DraftKings MMA DFS Picks | UFC Columbus
DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC Columbus
Monk here with another UFC DFS breakdown for TeamRiseorFall.com. UFC Columbus, happening March 26, 2022, is no UFC London but promises a few bangers on the card for sure. The heavyweight main event between Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus I’m very much looking forward to, with a huge scoring potential for DraftKings. The co-main event, Joanne Wood x Alexa Grasso should be fire as well, especially with the very high-scoring upside you get from the low-priced Wood. We also get the UFC debut of one Aliaskhab Khizriev, who could pull a Muhammad Mokaev this week with a dominating finish over his opponent. Grab your readers and your notebook, because The Monkmatician has a couple of things to say about UFC Columbus.
I’m going to give you three value plays & a fade this week, with a bit of what I call salary voodoo thrown in.
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The first play this week is an obvious one; play Aliaskhab Khizriev. We have finally received salaries for this fight, and Khizriev is at least $200 cheaper than I was expecting. At just $9300, Aliaskhab should easily be the highest owned fighter on UFC Columbus, and for good reason. If you put DraftKings scoring onto his Dana White Contender Series fight, Khizriev would’ve racked up 9.37 raw DraftKings points per minute while scoring 122.78 in his sub-one-minute submission of Henrique Shiguemoto.
Denis Tiuliulin is a 10-5 fighter I have zero stats for. He has finished eight of his ten wins by KO but has also been finished three times, whereas Khizriev has yet to be beaten professionally. Word is that no one and I mean no other middleweight would take this fight, so Tiuliulin said he would take it if he got a contract, so here we are. I believe Denis is completely overmatched and way over his head.
I think that Aliaskhab runs through Denis, scoring at least one early takedown and possibly another early finish in his UFC Debut. Again, Khizriev will be very highly owned, but he may be a must-play regardless of ownership percentages this week.
The second play of UFC Columbus that I will give you is Curtis Blaydes. “But Blaydes is $9200, and you already gave us $9300 Khizriev!” Stop it, act like an adult and play them both. Curtis may as well be a must-roster against Chris Daukaus. Someone from a heavyweight fight makes the optimal lineup 55.56% of the time since 1/1/2021, and these two fellas know how to score points. Blaydes scores 5.11 raw DraftKings points per minute (2nd on the card) while averaging 112.73 points when he wins, and that is averaged over 10 UFC wins. Curtis is a wrestling machine, which is huge in DraftKings and should never be ignored, especially in five-round fights.
Chris Daukaus is another heavyweight with volume on his mind, tallying 6.90 raw DraftKings points per minute and scoring 119.80 on average over four UFC wins, the best numbers on the card. Blaydes will have to keep his head on a swivel or spam takedowns/clinch work to avoid the early knockout from Daukaus, but I believe he can do that.
I will be relying on Curtis Blaydes to land a few takedowns, if not several, and to finish Chris Daukaus inside of two rounds for a decent score. As a bonus, even if the fight goes all five, I believe Curtis has the cardio and ground game to not only win the fight but pay off his salary by scoring a ton of points in the main event.
The third play I’ll give you is Joanne Wood nee Calderwood, who is a fighter with a surprisingly tremendous scoring upside. Joanne puts up 4.47 raw DraftKings points per minute (4th highest on the card) while averaging 109.62 (4th on the card) DraftKings points per win over seven wins. These numbers are fantastic, especially when you consider that someone from the Women’s Flyweight weight class makes the optimal lineup 58.33% of the time that they fight, the highest number out of all weight classes. Wood scores 3.29 points per minute with her striking, but I will be looking for her to land some takedowns against Grasso here. Joanne averages 0.52 points per minute via takedowns and 0.39 per minute via control time, so I am hoping to see a bit of that on Saturday.
Alexa Grasso is a 5-3 fighter in the UFC with seven of her eight fights going to decision. I think $9000 is a bit much for someone that scores only 79.65 DraftKings points per win, so seeing that makes me automatically look to her opponent for upside, of which there is plenty. Grasso is a good striker but does allow 0.70 points per minute in takedowns, which I’m hoping Wood will take advantage of.
My main concern with Wood is her age and the fact that I’m not sure how much she wants to be in the cage anymore. However, her incredible scoring upside is enough to make me think she isn’t quite done yet, so I will be rostering Joanne, especially since I’m planning on having the $9300 and $9200 fighters in play.
The fade I’ll give you for UFC Columbus this week is Neil Magny. Neil scores decently per minute, averaging 3.30 raw DraftKings points, but only scoring 93.20 points per win. Automatically I look to Magny’s fight history, and I see that he has been to a decision in 14 of his 25 UFC fights and has not finished a fight with a win since Craig White back in 2018. After that, Neil was knocked out by Santiago Ponzinibbio in the 4th and has rattled off five straight decision fights since then.
Max Griffin is a great opponent for Magny, scoring at about the same rate, but with even less ground game. Griffin is also a fighter that tends to go to decision, with eight of his twelve UFC fights going the distance. Both fighters allow only 2.50 DraftKings points per minute, so I am expecting a slower-paced fight without a finish.
Lastly, the $8800 salary is the worst possible salary you can play on DraftKings if you are trying to put together an optimal lineup. The $8800 salary has a win rate of 70.21% but makes the optimal lineup in only 21.21% of those wins. It also harbors the lowest average score per win at a mere 87.50. The low-volume and decent defense from both fighters, along with the bad salary voodoo will have me fading Neil Magny this week.
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Thank you all for reading & let’s win some money & get those takedowns this weekend! I want all of you to enjoy the fights, so…enjoy.
-Monk AKA The Monkmatician AKA Monk Master Flecks