The UFC returns to Las Vegas for UFC Fight Night: Vicente Luque vs. Rafael Dos Anjos, with Cub Swanson and Hakeem Dawodu fighting in the night’s co-main event. This card comes with some interesting angles for UFC DFS and features several fights with longer favorites. Let’s review some UFC DFS picks and value plays with the help of Stokastic’s UFC DFS projections and get into some UFC Fight Night DFS picks, predictions and more!
UFC Fight Night DFS Picks: Vicente Luque-Rafael Dos Anjos
Terrance McKinney, $9,200
This is an extremely tricky slate given the number of massive favorites, and common builds will feature stars, scrubs and one fighter from the main event. Of the elite options at the top, Terrance McKinney stands out at $9,200 against Mike Breeden. He currently is a -300 favorite in this bout and has a 62% chance of a finish. Additionally, this fight has the top projected pace by a wide margin, according to Stokastic’s UFC DFS projections.
McKinney comes from a wrestling background, but he has developed some strong hands of late as well. In the Octagon, he lands 3.17 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.60. The biggest question on the feet is his durability and cardio. McKinney has fought into the third round just one time, and his 43% striking defense leaves him open to big shots. He has been knocked out in two of his last three losses. On the mat, he averages 3.74 takedowns per bout and 83% takedown defense. He has been submitted twice, but as long as he can avoid those traps, he generally has a grappling advantage. He has a professional record of 13-6 with five knockouts and eight submissions. None of his fights have reached the judges, making him a pure kill-or-be-killed fighter.
On the other side, Breeden has a diverse skill set, but his overall level of competition is weak. Breeden lands 5.43 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6.38. Like McKinney, he only defends strikes at 41%, leaving him open to big shots on the feet. On the mat, he averages 1.44 takedowns per bout, defending them at 59%. Superior wrestlers have also gotten the best of Breeden, evidenced by the nine takedowns he allowed against Levy last time out. Breeden has a 10-5 record with eight knockout wins. He has been knocked out twice in his losses.
Despite coming in on short notice, McKinney should have the advantage on the feet and on the mat. On top of his 71.3% chance of winning the bout, his fighting style scores well from a UFC DFS perspective. He is one of the top favorites to target.
A.J. Dobson, $7,800
For those looking at underdogs, A.J. Dobson takes on Tafon Nchukwi at +120 on the preliminary card. After a submission win on the Contender Series, Dobson has now lost two straight bouts in the UFC. He lost most recently to Armen Petrosyan in October of last year. Similar to Dobson, Nchukwi has also dropped his last two fights, losing to Carlos Ulberg via knockout earlier in June.
Dobson originally began combat sports with wrestling and jiu-jitsu, but he has developed a fairly well-rounded game. With that said, his game comes with limitations. Dobson lands 4.34 significant strikes per minute, but he also absorbs 6.00. On the ground, he averages 1.75 takedowns per bout but only defends them at 64%. In his last fight, Petrosyan outstruck him 118-58. The fight prior, Jacob Malkoun landed six takedowns and controlled Dobson for over nine minutes. At 6-2 overall, Dobson has three knockouts and two submission victories. With that said, his level of competition leaves plenty on the table.
Nchukwi enters this fight with a 6-3 professional record, featuring four knockout victories. Nchukwi has been knocked out twice, which came within his last two fights. Evidenced by his record, Nchukwi prefers to stand and trade. He averages 6.05 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.03. On the ground, he lands 0.94 takedowns per bout and defends them at 71%. Nchukwi also has a questionable strength of schedule. His only wins in the UFC came against weaker competition in Mike Rodriguez and Jamie Pickett.
Ultimately, this fight likely comes down to Nchukwi’s ability to defend takedowns. Dobson’s game scores well for UFC DFS, which is noteworthy on this slate. As a short underdog, he makes sense on this slate.
Josh Fremd, $9,400
Another big favorite on this card, Josh Fremd takes on Jamie Pickett as a -350 favorite. Fremd started 0-2 in the UFC before earning a submission victory over Sedriques Dumas back in March. On the other side, Jamie Pickett has lost three straight. Most recently, he lost via submission to Bo Nickal back in March as well. This fight comes in with the fourth-highest projected pace, making it another strong target for UFC DFS purposes.
Fremd has a 10-4 professional record with four knockouts and four submission victories. However, he has been knocked out and submitted once as well. Fremd comes from a wrestling background, evidenced by his 1.56-takedown average. With that said, Fremd only has 31% takedown defense and has been controlled in two of his last three bouts against Tresean Gore and Anthony Hernandez. He averages 3.05 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.71. Still, his 42% striking defense leaves plenty to be desired.
Pickett initially began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but has since become almost a pure striker. At 13-9 overall, Pickett has nine wins via knockout. Pickett has been knocked out twice and submitted on four occasions. Within the UFC, he lands 3.16 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 4.23. On the ground, he lands 1.34 takedowns per bout and has 66% takedown defense. Similar to Fremd, opponents Nickal and Kyle Daukaus both found success against Pickett on the ground in recent fights.
The low-level nature of this fight introduces volatility. However, Stokastic’s UFC DFS projections give Fremd a 74.9% chance of winning and a 52.7% chance of earning a finish. With grappling likely, this bout should score well for UFC DFS regardless. However, Fremd’s likelihood to earn a victory and a finish makes him a priority.