Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Blachowicz vs. Rakic

Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Blachowicz vs. Rakic

This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.

Nick Maximov (8-0-0) v. Andre Petroski (7-2-0)

Nick Maximov - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 76" - Southpaw
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 5 finishes in 8 wins

Andre Petroski - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 73" – Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 10 wins

DFS Perspective: This is a great fight to kick off the card. Both guys are high-level grapplers, and I expect most of the fight to take place on the mat. However, Petroski has an advantage on the feet and would be wise to keep it there to rack up points on the feet and keep his cardio in check. On the other hand, Maximov's wrestling is probably a little better, and he has a much better gas tank. Neither guy has seen a big test, and I believe the odds should be much closer than they are. Petroski is the stronger of the two, and if he can keep his cardio in check, I think he can pull off a big upset. I like Petroski at his price point and will use him for Cash and GPP contests. Maximov would need a lot of takedowns and control time or an early finish to hit value, and I do not think he hits it.

My Pick:  Petroski

Tatsuro Taira (10-0-0) v. Carlos Candelario (8-1-0)

Tatsuro Taira - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 70" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume 
~ Plus grappling
~ 8 finishes in 10 wins

Carlos Candelario - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 68" – Southpaw 
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus grappling and wrestling
~ 7 finishes in 7 wins

DFS Perspective: Two fighters making their debuts. Taira is an up-and-coming prospect currently riding a 10-0 record, with the majority ending by a finish. He has an impressive arsenal and should have some success in the UFC. The only issue is that he has not really fought anyone of note, so it can be difficult to fully assess his skill. Candelario has fought twice on the Contender Series, going 1-1, and was rewarded a contract after his gutsy performance in a loss. Taira is the more dangerous of the two with more weapons, and if he wins early, it will likely be by submission. Candelario's best bet would be to keep this fight on the feet and apply forward pressure to keep Taira off balance and win on the scorecards. Debut fighters are always tough to gauge, so I would avoid using either guy in cash, but both can be used in GPP, with Taira receiving more weight.

My Pick:  Taira

Virna Jandiroba (17-3-0) v. Angela Hill (13-11-0)

Virna Jandiroba - Height: 5'3" - Reach: 64" - Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Decent wrestling, elite grappling
~ 14 finishes in 17 wins

Angela Hill - Height: 5'3" - Reach: 64" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Decent wrestling
~ 5 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: This should be a classic striker vs. grappler match. Jandiroba will have a massive advantage on the mat with her grappling. However, Hill will hold a good-sized advantage on the feet with her striking. If she keeps it on the feet, I expect her to win a low-scoring decision. If Jandiroba gets this fight to the mat, I expect an early submission making her a solid play for Cash and GPP contests.

My Pick:  Jandiroba

Michael Johnson (20-17-0) v. Alan Patrick (15-3-0, 1NC)

Michael Johnson - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 73" - Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Decent wrestling
~ 10 finishes in 19 wins

Alan Patrick - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 74" – Southpaw
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling
~ 6 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Johnson is a solid striker with fast hands and will look to keep this fight on the feet. Patrick relentlessly chases takedowns looking to win rounds with ground control time. Neither guy has been impressive of late, making this a close pick-em for me. I think Patrick can find success with takedowns but do not expect either guy to score well in a decision win. I recommend fading this fight for all contests unless playing a 150 max entry. 

My Pick:  Patrick

Viviane Araujo (10-3-0) v. Andrea Lee (13-5-0)

Viviane Araujo - Height: 5'4" - Reach: 68" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 10 wins

Andrea Lee - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 69" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: This could be one of the more exciting fights on the card. I would say this fight is close to a 50-50 with a slight lean to Lee for the competition faced. Araujo is likely the slightly stronger of the two, while Lee is the quicker one. Volume on the feet will probably be close, and this fight likely comes down to who gets the control on the ground first. I like more of what I have seen from Lee lately and will side with her to score the win. I would be willing to roll Lee in cash contests, but I am not sure she would score high enough for an optimal lineup in GPP. 

My Pick:  Lee

Jake Hadley (8-0-0) v. Allan Nascimento (18-6-0)

Jake Hadley - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 70" - Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 6 finishes in 8 wins

Allan Nascimento - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 69" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Decent wrestling, elite grappling
~ 15 finishes in 18 wins

DFS Perspective: Hadley is making his debut after a win on the Contender Series and looks to have a bright future in the UFC. Hadley should roll if the fight stays on the feet, as his striking should be far better. Both guys are elite grapplers/submission threats and could end the fight early at any time. Nascimento is the slightly better grappler of the two but often accepts a bottom position. Against some guys, that would not be an issue, as he can attack submissions off his back, but I think it works against here with someone equally skilled in that department. I would not trust either guy in cash contests, but both make excellent GPP darts given their ability to finish fights early and smash value. 

My Pick:  Hadley

Frank Camacho (22-9-0) v. Manuel Torres (12-2-0)

Frank Camacho - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 73" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Decent wrestling/grappling
~ 19 finishes in 22 wins

Manuel Torres - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 73" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 11 finishes in 12 wins

DFS Perspective: Camacho gets back into action but has struggled to 1-4 in his last five and has not looked good whatsoever in his last two. He has solid volume and would be wise to pile it on while keeping a high guard to avoid getting hit flush. Torres is making his debut and is an exciting up-and-comer. His 11 finishes have all come in the first round, so he is a dangerous fighter. His lone non-finish win was a decision that went three rounds, and his cardio looked good overall. Camacho has a suspect chin and has shown exploitable weaknesses on the mat, and I do not expect him to make it out of the first round. Even though he has not fought the highest competition, Torres is one of my favorite plays for Cash and GPP contests, given his finishing ability. Anything in the first round would nail value. 

My Pick:  Torres

Katlyn Chookagian (17-4-0) v. Amanda Ribas (11-2-0)

Katlyn Chookagian - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 68" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 3 finishes in 17 wins

Amanda Ribas - Height: 5'3" - Reach: 66" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

DFS Perspective: Chookagian is a boring fighter, but she gets it done. She is tall and long for the division and uses her range very well. If she keeps the fight on the feet, I expect her to tear into Ribas with her striking. Ribas is moving up a weight class for this fight, which really does not make sense, and will instantly have a massive disadvantage in size and striking. She thrives on the mat and will need to work inside the pocket or clinch to attempt takedowns to find success. Given that Chookagian has decent takedown defense, she should find herself winning a low-scoring decision. I like Ribas for GPP contests if she can find her way to the mat. 

My Pick:  Chookagian

Davey Grant (13-6-0) v. Louis Smolka (17-8-0)

Davey Grant - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 69" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling
~ 11 finishes in 13 wins

Louis Smolka - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 68" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 15 finishes in 17 wins

DFS Perspective: Grant has lost two in a row but against high competition. He has shown an excellent, well-rounded game and should have a significant power advantage on the feet. In addition, his wrestling should be as good or maybe even better than Smolka's. Smolka will have the advantage in grappling if he can find control on the mat after a takedown or reversal. Grant is the better fighter, and Smolka seems to fold against better competition. Grant makes a fine play for cash and GPP contests, though he would likely need an early finish to wind up in the optimal. 

My Pick:  Grant

Ryan Spann (21-7-0) v. Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1, 1NC)

Ryan Spann - Height: 6'5" - Reach: 79" - Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Decent wrestling
~ 16 finishes in 19 wins

Ion Cutelaba - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 75" – Southpaw
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling
~ 14 finishes in 16 wins

DFS Perspective: Spann has a size and power advantage, and that is about it for this fight. He will need a big one to walk away a winner here. Cutelaba will have advantages in speed, volume and both wrestling and grappling. I would expect him to throw a few strikes, dart in for a takedown, look for top control and then wail with ground-and-pound. Chaining takedowns without eating something flush will be crucial to him not getting knocked out, and I think he does it with ease. I like Cutelaba in both cash and GPP contests. Chaining takedowns with control time could very well land him among the highest scoring on the slate. Spann makes a GPP dart throw, given his power and knockout potential.

My Pick:  Cutelaba

Jan Blachowicz (28-9-0) v. Aleksandar Rakic (14-2-0)

Jan Blachowicz - Height: 6'2" - Reach: 78" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Decent wrestling
~ 17 finishes in 28 wins

Aleksandar Rakic - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 78" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling
~ 10 finishes in 14 wins

DFS Perspective: Blachowicz got his belt, lost the belt, and looks all but ready to hang up the gloves. He did not look good at all in his title defense fight. He still carries that Polish power and some wrestling, but I do not know how far it will get him at 39. Rakic is the better overall fighter, though boring, and should make this fight look relatively easy. He works well from range, keeps a high guard and controls the pace in the fight. I expect him to do more of the same here and cruise to another decision win. He is safe for cash, but he will likely not score high enough for the optimal line in GPP contests without an early finish.

My Pick:  Rakic

FANDUEL SCORING

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes = 0.6 pts
Takedown = 6 pts
Takedown Defense = 3 pts
Knockdown = 12 pts
Submission Attempt = 5 pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win = 100 pts
2nd Round Win = 75 pts
3rd Round Win = 50 pts
4th Round Win = 35 pts
5th Round Win = 25 pts
Decision Win = 20 pts

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are distance strike or clinch/ground strikes that are considered "power strikes" by official scorers.
  • A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider a substantial time.

DRAFTKINGS SCORING

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 time.
  • A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.

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. Drake Burden plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Dburdz, DraftKings: Dburdz.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drake Burden
Drake is a proven DFS winner with multiple four-figure paydays under his belt. He took an interest to writing MMA during the pandemic and is active in various Discords and other social media communities.
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