This article is part of our FanDuel MMA series.
We are back at it with another UFC card! UFC Vegas 20 features 12 bouts, which makes for plenty of opportunities to roster fighters in our FanDuel lineups!
If I do not mention a fighter in this article, it does not mean I am not considering them for a specific category. Still, I am putting fighters in these categories out of respect for prioritization.
Let's get into it!
FanDuel Scoring System:
Moves Scoring (MVP 1.5X)
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.9 PTS
Takedown (TD): +9 PTS
Takedown Defense (TDEF): +4.5 PTS
Submission Attempt (SA): +7.5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +18 PTS
Moves Scoring (Standard)
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.6 PTS
Takedown (TD): +6 PTS
Takedown Defense (TDEF): 3
Submission Attempt (SA): 5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +12 PTS
Fight Conclusion Bonuses (MVP 1.5X)
1st Round Win (1stW): +150 PTS
2nd Round Win (2ndW): +112.5 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rdW): +75 PTS
4th Round Win (4thW): +52.5 PTS
5th Round Win (5thW): +37.5 PTS
Decision Win (DecW): +30 PTS
Fight Conclusion Bonuses (Standard)
1st Round Win (1stW): +100 PTS
2nd Round Win (2ndW): +75 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rdW): +50 PTS
4th Round Win (4thW): +35 PTS
5th Round Win (5thW): +25 PTS
Decision Win (DecW): +20 PTS
MVP Top Plays
Ciryl Gane ($22)
I am always looking to get the main event favorite in many of my lineups because of the potential to rack up points throughout five rounds. Ciryl Gane is the main event favorite I feel confident backing this weekend. He is one of the card's biggest favorites and holds one of the card's best ITD lines. I like Gane stylistically as well. I think he's the superior striker (i.e., better technique-wise, more defensively sound, far better footwork, and more varied). I see Gane as the superior grappler (double leg takedown ability, looks to pass guard in the top position where he is a submission threat) as well. If he wants to take Rozenstruik down, I believe he can where he may be able to get a submission (i.e., Rozenstruik had his back taken by Junior Albini). I trust Gane's defense and fight I.Q. to avoid the big KO shot from Rozenstruik to get a big FanDuel score on Saturday.
Magomed Ankalaev ($23)
I think Magomed Ankalaev's matchup with Nikita Krylov is a good style matchup for the very talented Ankalaev (if you want to see the detailed breakdown, DM on Twitter @AJ_Schullo, and I can forward it). Magomed is the biggest favorite on the card and holds one of the best wins inside the distance lines. Stylistically I see him as the superior technical striker with better defense and range management (i.e., Krylov tends to be wild, leaving him susceptible to counters which I trust will be there often for Ankalaev). I also believe if Ankalaev wants to take Krylov down and pass Krylov's guard, he will (i.e., Krylov was taken down and mounted by Ovince Saint Preux in the second fight, mounted by Johnny Walker). Ankalaev is very accomplished in Combat Sambo and has a great MMA grappling game (i.e., double leg TD ability, good guard passer in the top position, and stable top control pressure). I trust Ankalaev's defense and fight I.Q. to not only win this fight but put up a big score on FanDuel.
Cash Game Underdogs
Montana De La Rosa ($14)
My other bet on this card is on Montana De La Rosa to win (if you want to see the detailed breakdown, DM on Twitter @AJ_Schullo, and I can forward it). When I am typing this, she is the betting underdog, and I believe she is the favorite in this matchup. I view her as the better striker (i.e., is more technical, more defensively sound, and better footwork). Montana's opponent Mayra Buena Silva is adamant, throws hard (i.e., calf kicks included), and likes to pressure, but I trust Montana to win the striking exchanges' aggregate.
I also view Montana as the superior grappler Buena Silva has been taken down quickly in all of her UFC appearances (i.e., does not have a good sprawl, taken down quickly in the clinch Maryna Moroz). Montana has a wrestling background that has translated well into MMA as she's shown takedowns' capability from the body lock and in open space via double leg takedowns (i.e., her entries looked much better against Andrea Lee than they did previously). Montana will need to be mindful of the guard submission attempts from Buena Silva. Still, I trust she will (i.e., Montana is a BJJ Brown Belt and has shown enough composure, awareness, and scrambling ability).
On a card where there are not many underdogs I am picking to win, Montana De La Rosa is the fighter I feel strongest about to get her hand raised.
Kevin Croom ($10)
This is a bit bold, but I like being brave when it makes sense. Kevin Croom's opponent Alex Caceres has a long history of fighting very competitively with the opposition (i.e., has six split decisions in the UFC). Caceres will often let the opposition "off the hook" if they're hurt in a fight (i.e., against Chase Hooper and Martin Bravo rocked, but he chose not to pursue the finish). Additionally, Caceres has gotten his back taken multiple times in the UFC (i.e., against Kron Gracie, Martin Bravo, Steven Peterson) and submitted in 7 of his 12 professional MMA losses. According to his Instagram, Croom is a BJJ Brown Belt, and 10 of his 21 pro-MMA wins are via submission. According to the betting odds, this fight is very likely to go the distance, in which case I think there's a decent chance it can be very competitive. I am willing to consider "The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly" for FanDuel cash games.
Pedro Munhoz ($15)
Though I am outright favoring Pedro Munhoz's opponent, Jimmie Rivera, to win the rematch (i.e., Jimmie won via split decision in November 2015), I like Munhoz for GPPs on FanDuel this weekend. Munhoz is the inferior technical striker here who is less defensively sound. Still, Munhoz can make up for the technical disadvantages by pressuring Rivera and hitting him with strikes to the body & legs, which may tire Rivera out (i.e., Rivera slowed down against Almeida). Munhoz has proven to be a dangerous finisher on the ground and in the striking exchanges. We've seen Rivera rocked in past fights (i.e., against Yan, Sterling, Moraes, and Munhoz), so a Munhoz finish may materialize in the rematch.
Ronnie Lawrence ($18)
Ronnie Lawrence is making his UFC debut this Saturday after an impressive win on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series appearance, where he landed 12 takedowns. I love the way Lawrence fights. He prefers to stand on the outside and land low kicks in striking exchanges or look to close distance to get the fight to the ground. Lawrence's opponent, Vince Cachero, has already made his UFC debut, where he was taken down several times by Jamall Emmers. This was not the only fight where Cachero was taken down, and the opposition advanced into a dominant position. This also happened on the regional scene. Lawrence is a BJJ Brown Belt and stated in his post-fight interview on the Contender Series he wanted to have an even better showing from now on. I am willing to target Lawrence, thinking he can land takedowns, advance into a dominant position, and work to get a finish.
GPP Fades/Fighters To Be Light On
Angela Hill ($21)
Though I think she wins against Ashley Yoder again (i.e., Hill won the unanimous decision in July 2017), I will not have any exposure to her in my FanDuel lineups this weekend. Hill does not carry a vital win inside the distance prop, is unlikely to grapple (i.e., that is Yoder's path to victory), and Yoder has never been finished in 14 professional MMA bouts. Considering these circumstances, I am not interested in rostering Hill in my lineups.
Alexander Hernandez ($20)
This is a bit of a contrarian take as I like Hernandez to win against Thiago Moises. However, I think it's unlikely he puts up a high FanDuel score as he does not have a robust inside distance line, and I don't believe Hernandez dominates this fight. Thiago Moises has never been finished in 18 professional MMA fights. I classify him as a solid overall talent (i.e., double leg takedown ability with chain wrestling capability, a reliable technical striker who counters well and can switch stances) who specializes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (i.e., BJJ Black Belt, has a threatening guard, looks to pass guard when in the top position) so I believe it's unlikely Hernandez has an easy time with this matchup. Hernandez may not even look to wrestle out of respect for Moises' BJJ. If Hernandez does not wrestle, I think it's unlikely he dominates on the feet as I see it as competitive in the standup.