DraftKings UFC Chicago
DraftKings UFC Chicago

What is DraftKings?

DraftKings is a daily fantasy sports website that caters to the biggest sporting events including MMA (UFC). You sign up, deposit money and spend a $50,000 virtual budget on five fighters who will score you the most points on the way to winning some cash.

Winning in DraftKings:

One word: underdogs. It isn’t possible to draft five favourites with your budget and you will have to take a chance on a few dogs depending how much you spend on the faves. The key is to find these cheap fighters who will score big for you. Having two to three of these winning fighters can give you a big edge over the field especially in big pools.

Learn more about the DraftKings MMA scoring system here.

Here are some fighters under the $10,000 price tag to consider picking for UFC on FOX: Holm vs Shevchenko:

Kailin Curran ($9,800)
Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2YWpAa39t0

Opponent: Felice Herrig ($9,600)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 52.7
UFC Record: 1-2

Some will remember Curran for her exciting back-and-forth debut fight in the UFC opposite Paige VanZant. And some will also remember VanZant mowing over Felice Herrig in her bout. The key for Curran here is to keep pressuring Herrig. The former Invicta fighter has been known to fold under pressure and Curran has good wrestling and a strong top game. Most importantly, she’s tough and her two UFC losses came from mistakes.

When Curran returned against Kagan, she showed renewed mental focus and finished the fight despite Kagan’s best attempts at grinding her out. Herrig might grind or she might try to strike and in any case, Curran will be the more active fighter with the better endurance. Over three rounds, look for Curran to win at least two of the three rounds.

Prediction: Curran by Decision

Hector Urbina ($8,900)
Welterweight (170 lbs)

Opponent: George Sullivan ($10,500)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 55.0
UFC Record: 1-1

Urbina is a true wildcard in this fight. “El Toro” has a lot of heart and fights aggressively but he’s a bit lacking in polish. Against Sullivan, he may not need to be all that technical because the American is coming off a devastating knockout loss and has shown a tendency to get whittled down by constant pressure. Urbina doesn’t have many knockout victories and his striking can get wild but he has power and strong wrestling, which are two things Sullivan is allergic to.

Conventional wisdom dictates Sullivan out-points or even finishes Urbina due to the skill gap but sometimes having a tougher skull and a stronger fighting spirit can make up for the difference and this is one of those cases. Expect Urbina to use his forward pressure and wrestling to at last win two rounds in what will be a hard-fought underdog victory.

Prediction: Urbina by Decision

Valentina Shevchenko ($8,600)
Women’s Bantamweight (135 lbs)

Opponent: Holly Holm ($11,000)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 34.5
UFC Record: 1-1

Styles make fights. Shevchenko is being underestimated in this spot. The multiple-time kickboxing world champion defeated strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in Muay Thai, defeated longtime veteran Sarah Kaufman on short notice and took round three from the new champion Amanda Nunes. She’s the best striker Holm will face and judging by the difficulty she faced against Raquel Pennington, she could be in for a harder fight than odds makers indicate.

Holm is still the likelier winner here. Under a better camp with the most thorough game planning, Holm will out-point Shevchenko. But at a bargain bin price it’s tough not to consider a play on Shevchenko especially in a five-round fight. She’s tough, has excellent striking and Holm doesn’t exactly have a bulletproof chin. Take a shot on Shevchenko to shock the world.

Prediction: Shevchenko by T/KO

Alexander Yakovlev ($8,600)
Welterweight (170 lbs)

Opponent: Kamaru Usman ($10,800)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 51.5
UFC Record: 2-2

With a name like “Thunder of the North”, Yakovlev has a lot to live up to and he might just do it against Usman. Despite starting his UFC career at 0-2, the Russian fighter and rapper is now hitting his stride. Yakovlev can do a bit of everything and managed to survive three rounds against the division’s best grappler, Demian Maia. Against Usman, Yakovlev’s wrestling skills will be tested.

Usman is the more potent wrestler. The Blackzilian is also a fierce athlete and competitor and will push Yakovlev to the brink but the Russian is the more battle-tested fighter. Usman may wear out Yakovlev with his wrestling or Yakovlev uses his craftiness and experience to hand the rather inexperienced Usman his first UFC loss.

Prediction: Yakovlev by Decision

How We Did Last Time:

UFC Fight Night: McDonald vs Lineker

Fighters Points Result
Louis Smolka 130 Win (Round 2 TKO)
John Lineker 119 Win (Round 1 TKO)
Matthew Lopez 11 Loss (Round 3 Sub)
Eric Spicely 3.5 Loss (Round 1 Sub)
Total: 263.5 (65.87 Avg) 2-2

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