This article is part of our The MMA Mashup series.
We're down to 11 fights after a pair of cancelations, but there's still plenty for us to review in this week's edition of The MMA Mashup. We spread the love across five different platforms, which allows us to highlight a contrarian, higher-cost play that likely won't be on many radars. All lines are taken from the William Hill online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Without any further ado, let's get to it.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Sijara Eubanks ($9,300)
It seems tough to justify rostering Eubanks here, as she has scored 100 points just once in her eight UFC bouts. We must take into account, however, that Eubanks will face a late-replacement fighter in Elise Reed who is 4-0 in her professional MMA career, having previously fought as an atomweight. This means that Eubanks should have a significant strength advantage, which will pay dividends when she attempts to take the fight to the ground. Reed will stay in the face of her opponents and throw shots, but she is unlikely to have enough power to trouble "Sarj" in a meaningful way.
Kyler Phillips ($9,200)
Phillips officially emerged as a prospect to watch after his last performance against Yadong Song, which saw him use his athleticism, kickboxing, and takedown prowess to notch a clear decision victory. Raulian Paiva is a solid technical kickboxer in his own right, but tends to stand flatfooted in the cage, and doesn't strike with the fluidity of Phillips. While Paiva boasts a strong takedown defense rate (80 percent), I expect Phillips' multi-faceted attack to be too much for the 25-year-old.
Ian Heinisch ($8,500)
It's difficult to watch Nassourdine Imavov get controlled in the clinch and on the ground by Phil Hawes for over 11 minutes and conclude that a physically strong wrestler like Heinsch won't be able to do the same. Imavov had pockets of success against Hawes while the fight was in space, but Heinisch is a more functional kickboxer than Hawes and has yet to lose by KO/TKO in 18 professional bouts. All of this should equate to "The Hurricane" controlling the fight no matter where it goes.
Miranda Maverick ($8,400)
The matchmakers don't often put fighters with two-fight winning streaks together with those who have lost two in a row, which makes me think that the UFC is telling Maycee Barber in no uncertain terms that it's time to sink or swim. She'll have a tough time staying afloat against Maverick, who came into the organization as a credentialed wrestler and grappler and has also shown her kickboxing skills with a first-round mauling of Liana Jojua which led to a doctor stoppage. Barber has had success stuffing takedowns to this point but has yet to face a grappler as physically strong as Maverick in the cage.
Plays to Consider on Prize Picks
Puna Soriano UNDER 0.5 Takedowns and Julio Arce OVER 1.0 Takedowns
Both of these totals may seem risky given the history of the participants, but I believe style matchups dictate that the plays are solid. While Soriano has completed at least one takedown in two of his three UFC (or UFC-adjacent) fights, he won't have much reason to try to bring things to the ground against Brendan Allen, who has finished nine of his 16 professional wins by submission. Arce is primarily a boxer, but it will be in his best interest to try and takedown Andre Ewell due to his slick, fast hands and five-inch reach advantage.
Plays to consider on SuperDraft
Randy Costa – 2.1 x Multiplier
Adrian Yanez has taken the Octagon by storm, notching two highlight-reel KOs in two appearances. While kicks have certainly played a role in those wins, Yanez is much more comfortable as a boxer, stalking his opponents and hitting them with well-timed counters on the way in. Enter Costa, who integrates a kicking game into his style more readily than Yanez. He is also quite good at using his height and length to keep opponents at the end of his range. Either man could kiss the canvas here, but Yanez already has a loss to a long, kick-heavy fighter in Domingo Pilarte, and Costa has much better striking defense than "Son of Fire."
Diana Belbita – 2.1 x Multiplier
Neither Belbita nor Hannah Goldy has a win in the Octagon, but Belbita looks to be the far more polished of the two on the feet, throwing easy combinations while "24K" is much more mechanical in her movements. "The Warrior Princess" also appears to have the more well-rounded game, as she will actively try for takedowns. Goldy looks to have a bit of pop in her hands but will face a massive experience disadvantage here, making it a bit curious that Belbita comes in as the underdog.
Plays to Consider on FanDuel
Jordan Williams ($21)
Williams is another fighter without a win in the UFC, which will likely make some shy away from him at this salary. The thing to note here, though, is Mickey Gall is notoriously poor when it comes to takedown accuracy, landing just two shots in 13 attempts over his last two fights. Gall had what was arguably his worst performance in the promotion against a Mike Perry who clearly didn't train much for the bout, and Williams should be able to walk down the 29-year-old and get him tired in a similar fashion.
Darrick Minner ($19)
It's not often we find someone who can take advantage of the "submissions attempted" scoring metric, but Minner is one to take a look at in this regard, having logged 3.6 attempts per 15 minutes of cage time. Minner is the type of fighter who breaks opponents with pressure and pace, which could come in handy against Darren Elkins, who is 37 years old. It's important to note that Elkins has lost just once by submission, which could mean multiple attempts from the 31-year old.
Bets to Consider
Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw goes to Decision (+175)
Given the finishing prowess of these men, it seems logical that a fight between them would end inside the distance. It must be noted, however, that both Sandhagen and Dillashaw are hard to stop, having been finished just three times in a combined 36 professional fights. I think the movement-heavy style of both fighters will work to keep this trend alive. We should also be prepared for Dillashaw to engage in wrestling a bit more often than he would normally, given the length and striking skill of Sandhagen.