After a week off from the electric UFC 300 PPV, we are back for another exciting weekend of combat sports for UFC Vegas 91! We have an action-packed 12-fight slate on DraftKings which makes for a very interesting Saturday afternoon. 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.

Maheshate vs Gabriel Benitez
Maheshate, -218; Benitez, +170

Maheshate is coming off a second-round TKO loss to Viacheslav Borshchev last May. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak and could be fighting for his job this weekend. He is primarily a striker and does carry some power on the feet. But he is low volume and is coming off a brutal knockout loss himself which is concerning.

His opponent, Gabriel Benitez is coming off a third-round submission loss to Jim Miller in January. He has lost three of his last four fights with his only victory in that span being a knockout win over Charlie Ontiveros. Benitez is a technical kickboxer with devastating leg kicks and legitimate punching power. He also has a sneaky submission game, but his durability is a legitimate concern as he has been knocked out four times in his career.

Despite the durability concerns of Benitez, he should have multiple advantages in this matchup. I expect Benitez to have success with the leg kicks and to be the more active striker of the two. He is better in the clinch and should be the better minute winner if he can avoid getting hurt. Benitez by TKO is the official pick.

Ivana Petrovic vs Na Liang
Petrovic, -500; Liang, +380

Our team of experts are aligned on this fight… Find out who they’re backing HERE

Ivana Petrovic is coming off her UFC debut last June where she dropped a decision to Luana Carolina. She is the former Flyweight champion in Ares FC and a 6-1 prospect with five of her six wins coming inside the distance. She fights out of the southpaw stance and is primarily a grappler and landed two takedowns in her debut. She is willing to slug it out on the feet, but her best work comes when she mixes in the takedowns. But I have some concerns as her striking defense as she is very hittable and needs to get the fight to the ground to have success.

Her opponent, Na Liang is coming off a second-round KO loss to JJ Aldrich last August. She is 0-3 in the UFC and lost by TKO in all of those fights. But despite the poor outcomes for Liang, she has had spurts of success in multiple fights. She is very similar to Daniel Lacerda in that she is dangerous on the feet and the ground for the first few minutes. But if she cannot find the finish in the first few minutes then she typically gasses out and gets herself finished.

I expect Liang to show some burst early in this fight on the feet and maybe even land a takedown of her own. But if she cannot find the finish then I expect her to fade and for Petrovic to take over and find the finish. Petrovic by submission is the official pick and this is a great fight to target on DraftKings.

Ketlen Souza vs Marnic Mann
Souza, -345; Mann, +275

Ketlen Souza made her UFC debut last June and lost by first-round submission to Karine Silva who is also fighting on this card. Souza’s knee popped out in that submission loss but it seems that the injury was not as bad as many initially thought. She is a well-rounded fighter that should be the better striker in this matchup. She is also a brown belt in BJJ but can be taken down and controlled by better grapplers. The concern is her durability as she has been finished in all four of her professional losses.

Her opponent, Marnic Mann is coming off her UFC debut against Josefine Knutsson last September. She is a 6-2 prospect fighting out of Montana. I was harsh about her coming into that UFC debut and I am not optimistic that she sticks around the roster very long. She previously fought in LFA and Contender Series but was knocked out by Bruna Brasil. Mann’s best asset is just being tough. She is not very good at anything really and wants to close distance and clinch and use her wrestling and I think she will be at a disadvantage in those areas in this matchup.

This is really Souza’s fight to lose. I am not interested in laying the big chalk price tag but Souza is better wherever this fight goes. The better question is whether or not you think Souza can find the finish to pay off her price on DraftKings. I am leaning with a fade as of now but will discuss more on the DraftKings Deep Dive Show this Thursday. Souza by decision is the official pick.

Caio Machado vs Don’Tale Mayes
Machado, -125; Mayes, +105

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Caio Machado is coming off his UFC debut against Mick Parkin last year where he dropped a competitive decision. He is a 8-2 prospect fighting out of Canada. Of his eight career victories, six of them have come inside the first round. He keeps a good pace for the Heavyweight division and his cardio seems to be fine considering that was a concern with him coming into the UFC. My main concern with him is that he can be taken down and better grapplers will take advantage of him.

His opponent, Don’Tale Mayes is coming off a decision loss to Rodrigo Nascimento in November. Mayes is low volume on the feet but does carry some knockout power as six of his 10 career wins have come in that fashion. He has some powerful kicks as well and has shown at times the ability to mix in takedowns although he rarely looks to do it. The fight IQ is the main issue I have with Mayes as I do not trust him to gameplan well for any opponent.

Mayes has shown time and time again that he is simply not a smart fighter and lacks good round winning potential. He could probably land takedowns and control Machado at times on the mat but I have zero faith he even pursues that gameplan. I expect Machado to be the more active striker on the feet and to be the better minute winner over 15 minutes. Machado by decision is the official pick.

Michal Figlak vs Austin Hubbard
Figlak, -155; Hubbard, +130

Michal Figluk is another fighter on this card coming off their UFC debut. He dropped a decision to Fares Ziam in September of 2022 and hasn’t fought since. The reason for the long layoff is that he tore his ACL and suffered a serious knee injury in training back in January of last year. When healthy, he is very well-rounded and has shown a complete game on the regional scene between his powerful striking and his ability to land takedowns as well. He holds a purple belt in BJJ and is a good scrambler on the mat but it’s clear that his wrestling still needs improvement to compete at the UFC level. He struggled to take down and control Ziam and that ultimately cost him the fight.

His opponent, Austin Hubbard is coming off a second-round submission loss to Kurt Holobaugh at UFC 292 last August. He is a well-rounded fighter that trains out of Elevation Fight team in Colorado. He had some tough matchups previously in the UFC as he seemed to always get matched up with better grapplers. But he is not easy to takedown and has even looked to offensively wrestle more in recent fights.

This should be a competitive fight and I have questions with both fighters. But I expect it to be close and think that Hubbard could have an advantage on the feet and some sneaky wrestling upside as well. Hubbard by decision is the official pick.

Victor Henry vs Rani Yahya
Henry, -520; Yahya, +390

Victor Henry is coming off a no-contest against Javid Basharat where he got his balls kicked off – literally. He is a well-rounded fighter that will throw in heavy volume on the feet as he averages just over 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 although he likely wants to avoid grappling in this matchup.

His opponent, Rani Yahya is coming off a first-round knockout last April. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for him. He is a one-dimensional submission grappler and 21 of his 28 professional victories have come by submission. But he has nothing on the feet and his cardio has always been an issue. Lastly, he turns 40 years old later this year.

I expect Henry to be able to keep this fight on the feet where he should have a clear advantage in the striking department. Henry will be landing way more volume on the feet and just needs to avoid the early submission here and he likely finds a finish himself. Henry by TKO is the official pick.

Uros Medic vs Tim Means
Medic, -310; Means, +250

We last saw Uros Medic when he got submitted in round two against Myktybek Orolbai in November. He is 3-2 in the UFC and all five of his UFC fights have ended inside the distance. He is a powerful kickboxer with seven of his nine professional wins coming by knockout. He fights out of the southpaw stance and looks to land his power early but if he cannot do that then he starts to fade. He also struggles defensively with the grappling as well.

His opponent, Tim Means is coming off a third-round TKO finish over Andre Fialho in September. That win snapped a three-fight losing streak for him. He turned 40 in February and it’s clear that his best days are behind him. His boxing is still solid and he is the better grappler in this fight but I do not trust him to use it to his advantage. Lastly, his durability is a concern as he has been finished nine times in his career.

I think Means could keep it competitive early but eventually Medic likely lands something that hurts him. Medic by knockout is the official pick but Means could be a sneaky old dog for DraftKings this week so I’ll have some exposure to him.

Jonathan Pearce vs David Onama
Pearce, -180; Onama, +150

Jonathan Pearce is coming off one of the biggest bag fumbles in recent history against Joanderson Brito last year. He dominated nearly every second of that fight and managed to get himself submitted late in round two. Pearce pushes an aggressive grappling pace and averages 5.29 takedowns per 15 minutes. He has great cardio as well and can keep that pace as needed. The only concern with Pearce is that he is very hittable in striking exchanges and we have seen him rocked in multiple fights.

His opponent, David Onama is coming off a second-round knockout victory over Gabriel Santos last June. Onama is a physical specimen with freakish athleticism and strength. He is not the most technical fighter, but he carries legitimate knockout power with seven of his 11 professional wins coming by knockout. The main issue with Onama is that he struggles to defend takedowns at under 50% in the UFC.

There is obvious risk with Pearce as he is going to get knocked out sooner or later. But he should be able to go to the grappling early and often where he should have a big advantage on the mat. Pearce by decision is the official pick and this is another strong fight to target on DraftKings.

Jhonata Diniz vs Austen Lane
Diniz, -238; Lane, +195

Jhonata Diniz is making his UFC debut this weekend. He fought on Dana White’s Contender Series last season and won by first-round knockout. He is a 6-0 undefeated prospect and all six of his career wins have come by first-round knockout. He previously fought in Glory kickboxing and is a one-dimensional power striker. His cardio is unproven, but it may not matter in a matchup like this.

His opponent, Austen Lane is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Justin Tafa at UFC 293 last September. 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 each round the few times he fought outside of the first round. He has also shown the ability to land takedowns on the regional scene and that is likely his path to victory in this fight. The major concern with Lane is that he has been knocked out four times in his career and is facing a powerful striker.

Lane needs to try to wrestle early and often and I just don’t have much faith that he will be able to do so. While the fight is on the feet, I expect Diniz to be the cleaner striker and carry more power as well. Diniz by TKO is the official pick and this is another good fight to target on DraftKings.

Karine Silva vs Ariane Lipski
Silva, -155; Lipski, +130

Our experts are split on this fight… See who is backing which fighter NOW

Karine Silva is coming off a first-round submission win over Maryna Moroz at UFC 292 last September. She is 3-0 in the UFC with three straight first-round submission victories and currently on an eight-fight winning streak. She is big for the division and has a powerful overhand right that she has hurt multiple opponents with. But her biggest strength is her aggressive submission grappler as she will look for guillotine chokes and heel hooks along with whatever else presents itself. She is a dangerous finisher, but I still have concerns about her in extended fights as the few times she did fight out of the first round, she faded badly.

Her opponent, Ariane Lipski is coming off a second-round submission win over Casey O’Neil at UFC 296 in December. She is currently on a three-fight winning streak and has won four of her last five fights. Lipski is primarily a striker but has improved her grappling over the years as well. The main concern with her is that she is very hittable and has been rocked multiple times and knocked out four times in her career.

This is a tough fight to predict for me because Silva has clear round one potential and I make her a big favorite to win the first round. But I do expect her to fade strongly if the fight gets extended so she comes with significant risk. Silva by submission is the official pick but I will have exposure to both sides on DraftKings.

Ryan Spann vs Bogdan Guskov
Spann, -205; Guskov, +170

Ryan Spann is coming off a split-decision loss to Anthony Smith last August. Spann is an action-packed fighter with power on the feet and a strong submission game as well. Of his 21 career victories, 18 of them have come inside the distance. The glaring issue with Spann is his durability as he has been knocked out three times in his career and been hurt countless other times as well.

His opponent, Bogdan Guskov is coming off a first-round knockout win over Zac Pauga in February. The jury is still out on Guskov as many people have labeled him a fraud in previous fights. But one thing is clear – the man has knockout power. Of his 15 career victories, 13 of them have come by knockout with most of them coming inside the first round. There is obvious concerns with his defensive grappling and cardio as well.

In a matchup like this with the under 1.5 juiced to the under, the market is clearly expecting an early finish from either fighter. Both guys have finishing ability and both have obvious concerns as well which makes this a great fight to target on DraftKings. I will have exposure to both sides for DraftKings, but I am siding with the underdog as I trust his durability more. Guskov by TKO is the official pick.

Matheus Nicolau vs Alex Perez
Nicolau, -185; Perez, +154

Matheus Nicolau was originally scheduled to fight Manel Kape who pulled out of this fight due to injury. He is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Brandon Royval last year which snapped a six-fight winning streak for him. He is a very well-rounded fighter that is comfortable wherever the fight goes. He also has shown a high fight IQ and an ability to adapt his gameplan based on each opponent which is very encouraging to see. He rarely puts a ton of volume out there, but he picks his spots well and is very sharp defensively which makes it difficult for his opponents to have big moments and score points on him. Lastly, he is a good grappler as well and mixes in takedowns along with defending them very well at 93% in the UFC.

His opponent, Alex Perez is coming off a decision loss to Muhammad Mokaev in March. He is currently on a three-fight losing streak and looks to get back in the win column this weekend. Perez is notoriously untrustworthy as he is a pullout merchant and regularly misses weight or has his fights cancelled. But when he is at his best, he is one of the most talented fighters in the division. He keeps a solid pace on the feet with powerful leg kicks and will lean on his collegiate wrestling background as he averages 2.26 takedowns per 15 minutes. The main concern with him is that he loves to stick his neck out there and has been submitted five times in his career.

Despite the uncertainty with Perez, I feel he is being undervalued in this spot. He has upside in this matchup with his wrestling and pace along with the overall experience as he has fought the best this division has to offer. Nicolau is fine but he has durability issues and he is not the type of fighter to cover a big price tag especially against a high-level opponent. Perez by decision is the official pick.

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