UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier goes down this Saturday from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. With our early betting tips released, it’s time to switch gears and look at fantasy. As a part of our new partnership with Draft Kings, we will be providing fantasy break downs for every UFC event! If you sign up using our exclusive link you will receive a 100% match bonus on your first deposit as well as a free $2 entry to the $25k UFC 182 tourney which currently only has 5636 competitors. What that means is that just over $11,000 will be provided by the players while an additional $14,000 will be contributed to the prize pool by Draft Kings. If you have been considering playing fantasy MMA, now is the time to get in!
One major difference between Draft Kings and the other major MMA fantasy site is that the salaries on Draft Kings make it very hard to build a stacked team. On the other site, you could generally pick 5 guys who stood a pretty good chance of winning and still fit under the salary cap. On Draft Kings, you may even pick guys you expect to lose, but who will score a lot of points in losing to be able to fit under the salary cap.
If you’re not familiar with MMA fantasy, basically the way it works is you try to pick 5 guys to fit under a “salary cap.” On Draft Kings this amounts to $50,000 with most favourites costing more than $10,000 and most underdogs costing less than $10,000. You score more points the earlier your pick wins. You also score points for strikes, takedowns, advancing position, etc. The end goal is to score more points with your team than your opponents so you win money.
Without further adue, here are our top 5 fantasy team members for UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier:
1. Nate Marquardt
Marquardt will face off with Brad Tavares in the middle of the main card and he has a modest salary of $10,500. Firstly, we believe Marquardt will win this fight the vast majority of the time. Ideally, for our fantasy teams, he will take the fight via first round submission. Obviously, there is a decent chance he wins by decision against Tavares who has proven to be difficult to finish in the past. We don’t really see this fight going to the ground so the worst case scenario for Marquardt would be to lose a decision where we expect he’ll be able to rack up 30 or so points from striking anyway.
2. Myles Jury
As we stated in the intro, the salary restrictions on Draft Kings are much more difficult to meet than on the other fantasy MMA site. That being the case, we are left with no choice, but to pick some guys who have relatively low salaries. This is why Myles Jury is our second best fantasy team member for UFC 182. His salary is a very affordable $8,800. In addition, we think he stands a decent chance of upsetting his opponent Donald Cerrone. We wouldn’t go as far as to favour Jury, but this could easily be a 60/40 match-up in favour of Cerrone. We don’t really see Cerrone finishing Jury so the worst case we see here is Jury losing a decision and still picking up 30-40 points for your team.
3. Hector Lombard
We fully expect Hector Lombard to beat Josh Burkman in devastating fashion. It will most likely either be by TKO or dominant decision. We don’t see many scenarios in which Lombard earns less than 100 points on Saturday in Vegas. The issue is his salary. At $12,100, having Lombard on your team will not leave much room for other team members.
4. Kyoji Horiguchi
Like Lombard, we expect Kyoji Horiguchi to defeat his opponent, Louis Gaudinot with relative ease. He only falls below Lombard due to the fact that he is in a lighter weight class and we feel the likelihood of a finish is lower. His salary is right up there with Lombard at $12,000 so you likely won’t be able to have both these guys we expect to dominate on one team.
5. Shawn Jordan
There’s less certainty to this pick than Lombard and Horiguchi, but should Shawn Jordan wina against Jared Cannonier, it’s almost a guarantee that it will be via TKO. The main problem here is that if he happens to lose, it will also be by TKO and he will earn very few points for your team. He also costs $11,000 so it would be a big let down if he doesn’t earn any points.
Remember to sign up for Draft Kings so you can make watching MMA even that much more exciting than it already is! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest! In addition, give our early betting tips a read to see where we’ll be laying our money on Saturday!