DraftKings UFC 218 DFS MMA Lineup Picks and Preview

Written By Tommy Messano on November 30, 2017 - Last Updated on December 2, 2017
DFS MMA

One month after one of its biggest cards of 2017, the UFC will look to continue the momentum with UFC 218 on Saturday, Dec. 2. Live from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The 13-fight card is flying under the radar, but is packed with action fights. With a lot of potential finishes and close fights at UFC 218, there a lot of options for your DraftKings DFS MMA lineups.

In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway makes his second title defense versus former champion Jose Aldo. Holloway was originally scheduled to face Frankie Edgar but is now poised for a rematch with Aldo, who took the championship bout on less than one month’s notice.

The rest of the UFC 218 pay-per-view main card is anchored by critical number one contender fights in the both the heavyweight and lightweight divisions.

At heavyweight, veteran Alistair Overeem faces off with rising striker Francis Ngannou. In the lightweight division, former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez matches up with with unbeaten knockout artist Justin Gaethje.

With fight week upon us, there are several fighters worth considering for your UFC 218 DraftKings DFS MMA lineups. Here is our DraftKings analysis for the main card and three additional undercard fighters who may be underpriced.

UFC Featherweight Championship: Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo

On DraftKings, Holloway is priced at $9.3k and is the second-biggest favorite competing at UFC 218. Even on just four weeks notice and having lost to Holloway this summer, it is a little surprising Aldo comes in at the low price of $6.9k.

At only 25 years of age and already holding UFC gold, Holloway is in the midst of an amazing hot streak. On an 11-fight winning run that dates back to January 2014, Holloway is 14-3 in the UFC. In his last fight at UFC 212 back in June, he looked faster and dominated Aldo on the feet in route to a third-round TKO.

Once boasting a record of 25-1 and labeled the greatest featherweight of all time, Aldo has hit a rough patch and gone 1-2 over his last three fights. The question becomes whether the 31-year-old can turn back the clock and have one more championship-level performance in the cage.

Aldo and Holloway are both dangerous strikers with excellent takedown defense. In their first fight, both Aldo and Holloway looked to keep the fighting standing up.

Having fought one another just six months ago, there shouldn’t be any surprises when Holloway and Aldo lock horns at UFC 218. The first fight was won by the stronger, faster, and younger fighter in Holloway. If the fight stays on the feet, like their first encounter, expect Holloway to walk away with his title.

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Heavyweight: Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou

In a battle of two of the most physically imposing heavyweights in all of MMA, DraftKings has Ngannou priced at $9.1k and Overeem at $7.1k

Standing 6’5, 255 pounds, Ngannou only began his career in November 2013. Now a 10-1 heavyweight prospect, he has finished all five of his UFC opponents in two rounds or less. The fight with Overeem will be Ngannou’s biggest test of his career and could also net him a UFC title shot with a win.

When Ngannou had his first professional MMA fight, Overeem already held a 37-13 record. The kickboxing Overeem is an 18-year veteran of the sport and is currently on a two-fight winning streak. Overall, Overeem is 8-4 under the UFC lights. At 6’4, 253 pounds, Overeem has a striking chance in whatever heavyweight matchup he enters.

Both heavyweights have the ability to end the fight with a punch, so Ngannou vs. Overeem may boil down to a few technical aspects. In his career, Overeem has 19 wins by knockout but also 19 by submission. If the fight goes to the ground, the 37-year-old fighter does have a legitimate chance to chase a quick tap out.

On the feet, Ngannou has the clear power advantage, but Overeem is the more sound striker. In a battle of experience vs. miles on the odometer, Overeem has seen it all in MMA but has also accumulated a ton of damage throughout his long career.

Over the course of a 15-minute fight, if a Ngannou punch connects with Overeem’s chin it could be lights out. It’s hard to count Overeem out versus anyone, but Ngannou’s other-worldly punching power gives him the edge.

Flyweight: Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis

An Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, Henry Cejudo is the third-biggest favorite at UFC 218 with a price of $9.2k. The younger brother of UFC star Anthony Pettis, Sergio Pettis comes in at $7k on DraftKings and will look to pull off an upset.

On the surface Cejudo vs. Pettis has the makings of an old-school wrestler vs. striker matchup, but it might not play out that way on Saturday night.

Cejudo entered MMA with a lot of hype behind him thanks to his 2008 Olympic run for Team USA. Then, only three years into the sport, Cejudo jumped out to a 10-0 record and a shot at UFC gold. After he lost to Demetrious Johnson in his first UFC title fight, Cejudo dropped another fight to Joseph Benavidez in December 2016.

Now coming off a win, if Cejudo is able to put away Pettis with a highlight finish, he may get another shot at the flyweight title.

Always compared to his older sibling, Sergio Pettis is more of a volume striker than a KO artist. With decent grappling, Pettis also stormed out of the gates to a 10-0 record to start his MMA career. Currently 16-2 overall, Pettis is 7-2 since joining the UFC in November 2013.

The lynchpin of this fight is Cejudo’s improved boxing and overall athleticism advantage. Pettis will want to keep the fight on the feet while Cejudo will look to score with wrestling takedowns. On the feet, Cejudo has the power edge with five knockouts in his career versus three for Pettis.

All signs lean Cejudo to win by TKO or take a decision, unless the 24-year-old Pettis makes a leap we have yet to see from him in the UFC.

Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje

Forget Fight of the Night; Alvarez vs. Gaethje has Fight of the Year contender written all over it. Gaethje enters as the clear favorite on DraftKings at $8.7k, but Alvarez is a former UFC lightweight champion and is fairly priced at $7.5k.

Already 18-0 in his MMA career, UFC 218 will be just the second UFC fight for the 29-year-old Gaethje. Over the course of his six-year pro career, Gaethje has garnered a reputation of loving striking firefights. With 15 of his 18 wins coming by knockout, expect Gaethje to stand and trade strike for strike with Alvarez this weekend.

Only one fight and one year removed from losing his UFC lightweight title to Conor McGregor by TKO, Alvarez is at a crossroads in his career. A 13-year-pro with 34 pro fights to his credit, Alvarez may be the old lion being fed to the young lion at UFC 218. The 34-year-old Alvarez is just 3-2 with one no contest in the UFC but has a championship resumé that makes it hard to count him out in any fight.

If Gaethje fights smart, there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to put away Alvarez. In a striking battle, the chin and power edge both go to the younger man.

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Strawweight: Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

A strawweight clash opens the UFC 218 pay-per-view, and it’s one of the hardest fights to call. Tecia Torres is priced as the favorite with a $8.6k tag, while the popular Michelle Waterson is the underdog at $7.6k.

The 28-year-old Torres is a grinder with eight of her nine career wins coming by decision. At 3, Waterson has the striking and submission edge in this contest. With only one loss in her career, Torres is a better athlete, but Waterson has both the experience edge and more tools to finish the fight.

Look for Waterson to put it all together and get a big win at UFC 218 by decision or submission.

Three Potential Underdogs for UFC 218 DraftKings Lineups

Cortney Casey ($7.9k): With a 7-4 professional record and a 3-3 UFC mark, Cortney Casey doesn’t look to be a live dog at first glance. Her opponent, Felice Herrig, is on a three-fight UFC winning streak and has more experience in the sport than Casey. If you think Casey can pull the upset (and we do), look at her age, athleticism edge, and the common opponent she shares with Herrig in Randa Markos. Casey tapped out Makros in the first round in 2016; Herrig lost to her in one round back in 2014.

Drakkar Klose ($7.8k): Both Drakkar Klose and opponent David Teymur have one thing in common — they are both coming off the biggest wins of their UFC careers. Each was an upset. Klose is a wrestler, and Teymur is a striker. Fighting out of a better gym in the MMA Lab and having just defeated a great striker in his last fight, Klose has an excellent chance of picking up a win at UFC 218.

Charles Oliveira ($7.7k)
: On talent alone, 28-year-old Charles Oliveira can compete with most fighters at 155 or 145 pounds. At UFC 218, Oliveira is the underdog to 33-year-old striker Paul Felder. With both fighters on modest one- and two-fight winning streaks, Oliveira holds an edge on Felder everywhere in the cage but striking. If Oliveira can avoid some of Felder’s exotic stand-up attacks, he should have a chance to get the fight to the ground and look for a submission win.

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Tommy Messano

A fantasy sports player for several years, Tommy Messano is a writer residing in Gilbert, Arizona who is best known for his work as a Mixed Martial Arts journalist. His work has been featured in a number of publications, including Sherdog.com, MiddleEasy.com, ESPN.com and CagesideSeats.com. Twitter: @ULTMMA

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