Feels good to be back, doesn’t it? After a two-week hiatus following a couple of UFC FN events in Las Vegas, we’re back on the regular schedule and that’d be the case from now up to mid-August when he hit the pause button after the 13th to give our eyes some rest for three (three!!!) weeks without a single UFC night of fights. Good for us, that’s still months away and there will be a couple of a number of UFC events before we arrive at the summer break.
The last time we watched the UFC back on May 21 we did so with middling results. The main event went the full 25-minute distance, it was preceded by another fight going to the judges’ decision, and there was only (barely) one first-round KO baked into UFC Vegas 55. That latter piece of information will very well be in play this weekend, though, as the two men (Rozeinstruk and Volkov) headlining this card don’t know how not to KO their foes. A great bunch of up-and-coming fighters fills the rest of the fight slots as they all vie for better positions in the UFC ranks with their sights put on those golden belts, something all fighters linked to the promo dream to lift one day.
In this article, I will be providing you with my fantasy MMA lineup picks for UFC Vegas 56: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik on 06/04/22. Give me a follow on Twitter @chapulana. Good luck!
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DraftKings MMA Heavyweight – UFC DFS Lineup Picks
Alexander Volkov, $8,600 – vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
This fight is pitting the HW no. 7 and no. 8 contenders against each other, yes, but there is little chance for any of them to jump ahead of any of the guys in front of them on the ladder, honestly. That’s because both Volkov and Rozenstruik have both been pretty shaky and random at this thing called winning. So yes, that’s why they have yet to reach the largest of stages, let alone lift the belt at all. Volkov has not won two straight since he did all the way back in Mar. 2018. Rozenstruik hasn’t been much better doing it for the last time in Nov-Dec of 2019.
The problem for Rozenstruik is very easy to spot: take him the distance and odds are you end up beating him–in five fights from May 2020 on he’s only won fights that lasted fewer than nine minutes, and in 2021 alone he’s 1-2 with those two losses happening by way of the judges’ decision and the W coming with a first-round KO. Volkov, on the other hand, has a more rounded game but he’s been getting worse and worse each passing fight: his SS attempts and lands have gone down steadily from 12 attempted per minute to 10, 8, and ultimately 6 his last time out. He’s also 1-2 from 2021 on. This fight is a true toss-up with no clear favorite. I’d side with Volkov because he’s less of a boom/bust play and I’m a coward, but if you want and believe in the high-risk/high-reward type of play then you should absolutely go with Jairzinho here.
DraftKings MMA Featherweight – UFC DFS Lineup Picks
Movsar Evloev, $9,400 – vs. Dan Ige
It’s going to be hella hard to find a breakdown of this fight that doesn’t have Evloev as the clear-cut favorite, and that’s the proper thing to do if only because of the monster run he’s right in the middle of these days. Movsar has won all five UFC fights he’s been part of, all of them via decision, and all of them having the Russian landing at least 79 significant strikes or a couple of takedowns. In fantasy terms: 83, 86, 70,90, and 96 DKFP in his short career is what he’s done for us fantasy GMs. Not bad, is it?
Dan Ige, while not horrid, has clearly been on the worst run of results in his 11-fight run on Dana’s promo. He’s fought six times in 2020 and 2021 and is 3-3 in that span, but 1-3 in his last four fights with that lone win coming via a 22-second KO against Gavin Tucker back in March of 2021. Other than that, he’s plainly sucked. Ige did not top 42 fantasy points in any of the fights he lost even though all three went to either 15- or 25-minute decisions. That’s because of his good volume numbers but putrid landing rates, let alone his net negative takedown profit (1-of-17…) in the last four bouts he’s seen. This feels like the sixth W in a row for Evloev from a mile and the worst thing (from Ige’s point of view) is that it could very well come via KO, sub, or decision. Evloev has shown the full repertoire and his toolset looks too deep and sharp for Ige to stop.
DraftKings MMA Featherweight – UFC DFS Lineup Picks
Michael Trizano, $9,100 vs. Lucas Almeida
Trizano’s UFC run has been rather forgettable and mediocre to date. He’s not the worst to ever do it (two wins) but he’s not the greatest by far (two losses, for a total 2-2 record). He’s alternated Ws and Ls since he started doing it for Dana back in 2018 while he’s yet to fight twice in the same calendar year–that will change this weekend as the last time we saw it was last February. Trizano averages around 7 SSA/min and he’s landed more than half of those attempts so far (52%) while also going 2-of-3 on takedowns. I mean, yes, the production/efficiency is kind of there but the volume sucks and the results have been middling at best (10, 40, 58, and 66 DKFP…).
Lucas Almeida is making his UFC debut this weekend after amassing a great-looking 13-1 record as an MMA pro prior to this event. The problem being, of course, that his lonely loss came in Dana’s Contender Series back in Sep. 2021 (LOL). Do n’t overreact to that, though, as that was a 15-minute decision loss, his only one of him ever, and other than that he had never reached the judges’ decision with 8 KOs and 4 submission victories to his name of the. Uh-oh, the flexing. Of course, Almeida won’t have proved it until he does it at the brightest and largest of stages starting this weekend, but it’s not that things can look much “easier” than his bout against Trizano this weekend. Drop this one, though, and he’d be done for good almost before even starting his UFC tenure. But give me Almeida for a rookie debut W.
DraftKings MMA Light Heavyweight – UFC DFS Lineup Picks
Askar Mozharov, $7,500 – vs. alonzo menifield
Askar Mozharov might have yet to debut in the UFC, but this lad is a freakish force of nature and looks like a walking tank graced with veins and a pair of operating legs and bulky arms. Goddamn. Mozharov is seemingly in a rush to finish every fight judging by his results from him (wins and losses considered) and 27 early-round endings to just two decisions (those latter two both ending in Ws). It is what it is with the Ukrainian, who is the truest picture of a boom-or-bust play. Mozharov has not fought since Nov. 2020 but he left the PPC cage then having won three straight with his last loss from him coming all the way back in Dec. 2019, more than two years ago.
Menifield has been quite up and down in his UFC career, now spanning from 2019 to Dec. 2021 and Jun. 2022 come Saturday night. He’s a man of streaks: he debuted with two first-round KO victories, then dropped a couple including a KO, proceeded to win two more in a row (including a submission first-rounder), and lastly lost his fight last December. So this is a loss coming his way, is it? That might be the case, surely. The problem I have with picking any of these two for my fantasy lineups is that both of them embody the boom/bust profile you definitely use only in the neediest of situations when you need to fill that pesky last slot open in your lineup. Both excel at murdering opponents (easily 94+ DKFP in those KO/sub victories) but at the same time, they’re also incapable at all of achieving reasonable results if they can’t finish their opponents, which sucks. This fight is most definitely not reaching the third round, let alone the final bell. Give me the debutant Askar Mozharov handing Menifield his second loss in a row to keep the latter’s 2-2-2-2 alternating and accurate pinpoint streak alive.
DraftKings MMA Women’s Strawweight – UFC DFS Lineup Picks
Felice Herrig, $8,300 – vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Did you want a fight between two washed vets? Well, I guess this is the one for you, then. Herrig and Kowal are both past their age-37 birthdays and on heavy losing streaks. Kowalkiewicz has done it twice in the past two years (once in each 2020 and 2021) and she lost both fights, the last one via first-round submission. She’s riding an actual five-fight losing streak spanning all the way back to Sep. 2018 after she lastly won a fight in Mar. 2018 against… Felice Herrig! And it is! Herrig, of course, is 0-3 starting with that loss to Kowal and fighting for the last time in Aug. 2020. Not good.
While Herrig is not great but surely not remotely bad either at takedowns (6-of-20 in the past five years and six fights), Kowal doesn’t even care about that side of the game (she’s attempted two in her last five fights combined and only landed one). The striking should favor Kowal as she goes for more strikes per minute with better landing numbers. Anyway, it’s been almost two years since Herrig did it for the last time in the UFC, so who knows how rust has treated her and how she will be coming back. Herrig, though, has historically been the better fantasy play with scores ranging from 76 to 110 DKFP when she won compared to Kowal’s 69-101 range. The averages tell the same story, at 92 vs. 88 for the two respectively. Of course, the lone precedent between these two saw Kowal defeat Herrig but I’d bet on the side of revenge this weekend and bet on Herrig.