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We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Jacksonville! We have a fun 14-fight slate on DraftKings which is always fun as we can get some ownership discounts 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.

Cody Brundage vs Sedriques Dumas
Brundage, -205; Dumas, +175

Cody Brundage is second-round submission loss to Rodolfo Vieira in April. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak and looking to get back in the win column with a quick turn around on short notice. Brundage is an explosive fighter with seven of his eight wins coming inside the distance. He comes from a collegiate wrestling background and averages 2.6 takedowns per 15 minutes. The biggest issue with Brundage is his durability and cardio as he always fades and has been finished in three of his four professional losses.

His opponent, Sedriques Dumas is coming off a UFC debut where he was submitted in the second round by Josh Fremd in March. Dumas is a powerful striker with heavy leg kicks and four of his seven professional wins have come by knockout. I still have concerns with his defensive grappling and cardio but he is an explosive striker, particularly early in the fight. I just worry about him in rounds two and three especially if he is forced to grapple.

This is a high variance fight as both fighters have legitimate concerns. But I still favor the Brundage side as this is a step down in terms of his recent competition and he will have the biggest advantage of the fight with his wrestling. Brundage by submission is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings.

Tatsuro Taira vs Kleydson Rodrigues
Taira, -340; Rodrigues, +280

Tatsuro Taira is coming off a first-round submission victory over Jesus Aguilar in February. He is a 13-0 undefeated prospect fighting out of Japan. He is a dangerous submission grappler with seven of his wins coming by submission.  But he has some solid wrestling chops as well and he averages 2.62 takedowns per 15 minutes to go along with some very slick back takes. On the feet, he is not going to throw much output as he mainly uses his striking to set up his takedowns, but he does have some powerful leg kicks.

His opponent, Kleydson Rodrigues is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Shannon Ross at UFC 284 in February. Rodrigues is a powerful striker that wants to move forward and put a pace on his opponents. He keeps a high output and has legitimate knockout power with four of his eight career wins coming in that fashion. Rodrigues is well-rounded on the mat as well and difficult to control for extended periods, but this is the best grappler he has faced.

I expect this fight to be competitive on the feet with both fighters landing some good shots. But Taira should be able to land takedowns here and I give him a significant edge in the grappling and as the fight gets extended as well. Taira by submission is the official pick.

Jamall Emmers vs Jack Jenkins
Emmers, -175; Jenkins, +150

Jamall Emmers exposed Khusein Ashkabov to the tune of a dominant decision victory in February. Emmers is a well-rounded fighter with sharp striking and good wrestling as well as he averages 2.26 takedowns per 15 minutes. He keeps a high pace on the feet but sometimes does not fight the smartest game plan to give himself the best chance to win. His durability is also a concern as he has been finished in four of his six professional losses.

His opponent, Jack Jenkins is coming off a decision victory over Don Shainis at UFC 284 in February. Jenkins previously fought on Dana White’s Contender Series and sports an 11-2 professional record fighting out of Australia. Jenkins is a good athlete but not a great fighter. What I mean by that is that he has clear power and good cardio but him outgrappling bums on the regional scene is not indicative of him having grappling success against good wrestlers at the UFC level. On the feet, he has some devastating leg kicks that are his best weapon, but he is very hittable in striking exchanges.

I favor Emmers in this matchup. Despite the fight IQ and durability concerns, Emmers is the better striker and better wrestler in this matchup. Emmers has never had cardio issues either so I doubt Jenkins will be able to take over as the fight goes on. Tough matchup for Jenkins and I expect Emmers to convincingly win a decision. Emmers by decision is the official pick.

Trevor Peek vs Jose Mariscal
Peek, -110; Mariscal, -110

Trevor Peek burst onto the scene in the UFC with an electric knockout victory over Erick Gonzalez in his UFC debut in February. He previously fought on Dana White’s Contender Series and is an 8-0 undefeated fighter with all eight wins coming by knockout. Of his eight knockout victories, six of them have come inside the first round. He is unconventional with his striking but clearly carries a ton of power. However, his striking defense is a liability and his cardio and defensive grappling are entirely unproven.

His opponent, Jose Mariscal is making his UFC debut this weekend. He is a 30-year-old regional grinder and trains out of Elevation Fight Team in Colorado. He is well-rounded and competent wherever the fight goes and even has wins over former UFC fighters, Pat Sabatini and Youssef Zala. But he is moving up a weight class here and has always had durability concerns as he has been knocked out three times in his career.

You can never fully trust a fighter like Trevor Peek, but he is going to have a clear power advantage in this matchup. Mariscal will need to withstand the early storm and drag Peek into deep waters, but I have my doubts he is able to do that here. Peek likely finds the chin in an early blitz and gets him out of there. Peek by knockout is the official pick and he is a strong target on DraftKings.

Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs Joshua Van
Zhumagulov, -195; Van, +165

Zhalgas Zhumagulov was supposed to fight last month against Rafael Estevam but Estevam was pulled from the card at the last minute and then the same thing happened with Felipe Bunes last week. He is coming off a split-decision loss to Charles Johnson in November and has now lost five of his last six fights – one loss for each one of his wives. At this point, we know what to expect from Zhumagulov as he is high-floor/low-ceiling style of fighter. He fights on thin margins and that is why we always seem to see him in close decisions that usually do not go his way. On the feet, he basically just spams overhand rights but does have power when he is able to find the target. He is a capable wrestler as well but mostly results in cage push as he only averages around 1.5 takedowns per 15 minutes.

His opponent, Joshua Van is the former flyweight champion of Fury FC and is making his UFC debut on short notice. Van is a 7-1 prospect fighting out of Texas and is a regular training partner of Rafael Alves. He is just 21 years old and has never fought into the third round in his entire career. But he does have clear power on the feet with five of his seven wins coming by knockout. I think he has a ton still to prove and this is the best fighter he has ever fought in his young career.

It is clear that Zhumagulov is the more skilled fighter wherever the fight goes. If Zhumagulov initiates the takedowns then he likely dominates here but if he decides to duke it out on the feet then it becomes competitive. Either way, Zhumagulov likely gets his hand raised. Zhumagulov by TKO is the official pick.

Tabatha Ricci vs Gillian Robertson
Ricci, -135; Robertson, +115

Tabatha Ricci is coming off a dominant performance over Jessica Penne at UFC 285 in March. Ricci is currently on a three-fight winning streak since losing her UFC debut to Manon Fiorot in 2021. Ricci is an 8-1 prospect fighting out of Brazil. Her striking is nothing special but she uses it set up her ground game which is her biggest strength. She averages 4.64 takedowns per 15 minutes and holds a black belt in BJJ with three submission victories. Her striking defense is a liability but only against fighters that are powerful enough to make her pay and difficult to take down.

Her opponent, Gillian Robertston is coming off a second-round submission victory over Piera Rodriguez in April. Robertson has one of the best ground games in the division, but she is very one dimensional in that she needs to fight on the mat. Her wrestling is not good and she is willing to give up takedowns just to get the fight where she needs it. Of her 12 career victories, nine of them have come by submission. But her lack of striking and he willingness to play guard from bottom make her finish reliant in most matchups.

I expect Ricci to be the better striker and winning the minutes on the feet, but I think we see plenty of grappling exchanges in this fight as well. Ricci is more likely to spend time in top position and should be defensively sound enough to negate any of the Robertson offense from bottom. Ricci by decision is the official pick and this is a good fight to target on DraftKings in the midrange this week.

Mateusz Rebecki vs Loik Radzhabov
Rebecki, -150; Radzhabov, +130

Mateusz Rebecki is coming off a dominant win over Nick Fiore in January and is currently on a 14-fight winning streak. He is another Dana White Contender Series winner from this past season and one of the better prospects from that season as well. He comes from a high-level grappling background with a black belt in BJJ and is the former lightweight champion in FEN promotion. He is reckless on the feet and looking to move forward and land a big overhand but does have power and will mix in the takedowns as well with solid control grappling.

His opponent, Loik Radzhabov is coming off an exciting back and forth fight with Esteban Ribovics in his UFC debut at UFC 285. Radzhabov is a 32-year-old fighting out of Tajikstan with a 17-4 professional record. Of his 17 victories, 12 of them have come inside the distance. He is well-rounded and capable of mixing in takedowns and landed 11 in his UFC debut. He has never been finished but has put himself in some bad spots grappling and his cardio has always been a concern throughout his career.

I expect this fight to be competitive in the first round with both fighters capable of landing some big shots. But outside of someone hurting their opponent, Rebecki is likely to take over as the fight goes on. He has the better wrestling and grappling and I favor his gas tank as well if this reaches the third round. Rebecki by TKO is the official pick.

Randy Brown vs Wellington Turman
Brown, -245; Turman, +205

Randy Brown had a four-fight winning streak stopped as he faced Jack Della Maddalena at UFC 284 in February and was submitted in the very first round. Despite the recent loss, Brown is still a good striker and will keep a good pace on the feet. He will be working with a six-inch reach advantage as well in this fight. The main concern with Brown is his durability as he has been finished in four of his five professional losses.

His opponent, Wellington Turman is coming off a decision loss to Andre Petroski at UFC 281 last November. Turman comes from a Muay Thai striking base but is primarily a grappler. He averages nearly two takedowns per 15 minutes and holds a black belt in BJJ. The primary issue with Turman is his durability as his chin is not good and he has been brutally knocked out twice in the UFC.

I never feel great about being backing big favorite that give up takedowns and are likely at a grappling deficiency. However, Brown is going to be the better striker and I favor his durability as well which is the key difference in this fight. Brown by decision is the official pick but this fight has a wide range of outcomes and I will have more exposure to the underdog on DraftKings.

Neil Magny vs Phil Rowe
Magny, -165; Rowe, +140

Neil Magny is coming off a first-round submission loss to Gilbert Burns at UFC 283 in January. He has lost two of his last three fights but has faced some stiff competition during that span. At nearly 36 years old, he is on the back end of his career, but he is still a very tough test for any of the up and comers in the division. Magny is long and rangy and will work behind his jab while the fight plays out at range. But he is at his best when he can mix in the grappling as he is very strong in the clinch and averages 2.4 takedowns per 15 minutes.

His opponent, Phil Rowe is coming off a third-round knockout victory over Niko Price in December. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak and looking to keep building that momentum this Saturday. On the feet, Rowe is long and can match the reach of Magny with his jab and kicks. He has some slick boxing and will throw in volume but struggles to defend takedowns at just over 50% in the UFC. He is a finisher by nature as all 10 of his career wins have come inside the distance but I would be surprised if that trend continues this weekend.

I see Magny as the clearly better round winner in this fight. It is likely very close on the feet with Rowe having more potential to hurt Magny standing but Magny having a clear edge in control grappling and takedowns. Magny by decision is the official pick but there are better fights to target this week on DraftKings.

Brendan Allen vs Bruno Silva
Allen, -180; Silva, +155

We last saw Brendan Allen in there against Andre Muniz and he dominated him as a big underdog and submitted him in the third round. He is currently on a four-fight winning streak with three of those wins coming by submission. Allen is well-rounded fighter these days as his striking has come a long way since he entered the UFC and his ground game has always been one of his strengths. He averages just 1.27 takedowns per 15 minutes but always seems to manage to force grappling exchanges in his fights. His biggest issue is his striking defense and durability as he has been hurt and knocked out multiple times now.

His opponent, Bruno Silva is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Brad Tavares in April. That win snapped a two-fight losing skid for him. Silva is an explosive striker with 20 of his 23 wins coming by knockout. He also holds a black belt in BJJ, but we have seen him taken down and out grappled on multiple occasions. The main concern with Silva remains his durability as he tends to fade in fights and has been submitted in six of his eight professional losses.

I favor Allen in this fight as he is the cleaner striker on the feet if he can avoid getting hurt by Silva. Additionally, Allen is the more dangerous submission grappler and I favor him to be the one in dominant positions on the mat as well. Ultimately, I expect Allen to break Silva over time and get the finish. Allen by submission is the official pick and this is a great fight to target on DraftKings.

Gabriel Santos vs David Onama
Santos, -230; Onama, +195

Gabriel Santos made his UFC debut on short notice to fight Lerone Murphy last year and many thought he won the fight but ended up losing via split-decision. He is the former Featherweight champion in LFA and sports a 10-1 professional record. Of his 10 career wins, seven have come inside the distance. He is primarily a striker and fights out of the southpaw stance but regularly switches and can attack from multiple angles. He has powerful leg kicks, decent hands and has shown a willingness to mix in takedowns as well as he landed five against Murphy.

His opponent, David Onama is coming off one of the most exciting fights of all last year when he went life and death with Nate Landwehr but lost a majority decision on the judges’ scorecards. Onama is a freak athlete with explosive power and all 10 of his career wins have come inside the distance. He pushes a high pace in terms of the output and has big power if he connects clean. The biggest issue with Onama is that he struggles to defend takedowns at under 50% in the UFC and both times he has gone to decision in his career, he lost.

This should be a competitive fight and I cannot help but feel that Santos is being overvalued due to the solid showing in his debut. But I favor the power and athleticism of Onama and if he can keep the fight on the feet for the majority then I expect him to be landing the bigger shots. Onama by TKO is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings.

Justin Tafa vs Austen Lane
Tafa, -180; Lane, +155

Justin Tafa is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Parker Porter at UFC 284 in February. He is currently on a two-fight winning streak and will look to keep the train rolling this weekend. It is easy to know what to expect from Tafa as he is very one-dimensional. He has big power on the feet and all six of his career wins have come by knockout. He will push a good pace in terms of the striking but I have concerns with his defensive grappling if you can take him down which we have yet to see in the UFC.

His opponent, Austen Lane is making his UFC debut this weekend. He previously fought on Dana White’s Contender Series this past season and is currently on a six-fight winning streak. Of his 12 career victories, 11 have come by knockout. He is lean for the Heavyweight division but has clear knockout power and carries it through every round. He will also be much taller than Tafa and working with a six-inch reach advantage as well. Lane has showed he is capable of wrestling on the regional scene but I would be surprised to see him be able to take Tafa down in this fight. The main concern with Lane is that he is hittable and can be countered and Tafa is good at doing just that. Lastly, Lane has been knocked out three times in his career.

On the surface, part of me is tempted to go with the local Florida guy who is bigger and at a nice plus number. But I honestly see Tafa finding some big counter shots and piecing up Lane on the feet and eventually hurting him. Tafa by knockout is the official pick.

Amanda Ribas vs Maycee Barber
Ribas, -195; Barber, +165

My girl is back in the octagon this weekend and finally getting some respect after putting a beating on Viviane Araujo her last time out at UFC 285 in March. Ribas is a very well-rounded fighter and you guys know I have been a big fan of hers since coming into the UFC and that is not stopping anytime soon. She does not carry a ton of power on the feet but she keeps a strong pace with her jab and repeated leg kicks. She also mixes in the takedowns at 2.16 per 15 minutes and is one of the better grapplers in the division when she gets the fight to the ground.

Her opponent, Maycee Barber is coming off a split-decision victory over Andrea Lee in March. It is no secret that I thought Andrea Lee clearly won that fight as did most people with a pulse.

Barber has been gifted multiple wins on the judges scorecards and it simply has to stop. Anyway, in terms of the matchup, Barber is very physical and carries power on the feet with five of her 12 career wins coming by knockout. That is likely her best chance in this fight is to hurt Ribas with something or potentially knock her out. Outside of that, I find it hard to see her winning minutes as Ribas can outvolume her at range and Barber is liable to wind up on her back when she clinches up and gets in close.

Ribas is very likely to spend time in top position here and is one of the better control grapplers that Barber has faced. The only real risk is a standing knockout and Ribas is chinny but I still do not see it happening at a high clip. Ribas by decision is the official pick.

Ilia Topuria vs Josh Emmett
Topuria, -345; Emmett, +285

Ilia Topuria has made quite a name for himself through just five UFC fights, but it seems the hype is warranted. He is coming off a dominant performance victory over Bryce Mitchell at UFC 282 where he submitted him in the second round and the fight was hardly competitive. Topuria is a powerful boxer with four knockout victories on his record. But he is best when he mixes in the grappling as he averages 2.45 takedowns per 15 minutes and holds a black belt in BJJ. The only real concern with Topuria is that he has only been to decision once in his entire career and has never fought 25 minutes so the cardio could potentially be an issue if the fight lasts that long.

His opponent, Josh Emmett is coming off a second-round submission loss to Yair Rodriguez at UFC 284 in February. That loss snapped a five-fight winning streak for him and he is looking to play spoiler this weekend and derail the hype train. Despite being 38 years old and looking 58 years old, Emmett is still a very good fighter. He is widely regarded as one of the heaviest hitters in the division and six of his 18 wins have come by knockout.

Both fighters are capable of landing something big on the feet and potentially hurting their opponent. But I favor the up and comer in Topuria who seems to be more explosive, quicker and more durable as well. He will also have the biggest advantage of the fight with his ground game and I expect that to be the difference. Topuria by TKO is the official pick.