Welcome to my DFS breakdown for UFC Vegas 42: Holloway vs. Rodriguez! The UFC is back in Las Vegas at their Apex facility this weekend following back-to-back numbered events in Abu Dhabi and New York City the last two weekends. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of cancelations on this upcoming fight card, and we currently sit with 11 scheduled bouts as of Thursday night with weigh-ins pending. With fewer fights than normal, we have to change our process a little bit when it comes to game theory. With fewer fighters in the player pool, we can focus less on trying to hit a lineup with six fighters who all put up ceiling performances as we have the last two weeks. Instead, we will weigh things like win probability and floor a little more. I’ll be in the FTNDaily Discord leading up to Saturday's slate to discuss last-minute changes and additional general slate strategy!

If you’re interested in DFS and betting takes for every fight on this card, you can check out The Undisputed MMA Show with Jon Kelly and me.

In this weekly article, I will outline three fighters who present strong floors and ceilings for your DraftKings lineups. 

High-tier: Max Holloway $9500 

You know how I spent like a whole paragraph last weekend writing about how sometimes you have to play the best plays and mentioned that Kamaru Usman with a five-round floor at -300 was that play last week? Take that same logic and imagine we had a fighter who was -800 and coming off an MMA DFS record 209-point performance...that’s Max Holloway. Holloway is one of the best volume-based strikers in MMA history and is a massive favorite in this weekend’s main event against Yair Rodriguez. With just 11 fights this weekend, Holloway should be mega-chalk but simply possesses a combination of floor and ceiling that are light years ahead of anybody else on this slate. Don’t overthink this one, lock in the Hawaiian. 

Mid-tier: Miguel Baeza $8500

I’ve found this to be a very challenging week for DFS purposes. Of the 10 non-Max Holloway fights on the slate, just two of them are favored to end inside the distance, and there are not many spots where I think the betting odds/DK prices are an inaccurate representation of the correct probabilities for each fight. However, with Miguel Baeza we have both a fighter in a bout favored to end inside the distance and a fighter who I think has a greater chance to win the fight than the odds/pricing indicates. Baeza is a solid offensive striker with a diverse kicking game anchored by calf kicks and power in both of his hands. He faces Khaos Williams who also carries plenty of power and is willing to engage in a fire fight. I favor the technique of Baeza over the chaos (pardon the pun) of Williams. Additionally, Williams hasn’t shown much in the UFC or regional scene to make me think he’s a competent grappler. And although Baeza doesn’t wrestle much, he is a solid submission grappler and could find a fast finish should this fight hit the ground. 

Low-tier: Julio Arce $7800

This is likely the price range that I feel the least confident about this weekend, but there are a few plays I think are interesting. The first is Julio Arce, who is $7800 and should be very competitive with Song Yadong this weekend. Arce historically hasn’t been a great DFS scorer, as he has four UFC finishes and has only cracked 90 points twice. However, this is a week where I am prioritizing wins and I think Arce is about 50% to win his fight on Saturday, higher than anybody else in the lower price tier. If you’re feeling more risky, Marcos Rogerio de Lima is a moderately sized underdog this week but is in the only other fight aside from Baeza/Williams that is favored to end inside the distance. Lima hits hard and is facing a 40-year-old, so I would expect him to be in the optimal lineup if he can pull off the small upset.