DraftKings MMA: UFC Vegas 33 Preview

DraftKings MMA: UFC Vegas 33 Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

UFC Vegas 33 features a pair of middleweight contenders who were scheduled to fight at UFC 265 next week, but the company decided to bump them up and give them the main event slot here.

If you're hoping to turn the event into an opportunity to build your DFS bankroll, DraftKings.com has you covered with a full slate of contests, including a$500k MMA Throwdown with $100k to first place. Players get a $50,000 budget to select six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

Note: Scoring has been updated as of early-2021! Please review the scoring changes below.

Moves Scoring
Strikes: +0.2 PTS
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Control Time: +0.03 PTS/SECOND
Takedown (TD): +5 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +10 PTS

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 PTS
Quick Win Bonus: +25 PTS
(fight is finished in 60 seconds or less)

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
  • A Significant Strike will count as both a strike and a significant strike and will be worth a total of 0.4 Pts
  • Control Time is the time spent in the dominant position on the ground or in the clinch. +0.03 points are awarded per second.
  • A Knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.
  • A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.

Main Event - Middleweight

Uriah Hall (18-9-0) v. Sean Strickland (23-3-0)
DK Salaries: Hall ($6,900), Strickland ($9,300)
Vegas Odds: Hall (+170), Strickland (-215)
Odds to Finish: -175

Hall enters having won four in a row, with three of those wins coming via knockout. His most recent victory came against Chris Weidman this past April when Hall checked a Weidman kick and the latter snapped his leg. I have a difficult time seeing this strong run of success continuing. Hall turns 37 years of age on fight night. He has no history of consistency (this recent streak aside), nor does he have any history of defeating better competition. Uriah has enough power and enough physical gifts to put together a strong performance here and there, but expecting him to compete against the top middleweights on the roster is a stretch.

A serious motorcycle accident caused Strickland to spend two years (October 2018 - October 2020) on the sidelines. He's fought three times since returning and has defeated Krzysztof Jotko (unanimous), Jack Marshman (unanimous) and Brendan Allen (TKO). While the missed time is a concern over the long run, Strickland is still just 30 years of age and looks completely healthy. He fights a lot like Hall in the sense that virtually all of his offense is generated on the feet.

This is a much bigger fight for Hall than Strickland given the age differential, but the truth of the matter is that both men need this fight. 

If we assume this turns into a kickboxing match, I'm rolling with the guy who tends to start quickly and fight more aggressively, and that's Strickland. Hall is a history of being passive inside the Octagon, especially early. He might be able to get away with that given this is a five-round fight, but I wouldn't bet on it. 

Strickland has to be the pick here, but he seems overpriced. Conversely, Hall seems like a major value play, even if don't think he will win outright. There's no way there is more than $2,000 worth of salary difference between these two.

THE PICK: Strickland

Co-Main Event - Welterweight

Editor's Note (7/28): The matchup between Stolze and Lazzez has been scrapped after Lazzez had to withdraw due to visa issues. Stolze will now enter as an early betting favorite of (-200) against Jared Gooden, and with a low salary of $7,000, he'll be a tremendously popular play due to the line value.

Niklas Stolze (12-4-0) v. Mounir Lazzez (10-2-0)
DK Salaries: Stolze ($7,000), Lazzez ($9,200)
Vegas Odds: Stolze (+170), Lazzez (-210)
Odds to Finish: +130

The co-main event here was originally supposed to be Shamil Abdurakhimov v. Chris Daukaus, but that one ended up needing to be rescheduled.

A veteran of the European regional circuit, Stolze made his UFC debut a little over a year ago, dropping a unanimous decision to Ramazan Emeev. Emeev is actually quite good and has long been underrated, but nothing in Stolze's background suggests any significant run is forthcoming. The 28-year-old German has the look of a capable all-around fighter with durability on his side. 

Lazzez has made two UFC appearances, taking a unanimous decision from Abdul Razak Alhassan in his company debut before being knocked out by Warlley Alves in his most recent fight this past January. It was the first knockout loss of Lazzez's professional career. Lazzez can't match the all-around game of Stozle, but has far more power. Eight of his 10 career victories have coming via knockout, with five of those coming in Round 1.

Anyone who follows the sport closely is well aware this is not a particularly deep card. Numerous fights had to be cancelled or rescheduled, and that leaves us in a pickle from a DraftKings perspective. I'm not crazy about dumping $9,200 on Lazzez, but the power is clearly legitimate and I recommended getting a piece of him in some form or fashion. The lone worry is that Stolze has yet to be stopped via strikes in his career. Still, he offers little value as a punt underdog play.

THE PICK: Lazzez 


Kyung Ho Kang (17-8-0, 1NC) v. Rani Yahya (27-10-1, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Kang ($8,500), Yahya ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Kang (-140), Yahya (+115)
Odds to Finish: +100

The competition level he's faced during his long UFC run has been lousy, but Yahya has generally looked strong most every time we've seen him fight. The Brazilian BJJ wiz is 8-2-1 in his past 11 fights dating back to September 2014. Yahya is a pure mat specialist who has 21 submission victories in his career and not a single knockout. He'll also be turning 37 years of age this coming September, so I'm surprised the UFC hasn't pushed him harder the past couple years.

Although he's been with the UFC since March 2013, Kang has just nine fights with the company due to the fact he had to serve his mandatory two-year service with the South Korean military. It's an identical situation to that of Chan Sung Jung, "The Korean Zombie." In addition to having an amazing nickname ("Mr. Perfect"), Kang has won six of his past seven fights. He hasn't fought as well at the record would indicate, given three of those wins came via split decision, but he remains competitive most every time he steps into the Octagon. 

This is going to be a ground battle. Kang has more power in his hands than Yahya, but both men struggle if forced to stand and trade for an extended period of time. Yahya is the most decorated submission specialist, but Kang is a massive guy for the division. He stands at 5-foot-9 and will enter with a three-inch height edge and six-inch reach advantages.

I actually think this fight will be entertaining, but I'm not sure it will help fantasy owners a ton. Neither man will rack up a ton of points on the feet, and it's notoriously difficult to predict any type of submission. The size difference worries me, but I'll take Yahya in a minor upset given the salary relief he provides on a thin card. 


Women's Strawweight

Jinh Yu Frey (10-6-0) v. Ashley Yoder (8-7-0)
DK Salaries: Frey ($7,800), Yoder ($8,400)
Vegas Odds: Frey (+115), Yoder (-140)
Odds to Finish: +225

Frey is a former Invicta Atomweight (105 pounds) Champion, and I was high on her potential prior to her arrival in the UFC in June 2020. Much like Michelle Waterson, however, I think she is simply too small to consistently succeed at 115 pounds. She began her company run with back-to-back losses to a pair of tough customers in Kay Hansen (submission) and Loma Lookboonmee (unanimous) before taking a unanimous decision from Gloria de Paula this past March. Frey is 36 years of age and doesn't have one single elite skill to hang her hat on.

Yoder has been with the UFC since December 2016, which is quite impressive considering her 3-6 career mark with the company. She's lost three of her last four, including being routed by Angela Hill in her most recent bout this past March. Yoder has an excellent frame for the division. She's 5-foot-7 and has a four-inch height and reach edge on Frey. There's no power here – Yoder doesn't have a knockout victory in her career – so she's going to rely on volume in order to have any success on the feet.

As I mentioned earlier, this size difference is the most notable thing about this fight. Yoder's physical skills are limited, but she's so much bigger than Frey, and that alone could be the difference in the fight. 

The one thing I do feel confident in is the fact this fight will see the final bell. Combined, 11 of 12 UFC bouts between these two have gone to a decision.

I'm going to roll with Yoder considering the size differential between the two combatants, but I don't anticipate either helping fantasy players a ton. 


Other Bouts

Women's Strawweight
Cheyanne Buys (5-2-0) v. Gloria de Paula (5-3-0)
DK Salaries: Buys ($8,900), de Paula ($7,300)
Vegas Odds: Buys (-190), de Paula (+155)
Odds to Finish: +215

Ryan Benoit (10-7-0) v. Zarrukh Adashev (3-3-0)
DK Salaries: Benoit ($8,300), Adashev ($7,900)
Vegas Odds: Benoit (-135), Adashev (+110)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Benoit

Bryan Barberena (15-7-0) v. Jason Witt (18-7-0)
DK Salaries: Barberena ($9,600), Witt ($6,600)
Vegas Odds: Barberena (-265), Witt (+210)
Odds to Finish: -190
THE PICK: Barberena

Women's Bantamweight
Nicco Montano (5-3-0) v. Wu Yanan (11-4-0)
DK Salaries: Montano ($9,100), Wu ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Montano (-270), Wu (+185)
Odds to Finish: +200
THE PICK: Montano

Collin Anglin (8-1-0) v. Melsik Baghdasaryan (5-1-0)
DK Salaries: Anglin ($7,600), Baghdasaryan ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Anglin (+120), Baghdasaryan (-150)
Odds to Finish: +120
THE PICK: Baghdasaryan

Chris Gruetzemacher (14-4-0) v. Rafa Garcia (12-1-0)
DK Salaries: Gruetzemacher ($6,700), Garcia ($9,500)
Vegas Odds: Gruetzemacher (+220), Garcia (-280)
Odds to Finish: +100
THE PICK: Garcia

Danny Chavez (11-4-0) v. Kai Kamaka (8-4-0)
DK Salaries: Chavez ($8,000), Kamaka ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Chavez (+105), Kamaka (-130)
Odds to Finish: TBD
THE PICK: Chavez

Ronnie Lawrence (7-1-0) v. Trevin Jones (13-6-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Lawrence ($8,700), Jones ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Lawrence (-160), Jones (+130)
Odds to Finish: -140
THE PICK: Lawrence

Philip Rowe (7-3-0) v. Orion Cosce (7-0-0)
DK Salaries: Rowe ($7,400), Cosce ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Rowe (+130), Cosce (-160)
Odds to Finish: -200

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jon Litterine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: JLitterine.
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Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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