We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Las Vegas! We have a fun 14-fight slate on DraftKings which makes for an interesting slate with so many fights to choose and 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.

Bruno Silva vs Tyson Nam
Silva, -170; Nam, +150

Bruno Silva is coming off nearly a two-year layoff since he knocked out Victor Rodriguez in the first round in May of 2021. He is currently on a two-fight winning streak and eight of his 12 wins have come inside the distance. He has power on the feet but he is primarily a grappler and averages nearly three takedowns per 15 minutes and holds a black belt in BJJ. His biggest issue to me is his striking defense. He fights like a brawler on the feet but disregards his defense and gets hit way too often in the pocket.

His opponent, Tyson Nam is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Ode Osbourne last August. Nam is one of the biggest power punchers in the Flyweight division with six of his last seven wins coming by knockout. Despite the big power, Nam does not have much else to worry about as he is historically low volume on the feet and never looks to grapple. He struggles to cut off the cage and when he cannot land his big punch he seems lost at times.

Nam has yet to be taken down in the UFC but he has not faced any grapplers and I expect that to be the game plan of Silva. Silva is risk if he decides to brawl in the pocket with Nam but I think he will go to his ground game where he will have the biggest advantage in the fight. Silva by decision is the official pick.

Victor Henry vs Tony Gravely
Henry, -140; Gravely, +120

Victor Henry is coming off a decision loss to Raphael Assuncao in October. He is a well-rounded fighter that will throw in heavy volume on the feet as he averages just under eight significant strikes per minute. But he is also a good submission grappler with a black belt in BJJ and eight submission victories on his record. His last fight against Assuncao was a big let down but this should be a favorable bounce back spot for him this weekend.

His opponent, Tony Gravely is coming off a decision loss to Javid Basharat in September. Gravely has always been a weakness for me as I almost want to believe he is more skilled than he is. He comes from a collegiate wrestling background and averages nearly six takedowns per 15 minutes which is great on paper. But the problem with Gravely is the gas tank as he historically slows in fights and cannot keep that grueling wrestling pace for 15 minutes. His boxing is solid and he does have power but the more tired he gets the more lazy he is on the feet. Lastly, his fight IQ is not great and he is notorious for putting himself in bad spots in grappling exchanges and has been submitted five times in his career.

As much as I love Gravely, I do not think this is a good matchup for him. Henry has shown solid takedown defense and has much better cardio than Gravely. He can even snatch up his neck as Gravely shoots a takedown and it would not surprise me at all. This may be a better live entry on Henry but he should get his hand raised. Henry by decision is the official pick.

JJ Aldrich vs Ariane Lipski
Aldrich, -360; Lipski, +285

JJ Aldrich is coming off a submission loss to Erin Blanchfield last June. That loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for her but not going to fault her too much as Blanchfield is a nightmare matchup for any opponent. Aldrich fights out of the southpaw stance and has solid boxing and takedown defense. She has also shown the ability to land takedowns of her own as she has landed one or more takedowns in three of her last four fights.

Her opponent, Ariane Lipski is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Priscila Cachoeira last August. Lipski is primarily a striker and does show power early in fights. However, she is very hittable herself and the durability is not quite there as she has been knocked out four times in her career. Additionally, she struggles in the grappling department and only defends takedowns at 55% in the UFC.

This matchup is very straight forward to me. Lipski likely needs big moments or a knockout and I do not trust her to have those against a solid boxer like Aldrich who has proven to be durable over the course of her career. If Aldrich mixes in the takedowns like I expect then she likely cruises here as Lipski has no idea how to work off her back. Aldrich by decision is the official pick but there are better fights to target on DraftKings.

Mario Bautista vs Guido Cannetti
Bautista, -950; Cannetti, +650

Mario Bautista is coming off a dominant performance over Benito Lopez as he submitted him inside the first round in November. Since the let down against Trevin Jones, he has rebounded with three straight victories and two of them were by finish. Bautista is a very well-rounded fighter as he will put a pace on his opponents with high volume striking and a solid ground game as well. He averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes and has five submission victories to his credit.

His opponent, Guido Cannetti is coming off a first-round submission victory over Randy Costa in October. Believe it or not, that is two straight finishes for the 43 year old, Cannetti. He is an explosive kickboxer early in fights and capable of mixing in a takedown here or there but it does not take much to figure him out. Additionally, Cannetti noticeably fades as the fight goes on and although we have not seen it lately, it is still an issue for him at nearly 44 years old.

Bautista is a bright prospect with a promising future and I do not see how he would lose this fight outside of big head kick early or something which is not likely at all. Bautista is the better fighter in multiple areas and I expect him to prove that this weekend. Bautista by submission is the official pick.

Sedriques Dumas vs Josh Fremd
Dumas, -180; Fremd, +155

Sedriques Dumas is making his UFC debut this weekend after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series this past season. He is a 7-0 undefeated prospect with six of those wins coming inside the distance. He is very athletic and has powerful leg kicks that he has finished multiple opponents with. But outside of his power and athleticism, I have some serious question marks about the rest of his game. For starters, he has faced mostly UPS drivers on the regional scene and his Contender Series fight did not tell us much considering how quickly it was over. He has shown he can land takedowns but is not an aggressive wrestler and that also came against fighters who had no clue how to grapple.

His opponent, Josh Fremd is coming off a submission loss to Tresean Gore back in October. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak and is coming in on short notice to face Dumas. Fremd has had a rough go of it so far in the UFC but I would not underestimate him in this matchup. For starters, he has faced much tough level of competition on the regional scene and through his first two UFC bouts. He is a powerful striker with four of his nine career wins coming by knockout. Additionally, he comes from a high school wrestling background and has shown the ability to land takedowns throughout the regional scene along with his UFC debut.

I do not understand the blind faith in Dumas considering the many questions he is yet to answer along with the fact he has faced absolutely nobody outside of a glory kickboxer on Contenders that he submitted instantly. Fremd is hittable so it is possible Dumas lands a big head kick that hurts him early but outside of something like that happening, I feel Fremd looks like the favorite as the fight gets extended. I expect him to have more wrestling potential and is much more technical on the feet with sharp leg kicks and nasty clinch work with knees and elbows along the fence. Happy to fade the public and buy low on Fremd here. Fremd by TKO is the official pick and this is a good fight to target on DraftKings.

Davey Grant vs Raphael Assuncao
Grant, -140; Assuncao, +120

Davey Grant is coming off a third-round knockout victory over Louis Smolka last May. Grant is primarily a striker who carries some power and will throw in volume as well. He tends to get a little wild with looping hook shots and reckless defense, but he comes to bring it every time out. He has also shown the ability to land takedowns as he averages over two takedowns per 15 minutes but he is capable of being taken down and has been submitted four times in his career.

His opponent, Raphael Assuncao is coming off a decision victory over Victor Henry in October. That win snapped a four-fight losing skid and he will try to keep the momentum going this weekend. At nearly 41 years old, he is clearly not the top level contender that he used to be but he has proven to not be an easy out for any opponent, even at this stage in his career. He is low volume on the feet but stays sharp defensively and mixes in takedowns at nearly 1.5 per 15 minutes.

This should be a competitive fight with Grant being the busier fighter on the feet. But I would be surprised if Grant is able to have much grappling success and think Assuncao could potentially land takedowns of his own. I lean Grant as the more active fighter and under 40 years old but it is not one that I am willing to hang my hat on this week. Grant by decision is the official pick but there are better fights to target this week on DraftKings.

Karl Williams vs Lukasz Brzeski
Williams, -220; Brzeski, +185

Karl Williams is making his UFC debut after winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September. He is 7-1 overall and currently riding a four-fight winning streak. He formerly fought at Light Heavyweight but does not seem to be undersized at Heavyweight. He is primarily a wrestler and has gone to that in most of his fights on the regional scene including the Contender Series fight against Jimmy Lawson.

His opponent, Lukasz Brzeski is coming off a split-decision loss in his UFC debut against Martin Buday in August. He is an 8-2 prospect who also earned a contract from the Contender Series but the season before last. He is an explosive Heavyweight five of his eight wins coming by knockout. However, he historically had a very questionable gas tank before the Buday fight but it did look to be improved there. I still think it is something to keep an eye on. Additionally, his defensive grappling still needs work and I expect that to be the difference in this fight as Williams is likely to land multiple takedowns and wear him down on the mat. Williams by decision is the official pick and he is a solid target on DraftKings.

Anton Turkalj vs Vitor Petrino
Turkalj, -110; Petrino, -110

Anton Turkalj made his short-notice UFC debut against Jailton Almeida at UFC 279 last September. He previously earned a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series this past season with a dominant decision victory. He landed an impressive 11 takedowns in that fight and that was the first time in his career that he had fought into the third round. He has power on the feet and five of his eight career wins have come by knockout. However, he is extremely reckless and hittable and would be wise to lean on his wrestling although I do not think it is as good as it looked in that Contender Series fight.

His opponent, Vitor Petrino also earned a contract this past season on Contender Series. He knocked out his opponent in the second round and that seems to be a habit for him. He fights out of Brazil and sports an undefeated 7-0 record with six wins coming by knockout. He does not play much defense but he throws everything into his punches and just needs to connect once to put your lights out. He is very physical and explosive but seems to slow down as fights get extended.

This is a high variance matchup as both fighters have clear defensive issues. I favor the power of Petrino as he is more likely to win by knockout but Turkalj does have multiple takedown upside which makes this a great fight to target on DraftKings. I will have exposure to both sides but the pick is Petrino by knockout.

Said Nurmagomedov vs Jonathan Martinez
Nurmagomedov, -250; Martinez, +190

Said Nurmagomedov is coming off a second-round submission victory over Saidyokub Kakhramonov in December. He is currently on a four-fight winning streak with three of those four wins coming inside the distance. He is a technical kickboxer that is not going to put a ton of volume out there but will rather throw flashy spinning attacks and occasionally look to grapple. He rarely lands takedowns but is a capable submission grappler with five submission finishes to his credit.

His opponent, Jonathan Martinez is coming off a second-round TKO finish over Cub Swanson in October. He is currently on a four-fight winning streak of his own with three of those coming by decision. Martinez is primarily a striker and pretty one-dimensional with his approach as he is just looking to kick you repeatedly until you quit. His leg kicks are excellent and it makes it tough for his opponents to close distance or get inside to take him down. I do not fully trust his durability as he has been knocked down four times in the UFC and knocked out by Davey Grant.

This should be a competitive kickboxing match and I trust Martinez to be the more active of the two. Nurmagomedov is historically not a volume striker and I doubt he will be able to figure out how to get past the legs of Martinez. He likely needs to grapple to cover this price and I do not trust him to do that at all. Martinez by decision is the official pick and he is a solid underdog target this week.

Ricardo Ramos vs Austin Lingo
Ramos, -350; Lingo, +285

Ricardo Ramos is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Danny Chavez last June. He is a flashy kickboxer that will try a variety of spinning attacks but does not put much volume out there. But he is also a dangerous submission grappler as he holds a black belt in BJJ and averages over 2.5 takedowns per 15 minutes. The main issue with Ramos is that he is not a consistent round winner especially if he is not having grappling success. He has also been finished in the first round in three of his four career losses.

His opponent, Austin Lingo is coming off a decision victory over Luis Saldana in August of 2021. Lingo is 2-1 in the UFC with all three of his fights going the full distance. But despite the recent run of decisions, Lingo carries some real power on the feet with three knockouts on his record and he did land a knockdown in each of his last two fights. Aside from the power boxing of Lingo, he does not have many other tools as he rarely mixes in takedowns and will be at a grappling disadvantage in this fight.

I expect the striking to be very competitive with both fighters capable of landing a fight stopping blow. But I expect the grappling of Ramos to be the difference here despite him not being a trustworthy fighter. He should be able to land a couple takedowns and is live to find a finish on the mat. Ramos by submission is the official pick but I will have shares of Lingo as a cheap underdog with knockout potential.

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. This fight was scrapped two weeks ago because Krylov got sick which is not a great look.

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 fight that you clearly want to target on both sides (Assuming it does not get late scratched again). 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. 

Alexandr Romanov vs Alexander Volkov
Romanov, -150; Volkov, +130

Alexandr Romanov suffered his first professional loss at UFC 278 last August at the hands of Marcin Tybura in a majority decision. Romanov is one of the most dangerous finishers in the division while he is fresh. He has 16 career victories and 15 of them came inside the distance, most of which being inside the first round. He averages over five takedowns per 15 minutes and he is extremely difficult to deal with when he is on top of you. He is either blasting you with heavy ground and pound or hunting for one of his infamous chokes. The issue with Romanov has always been his gas tank as he notoriously slows down in all of his fights. If he is unable to find the finish in the first round, then it likely gets worrisome for him.

His opponent, Alexander Volkov is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik last June. He is primarily a striker and has knockout power of his own with 23 of his 35 career wins coming in that fashion. He will throw in high volume on the feet and has a variety of tools that make him dangerous with powerful knees and elbows. The downside with Volkov is that we have seen him taken down many times in the past. The obvious fight that comes to mind is when Curtis Blaydes took him down 14 times. To his credit, he did keep working back to his feet but he has always struggled with chain wrestlers and explosive athletes.

I expect Romanov to be able to land takedowns in the first round and he is very live to find a finish early. If the fight gets extended then Volkov is capable of taking over down the stretch and potentially finishing himself. For that reason, this is a fight that you want to target both sides if making multiple lineups with a lean towards Romanov. Romanov by submission is the official pick.

Petr Yan vs Merab Dvalishvili
Yan, -250; Dvalishvili, +210

Petr Yan is coming off a split-decision loss to Sean O’Malley at UFC 280 last October. Many people thought he did enough to win the fight (myself included) but that is irrelevant for this weekend. Yan is still considered one of the best fighters in the division if not the very best. He is a very talented striker and carries real power with seven of his 16 career wins coming by knockout. He generally starts slow but builds into his fights and will throw in volume. Aside from being a slow starter, the only real weakness that he has shown is that he can be controlled by good grapplers when taken down but that will not be easy as he has a 90% takedown defense.

His opponent, Merab Dvalishvili is coming off a decision victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 278 last August. He is currently on an eight-fight winning streak and is a relentless wrestler as he averages over 6.5 takedowns per 15 minutes. He is nonstop with his takedown attempts and has excellent cardio to keep chaining them together regardless of their success rate. Credit where credit is due, Dvalishvili is a great round winner. But this is a very difficult matchup for him against one of the better strikers in the division who also has great takedown defense.

Dvalishvili will be competitive early as his relentless pressure and motor will keep him in the fight. But Yan repeatedly stuffing takedowns and forcing Dvalishvili to strike with him is a very bad thing for Dvalishvili. He has almost nothing for Yan in the striking and he is very hittable and has been nearly knocked out multiple times now. Yan will take over as this goes on and likely find a finish in the later rounds. Yan by knockout is the official pick and this is a great fight to target on DraftKings.