This week, DraftKings Reignmakers is offering up $125,000 in total prizes between its five tiers of UFC 282 contests: CORE, RARE, ELITE, LEGENDARY and REIGNMAKER.
All players from DraftKings’ Heatwave, UFC 281, UFC 282, Genesis and UFC Fight Night sets are eligible to compete in these contests.
It is worth noting that the Genesis Standard, Genesis Premium and Genesis CORE Add-On packs are all still available for purchase. These packs contain top UFC fighters, along with a random distribution of a majority of the fighters stepping into the octagon this weekend.
DraftKings is also releasing an event set pack drop prior to Saturday, where players can bolster their lineups with only fighters participating in UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imavov.
With that said, this article breaks down the best fighters to consider adding to your team via the DraftKings Marketplace. All listed prices refer to CORE tier unless otherwise noted, but the recommendations can be agnostically applied to all other tiers.
Below are the best fighters to roster for the upcoming UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imavov event.
Sean Strickland ($7)
The long-awaited bout between Nassourdine Imavov and Kelvin Gastelum has been delayed. Gastelum pulled out after injuring his mouth. Imavov was a slight favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, but with Sean Strickland taking Gastelum’s place, he is closer to even money. Strickland is a more difficult matchup for Imavov and might be the favorite if he had a full camp to prepare. Both athletes are talented strikers that will push the pace of this fight. Strickland is significantly cheaper right now on DraftKings Reignmakers, which makes him the better play. The fight is expected to start the fifth and final round, which means one of these two fighters will likely end up on the optimal lineup.
Abdul Razak Alhassan ($280 ELITE - no CORE)
Ignore the price on Alhassan’s player card for the moment, as additional cards will be released prior to the event. He currently only has 12 total player cards, all at the ELITE tier. He could go undervalued this weekend after losing four of his last five fights, but prior to that unfortunate stretch, he had three wins in a row. And when he does win, he wins in the first round. All four of his last four victories are first-round knockouts.
This weekend, he steps into the octagon against Claudio Ribeiro, who is also worth considering due to his high upside. Ribeiro hasn’t lost in six consecutive matches, but this is his first real test in the UFC after winning Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2022. This fight is currently set around -200 to finish within the first 1.5 rounds, and players will need exposure to this high-upside fight. Alhassan is the slight favorite, as he is more experienced and needs to win to keep his career alive.
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Below are the worst fighters to roster for the upcoming UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imavov event.
Raquel Pennington ($11)
Six of Raquel Pennington’s last seven fights went to decision. She is currently -350 to go to decision this weekend against Ketlen Vieira, and she’s the underdog. Pennington has plenty of potential upside, and in DFS, it makes sense to target lower-priced fighters that could score striking and wrestling points for three straight rounds. But in DraftKings Reignmakers, it is all about purchasing upside, and Pennington is not going to finish in the top six of all fighter scores this Saturday. Vieira is looking to snap Pennington’s winning streak, but even if she does, she is also not a great target during a Fight Night that features so many potential finishes.
Dan Ige ($8)
Dan Ige somehow earned the reputation of being a high-upside fighter after his first-round knockout over Gavin Tucker, but he hasn’t won since that fight and all of his losses went to decision. Prior to that fight, he went 3-1 with four straight decisions. Ige is a decision fighter, and his odds suggest as much this weekend. His upcoming fight against Damon Jackson is -200 to go to the judge’s scorecard, and Ige is barely a favorite to win. There is far too much risk involved with playing Ige and not enough potential reward. Find value elsewhere.
Below are the most obvious fighters to roster for the upcoming UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Imavov event.
Umar Nurmagomedov ($55)
Umar Nurmagomedov is Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Usman Nurmagomedov’s brother and future UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin. He won the World Combat Sambo Federation World Championship in 2015. He is undefeated in his professional career with one knockout, seven submissions and seven decision wins. With a 3-0 UFC record and two finishes to his name, Nurmagomedov squares off against Raoni Barcelos at this weekend’s UFC Fight Night. He is a -750 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, and he will likely ride Barcelos to the ground and keep him there. Barcelos is on his way out, and Nurmagomedov is ready to take the division by storm. His fighter card is a great one to hold long into the future, too.
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