We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Vegas 70 in Las Vegas! We have a fun 13-fight slate on DraftKings which is lacking known talent but should not be lacking in entertainment value. It also helps that we have $100K up for grabs to first place!

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.

Joe Solecki vs Carl Deaton III
Solecki, -550; Deaton, +400

Joe Solecki is coming off a majority decision victory over Alex Da Silva last June. His last three fights have gone the distance and they have all been very competitive. He is a dangerous submission grappler and holds a black belt in BJJ with seven of his 12 wins coming by submission. However, his striking is still not great and he can be taken down and controlled by his opponents as well. Fortunately, this is a layup matchup for him in this spot.

His opponent, Carl Deaton is making his UFC debut on short notice this weekend. He trains out of American Top Team and holds a 17-5 professional record with nine wins coming by submission. Deaton’s striking is not very good either but he does have some good counters and Solecki is very hittable on the feet. But in terms of the grappling, Solecki is just better than Deaton and I expect that to play out heavily in this matchup. Solecki by submission is the official pick.

Garrett Armfield vs Jose Johnson
Armfirled, -155; Johnson, +135

Garrett Armfield is coming off a short-notice UFC debut against David Onama last June and that fight was at Featherweight. He was submitted in the second-round and is now dropping down to his regular weight class at Bantamweight for this one. Armfield comes from a wrestling background and seems be well-rounded with power on the feet and seven of his eight wins coming by finish. He did not face much competition on the regional scene but trains out of a good camp and should look much better at 135 lbs. than he did in his debut.

His opponent, Jose Johnson is coming off a win on Dana White’s Contender Series last season and is making his UFC debut. Johnson is a 15-7 prospect with eight of his wins coming by knockout. He comes from a high school wrestling background and has a ton of experience dating back to his lengthy amateur career. He is very long for the division and will throw a variety of strikes and should be able to hang in the grappling as well as he can be taken down but is a good scrambler and is capable of submissions off his back as well. His biggest issue is his durability as he has been submitted three times in his career and was knocked out as well.

This is one of those low-level matchups that should produce an absolute banger. Both fighters bring the heat and both are positionally sloppy as well so we could see many momentum swings in this fight. But that should correlate well to DraftKings scoring which we love to see. I will have exposure to both sides but the official pick is Armfield by TKO.

Hailey Cowan vs Ailin Perez
Cowan, -150; Perez, +130

Haily Cowan is a 7-2 prospect with four of her wins coming inside the distance. She spent most of her regional time in LFA before fighting on Dana White’s Contender Series last season and delivered with a decision victory. She is an exceptional athlete and former NCAA all-American gymnast and seems to have a well-rounded skillset. She is primarily a striker and fights from the southpaw stance and will look to land some heavy leg kicks while the fight plays out at range. But she has also shown a solid ground game as well for the lower levels of the division as she is a good scrambler on the mat. She is dangerous when she gets in dominant position but is careless defensively and has been submitted in both of her professional losses.

Her opponent, Ailin Perez is coming off a second-round submission loss to Stephanie Egger in her UFC debut. Needless to say, Amanda Nunes belt is temporarily staying where it is at. I am not convinced that Perez belongs in the UFC. Her competition on the regional scene was laughable and her skillset has yet to transfer to the UFC level, albeit facing a respectable opponent in Egger in her debut. Perez is primarily a grappler (I guess) but her positional grappling is poor and she has just victory over an opponent with a winning record.

I expect Cowan to have some success at kicking range while Perez tries to close distance. I think we see a decent amount of grappling in this one and neither of them are great at holding position on the mat so we will likely see multiple reversals on the ground. But I expect Cowan to be the better athlete and to be stronger in these grappling exchanges along with having the better cardio as well. Cowan by decision is the official pick.

Nurullo Aliev vs Rafael Alves
Aliev, -165; Alves, +140

Nurullo Aliev is another Dana White’s Contender Series fighter from this past season, and he will be making his UFC debut on Saturday. He is an 8-0 undefeated prospect fighting out of Tajikistan. He is primarily a ground game specialist and has that typical Russian grappling style with powerful takedowns and smothering top control. His striking is a little reckless but he does not waste time in getting the fight to the ground.

His opponent, Rafael Alves is coming off a third-round knockout loss to Drew Dober at UFC 277 last July. Alves is extremely explosive on the feet and throws everything into his strikes with seven knockout victories. He is also an opportunistic submission grappler as well with eight submission victories on his record and his guillotine choke is one of his favorite weapons. The main concern with Alves is his cardio as he gasses when the fights get extended and then wilts as he has been finished in 10 of his 11 professional losses.

I expect Aliev to initiate the grappling and he needs to stay safe on the feet because Alves is very dangerous early in the fight. If Aliev can survive the early onslaught and the first couple tough submission attempts then he likely takes over as the fight goes on. Aliev by submission is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings as the winner likely scores very well.

Charles Johnson vs Ode Osbourne
Johnson, -190; Osbourne, +160

Charles Johnson is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Jimmy Flick in January. He is currently on a two-fight winning streak since losing his UFC debut to Muhammad Mokaev. He is a well-rounded fighter that has no glaring weaknesses. However, he typically lets his opponents dictate the dance and pressure him which could be an issue in this matchup. He is generally not aggressive enough to convincingly win minutes at the UFC level.

His opponent, Ode Osbourne is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Tyson Nam last August. Osbourne is an explosive athlete and has clear finishing ability with nine of his 11 career wins coming inside the distance. He is historically not a great round winner as he does not push a high pace or aggressively grapple so he needs those big moments or knockouts. His gas tank definitely seems to slow when fights get extended and his durability is a concern as well as he has been finished in four of his five professional losses.

I do not trust either of these fighters to convincingly win rounds. However, Johnson having the better gas tank is the thing I can rely on most in this fight which has me leaning towards him in this matchup. But because of Osbourne’s explosiveness and potential to finish, I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings. Johnson by TKO is the official pick.

Victor Martinez vs Jordan Leavitt
Martinez, -125; Leavitt, +105

Victor Martinez last fought on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2021 and got a decision win over Jacob Rosales as an underdog. Martinez is coming off a year and a half layoff and is currently on a seven-fight winning streak. Despite the winning streak, I am not impressed with Martinez. He faced very low competition on the regional scene but does seem to have power in the striking. Eight of his 13 career wins have come by knockout. However, he can be taken down and has a problem with giving up his back while trying to work back to his feet. He has been submitted in two of his four professional losses.

His opponent, Jordan Leavitt is coming off a second-round submission loss to Paddy Pimblett last July. Leavitt has nothing in the striking department and will throw a variety of kicks to keep his opponents from trying to pressure him. But Leavitt does have a good ability of getting the fight to the ground as he averages nearly 2.5 takedowns per 15 minutes. Once on the ground, Leavitt is willing to consolidate position and work for a finish with six of his 10 career wins coming by submission.

This fight is very straight forward as Martinez will have a clear striking advantage while Leavitt has a significant edge in the grappling department. I trust Leavitt’s wrestling ability to get this fight where he needs it and Martinez is liable to make a mistake in those exchanges. Leavitt by submission is the official pick and this is a great fight to target in the mid-range on DraftKings.

Gabriella Fernandes vs Jasmine Jasudavicius
Fernandes, -135; Jasudavicius, +115

Gabriella Fernandes is making her UFC debut as she previously fought in LFA and is currently on a seven-fight winning streak. Her only professional loss came against former Dana White’s Contender Series fighter, Maria Silva back in 2018. She fights out of the southpaw stance and seems to carry some power on the feet with a big left hand. Five of her eight career wins have come inside the distance as well. The main concern with her is that she can get stuck on her back at times when facing decent grapplers.

Her opponent, Jasmine Jasudavicius is coming off a decision loss to Natalia Silva in June. Jasudavicius formerly fought on Contender Series as well and has had some up and downs in the UFC since then. She has a well-rounded skillset but does not excel in any key area. Her biggest strength is likely in the clinching scenarios but she struggles against fighters with more athleticism and power.

I expect Fernandes to have the striking advantage and to be putting more volume out there as well. Jasudavicius likely needs to land takedowns and have success in the grappling to win this fight. While that is possible, I do not trust that to happen as she does not have great wrestling and I think Fernandes will be the stronger fighter and should be able to keep the fight standing if she chooses. Fernandes by decision is the official pick but there are better fights to target on DraftKings this week.

Trevor Peek vs Erick Gonzalez
Peek, -190; Gonzalez, +160

We have yet another Dana White’s Contender Series alumni making their UFC debut this weekend. Trevor Peeks won a UFC contract with a second-round TKO victory in September. He is a 7-0 undefeated prospect with all seven wins coming by knockout. He has only fought outside of the first round twice and has faced very poor talent on the regional scene. His cardio and grappling are entirely untested, but he does have obvious power. He swings like a wild man on the feet and tries to take your head off early. Lastly, he is capable of landing takedowns but is not positionally strong and needs to improve his defensive grappling.

His opponent, Erick Gonzalez is coming off a first-round submission loss to Terrance McKinney last August. He is 0-2 in the UFC and was finished inside of two rounds in both of those fights. Gonzalez is the perfect opponent to face Peek in that he wants to stand and trade but does not offer many weapons to be concerned about. Eight of his 14 wins have come by knockout, but he is likely at a power disadvantage in this fight. Additionally, he cannot grapple at all and was submitted in three of his seven professional losses.

I expect these boys to stand and bang on the feet until someone drops. I feel that Peek is a big future fade but likely not in this low-level matchup. Peek by knockout is the official pick and this is another good fight to target on DraftKings.

Mike Malott vs Yohan Lainesse
Malott, -225; Lainesse, +190

Mike Malott is coming off an impressive UFC debut last April at UFC 273 where he knocked out Mickey Gall inside of the first round. Malott is currently on a four-fight winning streak and his only professional loss came against Hakeem Dawodu on the regional scene back in 2014. He is a finisher by nature with all eight of his career wins coming inside the distance and just one of his fights lasting more than one round. He has power on the feet but it is his submission grappler that is his biggest strength as he holds a black belt in BJJ.

His opponent, Yohan Lainesse is coming off a split-decision victory over Darian Weeks in September. Lainesse is an easy fighter to break down because he typically needs a knockout early in the fight to win. Six of his nine wins have come by knockout but he is low volume on the feet and does not have good cardio. He was able to win a decision in his last fight but that speaks more to the lack of Weeks initiative than it does to Lainesse’s skills.

Lainesse is capable of landing something big early but I would argue Malott is just as capable to do so. Additionally, Malott will have a clear grappling edge as well and I expect that to be the difference. Malott by submission is the official pick and I do not expect this fight to see the scorecards.

Tatiana Suarez vs Montana De La Rosa
Suarez, -750; De La Rosa, +550

We are blessed with the return of Tatiana Suarez to the UFC after nearly a four-year layoff from fighting. She had been dealing with numerous injuries in her time off but it seems that things are behind her in that regard. There is no denying that a healthy Tatiana Suarez is a legitimate threat to the title. She averages nearly 6.5 takedowns per 15 minutes which is the highest mark among female fighters on the UFC roster. You can expect that to be the gameplan in all of her fights.

Her opponent, Montana De La Rosa is coming off a decision loss to Maycee Barber last April. De La Rosa is a well-rounded fighter with underrated striking and a solid ground game. She averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes but she will obviously not have any sort of wrestling advantage against Suarez. Eight of her 12 career wins have come by submission and she needs to pull off a submission off her back in this fight in order to win. She only defends takedowns at 63% in the UFC and you can expect her to spend much of the fight on her back while trying to throw up submissions but it’s unlikely she truly threatens.

Suarez is one of the most dominant fighters that we have seen in any division across the UFC. If she is even a fraction of her former self then she lands multiple takedowns and controls De La Rosa for the majority of the fight. Suarez by decision is the official pick and she is an obvious target on DraftKings due to her grappling upside.

Augusto Sakai vs Don’Tale Mayes
Sakai, -125; Mayes, +105

Augusto Sakai is coming off a disappointing showing against Sergei Spivac where he was finished in the second round last year. After a four-fight winning streak to start his UFC career, he has hit a big skidmark in losing his last four fights and being finished in every one of them. To his credit though, he has faced some of the better fighters in the division lately and this matchup is a significant step down for him. When he is at his best, he is a high-volume striker that can push a pace on his opponents in this division with solid cardio to keep that pace throughout the fight. The obvious concern with him know is durability as he has been stopped in four straight fights and has never been good at defending takedowns at just 54% in the UFC.

His opponent, Don’Tale Mayes is coming off a loss to Hamdy Abdelwahab at UFC 277 last July. He was a popular bet that fight and I was on him as well only to see him lose and burn everyone in the process. Mayes will likely have a wrestling advantage in this fight but I cannot trust him to use it as he only averages just over one takedown per 15 minutes. Additionally, he does not have the volume to keep pace with Sakai on the feet so he likely needs to land something big and test the durability.

I do not trust either of these fighters and both have a clear path to victory. But I am willing to lean on the experience and the level of competition that Sakai has faced along with the perceived cardio advantage as well. Sakai by decision is the official pick but Mayes is likely the better play on DraftKings if he decides to wrestle.

Andre Muniz vs Brendan Allen
Muniz, -205; Allen, +175

Andre Muniz is surging as he is 5-0 inside the UFC octagon and currently on a nine-fight winning streak. He is a dangerous submission grappler with 15 of his 23 wins coming that way. His wrestling is solid as well as he averages 3.71 takedowns per 15 minutes. He also showed us he is capable of controlling his opponents on the mat and winning rounds like he did against Uriah Hall his last time out. However, the two main concerns with Muniz has always been his gas tank and his durability. He fades in fights where he is not having grappling success and has been knocked out in all four of his professional losses.

His opponent, Brendan Allen is coming off an impressive first-round submission victory over Krzysztof Jotko in October. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak and has finished two of those by submission. Allen is a good submission grappler in his own right with a black belt in BJJ and 11 of his 20 career wins coming by submission. But where he should have the biggest edge in this matchup is at striking range. Allen throws more volume than Muniz and has sharpened up his boxing over his last few fights. If he can keep the fight standing then he should have a striking advantage along with durability and cardio as well.

I expect Muniz to try to take this fight to the ground and we likely see some exciting grappling exchanges between these two. Muniz is certainly more dangerous in those exchanges but Allen is a capable scrambler and will have multiple advantages in other areas of this fight. This is another great fight to target on DraftKings and I will have exposure to both sides for that reason but the official pick is Allen by decision is the official pick.

Nikita Krylov vs Ryan Spann
Krylov, -170; Spann, +145

Nikita Krylov is coming off a decision victory over Volkan Oezdemir his last time out at UFC 280 in October. Krylov has always been known as a ‘kill or be killed’ style of fighter with 27 of his 29 wins coming inside the distance along with seven of his nine losses being a finish as well. He is a high volume striker for the division and has clear knockout power as well. But he likes to mix in the grappling as he averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes, but he also puts himself in bad spots on the mat and has been submitted six times in his career.

His opponent, Ryan Spann is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Dominick Reyes at UFC 281 in November. Spann is currently on a two-fight winning streak and he has proved me wrong in back to back fights. His last five fights have all ended inside the first round and that speaks to his finishing ability along with his lack of durability. He has clear knockout power along with some slick chokes in his arsenal but he has been knocked out three times in his career and wobbled multiple times throughout his fights.

This is a main event that you do not want to fade on DraftKings as there is a very high likelihood of it ending early so the winner is going to score well. I have never been a Spann guy and that has burned me recently but I do not trust his durability whatsoever and feel that Krylov is the more skilled fighter in multiple areas if he can avoid getting caught early. Krylov by TKO is the official pick.