We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Charlotte! We have a fun 12-fight slate on DraftKings which is usually the sweet spot for me and we have 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.

Jessica-Rose Clark vs Tainara Lisboa
Clark, -120; Lisboa, +100

Jessica-Rose Clark is coming off a first-round submission loss at UFC 276 last July. She is currently on a two-fight losing streak and is looking to rebound this weekend. When at her best, Clark is a decent boxer that will throw in volume and mix in the takedowns as she averages nearly two takedowns per 15 minutes. Her biggest issue has always been her defensive grappling as she regularly puts herself in some tough spots and has been submitted in each of her last two fights.

Her opponent, Tainara Lisboa is making her UFC debut this Saturday. She comes from a Muay Thai background and is primarily a striker. She is 5-2 professionally with all five of her wins coming inside the distance. However, she has only fought one fighter with a winning record, and she dropped a decision to them in that fight. The level of competition has been very low outside of her professional debut against Norma Dumont who submitted her in the first round. She seems to have decent power on the feet and is nasty in the clinch. But if you can take her down then she can be controlled and potentially submitted on the mat.

This is a tough fight to predict as Rose-Clark should be able to land takedowns and control the wrestling. However, she is historically untrustworthy and even though Lisboa is unproven, she does seem dangerous enough in terms of finishing ability. Clark by decision is the official pick but the confidence level is low.

Gabe Green vs Bryan Battle
Green, -140; Battle, +120

Gabe Green is coming off a decision loss to Ian Garry at UFC 276 last July. He is a high-volume striker and likes to push a pace on the feet. However, he is very hittable in striking exchanges and has been knocked out in two of his four professional losses. He is a capable wrestler but does not always look to take the fight there. He can also be taken down as he only defends at 53% in the UFC. Lastly, he is going to be giving up a little size here and will be at a four-inch reach disadvantage.

His opponent, Bryan Battle is coming off a decision loss to Rinat Fakhretdinov in December. That loss snapped a seven-fight winning streak for him and he is likely chomping at the bit to get back in the win column. I have never rated Battle’s skillset very highly, but he is a competent fighter in multiple areas and extremely tough to put away. Similar to Green, he has decent volume on the feet and should be able to land multiple leg kicks in this matchup, but he is also very hittable as well. My biggest issue with Battle is that he is very easy to take down as he defends at just 38% in the UFC and has been taken down multiple times in all his UFC fights except for Takashi Sato which lasted just 44 seconds.

If I could project Green to come in here with a wrestle heavy gameplan then I would be a lot more confident in backing him to win. But because of the lack of aggression with his wrestling and the concerns with his defense and durability on the feet, that makes this more of a coinflip to me which means I am passing from a betting standpoint. In terms of DraftKings, I would be surprised if either of them hit a ceiling performance but because of the takedown defense on both sides, it is possible we see the winner put up a decent score. For that reason, I will have small exposure to both sides but the official pick is Green by decision.

Ji Yeon Kim vs Mandy Bohm
Kim, -195; Bohm, +165

Ji Yeon Kim is coming off a split-decision loss to Joselyne Edwards at UFC 277 last July. She is now on a four-fight losing streak and has lost five of her last six fights. To her credit, she has faced some stiff competition during that span and gave them competitive rounds for the most part. She is a high-volume striker on the feet but lacks substance to her game and never looks to grapple. Most of her fights come down to competitive striking exchanges which tend to lead to a lot of split decisions.

Her opponent, Mandy Bohm is coming off a decision loss to Victoria Leonardo last July. After starting her career 7-0, she has now dropped both of her UFC bouts and has looked subpar in those fights. She is primarily a striker and does have some powerful kicks but does not throw in much volume and struggles to defend takedowns as well. Fortunately for her, she will not have to grapple at all which makes this another competitive striking match in my eyes. I do not trust either of these fighters, but Kim is more skilled despite her inability to win rounds convincingly. Kim by decision is the official pick but I will likely only have some exposure to Bohm on DraftKings considering the cheap price tag.

Natan Levy vs Pete Rodriguez
Levy, -275; Rodriguez, +230

We last saw Natan Levy win a dominant decision over Genaro Valdez in December. He is 2-1 in the UFC and has primarily done his damage with his wrestling. He comes from a karate striking background and has some powerful kicks on the feet and averages nearly 5.5 takedowns per 15 minutes. He has three submission victories and will be working with a significant grappling edge in this matchup to go along with the better gas tank.

His opponent, Pete Rodriguez is coming off a first-round knockout over Mike Jackson in October. That was a cupcake matchup as Jackson is not even a real fighter, but Rodriguez does have clear knockout ability. Of his five career victories, all of them have come by knockout in round one. He is explosive and powerful but if he cannot get the early knockout then he will likely fade as the fight gets extended. Additionally, his grappling is entirely unproven as well.

This is a great fight to target on DraftKings as Rodriguez will score well if he can pull off the early upset. On the flip side, Levy has clear grappling upside along with the ability to find a finish on the mat as well. Levy by submission is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides.

Carlos Ulberg vs Ihor Potieria
Ulberg, -410; Poteira, +330

Carlos Ulberg is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Nicolae Negumereanu at UFC 281 in November. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak and is 7-1 professionally with five of those wins coming by knockout. He is a powerful striker and will come out pushing a pace as well. His defensive grappling is mostly unproven but that will not be an issue considering this matchup.

His opponent, Ihor Potieria is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Mauricio Rua at UFC 283 in January. He formerly fought on Dana White’s Contender Series and was on a 15-fight winning streak on the regional scene prior to his UFC debut. But his debut was very disappointing as Negumereanu was able to completely neutralize him with pressure and the gas tank of Potieria was a glaring issue.

I expect Ulberg to pressure Potieria right from the opening bell. Ulberg is the better striker with more power and is going to be throwing more volume as well. Both of these fighters rarely look to grapple so I expect this to play out on the feet. It is likely only a matter of time before Ulberg’s power and pressure break Potieria and he gets him out of there. Ulberg by knockout is the official pick.

Cody Stamann vs Douglas Silva De Andrade
Stamann, -145; Andrade, +125

Cody Stamann is coming off a decision victory over Luan Lacerda at UFC 283 in January. That fight had some sweaty moments for Stamann in a matchup that many people expected him to dominate but Lacerda brought it to him that night. When he is at his best, Stamann is a high IQ fighter with a solid jab and comes from a collegiate wrestling background as well. He is very well rounded and will keep a good pace on the feet and mix in the takedowns at nearly 2.5 per 15 minutes.

His opponent, Douglas Silva De Andrade is coming off a decision loss to Said Nurmagomedov last July. He is a very explosive fighter that is dependent on finding the finish or having big moments. Of his 28 professional wins, 20 of them have come by knockout and he clearly has potential to hurt anyone in the division with his hands. However, he is turning 38 years old next month and has taken a bit of damage over the years as well.

I expect this to be a competitive fight with De Andrade likely having a few big moments but Stamann being the better minute winner overall. Stamann should be able to stay safe on the outside for the most part and pump that jab and mix in the wrestling. Stamann by decision is the official pick.

Karl Williams vs Chase Sherman
Williams, -410; Sherman, +330

Karl Williams was originally supposed to fight Chase Sherman on short notice, but Sherman pulled out of the fight after lineups locked. Williams is not the most technical guy out there, but he is very good at getting the fight to the ground. He landed eight takedowns in that fight against Brzeski and outwrestled Jimmy Lawson on Dana White’s Contender Series in his previous fight as well. He is not great at controlling his opponents, but he is good at sticking to them and mat returning if needed.

His opponent, Chase Sherman is coming off a decision loss to Waldo Cortes-Acosta in November. He has now lost five of his last six fights and will try to right the ship this weekend. But to his credit, he has faced solid competition recently and still does carry some power. Of his 16 victories, 15 have come by knockout. But I do not trust his durability as he has been knocked out four times in his career. More importantly for this matchup, I do not trust him to keep the fight standing as he only defends takedowns at 66% in the UFC.

I think Williams is getting a bit too much respect here. But I do feel he should be able to consistently win minutes due to his nonstop wrestling style and Sherman’s inability to defend takedowns. Williams by decision is the official pick but I think Sherman is more live than the betting odds suggest.

Court Mcgee vs Matt Brown
Mcgee, -225; Brown, +190

Court McGee is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Jeremiah Wells last June. He is a savvy veteran who is very well-rounded wherever the fight goes. He is a technical boxer that will throw in volume, and he has showed off his wrestling in the past as well and averages nearly two takedowns per 15 minutes. Historically, Mcgee was known to be extremely durable, but he has been hurt multiple times and now coming off a knockout at nearly 39 years old does not seem great.

His opponent, Matt Brown is coming off a split-decision loss to Bryan Barberena last March. To be honest, Brown looked career-worst to me and at 42 years old, I am not expecting to see improvement in this fight. Brown still carries knockout power in his old age and that is the way he will need to win this fight. I expect Mcgee to be throwing and landing more volume and outside of him getting clipped, he gets the job done in this fight. Mcgee by decision is the official pick but I have little interest targeting this fight on DraftKings.

Alex Morono vs Tim Means
Morono, -215; Means, +185

We last saw Alex Morono at UFC 282 in December and he lost by third-round knockout at the hands of Santiago Ponzinibbio. That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak and he will be looking to rebound this weekend. Morono is a high-volume striker that is going to put a pace on his opponent and work behind his jab and solid leg kicks. He also holds a black belt in BJJ but rarely looks to grapple, if ever.

His opponent, Tim Means is coming off a split-decision loss to Max Griffin last October. Means is now on a two-fight losing streak and is 39 years old. He has also finished eight times in his professional career. Those are certainly some red flags if interested in backing the underdog. However, Means is still a good boxer and can match the volume of Morono as well.

I expect this to be a competitive kickboxing match. I trust the cardio and durability a little more from Morono which has me siding with him in this fight. But I will likely have more exposure to the underdog in Means on DraftKings due to the price and because he seems like one of the few underdogs that are live this weekend.

Ian Garry vs Daniel Rodriguez
Garry, -295; Rodriguez, +245

Ian Garry is coming off a third-round knockout victory over Song Kenan in March at UFC 285. Garry is an undefeated prospect with an 11-0 professional record. Of his 11 victories, six of them have come by knockout. He has clear power on the feet and will throw in volume as well. The biggest issue that I have with Garry is his striking defense as he is extremely hittable and at some point, someone will make him pay for it. You guys know that I have been waiting to fade Garry for a bit now and this feels like it could be the spot to potentially see him get exposed.

His opponent, Daniel Rodriguez is coming off a third-round submission loss to Neil Magny in November. That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for him and he will be looking to play spoiler as a sizable underdog this weekend. Rodriguez is a high-volume striker and will be able to match the volume of Garry on the feet. Additionally, Rodriguez has big enough power to hurt Garry as eight of his 17 career wins have come by knockout.

I expect this fight to play out on the feet as neither guy is interested in grappling much. For that reason, I have to project this fight to be competitive to a degree as Garry’s striking defense is so poor and we saw him get dropped by a much worse striker in his last fight. Rodriguez by decision is the official pick and he is my favorite underdog to target this week on DraftKings.

Anthony Smith vs Johnny Walker
Smith, -110; Walker, -110

Anthony Smith last fought Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 277 last July and lost by TKO in the second round. That stopped a three-fight winning streak for him and he will look to rebound this weekend in what should be a favorable matchup for him. Smith has never been a good round winner, but he is a great finisher with 33 of his 36 professional victories coming inside the distance. He has big power on the feet and holds a black belt in BJJ as well. He really only struggles against better grapplers or other powerful strikers.

His opponent, Johnny Walker is coming off a first-round knockout over Paul Craig at UFC 283 in January. He is now putting together another winning streak with two straight first-round finishes. Walker is similar to Smith in that he is not a good round winner. But he is a very dangerous finisher, particularly in the first round. He struggles against wrestlers and his durability is a major issue as he has been knocked out four times in his career.

There is obvious risks on both sides but I trust the skillset of Smith along with his durability more than I do Walker. I will have heavy exposure to this fight on DraftKings and it will likely be a very popular target priced in the mid-range. Smith by TKO is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides as I am expecting this fight to finish either way.

Jailton Almeida vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Almeida, -475; Rozenstruik, +380

Jailton Almeida has looked nearly flawless through his first four UFC bouts with all four being finishes inside of eight minutes. He is one of the brightest prospects to come off Dana White’s Contender Series over the last few years and seems to have a very promising future. He is an explosive athlete with clear power on the feet but an even more dangerous ground game and holds a black belt in BJJ. He is aggressive in getting the fight to the ground and very physical to deal with when he is able to close distance on his opponents.

His opponent, Jairzinho Rozenstruik is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Chris Daukaus at UFC 282 in December. Rozenstruik is primarily a counter striker but is a very powerful kickboxer and can put your lights out at any moment. Of his 13 career victories, 12 of them have come by knockout and the majority of those came inside the first round. The problem with Rozenstruik is that he is too low volume on the feet and regularly lets his opponents control the fight. So if he is unable to land the big killshot then he is most likely losing minutes. He is also not a good grappler and that will likely be the biggest edge in the fight.

I expect Almeida to close distance and get this fight to the ground where he will have a noticeable advantage. Rozenstruik’s only path to victory is to hurt Almeida on the feet so if Almeida is not foolish then he will not give him much of a chance to exchange without defending takedowns. Once on the mat, Almeida is very likely to control Rozenstruik until he finds a finish. Almeida by submission is the official pick and this is a great target on DraftKings.