Conmann’s UFC Vegas 84 DraftKings Plays – 1/13/24

Conmann UFC FIGHT NIGHT January 13

Conmann’s UFC Daily Fantasy Intro:

Today’s UFC Vegas 84 event is now an 11-fight card starting at 4:30PM with the entire card airing on ESPN+. We have a $300,000 DraftKings GPP with a $20 entry fee. Enjoy the UFC Vegas 84 – DFS Breakdown, and as always, “Let’s get to the bag!” – Mike Constantino (Conmann22)

Fight Breakdowns: Join Conmann22 in Discord at 2pm EST

DFS Terms Key:

  • I only play DFS on DraftKings, that is why I only mention them specifically and give you my thoughts on how I will be setting my lineups.
  • LOCK BUTTON,” “CORE,” and “ALL IN” are used to describe when I absolutely love a fighter for DFS and will be using him/her in most of my lineups entered.
  • When I say that I will use both fighters in my lineups, as an example, favoring Jones 7/3 or another fraction, that means that I will use each fighter throughout my lineups and favor the fighter mentioned. This fraction is an example of my exposure to each fighter based on 10 lineups entered. In the above case, it would be seven lineups for Jones vs. three for the opposing fighter.
  • When I say I will use each fighter in a couple of lineups where applicable, that means that I will not have over 10 lineups of either side in the fight and I will use each fighter sporadically, if applicable.

Joshua Van vs. Felipe Bunes

Notes:
  • Van is 9-1 with all 7 wins by finish. “The Fearless” was submitted in his only loss.
  • Bunes is 13-6 with 10 wins by finish. “Felipinho” was submitted in 2 of his 6 losses.
  • Bunes is making his UFC debut.
DraftKings:
  • Van: $8,800 / Bunes: $7,400
Analysis:

Joshua Van is 2-0 in the UFC and is only 22 years old and he will be facing a 34-year-old, debuting fighter with six losses in Felipe Bunes. Van is a high volume striker with very good boxing and an exceptional jab. Bunes is a submission artist, but lacks in the wrestling department, which is crucial in dictating where the fight takes place. This sets up to be a striker vs. grappler matchup and I favor the 12-year youth advantage of Van, along with the UFC experience, to get the win. Look for Van to box up Bunes and keep the fight standing and get the win.

I will play Van in my DFS lineups, as I like his volume and finishing upside.

Nikolas Motta vs. Tom Nolan

Notes:
  • Motta is 13-5 with 9 wins by KO. “Iron” was stopped in all 5 of his losses.
  • Nolan is 6-0 with 4 wins by KO. “Big Train” is making his UFC debut.
DraftKings:
  • Motta: $7,000 / Nolan: $9,200
Analysis:

Tom Nolan is making his UFC debut, and he is a big, strong, undefeated fighter with four of his six wins by KO. Nikolas Motta has been lackluster in his four UFC fights, going 1-2-1 with all of his wins and losses ending by KO. Nolan will have a huge size advantage in this matchup with a six-inch height and a three-inch reach advantage, and he is also seven years younger. Motta has a boxing style and big power with nine of his 13 wins by KO, but he is very hittable and has been finished in all five of his losses. In addition to the height, reach, and age advantages, Nolan, who is a brown belt in BJJ, should also be the better grappler, as I have seen Motta struggle with grapplers when on the ground. I lean Nolan here, but like the violence bet even better, as I do not think this fight sees the judges’ scorecards.

This is a must-target fight in DFS, as I think it will finish and I prefer the much larger and powerful Nolan.

Westin Wilson vs. Jean Silva

Notes:
  • Wilson is 16-8 with all 16 wins by finish, including 11 by submission. Westin was stopped in 6 of his 8 losses.
  • Silva is 11-2 with 10 wins by finish. “Killer” is making his UFC debut.
DraftKings:
  • Wilson: $6,600 / Silva: $9,600
Analysis:

Jean Silva is making his UFC debut and is most likely the biggest betting favorite in his debut outside of Bo Nickal. The huge line is most likely warranted as his opponent Westin Wilson is not long for the UFC and is now 34 years old and lost his UFC debut by first round KO in his last fight. In fact, Wilson, who is a training partner and protégé of “Wonderboy” Thompson, has only seen a third round in two of his 24 career fights and his last 12 fights have ended in the first round. Silva is a powerful striker with eight of his 11 wins by KO and he has shown that he can go the distance in his last fight, an unanimous decision victory over a very tough and previously undefeated fighter, Kevin Vallejos, on the Contender Series. Wilson took a late notice fight to make his UFC debut and he will most likely get KO here and cut.

I will play Silva as a CORE play in my DFS lineups.

Farid Basharat vs. Taylor Lapilus

Notes:
  • Basharat is 11-0 with 7 wins by finish.  
  • Lapilus is 19-3 with 10 wins by finish.
DraftKings:
  • Basharat: $8,900 / Lapilus: $7,300
Analysis:

Undefeated 11-0 prospect and one half of the fighting Basharat brothers, Farid Basharat takes on Taylor Lapilus in which should shape up as a striker vs. grappler matchup. Lapilus won via unanimous decision in his last fight, which was his return to the UFC for his second stint. “Double Impact” is a training partner of Cyril Gane and fights similar to his style with a low-output striking game and a poor takedown defense. Lapilus has been taken down in all five of his UFC fights, and although a capable striker, his lack of wrestling might be his doom here vs. Basharat, who is a very strong wrestler. Basharat, in addition to his strong wrestling game, is a good striker with speed and solid leg kicks. I like Basharat here to dominate through his grappling and get the DUB.

I will play Basharat in my DFS lineups.

Marcus McGhee vs. Gaston Bolanos

Notes:
  • McGhee is 8-1 with all 8 wins by finish. “The Maniac” was submitted in his only loss.
  • Bolanos is 7-3 with 6 wins by KO. “The Dreamkiller” was submitted in 2 of his 3 losses.
DraftKings:
  • McGhee: $9,100 / Bolanos: $7,100
Analysis:

Marcus McGhee is 2-0 in his UFC fights with both wins by finish and is a solid, well-rounded fighter from a good team, The MMA Lab. Gaston Bolanos has good power with six KO in his seven career wins and has been submitted in two of his three losses. McGhee is a southpaw pressure striker who likes to force his opponents on their back foot, which leads to him being vulnerable to takedowns, however, he does not have to worry about getting out-wrestled here by Bolanos, who lacks in that department. “The Dreamkiller” won his UFC debut last time out vs. a middling fighter, Aaron Phillips, who is no longer on the UFC roster after a horrific 0-4 showing. I like McGhee, who has a 100% finish rate in his nine career fights, to get the win here with his pressure and grappling advantage.

I will play McGhee in my DFS lineups.

Matthew Semelsberger vs. Preston Parsons

Notes:
  • Semelsberger is 11-6 with 7 wins by finish. “Semi the Jedi” was stopped in 3 of his 6 losses.
  • Parsons is 10-4 with 9 wins by submission. “Pressure” was stopped in 3 of his 4 losses.
DraftKings:
  • Semelsberger: $8,400 / Parsons: $7,800
Analysis:

Matthew Semelsberger is taking this fight as a late notice replacement on three weeks’ notice and has dropped his last two UFC fights and has a 5-4 record in his nine UFC fights overall. Preston Parsons is 1-2 in his three UFC fights and is coming off a split decision loss his last time out vs. Trevin Giles. Semelsberger is a big welterweight with a two-inch height and a four-inch reach advantage in this matchup with big power and he has dropped his opponent in seven of his nine UFC fights. Parsons is a grappler, averaging three takedowns per 15 minutes in the Octagon, but offers very little on the feet with his striking, which could be a major problem here vs. “Semi The Jedi,” who has good wrestling and athleticism to compliment his powerful Muay Thai style striking game. I like Semelsberger to win here and think that the line is very favorable at -115.

I will play Semelsberger in my DFS lineups.

Andre Arlovski vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta

Notes:
  • Arlovski is 34-22 with 20 wins by finish, including 17 by KO. “The Pit Bull” was stopped in 15 of his 22 losses. 
  • Cortes-Acosta is 10-1 with 6 wins by finish, including 5 wins by KO.
DraftKings:
  • Arlovski: $6,700 / Cortes-Acosta: $9,500
Analysis:

UFC legend and former Champion, Andre Arlovski, takes on Waldo Cortes-Acosta in a battle of similar styles. Both fighters prefer to fight with a slow-paced, low-output striking game. Arlovski has already outperformed expectations and is the only UFC fighter on the roster who predates Dana White. Yes, Arlovski fought for the UFC prior to the Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta era. “The Pitbull” has now lost two fights in a row after an impressive four-fight winning streak. Now at an astonishing 44 years old and having not finished a victory since 2015, I believe Acosta will be too much to handle for Andre and we will see the former Champion lay his gloves in the Octagon and retire. Acosta is 12 years younger and one inch taller with a one-inch reach advantage. With Arlovski lacking power to hurt Waldo, I don’t see how he wins. I like Cortes-Acosta, but he is a big favorite.

I will play Cortes-Acosta in my DFS lineups.

Phil Hawes vs. Brunno Ferreira

Notes:
  • Hawes is 12-5 with 10 wins by finish. “No Hype” was stopped in all 5 of his losses.
  • Ferreira is 10-1 with all 10 wins by finish. “The Hulk” was KO in his only loss.
DraftKings:
  • Hawes: $7,900 / Ferreira: $8,300
Analysis:

Both fighters are extremely powerful, kill-or-be-killed fighters, with 26 of their combined 28 fights ending inside the distance. In fact, Ferreira has never seen a third round and only made it to the second round in two of his fights. Hawes has a decorated college wrestling background and Ferreira is a black belt in Judo, which should nullify one another, leading to a stand in the center until one fighter drops result likely. The fight to end ITD prop is heavily lined at -1,000 and I prefer the Ferreira side.

This is a must-target fight in DFS, as I think it will finish and I prefer the Ferreira side, but I will also play some Hawes lineups in large field GPP tournaments.

Ricky Simon vs. Mario Bautista

Notes:
  • Simon is 20-4 with 10 wins by finish. Ricky was stopped in 3 of his 4 losses.
  • Bautista is 13-2 with 9 wins by finish. Mario was stopped in both of his losses.
DraftKings:
  • Simon: $8,600 / Bautista: $7,600
Analysis:

This is a great matchup and a very tough fight to call as both fighters are solid all around and have a solid combined 15-5 UFC record. Simon lost via KO last time out, snapping a five-fight winning streak in a Main Event vs. Song Yadong and Bautista enters on a five-fight winning streak. Simon is a very powerful boxer/wrestler and averages six takedowns per 15 minutes in the Octagon. Bautista is a high-volume striker on the feet and has decent wrestling, but lacks in his takedown defense which could be a problem in this matchup vs. the wrestle-heavy style of Simon. I really like both fighters and can make an argument for each side.

I will play both fighters in my DFS lineups and plug each one in when the salary fits.

Jim Miller vs. Gabriel Benitez

Notes:
  • Miller is 36-17 with 26 wins by finish. “A-10” was stopped in 5 of his 17 losses.
  • Benitez is 23-10 with 19 wins by finish. “Moggly” was stopped in 6 of his 10 losses.
DraftKings:
  • Miller: $8,200 / Benitez: $8,000
Analysis:

In what is now the co-main event, Jim Miller will welcome Gabriel Benitez back after a 17-month layoff and off a first round KO victory over Charlie Ontiveros back in August of 2022. Miller has looked great as of late and has won four of his last five fights with all four wins by finish. Benitez is a solid kickboxer with very good hard leg kicks, but lacks in his striking defense, and now at 35 years old and having finished six of his 10 losses, his durability is a concern. Speaking of age, Miller is now 40 years old, but has turned it on as of late and looks to be a better version in the striking department each time out.  I think Miller at -150 is a fair line and I like Miller to win by submission.

I will play Miller in my DFS lineups.

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker

Notes:
  • Ankalaev is 17-1-1 with 9 wins by KO. Magomed was submitted in his only loss.
  • Walker is 21-7 with 19 wins by finish. Johnny was stopped in 5 of his 7 losses.
DraftKings:
  • Ankalaev: $9,400 / Walker: $6,800
Analysis:

This Main Event is a rematch from an earlier fight just three months ago that ended in Round 1 due to an illegal knee thrown by Ankalaev that rocked Walker, who then proceeded to answer questions by the doctor incorrectly. Walker seemed to be able to continue, however, due to a language barrier their communication was skewed, and the fight was stopped. In the brief moments we saw, Walker was successfully landing low leg kicks, and with his seven-inch reach advantage, he should try to employ the same strategy and keep at range vs. the more technical striker, Ankalaev, who is also the better wrestler. I like Ankalaev and think that he wins, but Walker is always a wildcard.

I don’t love either fighter for my DFS lineups, but Walker is the large field GPP play and Ankalaev is the cash game/single entry play if you must.

Favorite DFS Spend Up Plays:

  • $9,600 – Silva
  • $9,200 – Nolan

Favorite DFS Value Plays:

  • $8,200 – Miller

Favorite DFS GPP Plays:

  • $8,300 – Ferreira
  • $7,600 – Bautista

Continue Reading: Conmann’s UFC Vegas 84 Betting Blueprint

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