DraftKings MMA: UFC Belem Preview
DraftKings MMA: UFC Belem Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

A UFC legend gets another chance to go out on top Saturday in Brazil.

If you're hoping to turn the event into an opportunity to build your DFS bankroll, DraftKings.com has you covered with a full slate of contests. Players get a $50,000 budget to select six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

(Please note that DraftKings altered their scoring system in December 2016 to add a new fighter to the lineup and adjust scoring. The most recent point values are listed below.)

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +3 PT
Takedown (TD): +5 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +10 PTS

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 PTS

Scoring Notes
Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.

Advances include: To Half Guard, To Side Control, To Mount, To Back Control

Now, on to the fights...

Main Event - Middleweight

Lyoto Machida (22-8-0) v. Eryk Anders (10-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Machida ($7,300), Anders ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Machida (+240), Anders (-280)
Odds to Finish: -400

Ask and you shall receive. After taking an easy unanimous decision from and overmatched Markus Perez in early December, Anders asked for a fight with Machida and now he has it in a main event spot less than two months later. Anders, who was a NCAA football champion at the University of Alabama, is obviously an exceptional athlete. He has freakish quickness and his power plays up because of how fast he gets on top of his opponents. He has relatively little professional experience and has never faced anyone remotely close to Machida's level, but his athletic skills are undeniable.

Machida, a loser of three fights in a row, might be forced to step aside if he comes up short once again on Saturday. Being stopped by Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, and Derek Brunson is one thing, but struggling against an unknown Anders would be something else entirely. Machida will turn 40 years old in May and it's clear his time is coming to an end. A fighter such as "The Dragon," who has relied on his striking throughout the course of his career, tends to be the type that struggles the most as age sets in. Hopefully he knows when it's time to walk away.

Unless he is able to craft the ultimate game plan that keeps Anders off balance and confused for the course of the fight, I think Lyoto is in trouble. I don't see how he can handle the explosiveness of Anders in a bout that is scheduled for 25 minutes. It may take a round or two for Anders to find his range, but I expect it to be smooth sailing from there. This is a worse-case matchup for Machida as his career draws to an end. Any bet on Machida as an underdog would simply be hoping his experience allows him to gain an unexpected edge on Anders. It's not impossible, but it's unlikely.

THE PICK: Anders

Co-Main Event - Bantamweight

John Dodson (20-9-0) v. Pedro Munhoz (15-2-0, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Dodson ($8,500), Munhoz ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Dodson (-150), Munhoz (+130)
Odds to Finish: +140

This is a terrific bout that is getting little recognition as fight night approaches. Dodson has alternated wins and losses in his last six fights, the most recent being a split decision setback to Marlon Moraes in November. Dodson has been fighting the best fighters in the world for seven-plus years and is starting to find his range at 135 pounds after spending a good portion of his career at flyweight. Dodson is as quick as any fighter in the company not named Demetrious Johnson, and he has the power to be a factor in the higher weight class. His constant movement and ability to pressure the opposition is a major asset for a fighter that is going to find himself as the smaller combatant most nights.

Munhoz is riding a four-fight winning streak, three of which earned him Performance of the Night bonuses for slick submissions. One of the more underrated fighters on the entire roster, Munhoz has suffered just two setbacks in his entire career and they both came against elite competition in Jimmie Rivera and Raphael Assuncao. Munhoz is a mat wrestler that displays decent striking skills but struggles with his striking defense. I would be shocked if he didn't attempt to get this thing to the mat ASAP. The slightly-bigger "Young Punisher" is going to have the advantage in a grappling battle.

The breakdown of this fight is straightforward – Dodson has an advantage if it's a kickboxing match and the edge goes to Munhoz on the mat. The man that can control where the bout takes place is your likely winner. Dodson's experience gives him quite the advantage, but Munhoz is a legitimate threat in there.

THE PICK: Dodson

Women's Bantamweight

Valentina Shevchenko (14-3-0) v. Priscila Cachoeira (8-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Shevchenko ($9,600), Cachoeira ($6,600)
Vegas Odds: Shevchenko (-800), Cachoeira (+550)
Odds to Finish: -175

This is a fight that for the life of me I don't understand. Shevchenko, one of the more marketable and well known women in the company, is coming off a split decision loss to UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes in September. Personally I don't think the fight wasn't as close as the "split decision" term would lead you to believe, but Shevchenko fought pretty well and certainly didn't embarrass herself in the process. Nunes is a beast and Valentina more than held her own. Her "reward" is being placed in a no-win situation against a fighter making her company debut.

Cachoeira has all of eight career fights under her belt and I openly admit that I have never heard of a single opponent that she has ever faced. I would love to give you some sort of scientific explanation in regards to how she is going to pull the upset here, but I have nothing.

As the UFC runs more events and adds more weight classes you get these type of fights now and then. From a DraftKings perspective I always advocate staying away from the newcomer and generally the favorite as well if at all possible. It's very risk to rely on any type of outcome regarding a competitor that we know nothing about. Take Shevchenko and count on an early stoppage if you must, but I'd be much more comfortable with a balanced approach in this card.

THE PICK: Shevchenko

Middleweight

Thiago Santos (16-5-0) v. Anthony Smith (28-12-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Santos ($9,200), Smith ($7,000)
Vegas Odds: Santos (-270), Smith (+230)
Odds to Finish: -570

In the midst of arguably the best run of his long UFC career, Santos has won three straight fights via knockout. Of course, this current streak came on the heels of a two-fight losing streak in which the Brazilian was unable to make it out of the first round. Santos' ability to finish a fight out of nowhere always make him an highly intriguing DraftKings play. He has been left for dead on multiple instances before shocking his opposition with a highlight reel knockout. It's a tough way to make a living because it leads to peaks and valleys are far as his record goes, but there is no doubt Santos is a legitimate threat in there.

The reemergence of Smith has been one of the more underrated stories of MMA over the past two years. He left the company for three years before returning in Feb. 2016. Smith has posted a 4-1 record since he's been back, including a current 3-fight winning streak that have all come via knockout. Smith finished Hector Lombard his last time out in September. He is somewhat limited athletically but has as much heart as any fighter in the sport, he has plenty of experience and he isn't going to beat himself. If you let him hang around, he'll make you pay.

My guess is that Smith makes this a competitive fight, but he is a guy that always tends to get hit a lot and Santos, more so than most, needs just one shot to put an opponent out. Any Smith victory will likely be of the slow, grinding variety. It's a big ask on the road in hostile territory, although Smith's toughness makes him an intriguing value play.

THE PICK: Santos

Other Bouts

Lightweight

Michel Prazeres (22-2-0) v. Des Green (20-5-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Prazeres ($8,600), Green ($7,600)
Vegas Odds: Prazeres (-145), Green (+125)
Odds to Finish: +145
THE PICK: Prazeres

Heavyweight

Timothy Johnson (11-4-0) v. Marcelo Golm (6-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Johnson ($7,500), Golm ($8,700)
Vegas Odds: Johnson (+150), Golm (-170)
Odds to Finish: -260
THE PICK: Golm

Welterweight

Sergio Moraes (12-4-1) v. Tim Means (27-9-1, 1NC)
DraftKings Salaries: Moraes ($7,400), Means ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Moraes (+170), Means (-200)
Odds to Finish: -130
THE PICK: Means

Lightweight

Alan Patrick (14-1-0) v. Damir Hadzovic (11-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Patrick ($9,000), Hadzovic ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: Patrick (-230), Hadzovic (+190)
Odds to Finish: +130
THE PICK: Patrick

Bantamweight

Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-2-0, 1NC) v. Marlon Vera (10-4-1)
DraftKings Salaries: Silva de Andrade ($7,900), Vera ($8,300)
Vegas Odds: Silva de Andrade (+115), Vera (-135)
Odds to Finish: -110
THE PICK: Silva de Andrade

Bantamweight

Iuri Alcantara (34-9-0, 1NC) v. Joe Soto (18-6-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Alcantara ($8,000), Soto ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Alcantara (+100), Soto (-120)
Odds to Finish: -120
THE PICK: Alcantara

Flyweight

Deiveson Figueiredo (13-0-0) v. Joseph Morales (9-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Figueiredo ($8,400), Morales ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Figueiredo (-145), Morales (+125)
Odds to Finish: +100
THE PICK: Figueiredo

Women's Strawweight

Maia Stevenson (6-4-0) v. Polyana Viana (9-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Stevenson ($7,100), Viana ($9,100)
Vegas Odds: Stevenson (+310), Viana (-370)
Odds to Finish: -130
THE PICK: Viana

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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