DraftKings Chalk Board: UFC Vegas 79
Tamires Vidal

We have finally made it to the last fight week before a much needed break. Last week at Noche UFC was great for cash contests and a complete failure when it came to single entry tournaments if you followed this article last week. The only play that I really missed was taking the chance of leaving Rosas Jr. out of tournament lineups. In fairness to myself, I did express just how risky that move was going to be, and Raul Rosas Jr’s performance showed exactly why.   

This week we head back to the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 79. Our main event is top ranked lightweight contenders Rafael Fiziev, and Mateusz Gamrot. The rest of the slate isn’t setting the world on fire, but the matchups are interesting from a stylistic perspective. At the very least the fights should be entertaining, even if they mean very little in the UFC landscape. Nevertheless we will press on and dissect the 9k range of this slate!

For anyone that hasn’t read this article before, The Chalk Board is a DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sports article where I attempt to navigate the $9000+ salary range by offering you insight into who I will be using, considering, or fading from my personal lineups. In turn, this can help navigate the lower salary range as well by design. If you choose to alter your lineups based on my statements in this article, please understand that I am not a professional gambler or DFS player, so that decision is yours. Live with the results YOU get from the decisions YOU make.


$9500 – JACOB MALKOUN (-650)

Jacob Malkoun is heading into this fight averaging over 7 takedowns per fifteen minutes. His opponent, Cody Brundage, is heading into this fight on a three fight losing streak. This fight should be interesting for as long as it lasts, and with Brundage involved there is almost an assurance that it doesn’t last long. 

Jacob Malkoun is a position over submission wrestler, and while that usually translates into boring fights, it almost always scores well on DraftKings. Even in a loss to Brendan Allen, Malkoun managed to find nearly 70 points. In his last two wins, he is averaging 130 points. I do believe that his scoring will be a bit limited in this fight due to his opponent’s longevity, but he should still eclipse 100 points in a win which should be plenty on a slate with a somewhat weak 9k range.

Malkoun will be fighting Cody Brundage here, who is also a wrestler, but one that seems to prefer overhand rights and jumping guillotine instead of securing his position and racking up control time. Brundage does have power for sure, but he has made that power work for him exactly one time in seven fights. He has an identical success rate on the guillotine choke as well, which is perplexing because you would think it was very successful for him with how many times he attempts to jump the position throughout his UFC career.

This is one of those spots where I have to fight myself to not overthink it. The thought of Brundage connecting with his power keeps creeping into my head, but I will be doing everything I can to remove that thinking from my brain prior to locking in Malkoun into everything I play this weekend. The salary range is too weak to ignore such a high ceiling, and while Malkoun would score 0 if he gets clipped, the chances of that are much lower than most people are representing it in my opinion.


$9300 – MARINA RODRIGUEZ (-300)

There was a time where I would have said that Marina Rodriguez was going to compete for a title. Then I noticed the theme of her not being to keep herself standing in her fights and my tune changed. I still love watching Rodriguez fight, but she won’t be winning anything important anytime soon. This fight she is matching up with Michelle Waterson-Gomez, and this fight is a rematch as the two fought each other back in 2021. Rodriguez won the first one.

Marina Rodriguez is a very clean striker who cuts angles exceptionally well. That is about where her game stalls out though, as she is not able to wrestle at all and doesn’t seem too dangerous on the ground either. Even if her grappling is impressive, it certainly is not off of her back which is where she has spent plenty of time in her last eight fights. Michelle Waterson-Gomez is a karate style striker that also mixes in Judo style throws and trips to get her opponents to the mat as well. Waterson-Gomez has been fighting for what feels like forever, so make sure to consider that she is likely a less sharp version of herself than she was in the last one. While both women are roughly the same age, Waterson-Gomez has many more miles on her.

This is a dog or pass play for me here. Marina Rodriguez does not score well at all, even when the fight goes exactly as she wants it to go. For that reason alone I just wouldn’t be able to roster her in any scenario. On the flip side I wouldn’t hate taking a shot on Michelle Waterson-Gomez as a small-field tournament salary saver, or even for cash if she manages to pull enough ownership to have a certain level of safety. I expect her ownership to be fairly low though. 


$9200 – MIZUKI (-305)

Mizuki is making her return to the UFC after having been away for a while due to injury. Her opponent in this fight is OnlyFans model Hannah Goldy. The combination of those two facts make this fight about as exciting as watching paint dry. For me it's Hannah Goldy that just ruins the potential for this fight to be entertaining. 

Mizuki has two fights in the UFC, and between you and me, she lost both of them. She did manage to get a split decision win over Wu Yanan, but she was outstruck in all three rounds. Then she lost to Amanda Lemos by decision as well following that. The only positive thing to be said here is that the level of competition she was competing against in her UFC career to this point is pretty solid. On the other side of the cage is Hannah Goldy, who has only managed two wins in her five UFC appearances, and they have all been against subpar competition. Goldy likes to press her opponents against the cage and stall the fight out in those positions. It's not impressive, it's not exciting, and it certainly won’t score well.

I will be avoiding this fight completely. It just doesn’t seem to me to be a fight where there is even a solid chance for a finish, and neither woman is even remotely exciting. If I was forced to take one side of the other, I suppose I would take Goldy in cash and hope for a decision in her favor. When it comes to tournaments Mizuki should be very low owned and provide a ton of leverage if she was able to find a finish. She likely doesn’t though, so like I said, I will be avoiding both women for the contests I play. 


$9000 – TAMIRES VIDAL (-220)

We finally have a women’s MMA fight on this slate with some potential. Here Tamires Vidal is making her second appearance in the UFC after a dominant win over Romana Pasqual. Her opponent, Montserrat Rendon, is making her official debut in the UFC. Unfortunately for Rendon, she is running into a very violent woman.

Tamires Vidal is a powerful striker that throws bombs and looks to bully her opponents. If Vidal doesn’t get the power to connect she will likely look to get top position and end the fight through ground and pound. Montserrat Rendon is somewhat of a stiff striker who would much prefer to grapple if given the opportunity. Rendon does have the skills on the ground, but getting the fight there has proven to be a bit suspect for her in the past. Generally she will utilize trips and throws as opposed to actual takedowns. 

Tamires Vidal is certainly going to be in my tournament lineups because I think her ceiling is very high here. When it comes to cash it will largely depend on ownership for me. If she ends up near 30% projected ownership in the big tournament I will infer from that to have a certain level of safety using her in cash. If she is in the mid to low twenties then I will forgo her in cash contests.



This slate is the last one before the break like I stated in the introduction to this article. Once back from the break we will head into the final stretch of 2023 with plenty of top bookings to get really excited about. For now, I will just kick back and enjoy whatever slates like these deliver to me in the way of entertainment. The 9k range was so light this week that it made navigation really easy in my opinion, barring something out of the ordinary of course.

Hopefully, this Chalk Board article has helped you at least reduce the number of options in the upper salary range, and in turn isolate a few dogs you feel good about. I would like to take this time to again remind you to make YOUR OWN decisions. Don’t buy into anything I say unless it makes sense to you as well.

Good luck this week! If you need any help with your DraftKings entries you can join the free Discord server which has loads of very capable DFS players and I am sure you will find an opinion that will give you the confirmation bias that most people seek. If you need additional help then reach out to @WeWantPicks on Twitter, or you can shoot me questions as well if you like @WebGuyWWP. Thanks for reading, see you guys next week.