Welcome to daily fantasy MMA, the latest offering from DraftKings! Mixed martial arts (MMA) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Additionally, it is a truly international sport with particularly active fan bases in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
MMA combines all aspects and ranges of hand-to-hand combat, including strikes like punches, kicks, knees, and elbows along with grappling takedowns, dominant positional advances, chokes, and joint locks. Both men and women compete in the sport, in weight classes ranging from atomweight (105 lbs) to heavyweight (265 lbs).
With MMA on the rise, it’s a great time to get involved and learn how to play Daily Fantasy MMA. One great thing about MMA is that there is no “season”. There is a major MMA event almost every weekend, 12 months out of the year.
That being said, MMA is quite different from more traditional fantasy sports. So I’d like to share with you my strategy tips for how you can jump right in and work on a winning MMA strategy.
Pick fighters who can finish their opponents.
A 1st round stoppage is worth 100 points, four times more than a decision win (25). That means if a fighter on a card gets a first round finish and you don’t have that fighter, you’re starting from a big disadvantage. Consider a fighter who gets a dominant decision win with 50 strikes landed, 5 takedowns and 3 advances. This fighter still only scores 63 points, far behind his counterpart who landed a big first-round KO or snatched up a quick submission.
Choose active fighters
Fighters have different styles. Some fighters plod their way to decisions, barely grinding out victories. Others have tremendous offensive output, even if they don’t always get their hand raised at the end of the fight. Just like in daily fantasy for more traditional sports, you want the active, offensive players.
When selecting a grappling-based fighter, choose one that actively seeks to pass the guard and combines striking with passing. Since points are awarded for passing to half guard, side control, mount and back control, and because it is easier to score lots of strikes from dominant positions, these grapplers are especially valuable. Consider skipping the grapplers who hold their opponents down and don’t advance their position. While it’s true that the fighter on the bottom almost always loses the round on the scorecards, he/she might actually outscore his/her opponent in terms of fantasy points.
Defence might win championships, but it doesn’t win fantasy points – at least not when it comes to MMA. It’s perfectly acceptable to take a chance on a fighter who throws caution to the wind and might get knocked out or submitted. There are no negative points in DraftKings MMA when your fighter gets hit, taken down, or reversed. Of course, you’d rather your fighter be the one doing the hitting, taking down and reversing, but in general, choose fighters who take chances and they will reward you by piling up fantasy points.
Consider the Main Event ‘Premium’
On DraftKings, the fighters participating in the main event usually cost more. Why? Because they have five rounds instead of the usual three to pile up significant strikes, knockdowns, takedowns, and advances. However, some fighters pace themselves in a 5-round fight, and throw fewer strikes and attempt fewer takedowns knowing that they might be in for a 25-minute war. Nevertheless, it’s often valuable to take one of the main event fighters, because often these are among the most conditioned athletes on the card, capable of high offensive output throughout all five rounds (otherwise, they wouldn’t be in the main event). In a real “war”, even the loser of a 5-round fight might rack up a great deal of fantasy points.
Consider going head-to-head
MMA is a bit different from traditional sports in that the available list of “players” (the fighters) is much smaller. As a result, your opponents in the large contests you enter will often choose many of the same players as you. If you play in head-to-head or other smaller contests, this is much less likely to happen, and you may find the results more rewarding.