This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Tim Means ($7,300)
Means is now 38 years of age, but has shown no signs of slowing down, winning four of his past five fights. His opponent here, Kevin Holland, is considerably better than anyone Means has faced during that streak, but also has a massive hole in his game in terms of his poor grappling. Means' DK salary seems about right, although there is a clear path to victory for him in this fight. In a bout scheduled for three rounds, Means' price tag is low enough to take a flier and hope he can pit Holland to the mat and do damage on the ground.
Phil Hawes ($9,000)
Hawes is in a prime rebound spot here on the heels of his shocking knockout loss to Chris Curtis last November. "Megatron" entered having won seven straight prior to that defeat, including five via stoppage (four knockouts, one submission). Hawes should have plenty of opportunities to land power shots in this fight as long as he can remain upright. Deron Winn -- who struggles in prolonged kickboxing matches -- averages 4.98 takedowns per 15 minutes, but Hawes has yet to be taken down in his UFC career. I like his chances of eventually overwhelming Winn on the feet.
Julian Marquez ($7,700)
Marquez is a finisher and has displayed ridiculous durability over the course of his career, and that alone makes him worth a look at a very reasonable salary against a fringe opponent. Marquez has been banged up a good portion of his career, but nine of his 11 wins have come via stoppage, and he's never been stopped as a professional. I am a tad worried about the wrestling game of Gregory Rodrigues pinning Marquez to that mat for long stretches at a time, but Marquez has displayed a constant ability to thrive in difficult spots.
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
Cerrone and Joe Lauzon were scheduled to fight in early-May before Cowboy was forced to withdraw due to a bout of food poisoning. The range of outcomes for this bout would seem to be massive considering the age of both men and the fact both are clearly nearing the end of their respective careers, but Lauzon has always been an fighter who struggles on the feet, While Cerrone's durability is a major concern, I don't think Lauzon offers enough in the stand-up to take advantage of it. If this fight goes the distance as a I predict, Cowboy should easily be able to land more than 15 significant strikes per round.
This Kattar prop appears to be a lock as long as this fight sees the championship rounds. Calvin landed 144 significant strikes in his win over Giga Chikadze this past January. Heck, he landed 133 significant strikes in his loss to Max Holloway in January 2021, and that was arguably the most lopsided bout in UFC history. Toss in the fact Josh Emmett is a durable opponent who is willing to stand-and-trade, and I like Kattar's chances of generating a ton of offense here.
Bets to Consider
Jeremiah Wells wins outright (+100)
Getting Wells at even or plus money seems too good to be true. He's going up against a 37-year-old opponent in Court McGee who has lost three of his past five fights dating back to January 2017 despite entering having won two straight. McGee's last stoppage win came at UFC 121 in October 2010 (!!!!). Toss in the fact Wells has back-to-back submission victories to start his run with the company, and you have an easy pick here.
Joaquin Buckley wins via KO/TKO/DQ (+330)
Buckley is in for a tough battle against Albert Duraev, but if he is to win, it will almost certainly come via knockout, as 10 of his 14 career victories have in the past. Buckley goes for broke with every single shot he throws and that gives him a chance to end any fight in an instant. It's a style of fighting that rarely works against better competition, but it's worth noting that all three of Duraev's losses have come via knockout.
Donald Cerrone wins via decision (+350)
Cerrone and Lauzon are 77 years of age combined. Any fight could be the last for both men. As I mentioned earlier, Cerrone's durability is my biggest concern in this fight but I don't think Lauzon is good enough on the feet to take advantage of it. I wouldn't have been on this prop if it was in the area of +250, but at +350 I'm willing to take a chance both of the veterans can hang around until the final bell, and if that's the case, Cerrone has to be favored.
Stamann is the biggest favorite on the entire card at -500, and rightfully so. His opponent, Eddie Wineland, has lost four of his last five, including his last two via knockout. He looks totally done. It's difficult to bet Stamann outright via his price tag, so parlaying him with an excellent, underrated fighter in Yanez is a nice solution. Yanez is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC, with three knockouts and a split decision victory over a solid opponent in Davey Grant. Tony Kelley is no pushover, but I think Yanez is considerably better.
Plays to Consider on Monkey Knife Fight
Calvin Kattar UNDER 140.5 total strikes
This may seem a bit odd considering our earlier play on Prize Picks, but virtually all of the strikes Kattar throws are judged as being of the significant variety. He was credited with 13 strikes in the Chikadze fight which weren't deemed significant. I feel comfortable projecting him to get above 110.5, but tacking on an additional 30 is a big ask, regardless of whether they are significant or not.