DraftKings MMA DFS Picks | UFC Vegas 54
DraftKings MMA DFS Picks for UFC Vegas 54
This Saturday, May 14, 2022, UFC Vegas 54 is happening at the Apex Center in Las Vegas, and The Monkmatician has a few suggestions as to your lineup construction. With a smaller 11 fight slate this week, you will have to focus on being different and unique when it comes to building your lineups in larger field tournaments. There will undoubtedly be a few underdogs barking, so check out the MMA Picks & Notes section of TeamRiseorFall.com to read a bit about how I am planning on playing each fighter.
The main event between former champion Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic should be a good one and give us a clearer picture as to where Jan is in his career. The co-main looks exciting as Ion Cutelaba will be headhunting Ryan Spann the whole time. I’ll say no more in the introduction, on to the fights!
I’m going to give you three value plays & a fade this week, so let’s get right into it.
Play #1 – Nick Maximov ($9300)
Play number one is the most expensive fighter on the card in Nick Maximov, but I think he pays off his price tag this Saturday night. Maximov has proven me wrong thus far into his young UFC career, so I would be a fool not to back his gigantic wrestling upside in this fight. Scoring 2.50 DraftKings points per minute in takedowns and 1.09 points per minute in control time, Nick is quite a force to be reckoned with in the wrestling department. Maximov is also averaging 0.50 points per minute in reversals alone, which could come into play as he faces another wrestler.
Nick Maximov’s opponent this week is the wrestle-heavy fighter Andre Petroski. Petroski is 2-0 in the UFC, but his wins have been against less stellar opponents than Maximov’s and there are some questions about his cardio. If Nick can land takedown after takedown, it could zap all the energy from Petroski early and he could be in for a long night.
While I think that Nick can score well in a finish victory, I also see a path in which he finds a submission over Andre. The UFC is seemingly punishing Maximov for comments made about how he should always be a main card fighter, so they threw him on as the curtain jerker. I only say this because Nick may be out to prove a point, so get him in your lineups for the possible finish.
Play #2 – Katlyn Chookagian ($8600)
I will have a ton of Katlyn Chookagian in cash games this week. Again, Katlyn Chookagian is STRICTLY a cash game play against Amanda Ribas at UFC Vegas 54. Katlyn set a UFC record in her last fight that may never be broken, as she became the first fighter in UFC history to accumulate 10 UFC wins with no finishes whatsoever. Her low offensive pace of 2.44 raw DraftKings points per minute and only 70.31 per win make her basically unplayable for larger-field tournaments.
Amanda Ribas is a fighter I love to see in action, but she is moving up from Strawweight and it will show on Saturday. Ribas will be giving up six inches of height and a three in reach to Katlyn Chookagian, and I honestly do not see how she gets inside enough to land takedowns. Katlyn could easily keep Ribas at range with her jab and footwork, which will slow the pace of this fight down to a crawl.
The easy choice and clear path are Katlyn Chookagian by decision, and that is how I will be playing this one. I will have her rostered in cash games with the expectation of 70 points and that’s about it.
Play #3 – Ion Cutelaba ($8900)
The DraftKings upside on Ion Cutelaba is off the charts. Coming into this fight against Ryan Spann scoring 4.22 raw DraftKings points per minute and just over 110 in his wins, Cutelaba is a scoring machine. Ion has finished three of his five UFC wins, all by KO/TKO, and Ryan Spann has been knocked down twice on just 158 significant strikes landed. I see Cutelaba coming out like a banshee and possibly finishing Spann in the first round.
Ryan Spann has a low to average defensive pace for this card, allowing 3.17 raw DraftKings points per minute and a huge 113.67 when he loses. Ryan has given up over 100 points in each of his two UFC losses, and he will have to find a way to keep Cutelaba off him if he wants to hold his consciousness.
Again, I love the scoring potential of Ion on Saturday night, and if he indeed finds a finish against Spann, I don’t see how he doesn’t pay off his not-too-high price tag and even make the optimal lineup. I assume that I’ll be well over the field on Ion Cutelaba at UFC Vegas 54.
Fade #1 – Aleksandar Rakic ($8700)
My fade for UFC Vegas 54 is going to be half of the Main Event, Aleksandar Rakic. Rakic scores well as far as DraftKings is concerned, don’t get me wrong. With an offensive pace of 3.93 raw DraftKings points per minute and an average of 99.43 in his UFC wins, Aleksandar is someone to consider for cash games, but I expect to be under the field in larger tournaments.
The former Light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz is back, and I think has the potential to slow this fight down a bit and get it to a decision. I think the chances of the Legendary Polish Power being on display for this fight are relatively low, but not zero. Rakic has only 2 finish wins in the UFC and Jan has only been knocked out once.
While I do think that Aleksandar Rakic wins this fight six or seven out of ten times, I do not think this main event will score well enough to land him on the optimal lineup. At the time of this writing, the ownership for Aleksandar is just over 50%, which I think is a bit out of control. I will have somewhere between 20-30% in larger field tournaments (which is why I consider him a fade this week) and likely much more than that in cash games.
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 54 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