We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Vegas 58 in Las Vegas. We have a fun 12-fight slate on DraftKings and although this card is lacking in star power, there are multiple spots that we can take advantage of this week. It also helps that on DraftKings we have another $100,000 to first place in the main contest.

As always, I give my analysis and DraftKings strategy based on how I see each fight matchup playing out. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter  with any questions that you have leading up until fight night Saturday.

Ronnie Lawrence vs Saidyokub Kakhromonav
Lawrence, -130; Kakhromonov, +115

Ronnie Lawrence is coming off a decision victory over Leomana Martinez his last time out in February at UFC 271. He is an 8-1 prospect and currently on a five-fight win streak. Lawrence is one of my favorite fighters as he fought on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020 and keeps up an insane work rate in all his fights. He is most known for his aggressive chain wrestling and nonstop motor similar to Merab Dvalishvili.

His opponent, Saidyokub Kakhromonav is coming off a third-round submission victory over Trevin Jones in his UFC debut last August. Kakhromonav is a dangerous finisher with seven of his nine wins coming inside the distance. He is an explosive athlete but not a great minute winner as he is low volume on the feet and relies heavily on big moments. He has shown some good takedown defense though and is difficult to hold down and control so we can expect Lawrence to have to work repeatedly nonstop for his takedowns.

On the feet, Lawrence is going to dance around the outside and use his karate style striking before timing his takedowns. The only real concern with backing Lawrence here is that he gets wreckless at times and will eat some clean shots. At some point, he will get his lights turned off, but he is clearly the better round winner in this matchup and has one of the highest ceilings on DraftKings. Lawrence by decision is the official pick.

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Karl Roberson
Nzechukwu, -110; Roberson, -110

Kennedy Nzechukwu is coming off a split-decision loss to Nicolae Negumereanu his last time out in March and is currently on a two-fight losing streak. Nzechukwu is a massive fighter for this division and very long with an 83-inch reach and will hold a nine-inch reach advantage in this matchup. He is not great at using his length and size but it still worth noting the size difference he imposes. My biggest issue with Nzechukwu is that he lets his opponents dictate the fight way too often.

His opponent, Karl Roberson is coming off an absolute beatdown at the hands of Khalil Rountree Jr. in March where he lost by second-round knockout. Roberson is now on a three-fight losing streak and has been finished in all five of his professional losses. Despite some solid kickboxing and athleticism, Roberson is entirely untrustworthy displaying poor fight IQ in every fight along with putting very little volume out there in general.

I do not rate either fighter very highly but feel like you have to favor Nzechukwu for the massive size difference and willingness to put more output on Roberson. This fight has a wide range of outcomes and I do not feel confident on either side but Nzechukwu by knockout is the official pick, and I will have some exposure to both sides. I doubt either fighter is going to be a core play for me on DraftKings.

David Onama vs Garrett Armfield

David Onama was originally scheduled to fight Austin Lingo but he pulled out and will be replaced by Garrett Armfield who is stepping in on short notice to make his UFC debut. Onama is coming off an impressive first-round knockout victory over Gabriel Benitez in February. Onama trains out of Glory MMA with James Krause and seems to be an exciting prospect with real power in his hands with six of his nine wins coming by knockout. His only career loss came in his UFC debut against Mason Jones where he showed a good account of himself.

Armfield, on the other hand, is being fed to Onama this weekend simply to keep him on the card. Armfield is a Bantamweight moving up to take this fight on just a few days’ notice. He seems to have some finishing ability on the regional scene but most of those came against fighters with less than .500 records and I doubt he makes much noise against Onama. Onama by knockout is the official pick and he is a strong play on DraftKings.

Tresean Gore vs Cody Brundage
Gore, -130; Brundage, +110

Tresean Gore is coming off his UFC debut against fellow TUF competitor and winner, Bryan Battle. Gore lost a 29-28 decision to Battle solely due to lack of output. When Gore landed, it was clear he was the more impactful striker, but Battle was just more aggressive and able to outwork him mainly due to volume. Gore is a powerful striker with fast hands but relies too much on looking for the big knockout punch and his low output makes him too reliant on those big moments or finishes.

His opponent in this matchup is Cody Brundage who is coming off his first UFC victory against Dalcha Lungiambula with a first-round submission in March. Brundage comes from a collegiate wrestling background and is sure to put the strong takedown defense of Gore to the test in this fight. Gore is going to have a clear striking advantage while the fight plays out on the feet. But if a finish does not materialize for Gore, then Brundage is a very live underdog that will likely be more aggressive and willing to get this fight to the mat.

It is not going to be fun rooting to avoid the power of Gore, but I am siding with Brundage in this fight as he is the better wrestler and submission grappler and I trust him to be more aggressive in getting the fight where he needs it. If he avoids a knockout, then he gets his hand raised. Brundage by decision is the official pick.

Antonina Shevchenko vs Cortney Casey
Shevchenko, -170; Casey, +145

Antonina Shevchenko is coming off a second-round KO loss to Casey O’Neil last October and has now lost three of her last four fights. She comes from a high-level kickboxing background and that is clearly where she fights best as she gets dominated on the mat by above average grapplers.

Her opponent, Cortney Casey is fresh off a decision victory over Liana Jojua in November which snapped a two-fight losing streak. Casey is a decent boxer that will throw in volume but get hits too much to make you feel comfortable in striking exchanges. She is also a black belt in BJJ with four submission victories but has only landed three takedowns across 14 UFC fights so you cannot trust her to get in dominant positions on the mat.

I favor Shevchenko’s kickboxing significantly and expect this fight to play out primarily on the feet. I would not be shocked if Shevchenko landed a couple takedowns as Casey will give them up and is fairly easy to neutralize on the mat. She will just need to watch out for her armbar as Casey is a capable submission artist off her back. Outside of that, Shevchenko should be the better round winner here and keep the fight where she needs it. Shevchenko by decision is the official pick but there are better fights to target this week on DraftKings.

Ricky Turcios vs Aimann Zahabi
Turcios, -190; Zahabi, +160

Ricky Turcios is coming off a split-decision victory in the TUF finale with a win over Brady Hiestand in August. Turcios is a wild man inside the octagon as he will throw in high volume and keeps that pace for an entire 15 minutes if needed. He is not the highest fight IQ style of fighter, but his output alone makes him a tough opponent for many fighters along with his willingness to be unpredictable in his striking attacks.

His opponent, Aimann Zahabi is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Drako Rodriguez in February of last year. Zahabi is a much different style of fighter than Turcios as he does not put much volume out there at all but carries significant knockout power when he does connect clean. Five of his eight wins have come by knockout and that is always possible if he can find the killshot.

Turcios is wreckless enough to get himself clipped here but outside of that; he is going to win rounds based on output alone as Zahabi simply does not do enough to win minutes. I will have some exposure to both sides on DraftKings, but the official pick is Turcios by decision. I will look to bet Zahabi in finish only markets if the number is good.

Cynthia Calvillo vs Nina Nunes
Calvillo, -155; Nunes, +135

Cynthia Calvillo is coming off a second-round knockout loss to Andrea Lee in November. She is currently on a three-fight losing streak but has faced some stiff competition as of late. Calvillo is primarily a boxer that will look to mix in some takedowns if she has the strength to get the fight to the ground. The problem in her last few fights is that she had no shot at landing takedowns and controlling her opponents and was losing most of those striking exchanges as well.

Her opponent in this matchup is Nina Nunes who is coming off a first-round submission loss to Mackenzie Dern in April of last year. Nunes turns 37 years old later this year and is on a two-fight losing streak while taking some time off due to pregnancy, so the red flags are certainly there. However, this fight basically comes down to if Calvillo can land takedowns as I expect the striking to be competitive on both sides.

If Calvillo is able to implement her grappling at all then I would feel comfortable backing her, but she has shown little ability to do that lately and it is not even like she has been aggressive in making that part of her gameplan either. Nunes has too many red flags to trust but if this fight becomes a kickboxing match, then she is very capable of winning a decision based on volume and power. Nunes by decision is the official pick but this fight is an easy pass on DraftKings.

Jamie Mullarkey vs Michael Johnson
Mullarkey, -240; Johnson, +200

Jamie Mullarkey is coming off a second-round knockout loss to Jalin Turner in March. Mullarkey is a gritty fighter that is willing to move forward aggressively and throw in volume along with mixing in the takedowns. He averages just under 3.5 takedowns per 15 minutes and his high output and motor gives him some solid tools to work with. The only real concern is that he is very hittable and has been knocked out three times in his career along with being in some wars, so the durability is a legitimate concern.

His opponent, Michael Johnson is coming off a second-round knockout victory over Alan Patrick in May and will look to turn around quickly for this fight against Mullarkey. Johnson is a much more experienced fighter and should have the striking advantage with his technical boxing. I expect him to land his jab repeatedly while the fight plays out at range, but he will need to avoid the grappling as he has been submitted nine times in his career.

Johnson is historically untrustworthy but seeing him as this big of an underdog against Mullarkey seems wrong to me. I have some interest in both sides on DraftKings as Mullarkey is never in boring fights so the winner should score well. Mullarkey by knockout is the official pick.

Jared Vanderaa vs Chase Sherman
Vanderaa, -195; Sherman, +165

Jared Vanderaa is coming off a first-round submission loss to Alexey Oleinik his last time out in April. He looked as if he was going to get the stoppage victory himself before being submitted. He is currently on a three-fight losing streak but gets a favorable matchup here against Chase Sherman in what should be a sloppy yet exciting fight.

Sherman is coming off a first-round submission loss to Alexander Romanov in April in his return to the UFC. Sherman has always been a knockout or bust style of fighter with 14 of his 15 career wins coming by knockout. His durability and cardio have always been issues throughout his career and he has been finished in six of his 10 professional losses.

As with most heavyweight fights, either guy has the power to knock the other out so this is a high variance matchup. However, I side with Vanderaa as he should be able to zombie his way through a couple big shots of Sherman before taking over. Vanderaa by knockout is the official pick but I will have some exposure to both sides on DraftKings.

Said Nurmagomedov vs Douglas Silva de Andrade
Nurmagomedov, -275; Andrade, +230

Said Nurmagomedov just had a highlight reel finish over Cody Stamann when he submitted him inside the first round in January. Nurmagomedov is a flashy kickboxer with finishing ability on the feet and on the mat. He is technically sound but will throw many spinning attacks which have their pros and cons.

His opponent, Douglas Silva de Andrade is coming off an exciting comeback victory over Sergey Morozov in February. Andrade is a powerful striker in his own right with 20 of his 28 wins coming by knockout. He does not throw a ton of volume but makes his strikes count with some nasty kicks and clear power in his hands.

I am expecting this fight to be a war with both guys having success on the feet. Both fighters are capable submission grapplers as well, but I have to side with the younger more well-rounded fighter at this stage in his career in Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov by knockout is the official pick.

Caio Borralho vs Armen Petrosyan
Borralho, -210; Petrosyan, +180

Caio Borralho is one of the most exciting prospects recently coming off Dana White’s Contender Series last season. He won his UFC debut against Gadzhi Omargadzhiev in April and looked very impressive throughout. Borralho is a technical kickboxer with powerful kicks and a high fight IQ to go along with his striking skills. Additionally, he is a very good grappler and holds a black belt in BJJ so is capable of winning minutes wherever the fight goes.

His opponent, Armen Petrosyan is coming off a win in his UFC debut as well. He won a split-decision over Gregory Rodrigues in February. Petrosyan comes from a high-level striking background and has legitimate knockout power with six of his seven career wins coming by knockout. Historically, he is not very difficult to take down, but it is very hard to control him and hold him down for extended periods. He will repeatedly work back to his feet and has above average cardio to win the striking exchanges after his opponents tire themselves out trying to grapple him.

I was high on Petrosyan’s skillset on Dana White’s Contender Series last season and still am in general. But this matchup is very difficult as it is not just the grappling that Petrosyan will need to worry about with Borralho as he is a very good striker as well. Both fighters could have some success on the feet, but Borralho is likely to use his footwork and stay on the outside before implementing his grappling where he will have all the upside. Borralho by decision is the official pick.

Rafael Fiziev vs Rafael Dos Anjos
Fiziev, -200; Dos Anjos, +170

Rafael Fiziev is coming off an impressive third-round knockout victory over Brad Riddell in December. He has now rattled off five straight UFC wins since dropping his debut back in 2019. It is no secret that Fiziev is one of the most electric strikers in the division with nasty leg kicks and legitimate knockout power. Seven of his 11 career victories have come by knockout, but this is clearly his toughest competition to date in Rafael Dos Anjos.

Dos Anjos is coming off a main event victory over Renato Moicano in March. He beat Moicano to a pulp in a statement victory that let us all know he still has some juice in the tank, even at nearly 38 years old. I am always nervous to back the aging veteran in this style of matchups, but it seems clear to me that Dos Anjos is being undervalued in terms of the betting market and on DraftKings. He has fought the much better level of competition, will have all the grappling upside if he can get the fight to the mat and will have a significant edge in cardio if we reach the championship rounds.

Fiziev is very live to win by knockout within the first two rounds but outside of that I think we see Dos Anjos start to take over. Fiziev throws more volume but clearly slows down and waste a lot of energy on big movement kicks and spins. Dos Anjos can lean on his technical boxing down the stretch and mix in the grappling once Fiziev is too tired to defend the takedowns as well as he will in the beginning of the fight. The official pick is Fiziev by knockout, but I am treating Dos Anjos as a live underdog as he should be the favorite outside of the first seven minutes if he is still conscious. My favorite bet on this fight would be the under 4.5 at any plus money.