UFC Vegas 76 Draft: DFS Lineup
UFC VEGAS 76 DRAFT: DFS LINEUP – There are two mainstays to play DFS for MMA; DraftKings and FanDuel. Each has its own scoring rules and variations, but they are similar.
I will always list fighters I think should be selected as MVP at the top and will use DraftKings budget to model my projections.
Ismael Bonfim $9,200
Ismael Bonfim is a near -300 favorite against Benoit Saint-Denis. Bonfim has tremendous striking that is far above that of Saint-Denis. He lands 5.34 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 2.65 strikes per minute.
Saint-Denis lands 4.37 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 6.72 significant strikes per minute, perhaps foreshadowing the outcome. Bonfim is dangerous as a striker and has the takedown defense to ward off Saint-Denis, who will undoubtedly shoot a takedown.
As reflected by current Draftkings moneyline markets, Bonfim should win this decisively with a big shot to Saint-Denis.
UFC Vegas 76 draft – Other picks
Michael Morales $9,000
A cornerstone of this UFC Vegas 76 draft, Morales is an undefeated fighter in the welterweight division. His biggest flaw is he sometimes keeps his chin a little high but has a solid matchup against Max Griffin.
He should have a speed advantage and will have a three-inch reach advantage. Both have grappling skills and are probably even in that regard. Morales likely has the edge when striking, so Griffin will have to make this a dirty fight and use some veteran tactics to win this bout.
Griffin is 37 years old, and Morales is 23. Griffin is the best opponent Morales has faced to date, but he should be up for the challenge.
Sean Strickland $8,500
Abus Magomedov is unproven as a top middleweight contender. Sean Strickland has faced and beaten several top middleweight fighters in the promotion. It is hard to envision Magomedov steamrolling over Strickland as he did in his UFC debut against Dustin Stoltzfus.
Strickland has landed 150+ significant strikes in four of his last five fights, all five rounders. His takedown defense should be good enough to thwart Magomedov’s grappling efforts, and he should give him problems on the feet.
Alexander Romanov $8,300
Opening the card is a heavyweight matchup between Romanov and Blagoy Ivanov. Romanov is a wrestler who likes to use his size in the top position. Ivanov is a durable striker but small for the division. He is tough and has lots of experience in the cage too.
In practice, Romanov’s challenges lie mainly with his weight and conditioning. He has shown that he can become exhausted in fights, but has had dominant performances all the same. It is a good matchup for him, as Ivanov is someone he can get to the mat and potentially submit.
Ariane Lipski $7,500
Lipski is a +185 underdog in her UFC Vegas 76 fight against Melissa Gatto, but looked very impressive in her last fight. She landed 101 significant strikes and two takedowns over three rounds and had her best outing yet.
Despite her decent striking and solid grappling, Gatto is entering this fight following a unanimous decision loss to Tracy Cortez.
Gatto tends to pull guard looking for a submission, but Lipski has never gotten submitted. If she does that in this fight, it will give Lipski good opportunities to land ground and pound.
With her 2015 knockout of Katarzyna Lubonska (below) being just one example, Lipski has solid power. Clearly trending in the right direction, the Brazilian is a live underdog and a sneaky good UFC Vegas 76 draft pick.
Luana Carolina $7,300
Luana Carolina is fighting Ivana Petrovic, who is making her UFC debut. Petrovic is a solid wrestler but does not have much experience. She is 6-0 as a professional and has not fought high-caliber competition.
Carolina is entering this fight on a two-fight skid but has found some success in the promotion. She beat Loopy Godinez in 2021, which is a good sign for this matchup, as Petrovic will always be looking for the takedown.
The longer Carolina is on her feet, the more likely she is to win this fight.