This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
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$400k UFC 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.
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)
- 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 - Women's Strawweight
Lemos was knocked out by Leslie Smith in her UFC debut back in July 2017, but has since gone on to win five straight, with three of those coming via stoppage. The win streak looks great on paper, but four of the five wins have come against poor competition (Miranda Granger, Mizuki Inoue, Livinha Souza, Montserrat Ruiz), and in the lone fight against a decent opponent in Angela Hill, Lemos was awarded a split decision which most everyone agreed she didn't deserve. Lemos is strong, has power and is a better grappler than she gets credit for, but she'll be 35 years of age next month and has no history of defeating better competition. I'm far from a buyer at this point.
Andrade has plenty of notable victories in her career, but it hasn't gone well of late, as she has a 2-3 record in her past five bouts. Of course, the three defeats came at the hands of current/former UFC champions in Valentina Shevchenko, Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili. It's been obvious for years at this point that Andrade is one of the better fighters in the division. The downside is that she is undersized and has a questionable chin. She's also limited from an athletic standpoint. Those three traits combined essentially eliminate any chance Andrade has of running off an extended winning streak against the best the division has to offer, but she figures to continue putting forth stellar performances here and there. It's extremely likely we have already seen the best she has to offer, which is just fine considering she's a former UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. She will be dropping back down to 115 pounds here after a brief run at flyweight.
Both of these women tends to employ the same style of fighting on the feet. They're willing to eat a shot in order to land two of their own. Lemos' three-inch edge in both the height and reach department, combined with Andrade's durability issues, likely give the former a slight edge in an all-out brawl.
It's certainly worth mentioning the massive experience edge Andrade enters with. Hill was the best opponent Lemos has faced to date. For comparison's sake, Jessica has fought Shevchenko, Namajunas, Zhang, Jennifer Maia, Carla Esparza, Liz Carmouche, etc.. There's a gap the size of the Grand Canyon in terms of competition level each women has gone up against.
Everything seems about right here in terms of both the DraftKings salaries and Vegas odds. I'm lukewarm on Andrade at her salary simply because she doesn't possesses the type of offense skill set that leads to piling up a ton of fantasy points in a short amount of time, but this bout is scheduled for five rounds, and Andrade could still pay off if Lemos is able to last until the championship rounds. My interest in Amanda as an underdog is limited.
THE PICK: Andrade
Co-Main Event - Lightweight
Guida has shown absolutely zero signs of slowing down despite the fact he turned 40 years of age this past December, and as long as the UFC is careful regarding who they match him up against moving forward, I don't see why he can't continue to remain competitive for at least a couple more years. Clay has won two of his last three, with the lone defeat in there being a split decision against Mark O. Madsen, who is undefeated and really good. To give you an idea of how long Guida has been around, he was the inaugural Strikeforce Lightweight Champion, defeating Josh Thomson for that honor on March 10, 2006.
Puelles is a perfect 4-0 in his brief UFC run, with a pair of decision victories and a pair of submission wins on his resume. A Sanford MMA product, Puelles has plenty going for him. Not only does he train with an elite camp, he just turned 26 years of age and is very big (5-foot-10) for the lightweight division. Puelles' ground game is far ahead of his stand-up, and his improvements on the feet will determine how deep he can go in a deep-155 pound division.
Guida is well known as one of the best conditioned athletes in the history of the sport. He remains a high-level wrestler and has gone up against some of the best fighters in the history of the sport. Among those Guida has faced in his pro career, include, Thomson, Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz, Kenny Florian, Rafael dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson, Chad Mendes, Brian Ortega, B.J. Penn, Jim Miller, Bobby Green and current UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira.
That said, this could be a bad stylistic match up for Clay. A whopping 10 of his professional losses have come via submission, which is the greatest strength of Puelles.
Guida is impossible to train for because there is no fighter on the UFC roster who employs his style. He's constantly moving. It's a notoriously difficult nut for younger fighters to crack, and it's imperative Puelles remain patient and let the fight come to him. I have this as a pick 'em, thus I'll take the man who provides a bit better payoff. It should be an entertaining fight.
THE PICK: Puelles
This one has a real chance to be Fight of the Night, as it features two competitors who are both extremely aggressive and excel at unloading offensively.
Vannata is below .500 (4-5-2) in 11 bouts with the UFC, but he's a far more talented fighter than that record would indicate. He's had issues finishing his competition with the company, but he's exceedingly durable and possesses the skill set to thrive in brawls. Jourdain is typically willing to engage in those type of fights as well. A long time lightweight, Lando dropped down to featherweight in May 2021 and took a split decision from Mike Grundy.
Jourdain has also had his ups and downs. His submission defeat to Julian Erosa last September was highly concerning, but he bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Andre Ewell less than two months later. Charles is highly active on the feet, landing a whopping 5.7 significant strikes per minute. Vannata is at 4.67, which is also a high number, and Jourdain laps him in that department. Jourdain's fight IQ is hit or miss. I like how he hunts finishes when the opportunity presents itself, but there are times I would like to see him pick his spots a little better. The second part is going to be a challenge against an aggressive opponent like Vannata.
The one area in which Lando should have a significant edge is his wrestling. Jourdain has no offensive wrestling in his arsenal whatsoever, while Vannata lands 1.12 takedowns per 15 minutes. That may not seem like a high number, but all it takes is one well-placed attempt to dump his opponent on his back and ride out the rest of the round.
Everyone is hoping we get a wild, back-and-forth brawl here. It could definitely happen, but one would hope Lando would realize his edge in grappling and try to take advantage of it.
This fight would seem to have a wide range of potential outcomes. I'll take Jourdain, all things considered, but I like Vannata as an underdog play. He has multiple paths to victory.
THE PICK: Jourdain
This fight has been a long time coming, as Barber and De La Rosa were originally linked for a fight as early as December of last year.
Theoretically long on potential and short on actual performance, Barber should enter this one riding a three-fight losing streak. She dropped back-to-back unanimous decisions from Alexa Grasso and Roxanne Modafferi from January 2020 to February 2021 before taking a split decision from Miranda Maverick in June of last year. It was a horrendous call, with virtually everyone who watched the fight feeling Maverick deserved to win. Barber is still extremely young – she won't turn 24 years of age until mid May – but I wouldn't exactly say she's improved much during her six-fight stint with the UFC. Her record (4-2, three knockout wins) is fine, but I'd be shocked if there weren't considerably more bumps along the way.
De La Rosa has fought eight times under the UFC banner since arriving as a cast member of Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter in December 2017. Perhaps I blocked most of the victories out, but I was shocked to see De La Rosa's record with the company is a respectable 5-2-1. She is fresh off a knockout of Ariane Lipski last June, the first knockout victory of her professional career.
Montana has excellent size for the division at 5-foot-7, but her ceiling is severely limited due to the lack of power in her hands. Eight of her twelve career wins have come via submission, and her margin for error is so small that I think it's going to be next to impossible for her to run off a prolonged winning streak. I'm treating the Lipski result as a fluke until proven otherwise.
Barber is younger, more athletic and has more ways to win. She is prone to making technical mistakes due to her youth and inexperience. The issue for De La Rosa is that she doesn't have the stand-up skill to make Barber pay for those mistakes. Maycee is primarily a brawler, and while she may be able to get away with that here, I have serious concerns about those issues when she is facing better competition. Again, I doubt it matters against De La Rosa, and I'll be highly concerned if it does.
THE PICK: Barber
Catchweight (190 pounds)
Jordan Wright (12-2-0, 1NC) v. Marc-Andre Barriault (13-5-0, 1NC)
DK Salaries: Wright ($7,600), Barriault ($8,600)
Vegas Odds: Wright (+140), Barriault (-160)
Odds to Finish: -185
THE PICK: Wright