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We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Vegas 62 in Las Vegas! We have a fun 11-fight slate on DraftKings which is not quite as big as we like but there are still some really fun fights to target. 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.

Carlos Mota vs Cody Durden
Mota, -175; Durden, +150

Carlos Mota is making his UFC debut on short notice. He is the former LFA Flyweight champion and is replacing Kleydson Rodrigues who pulled out of this fight. Mota is an explosive striker that carries real power for the flyweight division as four of his eight career wins have come by knockout. Additionally, he holds a black belt in BJJ and should be able to hang in the grappling realm.

His opponent, Cody Durden is coming off a first-round knockout win over JP Buys in June. Durden is a scrappy fighter with a little power himself, but he typically relies on his ground game. He averages 4.24 takedowns per 15 minutes and has shown some solid wrestling in previous fights. However, he always slows down and gassing out has been a regular issue for him when pushed to round three.

I expect this fight to be nonstop action from the jump and I favor the power of Mota in the striking exchanges. He works the body very well and that is going to add up quickly against someone with below average cardio like Durden. I will be looking to target an under in this fight as well depending on what price we get. Mota by knockout is the official pick and this is a great fight to target on DraftKings.

Christian Rodriguez vs Joshua Weems
Rodriguez, -310; Weems, +260

Christian Rodriguez is a former Dana White’s Contender Series winner as he beat Junior Cortes to a decision in 2021. However, he did not win a contract and later made his UFC debut against Jonathan Pearce in February of this year and lost a decision but gave a good account of himself against a tough opponent. He seems to have some pop in his punches and a well-rounded ground game as well.

His opponent, Joshua Weems is making his UFC debut on short notice. Weems also fought on Contender Series in 2021 and got knocked out by Fernie Garcia which was his only loss over his last 11 fights. Weems is an opportunistic submission grappler with eight of his 11 wins coming by submission. He has some nice leg kicks as well but is very reckless on the feet and has been knocked out in both of his professional losses.

This is a fight that clearly points to an under for me as I am expecting a finish in this one. Rodriguez should have the power and cardio advantage. But Weems is similar to a Jordan Wright, so he is always capable of finding a finish early in the fight but then wilts after a few minutes. That is why I like the under in this fight and will be targeting both sides on DraftKings. Rodriguez by TKO is the official pick.

Chase Hooper vs Steve Garcia
Hooper, -255; Garcia, +215

Chase Hooper is coming off a career best performance with a TKO finish over Felipe Colares in May. Despite the improvements in his striking, Hooper is still very hittable on the feet and powerful punchers could make him pay at some point. But he has proven to be durable and have a dangerous ground game with opportunistic submission grappling and heavy ground and pound.

His opponent, Steve Garcia is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Maheshate in June. Garcia is primarily a striker and does carry some power with nine of his 12 career wins coming by knockout. He has also looked to mix in takedowns in the past as he averages just under two takedowns per 15 minutes although I doubt that will be the game plan here.

I expect Garcia to have the striking advantage and even land some big punches on Hooper. But I do expect Hooper to get this fight where he needs it on the mat where he should have a clear advantage. Hooper is always risky as a big favorite because of his limited paths to victory but I do expect him to look levels above on the ground here. Hooper by submission is the official pick.

Jun Yong Park vs Joseph Holmes
Park, -240; Holmes, +200

Jun Yong Park is coming off a split-decision win over Eryk Anders in May. Park is a high-volume striker that will push a pace and has good cardio to keep it up for 15 minutes. He will also mix in takedowns as he averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes and his high output nature mixed with his wrestling makes him a tough opponent to deal with.

His opponent, Joseph Holmes is a former Dana White’s Contender Series winner and is coming off a first-round submission win over Alen Amedovski in May. Holmes is very long for the division and will be working with a seven-inch reach advantage. He is primarily a finisher with all eight of his career wins coming inside the distance. Despite having six submission victories, I do not rate his grappling very highly and he only defends takedown at 60% in the UFC. He also has yet to figure out how to use his length to his advantage and until he does so, I do not think very much of his skillset.

I expect both fighters to have some success at times in the striking exchanges. But the key difference for me in this matchup is cardio and wrestling, both of which favor Park significantly. I expect Park to mix in the takedowns and keep up the pace on Holmes for 15 minutes who has notoriously slowed down when pushed outside of the first round. Park by decision is the official pick.

Marcos Rogerio De Lima vs Andrei Arlovski
De Lima, -225; Arlovski, +190

Marcos Rogerio De Lima is coming off a decision loss to Blagoy Ivanov in May at UFC 274. He is an explosive fighter early and has clear finishing potential with 16 of his 19 career wins coming inside the distance. However, he is notorious for slowing down after round one and unless he can lay and pray, he does not have much win equity in a decision.

His opponent, Andrei Arlovski is coming off a split-decision over Jake Collier in April. I thought it was clear that Collier won the fight as did most people, but Arlovski has a way with the judges. He does not have much finishing potential, but he should have a clear cardio advantage and will look to stay on the outside and use his strong jab to outpoint De Lima across 15 minutes.

De Lima has nearly all of the finishing potential in this fight as Arlovski’s upside is a close striking-based decision which does not correlate well to DraftKings scoring even at his cheap price tag. For that reason, I will not have much exposure to this fight outside of some shares of De Lima. De Lima by knockout is the official pick but Arlovski always live to weasel it if it hits the scorecards so keep that in mind.

Phil Hawes vs Roman Dolidze
Hawes, -170; Dolidze, +145

Phil Hawes is coming off a second-round TKO win over Deron Winn in June. At 4-1 in the UFC, the skillset has certainly developed since his win on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2020. He comes from a collegiate wrestling background and clearly has dynamite power in his hands with eight of his 12 wins coming by knockout. He has also proved the doubters wrong with his cardio recently which leaves his durability being the only true remaining weakness as he has been finished in all three of his professional losses.

His opponent, Roman Dolidze is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Kyle Daukaus in June. Dolidze carries some power as well but is mostly with his heavy leg kicks and powerful knees. Eight of his 10 career wins have come inside the distance, and you can expect him to look for his signature heel hook if presented with an opportunity. The last thing I’ll say about Dolidze is that he is front loaded and always fades when the fight gets extended which is a massive concern against the powerful Hawes.

I expect Hawes to have Dolidze covered in all areas. Outside of Dolidze clipping him in round one or snatching up a heel hook, I do not see much of a path to victory for him. Hawes by knockout is the official pick and he is a strong target on DraftKings.

Dustin Jacoby vs Khalil Rountree
Jacoby, -170; Rountree, +145

Dustin Jacoby is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Da Un Jung in July. He is 6-0-1 in the UFC with the draw coming against Ion Cutelaba. At this point, you know what to expect from him as his approach is one-dimensional yet highly effective. He is a high-volume striker with a kickboxing background and has good enough cardio to keep his pace up for the entire 15 minutes if needed.

His opponent, Khalil Rountree is coming off a career-best performance with a second-round knockout win over Karl Roberson in March. He is currently on a two-fight win streak and will look to keep the momentum going against a fellow striker in Jacoby. Rountree is primarily a kickboxer himself but does not typically match the volume of Jacoby although he carries more power.

I expect this to be a competitive fight where the rounds are close, and it could come down to volume versus power. I side with Jacoby as the more proven kickboxer, and he should be able to stay defensively sound for the most part. Jacoby by decision is the official pick but there are better fighters to target on DraftKings.

Josh Fremd vs Tresean Gore
Fremd, -155; Gore, +135

Josh Fremd is coming off a decision loss in his UFC debut in April at UFC 273 against Anthony Hernandez. Despite the very tough matchup, he gave a good account of himself. Fremd is a powerful striker with four knockout victories and seven of his nine wins coming inside the distance. He has a well-rounded ground game as well which could come into play in this matchup.

His opponent, Tresean Gore is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Cody Brundage in July. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak in the UFC. Gore is a powerful striker with fast hands but his output leaves more to be desired. For someone that is not going to look to grapple at all, he needs to be putting more volume out there consistently.

I expect the striking to be competitive with Fremd throwing more volume and mixing in the wrestling as well which has me favoring him in this matchup. Fremd by decision is the official pick.

Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs Jared Vanderaa
Acosta, -200; Vanderaa, +170

Waldo Cortes-Acosta is coming off a first-round knockout win on this past season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He is the former Heavyweight champion in LFA and sports an undefeated professional record at 7-0 with four knockouts. He has the typical Heavyweight power but it’s his combinations and cardio that are more impressive to me. The biggest issue is that he can be exposed by competent wrestlers and will be controlled on the mat at times in his career.

His opponent, Jared Vanderaa is coming off a third-round knockout loss to Chase Sherman in July. He is currently on a four-fight losing streak and likely fighting for his job. Vanderaa has never been a good prospect, but he does have solid cardio for the division and will likely have a grappling advantage as well int his fight. However, he is extremely hittable on the feet and that is a problem against a powerful boxer like Acosta. Additionally, Vanderaa has not even attempted a takedown over his last six fights so I do not trust him to implement that gameplan either.

Acosta by knockout is the official pick but there is some typical Heavyweight variance here which makes this a fight that I will not be over exposed to either way.

Max Griffin vs Tim Means
Griffin, -190; Means, +160

Max Griffin is coming off a split-decision loss to Neil Magny in March. That loss snapped a three-fight win streak for him and will look to bounce back in the win column this weekend. Griffin is a powerful striker with nine of his 18 career wins coming by knockout. He generally pushes a decent pace and will mix in a takedown or two when he has the wrestling advantage.

His opponent, Tim Means is coming off a second-round submission loss to Kevin Holland in June. Means is historically a high-volume striker as well and similar to Griffin, has the capability to wrestle at times as well. The glaring issue with Means is that he is on the back end of his career approaching 39 years old. The durability is a concern to me as well as he has been finished in eight of his 13 professional losses.

I expect this to be competitive early, but Griffin should take over as the fight goes on as he has much better cardio and carries a lot more power as well. Griffin by knockout is the official pick.

Calvin Kattar vs Arnold Allen
Kattar, -110; Allen, -110

Calvin Kattar is coming off a split-decision loss to Josh Emmett in June. He has now lost two of his last three fights, but he is fighting against the top tier of the division. Kattar is still one of the best strikers on the UFC roster in my mind. He throws at a high rate and has clear knockout power. His ability to fight behind his jab and manage distance is unmatched outside of the elite fighters in the division.

His opponent, Arnold Allen is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Dan Hooker in March. He is 9-0 in the UFC, but this is clearly his toughest test to date. Allen is a technical striker himself and has a well-rounded ground game along with strong clinch work. However, the volume is a concern especially facing a high output striker like Kattar. Allen is capable of mixing in a takedown or two, but Kattar has strong takedown defense and has improved his ground game as well.

I like the Kattar side here quite a bit. Stylistically, it is a great matchup for him and it seems like we are getting a discount on the price based on Allen’s recent performance. Kattar by decision is the official pick and he is an obvious target on DraftKings in the mid-range and high floor due to the volume.