Daily Fantasy MMA Picks for UFC on ESPN 29 – Saturday, August 21
It was a decent week in theory for my MMA DFS picks, as Cyril Gane and Vicente Luque scored convincing wins at UFC 265. Alonzo Menifield and Song Yadong won, too, giving four of six victories from my fighters.
Unfortunately, Ode Osbourne was a terrible pick, and Pedro Munhoz fell to Jose Aldo via Decision. The good news? Two pivots, and you may have won big in daily fantasy MMA.
There’s always room for improvement, and that’s the goal as we approach UFC on ESPN 29.
After a nice little break, we are back in action with my top MMA DFS picks for UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Gastelum.
Stop by our MMA betting picks page to get some insight and the latest pricing for this weekend’s fights, and join me for my favorite DFS plays and top lineup below.
Jared Cannonier ($8.7k)
Let’s get the party started with a KO specialist in Cannonier. With a name like that, how can you not make some heads roll, am I right?
To be fair, in-house MMA betting expert Adam Haynes doesn’t agree with me here. You can see his side of the debate in his Cannonier vs. Gastelum betting pick.
For the DFS side of things, I’m sticking with Cannonier due to his high upside. He has a lot going for him, after all.
- 78 fantasy points projections (1st)
- 9 career KOs
- 1 loss since 2018
- -165 betting favorite
Cannonier leads the way as the top points-getter per RotoGrinders.com this week. He’s also a vicious knockout artist, and is the favorite at most MMA betting apps.
The guy can take anyone out. He’s notched KO wins in each of his last three victories, and the only time he’s lost in his last five bouts, he went a full three rounds in a Decision loss to the grizzled Robert Whittaker.
His defeats before that were against the crafty Dominick Reyes and he dropped Decision losses to UFC masters in Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira.
Gastelum has an impressive resume of his own – and he’s arguably the more well-rounded fighter – but I like Cannonier’s chances if he can keep this fight standing up.
The reality is he’s the more explosive finisher between the two right now, and in MMA DFS, that’s something to hang your hat on.
Mark Madsen ($9.1k)
Things have gone swimmingly for Mark Madsen in the UFC so far. He’s 2-0 with wins over Danilo Belluardo and Austin Hubbard, and he’ll aim to stay perfect (10-0) when he takes on Clay Guida.
Guida is a bit of an institution in mixed martial arts. He’s the iconic building that will inevitably be torn down, however. He’s got an astonishing 36 wins, but he’s pushing 40 and has eaten 20 losses.
He has a massive experience edge, and he is the better striker here. He also weirdly owns Madense in the stamina and endurance game.
He’s also a big betting favorite here. If he can control this fight early, I think he takes Guida out.
Alexandre Pantoja ($8.9k)
Usually I round out my core MMA DFS picks with my favorite sleeper, but I have to take a closer look at Pantoja.
There is a lot to like about Pantoja, who is very experienced and extremely versatile. He’s never been finished, he can kill you on the ground, and he can knock you out.
Don’t get me wrong, Brandon Royval is a problem on the mat – and he’s been hot with a 4-1 run over his last five – but he’s also fresh off of a shoulder injury.
Pantoja also isn’t overlooking Royval.
The fact that Pantoja isn’t overlooking Royval is always good, but this is a guy who has seen it all. Decision losses to Askar Askarov and Deiveson Figueiredo are his only blemishes since 2018.
Anything close to rust or discomfort is going to be a major issue in a fight a healthy Royval might lose, regardless. Give me all the Pantoja this weekend.
Top MMA DFS Lineup for UFC on ESPN 29
- Jared Cannonier ($8.7k)
- Mark Madsen ($9.1k)
- Alexandre Pantoja ($8.9k)
- Josiane Nunes ($7.6k)
- Ignacio Bahamondes ($7.8k)
- Sasha Palatnikov ($7.7k)
You know who my core daily fantasy MMA picks are this week, but where do you go from there?
I think you can wrap things up with Josiana Nunes, Ignacio Bahamondes, and Sasha Palatnikov.
Nunes isn’t an amazing fighter, but she’s feisty. Her aggressiveness and pursuit may give her the edge, and I think hunting for a cheap KO makes sense here.
Bahamondes is pretty appealing here, and he’s my favorite of this final trio. He has the height and reach edge against Roosevelt Roberts, and he can be a dangerous striker.
His UFC debut didn’t go as planned, but he dropped a Decision to the experienced John Makdessi. Provided he learned from his mistakes there, I think his striking could shine in this spot.
Lastly, there’s Palatnikov, who has won three of his last five fights.
He’s trending in the opposite direction of Ramiz Brahimaj, who got TKO’d in his UFC debut. I do think Brahimaj is the more well-rounded fighter between the two, but Palatnikov can defend takedowns well at times, and he has good striking.
Price plays a factor this week, so I’m taking on some risk to piece things together.
MMA Betting Advice for UFC Vegas 34
You can split MMA DFS and the betting world as you wish, or you can marry them a bit.
That was (almost) a great strategy last week, but the moral of the story is you really just need to pick your spots, and realize what fits best with what.
For this week, my MMA DFS picks point to the following being solid bets.
I don’t know if I’d really go after Palatnikov or Nunes too hard, but they do help fill out what I feel is a fantastic UFC DFS lineup this week.
For just the betting realm, I am also high on William Knight (-175), but I don’t feel like he makes a whole lot of sense on a slate with precious little value.
Whether you use my insight to bet on the UFC, or you just build MMA DFS lineups, I wish you luck. Of course, you should also do yourself a favor and check out Adam Haynes’ UFC Vegas 34 betting predictions.