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UFC Fight Night Cheat Sheet: DraftKings MMA DFS Picks, Predictions for February 6

Stephie Haynes preps you for Saturday’s UFC slate with key factors and winning trends for your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups.

On Saturday, the UFC kicks off their next Vegas card with UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov. After a one-week hiatus following a frenetic, three-event week, the promotion has a very well put together event to serve fans hungry for action. The headliner features Alistair Overeem taking on fellow heavyweight Alexander Volkov in a battle for closer positioning to a title shot. That fight is bolstered by a co-main event that will see Number 2 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen taking on longtime veteran Frankie Edgar.

There are a few other really intriguing matchups peppered throughout the rest of the bout sheet, but the ones I’m most looking forward to are Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush and the long-awaited debut of Manel Kape as he takes on Alexandre Pantoja. It’s a solid offering for a Fight Night show, and I’m pleased as punch that this is what will be occupying my Saturday night.

We’ve put together a handy guide of facts and figures to help you when selecting your DraftKings fantasy lineups. Each category will feature the standout fighter for his/her achievements in said category. Let’s get started!

Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $400K Throwdown Before the Showdown [$100K to 1st]

EDITOR’S NOTE: The scheduled fight between Askar Askar and Cody Stamann has been canceled for tonight’s UFC Fight Night card.

Place your UFC bets at the DraftKings Sportsbook UFC page and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Super Strikers

Cory Sandhagen, $9,400

Cory Sandhagen is a well-rounded marvel of talent that has the potential to one day become champion. He’s one of the biggest bantamweights at 5’11, and he uses that advantage intelligently, both offensively and defensively. Corey switches stances effortlessly, all the while attacking the legs, body and head with potent combinations that are constant.

A true volume striker, Corey averages 6.88 strikes per minute, absorbing just 3.89. That’s an important stat because on average, most volume strikers tend to not be defensively sound, but Sandhagen protects himself well while he’s ripping lefts to the liver and lighting his opponents up with head kicks and powerful bombs that have seen five of his opponents succumb to.

Sandhagen is also a solid grappler who’s got great takedown defense, and part of that is his ability to punish those that would attempt to take him down (Aljamain Sterling excluded). Let’s just say that Sandhagen will more than likely figure out “The Answer” Saturday night.

Knockout Kings

Alistair Overeem, $7,600

Alistair Overeem is that rare unicorn—the over-40 fighter that’s still able to compete at the highest level. At 40, Overeem is still kicking butt and taking names, keeping out the riff-raff from the Top 5, of which he is the sentinel, holding that Number 5 position.

“The Demolition Man” has been visiting sanctioned violence on other pros for 22 years now, amassing 42 stoppages out of his 47 wins. When you’ve got 65 fights under your belt and you’re still knocking out top 10 competition, that’s saying something. In his last five fights, Alistair has four wins, all of them by knockout. It should be noted that 25 of Alistair’s 42 stoppage wins are by knockout.

And Overeem is savvy, fighting much more technically and strategically these days, protecting a chin that has failed him numerous times and becoming much more thoughtful in his strike selection to service in that protective duty.

Alexander Volkov also possesses power, but I think his wrestling defense, while improved, won’t be enough to stop Alistair from taking him down and pounding him out. And that’s a well that Overeem has been frequenting more and more. He still has bombs too, and those devastating knees in the clinch.

It’s a competitive heavyweight bout, and one that has the potential to be very exciting. I know that at some point, Alistair is going to start showing his age more, but I just don’t see it happening yet.

Grappling Gods

Beneil Dariush, $8,000

Beneil Dariush doesn’t hold the most submission wins of the competitors on this card—that would be Alistair Overeem—but he is, in my opinion, the one most likely to get one Saturday night. While I’m aware there are several fighters capable of snagging subs of their own, Dariush is aggressive, both on the feet and especially on the ground. He’s a dangerous scrambler with slick transitions and even though Diego Ferreira is well versed on the ground, too, we should remember that in the first fight, Beneil was in control for nearly eight minutes.

Diego has come a long way since then, but Dariush has also gotten better, and if this fight ends up on the ground, I’d say that Dariush has the edge. Beneil averages 1.75 takedowns and attempts 1.1 submissions in three-round fights and has eight submission victories among his 19 wins. There is a catch, though, and that’s his gas tank. Historically, we’ve seen Dariush struggle with his cardio, so I’d have to amend my stance to reflect that his advantage on the ground would be more definitive in the first half of the fight than the last.

This is about as closely matched a fight as they come and should see the winner finally get to take on opposition from the inner sanctum of the Top 10.

Jack of All Trades

Alexandre Pantoja, $8,300

Alexandre Pantoja is one of the most well-rounded fighters on the card. With excellent standup ability, legitimate knockout power and more than capable grappling, he’s our Jack-of-all-trades this week. The 30-year-old has a wealth of experience in his 13-year career, racking up an impressive 22 wins out of 27 fights.

He’s insanely durable with a granite chin that’s not failed him thus far and grappling skills that have kept him free from submissions. “The Cannibal” maintains a respectable output, averaging 4.20 strikes per minute while absorbing 3.41. He averages 1.08 takedowns and makes 1.1 submission attempts during three-round fights. Most importantly, he’s extremely effective everywhere. He holds eight knockouts and eight submission victories.

His opponent, Manel Kape, is also well-rounded and pretty potent on the feet and on the ground, as well. And he comes with a lot of hype behind him from his success in Rizin. Pantoja is a crafty veteran with the skills to hang at the very top of the division, and he holds wins over some of them. No matter where this fight goes, there is a path to victory for him, and none would be considered a surprise or an upset.

Gas Guzzlers

Beneil Dariush, $8,000

Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $400K Throwdown Before the Showdown [$100K to 1st]

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