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Inside the Octagon: UFC DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | UFC Vegas 45: Lewis vs. Daukaus 12/18/21




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The UFC is live at the Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, with an exciting heavyweight fight between Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus. This column will offer the fights that have the most upside for MMA DFS purposes. Let’s dig into some UFC DFS picks and analysis for UFC Vegas 45, and how to build winning daily fantasy lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel for UFC Fight Night Lewis vs. Daukaus.

UFC Vegas 45: Lewis vs Daukaus | MMA DFS Picks

Jordan Leavitt $8,200 vs. Matt Sayles $8,000

Jordan Leavitt

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5-foot-9
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Reach: 71 ins
  • Record: 8-1-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 78%
  • Betting Odds: -118

Leavitt tapped Luke Flores on Contender Series to earn his ticket to the UFC, then needed just 22 seconds to finish Matt Wiman with a vicious slam in his UFC debut. He then suffered his first professional loss to Claudio Puelles via unanimous decision in June. He will be the larger, stronger grappler, with a huge advantage on the ground when this fight hits the mat. Leavitt has one win via knockout, five via submission and two via decision. For DFS, Leavitt is a solid play in all formats due to his finishing ability. Leavitt will look to get this fight to the mat early while looking to lock in a submission early first-round.

Matt Sayles

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5-foot-7
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Reach: 68.5 ins
  • Record: 8-3-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 46%
  • Betting Odds: -104

Sayles has not fought since December 2019, when he lost via submission to Bryce Mitchell. In his return to the Octagon, Sayles will be moving up to lightweight after going 1-2 in the featherweight division. Sayles has six wins via knockout, one via submission and one via decision. He is a talented striker, showing his power against Yazen Hajeh on Contender Series with a nasty knockout to seal his UFC contract. However, Leavitt’s ground game will more than Sayles can handle against the larger, stronger Leavitt.

The preferred play on DraftKings and FanDuel is Leavitt. Either fighter could get the finish, but Leavitt’s ground game will prevail in this fight.

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UFC DFS Pick: Jordan Leavitt via First-Round Submission.

Dustin Stoltzfus $7,900 vs. Gerald Meerschaert $8,300

Dustin Stoltzfus

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Reach: 75 ins
  • Record: 13-3-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 55%
  • Betting Odds: +184

Stoltzfus is coming off a third-round submission loss to Rodolfo Vieira at UFC Vegas 31 in July. He will be the lesser skilled wrestler in this fight, as he gets his opponents to the mat only 9% of the time. Stoltzfus thinks his technique is better on the feet and on the ground, and he believes he can get the win, regardless of where the fight goes and what it looks like.

Gerald Meerschaert

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Reach: 77.5 ins
  • Record: 33-14-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 51%
  • Betting Odds: -230

Meerschaert will be looking to add another submission victory to his record. He is coming into this matchup off back-to-back submission wins over Makhmud Muradov and Bartosz Fabinski. Meerschaert is extremely good at tricking his opponents into fighting his style. He is a veteran of the sport and is always dangerous with chokes once the fight hits the mat. On the feet Meerschaert throws nasty elbows and dangerous kicks to the head and body. Meerschaert will come out with smothering pressure while looking to shoot to get the fight down.

The preferred play on DraftKings and FanDuel is Meerschaert. His dangerous ground game should make short work of Stoltzfus on his way to his third straight win via submission.

UFC DFS Pick: Gerald Meerschaert via Second-Round Submission.

Amanda Lemos 9,500 vs. Angela Hill $6,700

Amanda Lemos

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5-foot-3
  • Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Reach: 65 ins.
  • Record: 10-1-1
  • Striking Accuracy: 66%
  • Betting Odds: -420

Lemos is currently riding a four-fight winning streak, with two coming via first-round knockout, one via submission and one decision. She was initially supposed to fight Nina Nunes, but Nunes had to withdraw due to undisclosed reasons. Now Lemos will be facing Angela Hill, who has lost three of her last four fights. Lemos has some of the hardest kicks in the strawweight division, and her knockout power is absolutely frightening for a strawweight. That said, Hill has never been knocked out, although she has never faced the power Lemos’ possesses.

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Angela Hill

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 5-foot-2
  • Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Reach: 64.5 ins.
  • Record: 13-10-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 64%
  • Betting Odds: +310

Hill is a tricky fighter with excellent movement who will attack her opponents with nasty knees, elbows and high kicks. If Hill can disrupt Lemos’ power attacks, keeping her at range while landing head kicks and knees to the body, then Lemos could be in for a long night in the Octagon. However, Hill will not be able to endure the power and pressure of Lemos.

The preferred play on DraftKings and FanDuel is Lemos. However, if Hill can get Lemos to the mat and disrupt her rhythm, then she could do some real damage. That said, Lemos’ power and toughness will be too much for Hill to withstand.

UFC DFS Pick: Amanda Lemos via Second-Round KO/TKO.

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Stephen Thompson $9,100 vs. Belal Muhammad $7,100

Stephen Thompson

  • Age: 38
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Reach: 75 ins.
  • Record: 16-5-1
  • Striking Accuracy: 47%
  • Betting Odds: -260

Thompson was riding a two-fight winning streak over Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal before losing a decision to Gilbert Burns in July. He will typically force his opponents to fight him in his world, maintaining his striking range and denying takedown attempts. If Thompson can keep Muhammad at kicking range and manage the pace of this fight, then Thompson may get another Fight of The Night bonus with a spectacular knockout of Muhammad.

Belal Muhammad

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5-foot-5
  • Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Reach: 72 ins.
  • Record: 19-3-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 50%
  • Betting Odds: +205

Muhammad is a well-rounded fighter. He is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, and his most recent bout was a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 263 in June. Before this bout, Muhammad faced Leon Edwards, which came to an unfortunate conclusion with a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke. Muhammad will push the pace and try disrupting Thompson’s rhythm. That said, Thompson’s kickboxing will cause problems for Muhammad and lead to an unfortunate outcome.

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The preferred play on DraftKings and FanDuel is Thompson. However, If Muhammad can survive Thompson’s opening onslaught, then Muhammad could possibly make it into Round 2, maybe Round 3. Although, Thompson powerful kicks and dangerous knockout game will be too much for Muhammad to withstand.

UFC DFS Pick: Stephen Thompson via Second-Round KO/TKO.

Derrick Lewis 7,900 vs. Chris Daukaus $8,300

Derrick Lewis

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 260 lbs.
  • Reach: 79 ins.
  • Record: 25-8-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 52%
  • Betting Odds: +120

Lewis is coming off a disappointing knockout loss to Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 in August. However, Lewis is still one of the most dangerous strikers in the division and will be looking to rebound against Chris Daukaus. Lewis has not been the most durable fighter in the heavyweight division, being stopped by Shawn Jordan, Mark Hunt via knockout and Daniel Cormier via submission. Lewis’ power and deceptive movement in the Octagon should be to be too much for Daukaus.

Chris Daukaus

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5-foot-8
  • Weight: 250 lbs.
  • Reach: 76 ins.
  • Record: 12-3-0
  • Striking Accuracy: 55%
  • Betting Odds: -148

Daukaus has been on an absolute tear since making his UFC debut in August of 2020, with four straight knockout wins over Parker Porter, Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira, Aleksei Oleinik and Shamil Abdurakhimov. Lewis will be by far the most powerful striker that Daukaus has faced in his career. That said, Daukaus has been nothing short of amazing since making his UFC debut. However, Daukaus has not faced an opponent with Lewis’ speed, power and quickness in the Octagon.

The lean on DraftKings and FanDuel is Lewis. Daukaus has proven he is super dangerous on the feet with his high-pressure style, but if Lewis can bring heavy pressure and land power shots early, he will add another knockout to his record.

UFC DFS Pick: Derrick Lewis via Second-Round KO/TKO.

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