This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.
The UFC kicks off a two-event weekend Friday with the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 28. Those looking to get adventurous can play in the $5 survivor series on DraftKings, where users can put together a lineup Friday with a chance to earn a free ticket to Saturday's contest for UFC Adelaide. Otherwise, the $8 MMA Hook is offering up a $25,000 prize pool for Friday's card.
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.)
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
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 - WelterweightRafael dos Anjos (28-10-0) v. Kamaru Usman (13-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Dos Anjos ($7,200), Usman ($9,000)
Vegas Odds: Dos Anjos (+225), Usman (-245)
Odds to Finish: +175
This is an exceptional fight. In fact, it's about as good of a fight as you can book without a title being up for grabs. Considering how terrific both RDA and Usman are, I would be shocked if the winner of this one doesn't receive a title opportunity in short order.
Dos Anjos got a shot at the interim UFC Welterweight Championship in June and was thoroughly dominated by Colby Covington. Dos Anjos, who is big and strong, had no answer for the upper-body strength or wrestling game of Covington. RDA wasn't particularly big for the lightweight division and he's seriously undersized for welterweight. He's giving up four inches and height and six inches in reach to Usman. Dos Anjos is talented enough in all areas of the sport to make up the difference, but his lack of size is going to be an issue when he faces elite competition, and Usman certainly qualifies as that.
"The Nigerian Nightmare" (another great nickname) dropped the second fight of his professional career in May 2013 and hasn't lost since. He's a perfect 8-0 in the UFC and while he's faced a handful of decent opponents (Demian Maia, Warrley Alves, Leon Edwards), he has never gone up against someone half as good as dos Anjos. Offensively, Usman is the complete package. He's big, strong, fast, and a good wrestler. My only knock on him is that he's had trouble finishing fights, as six of Usman's eight wins with the company have come via decision. Granted, he's winning those decisions easily. His upside is massive and he's old enough (31) that there is no reason for the UFC not to push him quickly.
While betting against RDA is always a risky proposition, Usman has looked virtually unstoppable since arriving on the scene and I'm a true believer in his ability. I think he ultimately prevails via a close decision. That being said, dos Anjos is a DraftKings value play. It's rare to find a fighter of RDA's pedigree at such a cheap price.
THE PICK: Usman
BantamweightPedro Munhoz (16-3-0, 1NC) v. Bryan Caraway (21-9-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Munhoz ($8,800), Caraway ($7,400)
Vegas Odds: Munhoz (-215), Caraway (+195)
Odds to Finish: +175
One of the most underrated fighters on the UFC roster, Munhoz has posted a 5-2 record in his last seven fights dating back to November 2015, and both of his losses were via split decision against tough opponents (John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera). Munhoz is tough, physical, and durable. He has eight career wins via submission and possesses underrated power, despite the fact he has just two career wins via knockout. Munhoz has missed weight in the past and he has a PED suspension on his docket, but he's a solid all-around fighter.
A pro since September 2005, the 34-year-old Caraway finds himself in a must-win situation on Friday. Caraway has been plagued by injuries recently and he has fought just four times (2-2) since October 2014. Caraway is a legitimate threat on the mat (16 career wins via submission) but he's a below-average athlete with little power. Given his durability issues and how little he's fought recently, I have a difficult time believing that Caraway can make another run at the top-10 in a stacked bantamweight division.
I have concerns about Munhoz's striking defense (he absorbs a stunning 5.34 significant strikes per minute), but I don't think Caraway has the requisite skill set to take advantage of that flaw. Caraway is the slightly bigger man and he will have to use that to his advantage, as Munhoz is the younger, better all-around fighter. It's always a good idea to bet on talent in this sport and that edge goes to Munhoz.
THE PICK: Munhoz
Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa (8-1-0) vs. Justin Frazier (10-2-0)
DK Salaries: Espino Dieppa ($8,500), Frazier ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Espino Dieppa (-155), Frazier (+135)
Odds to Finish: -365
The Pick: Espino
Pannie Kianzad (10-3-0) vs. Macy Chiasson (2-0-0)
DK Salaries: Kianzad ($8,600), Chiasson ($7,600)
Vegas Odds: Kianzad (-140), Chiasson (+110)
Odds to Finish: +175
The Pick: Chiasson
Darren Stewart (9-3-0, 1NC) v. Edmen Shahbazyan (6-0-0)
DK Salaries: Stewart ($7,900), Shahbazyan ($8,300)
Vegas Odds: Stewart (+105), Shahbazyan (-115)
Odds to Finish: -450
The Pick: Shahbazyan
Ji Yeon Kim (7-1-2) v. Antonina Shevchenko (6-0-0)
DK Salaries: Kim ($6,900), Shevchenko ($9,300)
Vegas Odds: Kim (+260), Shevchenko (-290)
Odds to Finish: +260
The Pick: Shevchenko
Rick Glenn (21-5-1) v. Kevin Aguilar (15-1-0)
DK Salaries: Glenn ($7,800), Aguilar ($8,400)
Vegas Odds: Glenn (-105), Aguilar (-115)
Odds to Finish: +185
The Pick: Glenn
Joseph Benavidez (25-5-0) v. Alex Perez (21-4-0)
DK Salaries: Benavidez ($8,000), Perez ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Benavidez (+110), Perez (-130)
Odds to Finish: +145
The Pick: Benavidez
Michel Batista (4-0-0) vs. Maurice Greene (5-2-0)
DK Salaries: Batista ($7,500), Greene ($8,700)
Vegas Odds: Batista (+170), Greene (-215)
Odds to Finish: -280
The Pick: Greene
Leah Letson (4-1-0) vs. Julija Storialenko (4-2-2)
DK Salaries: Letson ($8,900), Storialenko ($7,300)
Vegas Odds: Letson (-205), Storialenko (+165)
Odds to Finish: -105
The Pick: Letson
Roosevelt Roberts (6-0-0) v. Darrell Horcher (13-3-0)
DK Salaries: Roberts ($9,200), Horcher ($7,000)
Vegas Odds: Roberts (-300), Horcher (+270)
Odds to Finish: -135
The Pick: Roberts
Tim Means (27-10-1, 1NC) v. Ricky Rainey (13-5-0)
DK Salaries: Means ($9,400), Rainey ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Means (-355), Rainey (+320)
Odds to Finish: -105
The Pick: Means
Raoni Barcelos (12-1-0) v. Chris Gutierrez (12-3-0)
DK Salaries: Barcelos ($9,500), Gutierrez ($6,700)
Vegas Odds: Barcelos (-450), Gutierrez (+400)
Odds to Finish: -175
The Pick: Barcelos