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DFS Picks for UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum

| April 16, 2021 9:48 am PDT

After a ho-hum UFC card, things pick up at UFC Vegas 24, where Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum butt heads.

I am not saying Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland wasn’t a good fight on paper, but this one projects to be a battle.

You can see who might be the guy to back there in Adam Haynes’ Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum betting preview, but I’ll also be breaking things down in this week’s MMA DFS picks.

Let’s cover my three favorite fighters to build around at UFC Vegas 24, and wrap things up with my top daily fantasy MMA lineup.

Robert Whittaker ($9.1k)

Robert Whittaker

Let’s just start things off with Whittaker, who took a step back with a totally understandable loss to Israel Adesanya, which nobody can fault him for.

To his credit, Whittaker rebounded nicely with two straight wins, taking out dangerous fighters in Daren Till and Jared Cannonier.

Before that loss to Adesanya, he’d been on a heater, taking out heavy hitters like Yoel Romero (twice), Ronald Souza, and Derek Brunson.

The resume checks out, and Whittaker also is simply the better fighter here. He does just about everything well, and he’s nearing a title shot.

When you look at the toughness, striking, and physicality, Whittaker edges out Gastelum, who is just 1-3 over his last fights.

Drakkar Klose ($7.8k)

Drakkar Klose

Give me all of the Drakkar Klose. Admittedly, this play is probably more about the decline of Jeremy Stephens, but Klose has just two losses, and one was a totally respectable KO against Beneil Dariush.

He’s otherwise held his own in wins against Bobby Green, Christos Giagos, and Lando Vannata over his three previous bouts.

Klose is easily the more technically skilled fighter here, he’s more well-rounded, and he’s also shown well against strikers in his career.

This is bad news for Stephens, who is dangerous, but is often a bit too aggressive for his own good.

It’s led to a rough stretch, where an aging Stephens has failed to win in any of his last five fights.

One was a KO loss to Calvin Kattar, and his level of opponents has admittedly been very high, but it’s a knockout or bust for him here.

Klose pointed this out in a press conference, suggesting Stephens is past his prime.

I don’t really disagree with Klose. He’s not the better or more powerful striker, but he’s probably the superior fighter in just about every other way at this point.

Alexandr Romanov ($8.8k)

Romanov wraps up my core MMA DFS picks for UFC Vegas 24. He’s a very aggressive fighter that comes into UFC Fight Night with an unblemished 13-0 record.

He’s also just a vicious fighter that shows no fear. In the NBA there is bully ball, and in MMA there is Alexander Romanov. 

He’s just 2-0 in the UFC, but he scored impressive submission wins in both bouts, and this weekend he gets a 40-year-old who leans heavily on the ground game.

Considering that is also a strength of Romanov’s, I tend to lean his way. Just look at this dude go to work.

The funny thing is that due to similar styles (both fighters will want to get to the ground), Espino isn’t an easy draw. That said, I just prefer Romanov’s strength and power here.

Romanov may be a riskier play against an elite striker, but in a setting where the fight is headed to the ground, I think he projects well.

Top MMA DFS Lineup for UFC Vegas 24

  • Robert Whittaker ($9.1k)
  • Drakkar Klose ($7.8k)
  • Alexandr Romanov ($8.8k)
  • Gerald Meerschaert ($7.9k)
  • Chase Sherman ($7.7k)
  • Josiane Nunes ($8.6k)

I have broken down my three favorite MMA DFS picks, and I’ll close out this week’s top MMA DFS lineup with Gerald Meerschaert, Chase Sherman, and Luis Pena.

These guys are all mid-range values, and my path to this point is going to keep me off some of the other alluring (and expensive) fighters.

I’m fine with that, of course, as Whittaker is the only stud I really feel drawn to this week.

Of this final trio, I like Meerschaert the most.

Not only is Meerschaert an incredibly skilled floor artist (23 submissions!), but the guy deserves a break.

He is perhaps on the downward swing thanks to a 2-5 record over his last seven fights, but he’s lost to some big names in Khamzat Chimaev, Ian Heinisch, Kevin Holland, and Jack Hermansson in that stretch.

You can’t just ignore those losses (especially when the last two came via KO) when he’s facing a dangerous striker like Bartosz Fabinski. That said, Fabinski doesn’t have great submission defense, so it’s a total style contrast here.

I trust Meerschaert’s experience and ground game in this one.

Elsewhere, you can confide in Chase Sherman, who will be taking on the legendary Andrei Arlovski, who will be accepting this fight on short notice.

Arlovski has 30 career wins and has historically been a KO artist, but he also has a soft chin and just got submitted in his last fight against Tom Aspinall.

He has been on the upward swing with four wins in his last six bouts, but the 42-year-old is eventually going to run out of gas. Taking one the explosive Sherman (14 KOs) on short notice just feels like a recipe for disaster.

Lastly, there’s Nunes, who is a nasty striker making her UFC debut. The Brazilian has impressed to this point, registering six KOs and posting a 7-1 record with one Decision loss back in 2013.

She has been perfect ever since, and she figures to have the edge against Zarah Fairn dos Santos.

The latter got finished in each of her two UFC fights, and I don’t know how she’s going to handle the aggressive Nunes. And for DFS, she just offers more upside.

Betting Advice for UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Gastelum

This feels like a straightforward UFC card for betting. I like a lot of the favorites, but when looking at the pricing at the top UFC betting sites, there is some value to be had.

My MMA DFS picks tend to favor upside, but I try to apply logic and matchup details as much as it makes sense.

All things considered, Meerschaert stands out as a nice underdog (+115), while Klose (+112) also provides nice value.

The other plays are favorites that I think should get the job done, so you can apply all of this to betting as you see fit.

Of course, I’m just one voice when trying to build MMA DFS lineups or bet on the UFC.

Before every big event, be sure to see what Adam Haynes has to say about the fights in our MMA betting picks section.

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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