Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Santos vs Walker

Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Santos vs Walker

This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.

Alejandro Perez (22-8-1) v. Johnny Eduardo (28-12-0)

- Perez returns to the ring after over two years on the heels of back-to-back losses. He fights at a fast pace and is always moving. He applies great pressure while throwing left and right hooks, as well as low kicks to the calves and round kicks to the head. He carries good power in his hands and strikes well when backed up. The Mexican-born fighter also sports above average wrestling and great scrambling. Offensively, he does not takedown or grapple often. He is susceptible to takedowns at times but has great defense on the mat and displays good get-ups.

-  Eduardo makes his way back after over three years and is now 43 years old and potentially fighting his last fight. He used to sport a mix bag of tricks years ago, but it is difficult to know where he is now. He is a technical striker with good distance control and hand speed. He has a quick one-two and a nice overhand, as well as strong kicks to the legs and body. "Pretinho" does not offer much on the mat. He seldom shoots for takedowns but does decent work in the clinch. He has decent takedown defense and can reverse or get up from his back.

DFS Perspective:  Neither one of these guys has fought in years and I do not trust either of them. Perez is about ten years younger and should be better just about everywhere so I will lean on him to win, but if using either guy it should be GPP only. If Perez shoots for takedowns, I do think he will find success and possibly a submission.

My Pick:  Perez

Stephanie Egger (5-2-0) v. Shanna Young (8-4-0)

- Egger makes her second UFC fight after a disappointing debut. She looks to pressure forward with a hard jab-cross and looping right hook. She has decent movement and hand speed. She will also mix in kicks to all parts of the body to change levels. When she begins to get pressured herself, she struggles with defense and becomes hittable. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt sports great takedowns and good control on the mat. She will shoot for double or single legs or trips and then look to pass guard and find the back for a choke. 

-  Young is also making her second fight in the UFC after a loss in her debut. She is a high-volume striker with a tendency to brawl. She has fast hands and attacks with constant pressure. She has a powerful right hook and follows it with a quick left jab. She will look to get into the clinch where she can throw a flurry of strikes that include big elbows. "The Shanimal" does not shoot for takedowns often, preferring to stay in the clinch, but has decent takedown defense. When she is taken down, she has good get-ups and can scramble into a dominant position.  

DFS Perspective:  I like Young to get the win here. I think she will put out more volume and control where this fight goes. She may get taken down a few times, but I fully expect her reverse or get up quickly. Egger has a chance if she can keep control on the mat, but I do not see her doing it. As I am writing this, these two are not currently listed on the DFS slates so hard to say where the value is. 

My Pick:  Young

Douglas Silva De Andrade (26-4-0, 1NC) v. Gaetano Pirrello (15-6-1)

- De Andrade is an impressive fighter, holding a 26-4 record and looks to get back in the win column after a tough loss in January. He is a lower volume striker with heavy kicks and jab-hook combinations. He is a big counter striker and will feint and bait fighters in and then unload with a big shot. He features big power and unleashes nasty elbows when in the pocket. The veteran out of Brazil also has strong grappling and wrestling but has not used it often over the last few rights. He has shown issues getting up off his back and cardio concerns when controlled for long periods. 

-  Pirrello is looking for his first UFC win after a tough loss in his UFC debut. He is a pure striker with big power having finished 14 of his 15 wins. He pressures forward with heavy low kicks and throwing a powerful overhand right. He is also deadly in the clinch with massive body shots and deadly knees. "El Tigre" does not offer anything for grappling or wrestling. He does not shoot for takedowns, and his defense is not great. He can be taken down and controlled and has issues getting back up.

DFS Perspective:  Pirrello will always have a chance with his power, but that will be the only path to victory. That big shot would score well at his price. De Andrade will have the advantage everywhere. If he game plans correctly he will mix in takedowns and keep control on the mat where he should completely dominate. With volume, takedowns, and control time he could hit value but at his price I will not chance a ton of him.

My Pick:  De Andrade

Devonte Smith (11-2-0) v. Jamie Mullarkey (13-4-0)

- Smith returned to the ring after a long layoff back in February with a big win. He features great distance control, darting in and out with powerful strikes. He has a nasty jab, big right hook and deadly low kicks. His hand speed is elite, and he has massive one-shot power. The FactoryX product continues to make improvements with his grappling and wrestling. He prefers to keep the fight on the feet and seldom shoots for takedowns. He offers great takedown defense, as well as excellent work in the clinch. If he ends up in top control on the mat, he will throw down some massive ground-and-pound. 

-  Mullarkey is a technical striker coming off a huge under a minute knockout win last time out. He has an excellent jab-hook combo and does well at attacking the head and body. He tends to struggle when pressured into the pocket but will look to counter as he backs up. The Australian native has a good ground game and will shoot for double legs and trips at a relentless pace. He can keep control or pass guard into top position laying down huge ground-and-pound. If he takes the back, he will look for the choke. 

DFS Perspective:  This should be a fun fight, and I think the winner ends up in the optimal. Smith has great takedown defense and the longer the fight stands the better chance he has for a knockout. Mullarkey could get a knockout or mix in multiple takedowns to get a finish or decision. I do think Smith keeps the fight on the feet long enough for him to put Mullarkey away early and hit value.

My Pick:  Smith

Bethe Correia (11-5-1) v. Karol Rosa (14-3-0)

- Correia has lost five of her eight fights, though against great competition, and has her back up against the wall. She is a quick handed striker with a good jab-cross, and powerful overhand. She stands tall and will mix in kicks to change levels. She also does good work in the clinch with knees and elbows. The Brazilian striker also has a decent ground game. She will attempt takedowns throughout the fight and look to control on the mat. She does not attempt submissions, rather working into top control to rain ground-and-pound. 

-  Rosa is a high-octane fighter off to a 3-0 start in her UFC tenure. She has fast hands and will pressure froward throwing a quick one-two and strong jab. She will mix in a big hook, strong round kicks, and heavy knees. As she backs fighters into the cage, she will unleash a flurry of strikes and look to hurt them early. The product out of Brazil is also an excellent grappler with a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. She has strength in the clinch, and fantastic takedowns. She has a great double leg and will immediately look to mount up on top and land ground-and-pound. 

DFS Perspective:  I think Rosa absolutely dominates this fight anywhere it goes. She will likely throw more, have more takedowns, and control every aspect of it. I expect her to score well and hit value even in a decision. I will be locking her in cash and sprinkling her in GPP.

My Pick:  Rosa

Antonina Shevchenko (9-3-0) v. Casey O'Neill (7-0-0)

- Shevchenko needs a win here as she lost as a huge favorite last time out, and her chances for the belt continue to fade away. She is more of a distance striker with good straights and a great left hook. She counters well as fighters' pressure, but often struggles with her footwork. She is strong in the clinch and will look to level change often. The fighter out of Tiger Muay Thai has improving grappling and wrestling. She will attempt takedowns, more-so out of the clinch than anything else and look to control on top. She has good ground-and-pound but struggles to get back up if taken down herself.

-  O'Neill impressed again in her second UFC fight and now gets another step up in competition. She is a volume striker with quick jab-cross combos and hooks. She comes out aggressive, has nice kicks, and pushes a pace that can be hard to keep up with. She also works great in the clinch throwing hard elbows. The Xtreme Couture fighter is a great grappler with improving wrestling. She shoots quick for double and single legs and can trip in the clinch. In top control she has admirable ground-and-pound and is excellent at finding chokes.

DFS Perspective:  Shevchenko continues to underwhelm, and I do not see that changing here. She has too many weaknesses that O'Neill will be able to exploit. Aside from getting control on top and landing heavy ground-and-pound, I do not say a way in which she wins. O'Neill is going to be fast, throw more volume, and should dominate on the mat. Give me O'Neill to score another high one and nail value. 

My Pick:  O'Neill

Joe Solecki (11-2-0) v. Jared Gordon (17-4-0)

- Solecki continues his rise in the lightweight division with three consecutive UFC wins to start his tenure. He is an improving striker with big low kicks and an excellent lead hook. He attacks the head and body with quick one-twos and tends to fight at distance. The Gym-O product is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and a phenomenal wrestler. He level changes and creates distractions to time takedowns. He will shoot at any time looking for singles, doubles, and trips. He will catch kicks and takedown that way as well. If Solecki finds his way into top control, he is extremely strong and has deadly ground-and-pound. He can also hunt for submissions passing guard to side control or take the back and get a choke.

-  Gordon makes his move back to lightweight where he will look to add to his two-fight win streak with a big win here. He is a forward pressure striker and always walking his opponents down. He has a decent jab that he combos with a great hook and strong let kicks. He will feint to draw fighters in and throw big counters or rush them into the clinch and hit them with heavy knees and elbows. He tends to fight with his hands low making him hittable. "Flash" Gordon has a good ground game with well-timed takedowns. He has heavy top pressure and will lay down big ground-and-pound or work his opponent into a crucifix.

DFS Perspective:  This is a big-time fight and great spot for both guys. You could make a case for either of them winning and hitting value. I think it comes down to who gets the takedown and can control on the mat. Solecki has the edge and will likely be the one controlling where the fight goes.

My Pick:  Solecki

Alexander Hernandez (12-4-0) v. Mike Breeden (10-3-0)

- Hernandez has alternated wins and losses over his last six fights with a loss as the most recent on his record. He is a good striker who uses forward pressure and cuts the cage off well. He has a nice jab and follows it with a nasty hook. He also has great low and front kicks to the legs and body and is aggressive with decent power. The fighter now out of FactoryX features strong grappling and wrestling. He is strong in the clinch and will throw nasty knees and elbows. He has great double leg and body lock takedowns. On the mat, he gets wide to control fighters and not allow them to get up. He will look to get into top control for some hammerfists or look to take the back and find a choke.

-  Breeden is making his UFC debut at 32 on short notice. He looks to be a patient striker with good foot movement. He will stalk forward throwing a quick one-two followed by a big looping left hook. He will feint and throw a quick leg quick stepping in and out of the pocket. "Money" Mike looks to have decent grappling. He will throw a flurry of punches against the cage and in the clinch. He has great body lock takedowns and will catch kicks and drop fighters quickly. He has great get ups and scrambling when taken down and will take the choke if he gets the back.

DFS Perspective:  If Breeden were a highly touted prospect I might give them a good chance here, but I do not think Breeden deserves this fight yet. Hernandez should be better everywhere and dictate where this goes. More times than not, I think this fight goes to decision with a lower score. If Breeden were to land a big shot, he could score a massive upset, but that is pure GPP.

My Pick:  Hernandez

Aspen Ladd (9-1-0) v. Macy Chiasson (8-1-0)

- Ladd makes her long-awaited return to the cage after tearing her ACL/MCL about a year and a half ago. Prior to injury, she looked fantastic and was climbing in the division quickly. Her striking and footwork has always been quick, and her hands powerful. She has an excellent jab-cross, and strong overhand. Three of her four wins in the UFC have come by knockout. The California native also sports a good ground game. Her takedowns are great, and she has shown control and ability to hunt for submissions. If she finds herself in top control, she features some of the best ground-and-pound in the division.  

-  Chiasson continues her excellent run in the UFC and looks to move into the top-10. She uses her size to overwhelm her opponents, throwing one-twos with big power. She uses strong leg kicks to attack all parts of the body and will happily stand in the pocket trading blows to dish out stronger shots of her own. The Fortis MMA fighter's clinch work is terrific, employing deadly knees and elbows. She has clean takedowns and works well to get top control to rain ground-and-pound. Her defense at times is lacking, and she has shown issues getting off her back when put there.

DFS Perspective:  This is a tough fight to call. Ladd was incredible before injury and coming back from an injury that serious could be troublesome. If no hindrance or rust, she could have her way with Chiasson. Chiasson, on the other hand, has a huge size advantage. Keeping the fight at a distance would be smart and mixing in a takedown or two could steal a round. Both ladies have scored well in their previous fights, and I do not see this being any different. Chiasson would crush value with the upset, and if Ladd fights how she had been I think she will hit value too in a win.

My Pick:  Ladd

Misha Cirkunov (15-6-0) v. Krzysztof Jotko (22-5-0)

- Cirkunov ate his fourth knockout loss in the last six fights and needs a win here to right the ship. He is a southpaw striker with a good jab and one-twos. He will mix in jab-hook combinations and finish with a strong uppercut. From the beginning, he will throw multiple kicks to all parts of the body and is high volume. The Xtreme Couture product features a strong grappling and wrestling game. He has well-timed level changes that lead to takedowns from the clinch or in the open. He is very strong and can keep control while passing into dominant positions. He is excellent at finding submissions and can do it in multiple ways.

-  Jotko had his three-fight win streak ended last time out and looks to start a new one here. He is a rangy fighter and very sharp. He is continuous movement and will use a lot of feints as well as kicks to all parts of the body to keep fighters back. He is lower volume and will move in and out of the pocket throwing quick left jabs and uppercuts. His counters are strong, and he will mix in spinning kicks and elbows after them. The Pole has started leaning strongly on his grappling and working from the clinch. He has great single and double leg takedowns and will look to move into top control and hit hard from there. 

DFS Perspective:  I think this is a good matchup for Cirkunov. He should be able to control the flow of the fight through takedowns and control, as well as his high volume. I am not overly worried about him getting knocked out here as Jotko does not have the best power. I think Cirkunov wins by finish and crushes value.

My Pick:  Cirkunov

Alex Oliveira (22-10-1, 2NC) v. Niko Price (14-6-0, 2NC)

- Oliveira is a long-time veteran in the UFC coming on the heels of back-to-back losses needed a big win. He pressures forward from the beginning throwing nice jabs and strong hooks with power. He controls the ring well and cuts off fighters pinning them into the clinch. He also throws good low kicks to the calves and round kicks to the head and body. "Cowboy" features a solid ground game with well-timed takedowns. He will look to move into top control for ground-and-pound and pass guard into side control looking to take the back for chokes.

-  Price is an excellent fighter with a well-rounded game, and he packs a punch. His volume has been increasing, and that combined with his power is deadly. He pushes an intense tempo using pressure and quick combinations. He has a big jab-hook combo and hard hitting overhand. He does great work in the clinch and does not mind trading blows in the pocket. "The Hybrid" does not shoot often for takedowns but does well to reverse when taken down himself. He can rain ground-and-pound in the top position, or hunt for a submission.

DFS Perspective:  I think this fight will be a lot of Price dominating. He will have more volume, power, and a better chance to get a finish. Oliveira does have some power and could knock him out or work his ground game and chain takedowns with control time. I think this is a fight from the UFC to get Price a win and I think he does with a big finish smashing value. 

My Pick:  Price

Kevin Holland (21-7-0) v. Kyle Daukaus (10-2-0)

- Holland gets to show how much his wrestling has improved after being completely dominated by it in two consecutive losses. He is technical distance striker with a nice jabs and quick one-twos. He will mix in looping hooks and will lunge forward with powerful straight right hands. His will also use deadly round and front kicks to attack the head and body. When pressured he will attack will flying knees or lead with elbows to back fighters off. "Trailblazer" has good grappling and is strong in the clinch. He will seldom attempt takedowns and has struggled mightily with wrestle heavy opponents. He has shown a good aptitude for crafty submissions.

-  Daukaus has a 1-2 record since signing on to the UFC and gets another stern test in the form of Holland. He is a strong southpaw striker with fast hands and good movement. He has a great jab-cross and hook combinations. He has a strong lead kick that he throws to the body and will fight back with counter shots when pressured. The Philly native has a great complimentary ground game and is strong in the clinch. He will get body locks or trips in the clinch and single or double legs in the open. He is excellent at keeping control and will look for submissions early and often.

DFS Perspective:  Daukaus has a path to victory if he can get the fight to the mat. Holland has been exposed badly the last two fights and unless he has improved, that will be Daukaus's chance. Holland will have a reach advantage and should look to keep this on the feet striking from range. Both guys should hit value with a win as they both have high volume and work control time. 

My Pick:  Daukaus

Thiago Santos (21-9-0) v. Johnny Walker (18-5-0)

- Santos enters the night on a three-fight losing streak and needs a win in a big way. He is great striker with devastating power. He closes quick with big pressure and likes to throw a looping left hook followed by a massive uppercut. He enjoys cutting fighters down with deadly kicks and spinning attacks. The Brazil native has massively improved his grappling and wrestling over the years. He is strong in the clinch, and he quickly gets double leg takedowns. On the mat, he does not look for submissions, instead he works to top control where he can lay down vicious ground-and-pound with elbows and hammerfists.

-  Walker is an exciting fighter with big power having fifteen knockouts in eighteen wins. He is a flashy striker with constant movement throughout the ring. He throws decent volume and has a nice jab he follows with a big overhand. He has nice check leg kicks and will throw spinning attacks as well as flying knees. The fighter out of SBG Ireland has decent grappling and is strong in the clinch using deadly knees and elbows. He does not often attempt takedowns preferring to stay on the feet. When taken down himself, he tends to struggle getting off his back and becomes vulnerable to big shots. 

DFS Perspective:  Walker will always have a chance to win any fight by knockout with his power. He can be a bit wild at times and that may cause issues in this fight. Santos is a more complete fighter, patient, has better defense, and has great power. Santos is the better fighter and should get back on track here. 

My Pick:  Santos

FANDUEL SCORING

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes = 0.6pts
Takedown = 6pts
Takedown Defense = 3pts
Knockdown = 12pts
Submission Attempt = 5pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win = 100pts
2nd Round Win = 75pts
3rd Round Win = 50pts
4th Round Win = 35 pts
5th Round Win = 25pts
Decision Win = 20pts

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are "Distance Strike" or "Clinch/Ground Strikes" that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
  • A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider a substantial amount of time.

DRAFTKINGS SCORING

Moves Scoring
Strikes: +0.2 PTS
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 PTS
Control Time: +0.03 PTS/SECOND
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
Quick Win Bonus: +25 PTS
(fight is finished in 60 seconds or less)

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
  • A Significant Strike will count as both a strike and a significant strike and will be worth a total of 0.4 Pts
  • Control Time is the time spent in the dominant position on the ground or in the clinch. +0.03 points are awarded per second.
  • A Knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.
  • A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.

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. Drake Burden plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Dburdz, DraftKings: Dburdz.

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. Drake Burden plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Dburdz, DraftKings: Dburdz.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drake Burden
Drake is a proven DFS winner with multiple four-figure paydays under his belt. He took an interest to writing MMA during the pandemic and is active in various Discords and other social media communities.
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