UFC debut against Ariane Carnelossi, rocking her opponent and working her wrestling game early. The problem was that "Dragon Girl" could not keep her own torrid pace, which resulted in Carnelossi taking over and getting the finish in Round 2. Silvana Gomez Juarez has incredible power for the division but had real trouble defending takedowns against the fence against Lupita Godinez, which is where Liang does her best work. It should also be noted that Juarez has been vulnerable to submissions, having lost both of her fights in the organization via tap out.
Plays to Consider on Super Draft
Kyung Ho Kang - 2.2 X Multiplier
Danaa Batgerel was riding high on the strength of three consecutive knockouts, but Chris Gutierrez showed us what can happen when opponents don't run onto "Storm's" powerful counter shots, as he controlled the range and easily made Danaa pay for lunging forward to land big shots. Kang enters this fight with a three-inch reach advantage, which means that the 32-year-old will once again have to find his way into the pocket. It needs to be said that Kang was thoroughly outwrestled by Rani Yahya in his last fight, but I can't trust Danaa to grapple, as he has only shot for one takedown since his UFC debut in 2019.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk - 2.2 X Multiplier
I'd be lying if I said I had a particularly strong read here, but the first fight between these two was so close that I can't let this kind of multiplier go without taking a stab. The pressure and power of Zhang Weili gave her the slight edge in the first meeting, but that decision relied on multiple swings of momentum. I'll take the Polish fighter to score with her accuracy and combination striking. The fact that this is a three-round fight may also work to our benefit, as it could allow Jedrzejczyk to pull ahead without giving her opponent time to reclaim an edge.
Jake Matthews – 2.2 X Multiplier
Quick knockouts have made it possible for Andre Fialho to return to the Octagon with blinding speed, allowing the 28-year-old to fight for the third time in as many months against Matthews on Saturday. While he has shown better defense and a more diverse striking attack since his UFC debut, he has yet to face a strong, dedicated grappler like Matthews, who has also made strides with his boxing and footwork. Fialho has looked sharp, but I consider this to be his first real test in the organization.
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
Joselyne Edwards UNDER 53.5 Significant Strikes and Brendan Allen UNDER 42.5 Significant Strikes.
Edwards' long frame and crisp boxing make her a real problem on the feet, but I expect the physicality of Ramona Pascual to be a problem for her here, as "La Pantera" has been taken down nine times in her last two fights. She spent almost 23 minutes on her back across those two bouts. If she is able to stay on the feet, Edwards is a favorite to surpass this number, but Pascual will be looking for grappling exchanges early and often in this one, which will limit the number of significant strikes thrown by both parties.
Brendan Allen can be a frustrating fighter to have your money on as a jiu-jitsu player who rarely shoots for takedowns. We should have help with that when he takes on Jacob Malkoun, who has grounded his opponent 14 times in three UFC appearances. It may not be his choice, but Allen should spend a lot of time in the clinch and working his way through scrambles, as Malkoun has shown no desire to stay on his feet after a quick knockout loss to Phil Hawes in his organizational debut.
Bets to Consider
Manel Kape wins via KO/TKO/DQ (+125)
Kape had a real issue defending takedowns in Rizin, but "Star Boy" appears to have fixed the hole in his game, as we can see from the 80 percent defense rate he has notched in four UFC contests. Kape will have a tremendous advantage for as long as this fight stays at kickboxing range as the more agile fighter with faster hands. We have already seen Bontorin get knocked out once in the UFC, and Kai Kara-France doesn't have the power in his fists that Kape seems to carry with every shot.
Plays to Consider on Monkey Knife Fight
Seungwoo Choi OVER 76.6 Strikes and Josh Culibao OVER 52.5 Strikes
Culibao has been an ineffective yet busy wrestler during his time in the UFC, going 0-for-11 on takedown attempts over three fights. While that time in the clinch may seem unproductive, we have seen fighters pad their stat totals in 50/50 positions in the past, even when they aren't controlling the exchange. Choi will be live for a knockout for as long as this fight is in space, which could cut this play short, but the two fighters will have ample opportunities to exchange blows in different phases.