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DFS Picks for UFC 254 – Best Fighters for Daily Fantasy MMA Contests

| October 23, 2020 2:53 am PDT
MMA DFS Picks for UFC 254

Arguably the biggest UFC event of 2020 arrives this weekend, when an undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov puts his lightweight title belt on the line against Justin Gaethje.

This is a nice bout of contrasting styles, as Khabib is a versatile fighter who can dominate with his grappling, and Gaethje can end fights with his fists at any moment.

If you thought Khabib vs. Conor McGregor moved the needle, this one may be even better. Gaethje comes in with insane dominance, having scored KOs in each of his last four fights, as well as nine of his last 11. 

The two fights where he didn’t stop the fight were losses to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez, though, so there is concern that he may not be able to survive Khabib.

If you plan on betting on UFC 254, in-house MMA expert Adam Haynes has you covered with his UFC 254 predictions.

For the fantasy angle, you can roll with me. I scored some solid daily fantasy MMA picks last week, as Jimmy Crute and Maxim Grishin got KO wins, and Guram Kutateladze gritted out a Decision win.

The Korean Zombie, Claudio Silva, and Thomas Almeida all flashed their ability, but suffered Decision defeats in the end.

Let’s dive back into the madness with my favorite UFC 254 DFS picks.

Khabib Nurmagomedov ($9.2k)

From a betting perspective, Gaethje is hard to ignore. He is on fire, and it may only take one punch for him to deliver one of the biggest MMA upsets in the sport’s history.

The same goes for his daily fantasy appeal, as he offers insane upside and is super cheap at $7k. The problem? There isn’t anybody more disciplined, relentless, or skilled than “The Eagle”.

The guy also does not lack for confidence, and he sure knows how to sprinkle theatrics into pre-fight build-up.


It’s the UFC, so one good punch can make me look like a fool, but like most fights, this sets up way better for Khabib. 

Obviously the guy is as tough as they come, as he’s never been KO’d (or lost at all), and when you’ve taken out big-time fighters like Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, and so many others, that’s something DFS players and bettors alike can’t ignore.

Most of the guys I just mentioned are elite strikers and KO artists. Not only could they not get to Khabib, but some of them were submitted. Nurmagomedov can attack in so many ways, he defends well, he can fight standing up, and it’s a death sentence if the fight goes to the ground.

This just doesn’t feel like the spot where Khabib finally loses. Versatility wins here, and I think you’ll want to pay up for him in your MMA DFS lineups this weekend.

Ion Cutelaba ($7.3k)

I actually had Cutelaba among my favorite daily fantasy MMA picks not too long ago, the most recent time he was set to face off with Magomed Ankalaev. 

That bout didn’t take place, but here we are as both fighters rev their engines to do it again.

Ankalaev won the first meeting, but Cutelaba actually looked quite good in that fight. In fact, there was major controversy over that fight being stopped. Joe Rogan broke it down, suggesting Cutelaba was playing possum to lure in Ankalaev for the kill.

I tend to agree, and we can look at this two ways. First, that Cutelaba was truly getting shelled a bit, and that could happen again. But secondly – and perhaps more importantly – that he was pretty strategic, and also quite aggressive in his own right.

Clearly miffed by that terrible stoppage, a perfectly capable Cutelaba (12 KOs in 15 wins) is going to be out for blood here. Ankalaev is a very good fighter, so you can go against me here, but I love the value and upside with Cutelaba at UFC 254.

He’s probably my favorite daily fantasy MMA sleeper this week. If you want some elite value from the betting side of things, check out Adam Haynes’ UFC 254 sleepers.

Da-Un Jung ($9.4k)

I like to give you two expensive fighters I feel strongly about, as well as my favorite value play. Those punt plays have been working out extremely well, and usually I go at least 1-2 in my pricey MMA DFS picks.

Hopefully we can go 100% here, as Da-Un Jung feels like a lock. The guy is on the mother of all heaters, having last lost in 2015. That’s 12 straight wins for those keeping score at home, with an insane 11 coming via stoppage.

Jung is usually going to end fights with his fists, and considering the slower and older Sam Alvey will oblige in exchanging punches, this fight sets up for him rather favorably.

It’s always possible Alvey slides in a good punch at the right time, as he does have 19 career KOs. However, he’s in bad form with four straight losses, and he hasn’t taken anyone out with a punch since 2018.

Jung feels like one of the safest plays of the weekend, and there’s no shock at his massive -335 odds at BetOnline.

Top MMA DFS Lineup for UFC 254

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov ($9.2k)
  • Ion Cutelaba ($7.3k)
  • Da-Un Jung ($9.4k)
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov ($7.7k)
  • Jared Cannonier ($8.2k)
  • Nathaniel Wood ($7.5k)

I don’t need to go into greater detail with Khabib, Cutelaba, or Jung. They all feel like fantastic MMA DFS picks for UFC 254, albeit for very different reasons.

Moving on, I really like the value with Rakhmonov. He’s 12-0 as he prepares for his UFC debut, and he’s a very versatile fighter that knows nothing but stoppage. He faces a seasoned veteran in Alex Oliveira, but the upside and explosive ability wins out for me.

Ditto for Cannonier, who is just a beast with elite physical ability and raw punching power. He also has some pretty big goals.

The guy is totally underrated due to being an improper fit at higher weight classes. Since dropping down to the more appropriate middleweight, he’s been unstoppable.

Cannonier is older and less experienced than a very good Robert Whittaker, but he’s just so dangerous. I don’t think this is a fight that ends well for Whittaker, and I want that KO upside.

I’ll close with Wood, who is another guy who will be hunting the KO, and I think he can get it. He’s only lost one fight since 2016, and has shown an ability to end fights early in a number of ways.

Casey Kenney isn’t a cakewalk, but he’s not an explosive finisher like Wood is. I’ll take the value and leave $700 on the table to further differentiate this squad from others in GPPs.

Whether you use my MMA DFS picks for UFC 254 or not, I wish you luck. If you want to use any of my insight to bet on UFC 254, just make sure you first use the top UFC betting websites online.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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