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We are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Nashville! We have a fun 12-fight slate on DraftKings which is always fun and hopefully we do not have any fights fall off. It also helps that on DraftKings we have another $100,000 to first place in the main contest.

Asu Almabaev vs Ode Osbourne
Almabaev, -150; Osbourne, +130

Asu Almabaev is making his UFC debut this weekend. He is a 17-2 prospect fighting out of Kazakhstan. He is primarily a grappler and eight of his 17 wins have come by submission. Aside from his submission skills, his striking is not bad either as he works the body well and will mix in the leg kicks. His wrestling has been good enough on the regional scene and I do believe it will translate at the UFC level. He is not a bulletproof prospect by any stretch, but he seems serviceable and can string together some wins at the lower level of the Flyweight division.

His opponent, Ode Osbourne is coming off a split-decision victory over Charles Johnson in February. Osbourne is an explosive athlete and has clear finishing ability with nine of his 12 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.

Osbourne is a live underdog in the sense that he could explode on Almabaev early with a flying knee or jump on a guittone choke. But outside of that, I see the grappling of Almabaev being the biggest advantage in this fight. I expect him to land takedowns and get the finish. Almabaev by submission is the official pick.

Sean Woodson vs Mairon Santos

Sean Woodson was originally scheduled to fight Steve Garcia, but Garcia pulled out and is being replaced by Jesse Butler on short notice. Woodson is coming off a split-draw at UFC 278 last August. That was the fight card in Salt Lake City last year and we saw multiple fighters gas out that typically have good cardio and Woodson fits that bill. He also got dropped repeatedly in that fight so it was just an outlier performance for him. At his best, Woodson is a high-volume striker that is going to use his size and length to his advantage. He pushes a high pace on the feet and wants to keep the fight standing as his defensive grappling is not great.

His opponent, Mairon Santos is making his UFC debut on short notice. He previously fought over in LFA and is coming off a decision victory in May. He is a 13-1 prospect fighting out of Brazil. Of his 13 victories, seven of them have come by knockout. He has some power on the feet but is likely to struggle with the output and range of Woodson. He faced pretty low level opposition on the regional scene and this is a tough step up for him in competition, especially on very short notice.

It is possible Santos rocks up and surprises us with a big first round but I do not expect him to be very competitive over 15 minutes if the fight gets extended. Woodson by decision is the official pick but a late round TKO would not surprise me.

Jake Hadley vs Cody Durden
Hadley, -165; Durden, +140

Jake Hadley is coming off a first-round knockout victory over Malcolm Gordon at UFC 286 in March. Since dropping his UFC debut last year, he has rattled off two straight wins and both of them coming via finish. He is a 10-1 prospect fighting out of England and is primarily a grappler with five submission victories to his credit. On the feet, he fights out of the southpaw stance and has some heavy leg kicks and wants to keep his opponents on the back foot. The concern with Hadley is that his defensive wrestling is not good as he gives up takedowns easily and can be controlled for extended periods as well. He needs big moments or to have grappling success as he is not a great round winner without that.

His opponent, Cody Durden is coming off a decision victory over Charles Johnson in April. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak with his last two coming by decision. Durden comes from a collegiate wrestling background and averages 5.73 takedowns per 15 minutes. On the feet, he is active with the leg kicks and carries some underrated power in his hands but he is looking to shoot early and often which we love to see as DraftKings players. The issue with Durden is that his gas tank is not the best and cannot keep up with the high pace that he sets early in fights. We have seen him slow down later in fights multiple times now.

I expect Durden to look good early as he should be competitive on the feet and will likely have success getting Hadley to the ground in round one. But Hadley is dangerous on the mat and Durden gets sloppy once he starts to get tired. Hadley by submission is the official pick and this is a good fight to target on DraftKings.

Billy Quarantillo vs Damon Jackson
Quarantillo, -180; Jackson, +155

Billy Quarantillo is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Edson Barboza in April. Quarantillo is a high-action fighter that likes to move forward and push a pace from the opening bell. He keeps very active with volume and is capable of mixing in some takedowns as well. He is also a BJJ black belt and has five submission victories. His gas tank is one of his best assets as he can keep a high pace for 15 minutes and break his opponents later in fights. The main concern with him is that he is sloppy defensively and eats a lot of shots and is now making a quick turnaround off his second career knockout loss.

His opponent, Damon Jackson is also coming off a knockout loss and likely just as brutal. Jackson was knocked out stiff by Dan Ige in January. That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak for him and he looks to rebound this weekend. Jackson is primarily a grappler as he averages 2.35 takedowns per 15 minutes and 15 of his 22 career wins have come by submission. The issue with Jackson is that he will engage in a war on the feet and he does not have the defense or the durability to do so. He also only defends takedowns at 40% and is willing to fight off his back at times.

Both guys have concerns with their poor defense and coming off knockout losses, but I still favor the work rate and overall skillset of Quarantillo in this matchup. I expect him to take over as the fight goes on and eventually find a finish. Quarantillo by TKO is the official pick.

Jeremiah Wells vs Carlston Harris
Wells, -155; Harris, +135

Jeremiah Wells is coming off an exciting back and forth affair against Matthew Semelsberger which resulted in a split-decision win for him in April. He is currently on a six-fight winning streak and is yet to lose inside the UFC octagon. Wells is an explosive fighter with clear power if he connects clean on you as he has five knockout victories. But he is also a good grappler and holds a black belt in BJJ and averages nearly four takedowns per 15 minutes. The main concern with Wells is that he is sloppy defensively and does not put much volume out there either so he relies on those big shots or grappling moments.

His opponent, Carlston Harris is coming off a decision victory over Jared Gooden in March. He is 3-1 in the UFC with his loss coming against Shavkat Rakhmanov last year. Harris is primarily a grappler himself and averages over three takedowns per 15 minutes. Of his 18 career victories, 10 of them have come inside the distance and he has some finishing upside in his own right. The main issue with Harris is his durability as he has been chin checked in the past and knocked out twice in his career.

This is a fun matchup and one that I think you need exposure to on DraftKings. Both guys have grappling upside and finishing potential but I favor Wells as the more explosive striker and trust his durability a bit more. Wells by TKO is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings.

Kyler Phillips vs Raoni Barcelos
Phillips, -200; Barcelos, +170

We last saw Kyler Phillips at UFC 271 when he submitted Marcelo Rojo in round three. He is a 10-2 prospect fighting out of Arizona and training at the MMA Lab. He is an explosive athlete and typically comes out fast right from the opening bell. He has power on the feet and five wins by knockout but he is also a strong grappler as well. He averages just under 3.5 takedowns per 15 minutes and holds a black belt in BJJ. The main concern with Phillips is his cardio management as we have seen him fade multiple times after the first round.

His opponent, Raoni Barcelos is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Umar Nurmagomedov in January. He has now lost three of his last four fights and just turned 36 years old which is considered pretty old for Bantamweight. Despite the age concern, Barcelos is still a very well-rounded fighter with good striking and a strong ground game as well. He keeps a high pace on the feet and is capable of mixing in some takedowns as well as he averages 1.63 takedowns per 15 minutes. But it is hard to argue that he has looked regressed last few times out and been hurt as well and that is a worry when facing an explosive athlete like Phillips.

I expect Barcelos to be competitive while the fight plays out at range, but Phillips is likely to hurt Barcelos as he is going to have a clear power advantage. I also would not be surprised to see Phillips engage in the grappling realm although it could make him gas out so I am not sure it would be the best game plan. Phillips by TKO is the official pick, but Barcelos is a live underdog if he can avoid getting hurt in this one.

Ignacio Bahamondes vs Ludovit Klein
Bahamondes, -205; Klein, +175

Ignacio Bahamondes is coming off a decision win over Trey Ogden at UFC 287 in April. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak since dropping his UFC debut back in 2021. He is primarily a striker and comes from a high-level kickboxing background. He keeps a high pace on the feet and has a ton of various kicking attacks that he can surprise you with. He is long and rangy for the division and uses his size well and his volume is tough for his opponents to match over 15 minutes. The only real concern with Bahamondes is his striking defense as he gets hit clean more than you like to see but has been very durable so far.

His opponent, Ludovit Klein is coming off a majority draw against Jai Herbert at UFC 286. Klein is primarily a striker and has explosive power early in fights. Of his 19 career victories, eight of them have come by knockout. Like Bahamondes, he likes using his kicks as well as he has knocked out multiple opponents with a head kick. He has occasionally mixed in some grappling, but I would not count on him to do that often and against better opponents.

I expect Bahamondes to be the better striker here and really do not see how Klein will be able to keep up with the output of Bahamondes. Klein seems to be drawing thin to an early knockout and although possible, I do not think it is very likely. Bahamondes by decision is the official pick.

Tanner Boser vs Aleksa Camur
Boser, -165; Camur, +140

Tanner Boser is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Ion Cutelaba in April. Boser’s drop to Light Heavyweight did not start off ideally, but the cut seemed to be okay for him last time out so no worries in that regard. Boser is a one-dimensional striker that moves well for his size and tries to stay active with a heavy leg kicking approach on the outside. His defensive grappling is not good, but he is not easy to takedown.

His opponent, Aleksa Camur is coming off a lengthy absence as we last saw him two years ago when he lost a decision to Nicolae Negumereanu. He is a 6-2 prospect with five of his six wins coming by knockout. He is a one-dimensional striker as well and struggles to defend takedowns. He is very hittable on the feet as he does not move his head off the center line. Lastly, his cardio has faded in the past. It is possible we see some improvements with the long layoff, but Camur is borderline UFC level.

This is an easy pass on DraftKings as I do not think either guy has much upside as we should see a lower paced kickboxing match for the most part. I favor Boser as the better striker with a better gas tank as well. Boser by decision is the official pick but I’ll be fading this fight on DraftKings for the most part.

Diego Lopes vs Gavin Tucker
Lopez, -148; Tucker, +124

Diego Lopes made his UFC debut on short notice against Movsar Evloev and gave him everything he could handle. He is the former Featherweight champion in LUX promotion and formerly fought on Dana White’s Contender Series but lost to Joanderson Brito. Lopes is a dangerous submission grappler and 11 of his 21 wins have come by submission. He has some power on the feet but it is clear that he needs the fight on the mat and he will gladly give up takedowns to get it there.

His opponent, Gavin Tucker has been on the sidelines for over two years since we last saw him get knocked out by Dan Ige. Tucker is now 37 years old so the age is a concern along with the long layoff and recent knockout loss. At his best, Tucker is a well-rounded fighter with powerful striking and a solid ground game as well. He averages nearly three takedowns per 15 minutes and holds a black belt in BJJ. This is another exciting matchup and want you want exposure to on DraftKings.

Tucker should keep the fight standing but he may be willing to grapple which would be a mistake. Lopes is going to have a big size advantage and although he is one-dimensional, I favor his grappling skills when the fight gets to the ground. Lopes by submission is the official pick.

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Dustin Jacoby
Nzechukwu, -155; Jacoby, +130

I still feel the pain of holding a Nzechukwu by knockout in round two ticket only to watch live as he earned his first ever submission in round two against Devin Clark. Nzechukwu is very long for the division and will be working with a seven-inch reach advantage in this fight. He has clearly been making improvements in the UFC throughout his fights as he is now becoming more comfortable using his length to his advantage. Additionally, he has really improved his takedown defense and is good at working back to his feet if you can get him down.

His opponent, Dustin Jacoby is coming off a decision loss to Azamat Murzakanov in April. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak and looking to get back in the win column this Saturday. Jacoby comes from a high-level kickboxing background and is very one-dimensional as he needs to keep the fight standing. He has some nasty leg kicks and generally keeps a high output while the fight is on the feet. But he can be taken down and his durability is not as rock solid as it used to be either.

I expect this fight to play out on the feet and I favor the size and power of Nzechukwu. Jacoby is going to be competitive and will need to close distance to get inside his range but Nzechukwu just keeps coming. The powerful punches and nasty elbows in the clinch will likely score better than the calf kicks that Jacoby is landing. Nzechukwu by decision is the official pick.

Tatiana Suarez vs Jessica Andrade
Suarez, -425; Andrade, +300

Tatiana Suarez made her return to the octagon in February and submitted Montana De La Rosa in the second round. Suarez is going to fit in just fine at the Flyweight division and her wrestling and grappling skills are among the best. She averages over six takedowns per 15 minutes and four of her nine wins are coming by submission. She is undefeated and someone is likely going to have to hurt her early in the fight otherwise they will be subject to her relentless grappling.

Her opponent, Jessica Andrade is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Yan Xiaonan at UFC 288 in May. She is currently on a two-fight losing streak and was finished in both of those losses. On the feet, Andrade pushes a high-volume pace and has some of the biggest power in the division. But she has never been able to defend takedowns and has shown subpar defensive grappling skills. She has repeatedly looked for a way out recently when facing adversity and has been finished in eight of her 11 career losses.

Andrade is always capable of landing something big on the feet and hurting Suarez but she is only going to have a small window to do it. I expect Suarez to get the fight to the ground early and often and eventually find the submission. Suarez by submission is the official pick and she is one of the best spend up options this week on DraftKings.

Cory Sandhagen vs Rob Font
Sandhagen, -315; Font, +240

Cory Sandhagen is coming off a split-decision victory over Marlon Vera in March. He largely dominated that fight and only a blind judge could give it to Chito Vera. Sandhagen is one of the best strikers in the division and pushes a high pace that many cannot keep up with. He is also a good submission grappler but can be taken down by capable wrestlers. He has excellent cardio as well and is able to keep that high pace for 25 minutes if needed.

His opponent, Rob Font is coming off a first-round knockout over Adrian Yanez at UFC 287 in April. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak and he wants to keep that momentum moving forward into this weekend. At his best, Font is a great striker with one of the best jabs in the division. He is also a capable wrestler although he does not go to it very often. But his biggest weakness lately has been his durability. Despite never being knocked out in his career, he took a ton of damage recently and was knocked down five times in the two fights before Yanez.

This is a great matchup with two high-volume strikers that are extremely technical. But over 25 minutes, I favor the cardio, durability and power of Sandhagen and expect that to be the difference. Sandhagen by TKO is the official pick.