WATCH: TOMMY TOE HOLD – UFC 211 CLOSE UP
This Saturday the UFC heads to American Airlines Center in Dallas for UFC 211, which is one of the most stacked pay-per-view cards in recent memories. There are two title fights on this card as well as a number of other incredibly competitive, well-matched bouts, which should lead to an awesome night of MMA action.
Here are the top-10 fighters at UFC 211 to consider for your DraftKings fantasy MMA squads.
1. Joanna Jedrzejczyk ($8,800)
The women’s strawweight title is on the line as champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on challenger Jessica Andrade. Jedrzejczyk is 7-0 in the UFC and is undefeated in her career at 13-0. She has incredible striking and fantastic takedown defense, which makes her a nightmare matchup for almost everyone else in the division. I think in a 25-minute fight she’s going to take her opponent, Andrade, to deep waters, land a ton of strikes and either get a finish or win a decision where she scores a lot of points. I’m more confident in her to win than anyone else on the card.
2. Stipe Miocic ($8,500)
A heavyweight title rematch sees the champion Stipe Miocic fight challenger Junior dos Santos. These two previously met in 2014, with JDS winning a close decision. Since then, Miocic won the title with a knockout win over Fabricio Werdum and defended his belt with a knockout win over Alistair Overeem. JDS, on the other hand, got knocked out by Overeem then followed it up with a decision win over Ben Rothwell. Although JDS won the first fight, I believe Miocic is going to win the rematch. I see JDS as being on a decline and if Miocic catches him on the chin he has a good chance of knocking him out. I’ll take the champ here to defend his belt.
3. James Vick ($9,500)
A lightweight contest sees Vick take on Marco Polo Reyes. Vick is 6-1 in the UFC and most recently finished Abel Trujillo in arguably the best performance of his career. Vick is a more talented fighter than his opponent with more finishing ability at this level, and I think he’s going to finish Reyes in this fight.
4. Gadzhimurad Antigulov ($9,400)
A light heavyweight bout sees Antigulov take on Joachim Christensen. Antigulov is 1-0 in the UFC and has won 13 fights in a row with 12 of those wins coming by finish. He’s still raw, but at 30 he looks like a legit light heavyweight prospect with serious finishing ability. I’m looking for Antigulov to have another great performance and finish this fight.
5. Eddie Alvarez ($8,100)
One of the best fights on the card is a lightweight showdown between Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. Alvarez, the former UFC lightweight champion, is 3-2 in the UFC with a notable knockout win over Rafael dos Anjos and a notable knockout loss to Conor McGregor. Alvarez has big power and Poirier’s chin hasn’t proven to be great in his career, so I believe Alvarez will catch Poirier on the chin in this one and finish him.
6. Demian Maia ($7,800)
In an intriguing welterweight bout, Maia fights Jorge Masvidal with a title shot likely on the line for the winner. Maia is 39 now but he’s fighting at the highest level of his career at the moment. He’s 9-2 overall in the UFC and has won his last six fights including a submission over Carlos Condit his last time out. I think Maia can take Masvidal to the ground and finish him, so I like him at this cheap price quite a bit.
7. Yair Rodriguez ($7,600)
An exciting featherweight contest sees Rodriguez take on former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Rodriguez has been a phenom in the UFC so far, going 6-0 and most recently knocking out B.J. Penn in highlight-reel fashion. At only 24, the sky is the limit for him. Frankie Edgar is a beast, but at 35 he could be on a slight decline while Rodriguez looks like his career is just about to explode. I don’t typically pick against Edgar, but there’s something special about Rodriguez, and I think he’s going to pull off the upset.
8. Gabriel Benitez ($9,000)
Benitez takes on Enrique Barzola in a featherweight bout. Benitez is 3-1 in the UFC with two finishes and looks like one of the best Latin American talents in the promotion. Benitez looks like more of a finisher at this level, and while Barzola is durable, I would look for Benitez to have a very good performance in this fight.
9. Cortney Casey ($8,100)
Casey takes on former World Series of Fighting strawweight champion Jessica Aguilar on the prelims. She is only 2-3 in the UFC, but her win over Randa Markos, who recently defeated former champ Carla Esparza, looks great in hindsight. Her opponent Aguilar is 0-1 in the UFC and hasn’t fought in nearly two years. With so much time away from the cage for Aguilar, and with Casey constantly improving, there looks to be an edge here for Casey. This looks like a good opportunity to fade Aguilar and take Casey at a cheap price.
10. Rashad Coulter ($7,900)
Coulter makes his debut on the preliminary card against Chase Sherman. Coulter’s won his last five fights in a row, all by knockout, while Sherman has lost two-straight fights including a KO loss to Walt Harris his last time out. Since this is a heavyweight fight, I suspect someone is getting knocked out in this one, and my prediction is Coulter is going to knock out Sherman. The problem is it’s his UFC debut, he took the fight on short notice, and at 35 he’s older than Sherman by eight years. You can’t be fully confident in him for those reasons, but if you’re in need of a contrarian pick with finishing potential to fill out your team, Coulter’s your man.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is MMAdamMartin) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.