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UFC London Fanduel Core Plays

by | Jul 21, 2022 | FanDuel

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Last week I stated that Amanda Lemos was the only play I was insanely confident in, and as it worked out, she was about the play I made on FanDuel that worked out in a favorable way. Thankfully however the back to back weeks of 50/50 fights are over now and looking ahead to UFC London I am seeing a card where I am firmly on one side or the other of most of the matchups. 

While being confident certainly doesn’t rule out making loads of bad choices, it goes a long way with making me much – much – more optimistic about making them. Again for anyone just starting to read these, I am not a professional DFS player, analyst, or anything of that nature. I also play a very specific way on FanDuel, nothing but small field single entry contests. The plays that I write up are the plays that I am using for those specific types of contests. Tail at your own risk. I am usually very right (top 5 in my contests), or very wrong (bottom ten or so in my contests). Very rarely do I ever have a min cash, or a just miss, week. 

Below you will see each of my favorite plays for UFC London, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below and I will do my best to answer them!

 

$20 PLUS RANGE

MARC DIAKIESE – $21

I originally had every intention of using Muhammad Mokaev as the recommended play in this range. The truth is however, that he probably has a lower ceiling than Diakiese from a FanDuel perspective. If this was a DraftKings write up where control time mattered, then we might be signing a different tune.

Diakiese is an accomplished kickboxer who has developed and refined a pretty solid talent for wrestling as well. This puts him in the driver’s seat twice against his opponent at UFC London, Damir Hadzovic. Hadzovic will want to stand and bang, which is Diakiese’s true wheel-house. Should Marc Diakiese desire to get the fight to the mat however, he should be able to do so with ease. Hadzovic has terrible takedown defense, sitting at 37% over eight fights in the UFC. 

The only true path to victory for Hadzovic would be to connect on something with knockout power, which he does have, but that is a long shot. Diakiese seems like the sensible play and should come in at lower ownership than Mokaev or Wood. I will likely be squeezing Mokaev into my lineup as well however, as I believe this to be a stars and scrub build kind of week.

 

$16 TO $19 RANGE

CURTIS BLAYDES – $17

This is a difficult main event to pick, because Blaydes is without question the best wrestler in the heavyweight division. On the other side Aspinall is on a heater right now just tearing through anyone that has been placed in front of him. For me this call comes down to two things, position and control. 

I believe that Curtis Blaydes is going to use his amazing wrestling talent in this fight and not just strike like he did in his last one against Volkov. At some point logic and reason have to prevail in his fight plan – wrestle when you are the best wrestler in the cage. I expect Blaydes to do that this weekend out of a healthy respect for all of the things that Tom Aspinall does well. In fairness Tom’s tool box does seem a bit deeper than Blaydes, but Blaydes is one of the best wrestlers I have seen in the UFC regardless of weight class – offensively anyway. 

Defensive wrestling does seem to be a bit of a shortcoming for Blaydes, and I sincerely hope that he beats Aspinall to the top position. Once he gets that position, I have full belief in Blaydes ability to stay in a safe position and reign down punishment from the top. There has been talk about a weak chin on Blaydes but he has only been knocked out by two people in the UFC, Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou. Does Tom Aspinall have THAT kind of power? 

$12 TO $15 RANGE

CHRIS CURTIS/JACK HERMANSSON – $15/$14

Unfortunately I am not exactly sure which way I am going in this fight yet. What I am sure about is that whichever way I go will be the only fighter that I play from this range. Victoria Leonardo is another option as well, but that is a punt essentially. Chris Curtis or Jack Hermansson in this range are playing for the win.

All week I had been thinking I was with Chris Curtis in this fight. My reasoning was simple, he just fought this fight against Veiera…but did he? Let’s really be honest with ourselves, Veiera isn’t as good a striker (or as active a striker) as Hermansson. He likely does have more power, but everything else striking wise is short of Hermansson’s level. So was Chris Curtis’ takedown defense impeccable or was it just that Veiera was gassed and you could see his takedown attempts coming from a mile away?

But then he fought this fight the fight before that with Brendan Allen. Sorta, he fought a fight against Brendan Allen who only attempted to take him down three times. Brendan Allen is one of those guys that can be suckered into a striking war. In that arena Curtis is far better off. The same here could be said about Hawes, which was his previous fight before Allen. The difference there was that Hawes was beating the breaks off of him until he caught and was knocked out.

None of that is to say that I think Curtis is a bad play, in fact I am still heavily considering using him myself here. The issue that keeps lingering for me, and what is stopping me from pulling the trigger is that I think Jack Hermansson is the most complete fighter of the previous four opponents for Curtis. To make it worse I think that Hermansson is veteran enough to utilize those tools fluently in the way most advantageous to him. 

Ultimately I will make my decision on fight day. At this point I just know I am selecting someone from this fight. My full lineup will be posted in the member section for anyone curious. 

***UPDATE*** – 7/22/22 @ approx. 3pm est.

Try as I might to talk myself out of Chris Curtis, I just can’t do it. I even uploaded my full FanDuel lineup to the members area with Hermansson in it to begin with. I want to talk myself off Curtis so badly, but I have come to terms with this not being the fight to go against Curtis. Chris Curtis will be in my FanDuel lineup, for better or worse.

 

UNDER $12 RANGE

JORDAN LEAVITT – $11

The Monkey King’s cheeks go clap, clap, clap! I have been riding this pick all week despite quite literally everyone I know or have spoken to stating that even if they want to see Leavitt win, they are betting on Paddy. 

I have heard all of the reasoning; 

  • “Paddy is a better striker.”
  • “Paddy has more power.”
  • “Paddy has wrestling.”
  • “Paddy is actually the better grappler.”

Let’s be honest, that last guy was obviously under the influence of something not yet legal in my state. Jordan Leavitt’s grappling is miles above Paddy, it’s not even close enough for a conversation in my opinion. Paddy does impressive things striking, but he isn’t clean doing them. His striking is very wild, loopy, and leaves plenty of holes for level change or to be clinched. The wrestling statement, completely fair, Paddy is a better wrestler. Why on earth would he want to be in a position where Jordan Leavitt can grab him though? Wrestling from Paddy is a moot point.

This is how I see the fight going. Paddy will be hyped up by his London crowd, and he already seems worked up over Leavitt being dismissive of his star power. This will draw him into fighting emotionally rather than intelligently and he will chase that big knockout that he knows will set the arena on fire. Somewhere in the mix of that forward pressure and sloppy striking, Jordan Leavitt will wrap his arms around Paddy like lost lovers reuniting. Then, Jordan will be the big spoon as he locks in one leg hook and works to Paddy’s back. Before you know it, Leavitt will be behind him in a rear mount whispering sweet nothings as Paddy slowly drifts off to sleep.

Jordan said this at his press conference, “Beat Paddy. Twerk. Go Home.” And I believe him.

 

GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND

Good look to all heading into this event. If you are watching it at home make sure to follow along with @WeWantPicks on Twitter for live bets. Also make sure to tweet your winning lineups at us and we will do our best to recognize your greatness. 

Enjoy the event, and make sure to keep it locked on We Want Picks for tons of great MMA content!

Josh Allen

Contributing Analyst

Hey everyone! My name is Josh Allen, no relation to the FNP guys. I am a proud father, freelance web designer, and future gulag spades champion. I am a fan of the NFL and the UFC. I do a little part time analysis work for the latter. Take whatever you read from me with a grain of salt as I am far more fan than anything else. Do your own research and make your own decisions. I am not a financial advisor and take no responsibility for your plays.

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