UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cerrone Betting and DFS Tips

Some quick Daily Fantasy tips and betting picks for UFC 246 featuring Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone.
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What’s up crew!? Well it’s been a while and I’m not sure about you, but I am pumped. We are way overdue for some UFC fights. After a few weeks off, the UFC gets rolling again with UFC 246: McGregor vs Cerrone. McGregor will be making his much-anticipated return to the Octagon, and he’ll be staring across the octagon at fan favorite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone this time around. For Cerrone, this one has been a long time coming. He’s been a cornerstone for the UFC and has set multiple all-time records, including most wins (23), 16 finishes, 18 post-fight performance bonuses, 20 knockdowns, and seven knockouts via kicks. As a matter of fact, Budweiser is honoring the Cerrone, along with his accomplishments, as a Donald Cerrone-branded can hits Las Vegas all week long. But outside of cowboys, beer cans, and Irishman taking over Vegas, we have a fight card to dive into!

SATURDAY 01/18/2020 at 10:00 P.M. EST

BROADCAST: PPV - PRELIMS: ESPN

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VENUE: T-Mobile Arena

LOCATION: Las Vegas, Nevada

MATCHES: 12

THE CARD:

WELTERWEIGHT 170LBS

#4 CONOR MCGREGOR 21-4 (-340) VS #5 DONALD CERRONE 36-13 (+280)

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT 135LBS

#3 HOLLY HOLM 12-5 (-135) VS #5 RAQUEL PENNINGTON 10-7 (+115)

HEAVYWEIGHT 265LBS

#12 ALEKSEI OLEINIK 57-13-1 (+115) VS MAURICE GREENE 8-3 (-135)

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT 115LBS

#6 CLAUDIA GADELHA 17-4 (-115) VS #11 ALEXA GRASSO 11-3 (-105)

LIGHTWEIGHT 155LBS

#11 ANTHONY PETTIS 22-9 (+190) VS DIEGO FERREIRA 16-2 (-230)

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

#7 ROXANNE MODAFFERI 23-16 (+600) VS #9 MAYCEE BARBER 8-0 (-900)

FEATHERWEIGHT 145LBS

ANDRE FILI 20-6 (+125) VS SODIQ YUSUFF 10-1 (-145)

FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

#7 TIM ELLIOTT 15-9-1 (+120) VS #12 ASKAR ASKAROV 10-0-1 (-140)

LIGHTWEIGHT 155LBS

DREW DOBER 21-9 (+275) VS NASRAT HAQPARAST 11-2 (-335)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 205LBS

ALEKSA CAMUR 5-0 (-120) VS JUSTIN LEDET 9-2 (+100)

BANTAMWEIGHT 135LBS

BRIAN KELLEHER 19-10 (+125) VS ODE OSBOURNE 8-2 (-145)

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

SABINA MAZO 7-1 (-115) VS JJ ALDRICH 8-3 (-105)

A COUPLE MATCHUPS TO WAGER ON:

#4 CONOR MCGREGOR 21-4 (-340) VS #5 DONALD CERRONE 36-13 (+280)

Huge main event here. These two have been talking for some time and we will finally get to see how it goes down. Surprisingly, rather than at 155, the match will take place at 170, where Cerrone will be the slightly bigger of the two competitors. Unfortunately for him, he will be facing one of the best strikers in MMA. McGregor will give a few pounds to Cerrone, but will be the much faster of the two, and will be more technical on the feet. This will result in cleaner shots that will get through. 

As history has shown us, the Irishman is a quick starter, and will come forward and push the engagement right from the bell. "Cowboy" is known for being a slow starter, almost to the point of needing to get hit in order to really get going, which could be problematic here. McGregor will attempt to ware "Cowboy" down, and at some point, land that left hand which will cause some issues. Cerrone will need to implement a quick game plan involving some takedowns if he wants to make this one interesting, or land some of those nasty leg kicks with some volume output in comparison to what we saw from Nate Diaz against the Irishman. 

If "Cowboy" can get into a rhythm first, and control where this fight goes, things could get interesting. However, I’ll be surprised if we see McGregor fold. Where I see this going is the Irishman increasing his whopping 91% finish rate after Saturday night. Cerrone is tough, but his durability just isn’t what it once was, as we’ve seen him lose by TKO in his last two matches. McGregor's technique standing will just look like he is fighting on another level, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something very similar to the Eddie Alvarez matchup. The Irishman will not be satisfied unless he gets that finish, and with five rounds to work with, I suspect another highlight unfortunately for Cerrone.

PREDICTION: CONOR MCGREGOR (LEAN TKO/KO)

#7 TIM ELLIOTT 15-9-1 (+120) VS #12 ASKAR ASKAROV 10-0-1 (-140)

A couple of solid flyweights here with Elliott taking on Askarov. Askarov made his UFC debut back in September when he went to a split draw in a very close fight (obviously) against Brandon Moreno. Moreno has since went on to run through Kai Kara-France, which actually makes Askarov look even better after his debut in my humble opinion. Askarov is a prospect, and brings above-average striking, and is very accurate on the feet. He’s very tricky though and his opponents often get confused. Don’t be surprised if you see him throw a combo all while going in for a single leg. While on defense, he has great head movement, and stays very composed even after taking damage if his opponent gets through. Here’s the deal though, he’s an amazing grappler. It’s no secret he will look to take the fight to the mat and sink in some sort of crazy submission. Heck, he has a twister on his record! 

On the other side of the octagon, Tim Elliot is still looking to land his first victory since 2017. Elliot is usually the bigger guy, and will leverage his size when in the clinch, and usually has no issues shaking guys off, or simply taking them to the mat. Although Elliott is great on the mat himself, I sense he will attempt to avoid, and get into some dirty boxing. He has the gas tank to go hard across all three rounds. Problem alert: Askarov does as well. Askarov also is the better grappler, scrambler, and submission artist. Elliott has actually been submitted four times in his career, and it’s quite possible we see it again here, as Askarov bounces back from the draw.

PREDICTION: ASKAR ASKAROV (VIA SUB AT +225 IS WORTH A STAB TO ME)

QUICK PREDICTIONS ON THE MATCH UPS:

CONOR MCGREGOR defeats DONALD CERRONE

RAQUEL PENNINGTON defeats HOLLY HOLM

ALEKSEI OLEINIK defeats MAURICE GREENE

CLAUDIA GADELHA defeats ALEXA GRASSO

ANTHONY PETTIS defeats DIEGO FERREIRA

MAYCEE BARBER defeats ROXANNE MODAFFERI

SODIQ YUSUFF defeats ANDRE FILI

ASKAR ASKAROV defeats TIM ELLIOTT

NASRAT HAQPARAST defeats DREW DOBER

ALEKSA CAMUR defeats JUSTIN LEDET

ODE OSBOURNE defeats BRIAN KELLEHER

JJ ALDRICH defeats SABINA MAZO

Fight Card Prediction Recap

DATEEVENTWINLOSSDRAWBET WIN PERCENTAGE

12/21/2019

UFC Busan

9

4

0

69%

12/14/2019

UFC 245

8

5

0

62%

12/07/2019

UFC DC

9

1

2

90%

11/16/2019

UFC Sao Paulo

10

1

1

91%

11/09/2019

UFC Russia

5

8

0

38%

11/02/2019

UFC 244

7

5

0

58%

10/26/2019

UFC Singapore

8

3

0

73%

10/18/2019

UFC Boston

6

6

1

50%

10/12/2019

UFC Tampa

12

2

0

86%

10/06/2019

UFC 243

9

2

0

82%

09/14/2019

UFC Cowboy-Gaethje

8

3

1

73%

09/07/2019

UFC 242

9

3

1

75%

TOTAL

100

43

6

70%

DFS Notes

Some quick MMA DFS reminders:

HOW MMA DFS SCORING WORKS:

Lineup Requirements

Lineups will consist of 6 Fighters.

In salary cap contests, participants will create a lineup by selecting players listed in the player pool. Each player listed has an assigned salary and a valid lineup must not exceed the salary cap of $50,000.

Contest results will be determined by the total points accumulated by each individual lineup entry.

Scoring

DFS MMA Scoring Breakdown

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any Distance Strike or Clinch/Ground Strikes that are considered "Power Strikes" by official scorers.
  • Advances include: To Half Guard, To Side Control, To Mount, To Back Control.
  • 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.

Casey’s tips and strategy to consider when playing MMA DFS:

  • Choose active fighters. Coupling an active fighter on his or her way to an unanimous decision will give you key points for your team. Just like any other DFS traditional sport, you want the active, offensive player that scores. Key metrics here are SLpM and TD AVG/15min.
  • Play the heavyweights. The approximant overall finish rate in the UFC is 54%. Most of the weight divisions range from 40%-60%, while the heavyweights push a 75% finish rate. You will receive bonus points for finishes inside the distance.
  • Try to always include the main event or title fights. Five-round fights mean more time to rack up points if you pick the right fighter. In some cases, even if you have the loser, the points can be more than a three-round winner.
  • Always look for value at the top of my MMA DFS Heat Chart. Using fight-odds data and stacking the fighter lineup via odds to finish in comparison to DFS salary price can find you some spots. RED = HOT, BLUE = COLD. The chart also provides finish percentages, which validate odds even more if the matchup and past opponents’ strengths support the provided stats.
  • Don’t get excited and rush a pick based on stats, consider sample size. Some fighters have limited fights compared to their opponents when looking at metrics. Stats could be exaggerated. Do your research. Watch for spots with debuting fighters as well. Always check the records of the opponents they faced on their way to the UFC. Always pull fight tape as well. You’d be surprised at what you will find.
  • Review methods of victory. I supply the finish rates via the Heat Chart, and as you dive in even more, you can compare method of victory to method of loss for the matchups. For example, you can find matchups where Fighter A has a high % of submission victories matched up with Fighter B, with a high % of submission losses.

As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC 246. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on odds to finish the fight. Fight finishes are where the points are at in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual matchups below.

UFC 246

Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents, watch your points rack up quick. Here's my Offensive Output Meter for the card. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two, key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday.

UFC 246 Data
UFC 246 Data

Worth a look on DFS:

STARS: McGregor, Barber, Askarov

SCRUBS: Pennington, Oleinik

Any questions, hit me up at @Y2CASEY.