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DraftKings MMA DFS Picks | UFC Vegas 53

DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC Vegas 53

Monk here with a UFC DFS breakdown for TeamRiseorFall.com. We are back with UFC Vegas 53 taking place at the UFC Apex, and there are several good fights happening this week before the next big PPV. UFC Vegas 53 is headlined by Rob Font and Marlon “Chito” Vera, which promises to be one of the best fights of the night, easily. The co-main is a bit less impressive when it comes to name value, but we do have a living legend in Andrei Arlovski going against the Sherman-killer, Jake Collier. There are also several UFC debutantes attempting to become household names overnight, and a few of them may be able to do just that. Grab your pencil and your red pen, because class is in session and The Monkmatician has taken the lectern.

I’m going to give you three value plays & a fade this week, so let’s get right into it.

Before we get started, be sure to check out some of the other amazing content that our experts at Team Rise or Fall have put together. Our very own Pat Kingpin has a fantastic MLB article for you, so don’t waste the chance! MLB DFS Lineup Study for April 29 is LIVE on TeamRiseOrFall now and includes a wealth of MLB DFS morsels and information to help you get those dolla dolla bills ya’ll one night before UFC fights. Help Pat help you build that bankroll so you can consistently play in those juicier tournaments! Why not make money instead of wasting it? Click it…click it…click it! Find that and much, much more over on TeamRiseorFall.com and start dominating your tournaments TODAY!

DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC Vegas 53

Play #1 – Gina Mazany ($8900)

I will start things off with perhaps an unconventional play by picking Gina Mazany. Gina, while having a very poor 2-5 UFC record, is surprisingly a fantastic DraftKings scorer. Averaging an astounding 5.03 raw DraftKings points per minute and 127.88 points when she wins, Mazany has gigantic upside against Shanna Young at UFC Vegas 53. Mazany is $1100 over her average salary, but I think that makes sense in this case. Gina allows only 2.58 raw DraftKings points per minute, meaning that if she does not get finished, her defense is relatively solid.

Shanna Young is a fighter with an 0-2 UFC record that is making a weight class change. Dropping from Women’s Bantamweight to Women’s Flyweight, Young will be eyeing her first UFC win against Mazany on Saturday. However, Shanna has not scored well in her first two UFC fights, averaging a mere 1.29 raw DraftKings points per minute while allowing 5.04 per minute and 106.42 in her two losses. Yikes. Young has also allowed 2.09 points per minute in grappling alone, which is Gina Mazany’s strongest aspect of her game.

I will be rostering Gina Mazany in a ton of cash lineups this week as I do expect a win, but I will also be looking to fit her into a decent amount of GPP tournament lineups as well. With her huge takedown and control time potential, I think Mazany is a great play at $8900 and could get you a tremendous value in a possible finish win.


Play #2 – Alexandr Romanov ($9600)

I know what you are thinking. “You are giving us the most expensive fighter on the roster as a play?” Yes, but I have a few talking points, so please indulge me. This should come as no surprise, but I will be rostering Alexandr Romanov in 90-100% of my cash lineups. Romanov should get an easy win and should score 95-100 DraftKings points minimum in a first-round victory.

In bigger tournaments and GPPs is where things get interesting. The $9600 salary has been used nine times since 1/1/2021 and has won seven of those fights. However, it has only made the optimal lineup one time, when Marvin Vettori beat Kevin Holland and scored 156.23 points. I am of the opinion that the $9600 salary is simply too much to make the optimal unless there are an abnormal number of points scored, therefore I will be well under the field on Romanov in larger tournaments, possibly around 20%.

Chase Sherman is only here so he doesn’t get fined so he can get a new contract and three more terrible UFC fights (paychecks) under his belt. I’m hearing that this is the widest lined fight in UFC history, and I think the line is accurate. Romanov should roll Sherman however he wants and win this fight easily. Heavy for cash, light for GPPs.


Play #3 – Grant Dawson ($8700)

Play number three this week will be the 5-0-1 (UFC) Grant Dawson. Dawson puts on a fantastic offensive pace that is powered by his wrestling. Scoring 4.03 raw DraftKings points per minute and almost 99 when he wins, Grant will be in a good amount of my cash lineups, but several of my GPP lineups as well. Dawson scores over half of his points via his ground game, taking opponents down and controlling them for extended periods.

Grant Dawson’s opponent, Jared Gordon, is extremely tough and has a strong wrestling game of his own. Gordon does give up more points on the ground per minute than Dawson, but his offensive takedown and control time pace is comparable, which is impressive.

I will be rostering both sides of this fight because I think the winner has the potential to score very well, but I will have my sights set on Grant Dawson to get the win, and therefore, the higher score. With both fighters having great takedown upside, they are both good GPP options, but I will have much more Grant Dawson in cash compared to his opponent.


Fade #1 – Andrei Arlovski ($8400)

My fighter to fade for UFC Vegas 53 is the fighter with the most UFC fights on the card by a country mile, Andrei Arlovski. Andrei scores only 2.23 raw DraftKings points per minute over his long and somewhat illustrious UFC career, but that number has dipped down in recent fights. Arlovski is averaging only 1.91 points per minute in his last five fights and 59.49 points over his last four UFC wins. These numbers are awful yet consistent, making Arlovski a very difficult fighter to roster in either cash or GPP games this week.

Jake Collier is coming off a win over the aforementioned Chase Sherman back in January and is looking to put an end to this insane winning streak that the 43-year-old veteran is riding. Collier could potentially win this fight via decision, but the most likely outcome is Arlovski doing what Arlovski does which is lulling his opponent into his very slow, point-fighting style which results in very low scores for both parties involved.

I may be rostering a small percentage of Andrei in cash, but likely 0-5% in GPPs as he is a non-factor in those larger tournaments. I believe a safe play is keeping Arlovski at a low exposure, especially at that $8400 salary, and either paying up for Gabe Green’s finish potential or down for Rob Font’s offensive scoring upside.


There you have it, loyal readers. If you cannot get enough of me, please check me out over on Twitter.

I do a weekly show, Game Theory, over on YouTube where I prep you for UFC Vegas 53 with everything you need for MMA DFS. Check it out!

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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