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DraftKings MMA: UFC Glasgow Preview

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.

Several European natives hope to make their move up the rankings as the UFC heads to Glasgow on Sunday. Welterweight Gunnar Nelson and Santiago Ponzinibbio square off in the main event with two very different fighting skillsets. Which fighting style will prevail in Scotland?

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:

(Please note that DraftKings has altered their scoring system. The new point values are listed below and the rosters will now expand from 5 to 6 fighters).

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +3 PT
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

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


Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1) v. Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Nelson ($8,900), Ponzinibbio ($7,300)
Vegas Odds: Nelson (-165), Ponzinibbio (+140)
Odds to Finish: TBD

Nelson has responded from a December 2015 loss to Demian Maia with back-to-back Performance of the Night submission wins over quality opponents in Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban. One of the most decorated ground specialists in the sport, Nelson can get a bit sleepy on the feet at times. His striking will never match his grappling, but it's important that he tries to keep his opposition a bit off balance by firing combinations now and then. While Gunnar has shown flashes of brilliance, he has been a bit inconsistent over his UFC career. He looked downright dreadful in his two losses to Maia and Rick Story. In his other seven fights with the company, he's been brilliant. Hardcore MMA fans will appreciate Nelson's grappling skills, but he won't do much for the casual fan that enjoys seeing highlight reel knockouts.

Ponzinibbio is another fighter who, despite little fanfare, has had a very successful UFC run. He has won four fights in a row and is 6-2 in his eight fights with the company. He's tall, has quick feet, and excels at putting together combinations. In other words - he is the exact opposite of Nelson. "Gente Boa" is a kickboxer and nothing more. His goal is to get into extended striking exchanges with the opposition, and I guarantee that isn't something Nelson is going to have any interest in.

The breakdown of this fight is self-explanatory in the sense that Ponzinibbio is going to have a massive edge in the striking exchanges and Nelson is going to have a massive edge on the mat. It's all about where the bout takes place. Ponzinibbio is probably the better DraftKing play because of his much cheaper salary and the fact his power makes it more likely he would get a quick finish. Still, I like Nelson to win the fight. He has looked sharper than ever in his last two bouts.

THE PICK: Nelson

Co-Main Event - Women's Strawweight


Joanne Calderwood (11-2-0) v. Cynthia Calvillo (5-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Calderwood ($7,400), Calvillo ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Calderwood (+175), Calvillo (-215)
Odds to Finish: TBD

It must be quite a thrill for Calderwood to be fighting in her native Scotland. JoJo is coming off a first-round submission loss at the hands of former title challenger Jessica Andrade. Her career UFC record is only 3-2, but she's a much better fighter than that number would indicate. JoJo is a Muay Thai specialist who has underrated grappling skills. Calderwood also had a successful career as a professional kickboxer. She certainly prefers that this fight take place on the feet where she is most comfortable.

Calvillo made a name for herself by picking up victories in her first two UFC fights in just over a 30-day span earlier this year. Personality-wise, she is brash and arrogant, but backs it up with strong grappling skills. A Team Alpha Male product, Calvillo is an aggressive fighter who is constantly pushing forward. Her two UFC wins have come via submission, but her assertiveness on the feet sets up the submission attempts.

Calvillo has looked extremely impressive, but facing the likes of Pearl Gonzalez and Amanda Cooper is a bit different than going up against a legit opponent in Calderwood. JoJo is going to have the crowd behind her in what I expect to be an emotional scene. We are going to find out real quickly if Calvillo is legit or not. I'm taking JoJo in a fight that I expect to go the distance. The Vegas odds here are quite frankly, shocking and Calvillo's fantasy salary is far too high for my liking as well. People are forgetting how good of a fighter Calderwood is.

THE PICK: Calderwood

Lightweight


Stevie Ray (21-6-0) v. Paul Felder (13-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Ray ($8,100), Felder ($8,100)
Vegas Odds: Ray (-30), Felder (+110)
Odds to Finish: TBD

This has the potential to be an explosive fight between two men who tend to throw plenty of strikes first and ask questions later. Ray, a native of Scotland, is coming off back-to-back decision wins over Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson. He has won five of his six career UFC bouts and he should get an extra boost fighting in front of his family and friends. Ray has a strong all-around game. He has six career wins by knockout and eight by submission. I wouldn't term him an explosive athlete, but he possesses good footwork.

Felder's biggest strength is also his biggest downfall. His willingness to get into a brawl is the reason his career record with the company (5-3) isn't as impressive as it should be. The 33-year-old is your prototypical kickboxer. Relying on pressure to be successful while scoring points with frequent kicks. He is a solid, competent 155-pounder who unfortunately competes in a very deep division and that limits his long-term ceiling.

This is another fight that looks to me like it could potentially go the entire 15 minutes. The two men have just a combined four stoppage wins in 14 career UFC fights. Felder should have a slight speed advantage in the striking game and that may very well be enough to get the job done. As the odds and salaries indicate, there isn't a whole lot separating the two combatants, and little reason exists to expect either to overrun their opponent.

THE PICK: Felder

Other Bouts


Middleweight


Jack Marshman (21-6-0) v. Ryan Janes (9-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Marshman ($9,200), Janes ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Marshman (-485), Janes (+360)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Marshman

Light Heavyweight


Khalil Rountree Jr. (6-2-0) v. Paul Craig (9-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Rountree ($8,500), Craig ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Rountree (-220), Craig (+175)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Rountree

Heavyweight


James Mulheron (11-1-0) v. Justin Willis (4-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Mulheron ($7,500), Willis ($8,700)
Vegas Odds: Mulheron (+170), Willis (-210)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Mulheron

Welterweight


Danny Roberts (13-2-0) v. Bobby Nash (8-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Roberts ($9,100), Nash ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Roberts (-200), Nash (+170)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Roberts

Flyweight


Alexandre Pantoja (17-2-0) v. Neil Seery (16-12-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Pantoja ($9,000), Seery ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Pantoja (-360), Seery (+285)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Seery (he’s one of my favorite fighters and this is his “retirement fight”)

Welterweight


Charlie Ward (3-2-0) v. Galore Bofando (4-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Ward ($7,600), Bofando ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Ward (+180), Bofando (-220)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Bofando

Lightweight


Danny Henry (10-2-0) v. Daniel Teymur (6-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Henry ($7,200), Teymur ($9,200)
Vegas Odds: Henry (+175), Teymur (-220)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Teymur

Bantamweight


Brett Johns (13-0-0) v. Albert Morales (7-1-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Johns ($9,300), Morales ($6,900)
Vegas Odds: Johns (-380), Morales (+300)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Johns

Women's Bantamweight


Leslie Smith (9-7-1) v. Amanda Lemos (6-0-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Smith ($8,400), Lemos ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Smith (-175), Lemos (+150)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Smith

All odds taken from BestFightOdds.com on the afternoon of Thursday, July 13.
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.
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