DraftKings MMA: UFC Denver
DraftKings MMA: UFC Denver

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

$75K is up for grabs in this week's MMA Hook on DraftKings for a card in Denver featuring two electrifying strikers in the main event.

If you're hoping to turn the event into an opportunity to build your DFS bankroll, DraftKings.com has you covered with a full slate of contests. Players get a $50,000 budget to select six fighters, and the scoring is distributed as follows:

(Please note that DraftKings altered their scoring system in December 2016 to add a new fighter to the lineup and adjust scoring. The most recent point values are listed below.)

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Advance (ADVC): +3 PT
Takedown (TD): +5 PTS
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 PTS
Knockdown (KD): +10 PTS

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 PTS
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 PTS
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 PTS
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 PTS
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 PTS
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 PTS

Scoring Notes
Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.

Advances include: To Half Guard, To Side Control, To Mount, To Back Control

Now, on to the fights...

Main Event - Featherweight

Chan Sung Jung (14-4-0) v. Yair Rodriguez (11-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Jung ($8,500), Rodriguez ($7,700)
Vegas Odds: Jung (-135), Rodriguez (+115)
Odds to Finish: -300

Rodriguez is in for an injured Frankie Edgar on roughly two weeks' notice. Oddly enough, Yair's last fight, which came nearly a year and a half ago, was a lopsided unanimous decision loss at the hands of Edgar at UFC 211 in May 2017. Since then, Rodriguez was released by the UFC after refusing to accept fights that had been offered to him, only to be re-signed by the company less than a month later. Rodriguez was scheduled to face Zabit Magomedsharipov in September before a knee injury forced his withdrawal. Yair is still very young (26 last month), and he has a highly unique style of fighting. He absorbed far too much punishment in the Edgar fight, but his unorthodox combinations make him virtually impossible to train for. Rodriguez's ceiling remains immense despite the setback to Frankie.

The Korean Zombie (that's Jung, by the way) spent more than 3.5 years on the sidelines while completing his mandatory military service for his native South Korea. The 31-year-old returned in February and scored a brilliant one-punch knockout of Dennis Bermudez that earned him a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus. Jung was due to face Ricardo Lamas in July before being forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. A former kickboxer, The Zombie's background is in striking, but eight of his 14 career victories have come via submission. He doesn't have the name recognition of some of the division's other top competitors because of his time away, but Jung is a legitimate, world-class talent.

This is a fight that could theoretically go either way, but I'd rather bet on the well-rounded game of Jung as opposed to the inconsistencies of Rodriguez. There are times that Yair will look like a future world champion, but there are also times in his fights in which I think he focuses so much on innovative offense that his defense suffers for it. Either way, expect a highly entertaining main event regardless of who you think will emerge victorious. Rodriguez is a value play at $7,700.

THE PICK: Jung

Co-Main Event - Welterweight

Donald Cerrone (33-11-0, 1NC) v. Mike Perry (12-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Cerrone ($7,300), Perry ($8,900)
Vegas Odds: Cerrone (+185), Perry (-225)
Odds to Finish: -265

Boy, is this going to be fun! Two guys that are known for throwing (and eating) strikes and asking questions later, Cerrone and Perry set up for what should be an extremely entertaining fight. If you like violence, this is the bout for you.

Cowboy is somehow 1-4 in his last five fights dating back to January 2017. Losing to the likes of Robbie Lawler, Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal are one thing, but his setback to Leon Edwards in June was particularly concerning. Cerrone has been a bit slow at pulling the trigger of late and is eating more shots than ever before. The four months on the sidelines should do wonders for him, although I'd like to see him take an even longer break one of these years.

Perry is coming off a split-decision win over Paul Felder in July. He landed the harder, more effective shots and he looked far better than the 'split decision' term would lead you to believe. Perry is of the same school as Cerrone in the sense that he is willing to get hit in order to land shots of his own. Perry's chin is ridiculous and he has legitimate thunder in his hands.

Both men are going to absorb punishment in this fight. The winner is going to be the man that is able to eat what his opponent throws his way. Based on what we have seen of late, I think the pick has to be Perry. Cerrone's chin is trending in the wrong direction and Perry continues to prove he can take a beating every time out. I think Cowboy is the better all-around mixed martial artist, but I'm worried about him. It's entirely possible that all the beatings he has taken over the years is just finally catching up to him.

THE PICK: Perry

Women's Bantamweight

Raquel Pennington (9-7-0) v. Germaine de Randamie (7-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Pennington ($7,400), de Randamie ($8,800)
Vegas Odds: Pennington (+145), de Randamie (-165)
Odds to Finish: +185

De Randamie hasn't been heard from since she took a unanimous decision from Holly Holm in February 2017 to win the inaugural UFC Women's Featherweight Championship. In the aftermath of her win over Holm, de Randamie apparently refused to defend her title against Cris Cyborg and the UFC proceeded to strip her of the belt. GDR was then scheduled for bouts against Marion Reneau last September and Ketlen Vieira in February before withdrawing from both due to injury. It's been a strange, strange year-plus for GDR.

Pennington got her shot at UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes in May and was battered from pillar to post before Nunes finally finished the fight in Round 5. Once viewed as nothing more than roster depth, Pennington has improved considerably since relocating to Colorado with her fiancé, fellow UFC fighter Tecia Torres.

GDR openly contemplated retirement following the Cyborg fiasco. Assuming she is committed to fighting, I think she beats Pennington with ease. De Randamie is a world-class kickboxer and Pennington is a below-average athlete who struggles to get her head off the center line. Pennington possesses little-to-no footwork and has no power to speak of. Any Pennington victory will almost certainly have to come via decision and I don't see how she will be able to avoid the combinations of GDR for 15 minutes. I'm quite confident about this selection and I love GDR as DraftKings play.

THE PICK: de Randamie

Editor's Note: The breakdown of a flyweight matchup between Ray Borg and Joseph Benavidez was originally set to go here, but that fight was scrapped after Borg was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed medical condition. To make matters worse, reports started surfacing Wednesday afternoon that the UFC intends to dissolve the flyweight division before the end of 2017, so it's unclear if this matchup will ever be rebooked.

Other Bouts

Women's Strawweight

Maycee Barber (4-0-0) v. Hannah Cifers (8-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Barber ($9,400), Cifers ($6,800)
Vegas Odds: Barber (-420), Cifers (+335)
Odds to Finish: +120

THE PICK: Barber

Lightweight

Michael Trizano (8-0-0) v. Luis Pena (5-0-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Trizano ($6,900), Pena ($9,300)
Vegas Odds: Trizano (+250), Pena (-300)
Odds to Finish: +100

THE PICK: Pena

Women's Strawweight

Ashley Yoder (5-3-0) v. Amanda Cooper (4-4-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Yoder ($8,600), Cooper ($7,600)
Vegas Odds: Yoder (-145), Cooper (+125)
Odds to Finish: +160

THE PICK: Yoder

Featherweight

Chas Skelly (17-2-0) v. Bobby Moffett (12-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Skelly ($8,400), Moffett ($7,800)
Vegas Odds: Skelly (-105), Moffett (-115)
Odds to Finish: +145

THE PICK: Moffett

Lightweight

Beneil Dariush (14-4-1) v. Thiago Moises (10-2-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Dariush ($8,700), Moises ($7,500)
Vegas Odds: Dariush (-140), Moises (+120)
Odds to Finish: -105

THE PICK: Dariush

Lightweight

Devonte Smith (8-1-0) v. Julian Erosa (22-6-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Smith ($9,100), Erosa ($7,100)
Vegas Odds: Smith (-230), Erosa (+190)
Odds to Finish: -260

THE PICK: Smith

Lightweight

Davi Ramos (8-2-0) v. John Gunther (7-1-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Ramos ($9,500), Gunther ($6,700)
Vegas Odds: Ramos (-970), Gunther (+635)
Odds to Finish: -420

THE PICK: Ramos

Flyweight

Joseph Morales (9-1-0) v. Eric Shelton (11-5-0)
DraftKings Salaries: Morales ($8,000), Shelton ($8,200)
Vegas Odds: Morales (-105), Shelton (-115)
Odds to Finish: +155

THE PICK: Morales

Bantamweight

Mark De La Rosa (10-1-0) v. Joby Sanchez (11-3-0)
DraftKings Salaries: De La Rosa ($9,000), Sanchez ($7,200)
Vegas Odds: De La Rosa (-230), Sanchez (+190)
Odds to Finish: +100

THE PICK: De La rosa

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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