DFS Picks and Recommended Lineup for UFC Vegas 33

| July 30, 2021 7:01 am PDT

Last week delivered one of the best fights of 2021 for the UFC. I scored a big win with T.J. Dillashaw squeaking out a victory in the main event, and if you targeted him in the MMA betting realm, he paid off at a sweet +157 price.

It was a case of too little, too late for most of my daily fantasy MMA lineups last week, of course. I did also deliver other solid MMA DFS picks with Adrian Yanez and Branden Allen getting wins, but on the night, I was only at 50%.

Darrick Minner was ultimately a bad play, while Ian Heinisch and Miranda Maverick didn’t pan out as expected, either.

Hopefully you at least bet on Dillashaw, Yanez, and Allen, or used them as three-pack in MMA DFS lineups. For the daily fantasy side of things this week, I’ve got my core MMA DFS picks for UFC on ESPN 28, as well as this weekend’s top lineup.

Sean Strickland ($9.3k)

I love me some Sean Strickland in the main event for UFC Vegas 33. He’s a hefty -210 favorite at BetOnline, and he’s the better fighter in his matchup with Uriah Hall.

Strickland is in a nice groove, having won four straight fights (two by TKO).

  • VS. Krzysztof Jotko (W, Decision)
  • VS. Brendan Allen (W, TKO)
  • VS. Jack Marshman (W, Decision)
  • VS. Nordine Taleb (W, TKO)

He’s also a vicious finisher that has ended numerous fights early in the past. Here we get his versatile skill set for up to five rounds, so even if he doesn’t end Hall, I think the damage over that many rounds will make him more than worth our while.

The kicker here is Hall. The 36-year-old is a rock-solid fighter that refuses to go quietly into the night. That can be said for his career in general, and for how he handles each bout.

He may have gotten a bit lucky with a TKO win against Chris Weidman, while taking out a past-his-prime Anderson Silva looks less impressive by the day, too.

It’s a war of attrition for Strickland, who can take on damage, inflict it, and leaves few openings to allow his opponents to get really clean shots in.

Hall has the power and accuracy to make me look silly here, but Strickland has the volume and patience to get the job done.

This could very well be a “slow and steady wins the race” type of fight.

Hall’s strong takedown defense will keep this fight standing up, so it’s all about Strickland avoiding those explosive KO attempts and staying the course with his methodical striking.

The latter is probably what makes Strickland the top projected scorer per RotoGrinders.com this weekend, and I want in on that upside.

I probably wouldn’t vouch for Strickland in the UFC betting world at that -210 price, but I think he’s a must-have for my daily fantasy UFC lineups this weekend.

Ronnie Lawrence ($8.7k)

Lawrence is favored at the best sites for betting on the UFC, and he’s the more skilled fighter in his bout with Trevin Jones.

I tend to lean toward the more well-rounded guy, especially if the gap is considerable. There’s no denying Jones’ explosiveness, though, as he’s scored two KOs in the UFC so far (one was overturned).

The problem with Jones is he really has that “puncher’s chance” mentality when looking at him from a betting or DFS perspective. The striking and power is there to keep you interested, but if he doesn’t end this thing early, he probably has no chance to win.

Historically, Jones’ fights have largely gone the distance (11 decisions), and he’s just 6-5 in such cases.

If this bout is just about striking, Jones is a very interesting underdog. However, he is not the best defender, and Lawrence is going to have a significant edge in grappling, defense, and endurance.

Lawrence knows what is at stake, too, and he appears ready for the grind.

Provided Lawrence can avoid getting KO’d early, he projects as the winner here. It’s worth noting that he enters UFC on ESPN 28 with the seventh most fantasy points from a projection’s standpoint, too.

Bryan Barberena ($9.6k)

The last time I slid Jason Witt into my MMA DFS picks, I lived to regret it. I’m glad I lived, but man, did I sure regret it.

I won’t make the same mistake, as Witt again looks to be at a disadvantage when he faces off with a superior striker in Bryan Barberena.

Witt would have an edge if this fight went to the canvas (8 career submissions), but he hasn’t been able to last long lately (two KO defeats in last three fights). Barberena will play into that, as he brings 10 career knockouts to the table, and most of his seven losses have come via KO, as well.

With Witt not really bringing the power to threaten here, it’s all about Barberena flexing his striking muscle and avoiding takedowns.

This is honestly an extremely underrated striker. Just go back and look at how he’s fared against some top shelf talent.

When you factor in his solid takedown defense, this is Barberena by a
mile for me.

The power, height, and reach advantage all go to Barberena, and he’s a huge -275 betting favorite. I just don’t fear Witt at all, and he only has one likely path to win.

Top MMA DFS Lineup for UFC on ESPN 28

  • Sean Strickland ($9.3k)
  • Ronnie Lawrence ($8.7k)
  • Bryan Barberena ($9.6k)
  • Uriah Hall ($6.9k)
  • Rani Yahya ($7.7k)
  • Niklas Stolze ($7k)

Much like was the case for many last week, I feel inclined to complete my daily fantasy UFC lineups with the other fighter in the main event.

Obviously, a KO win would be nice, but Strickland and Hall are both super tough. Either could end this thing early, but I think a bloodbath that goes the distance is very possible.

That’s five rounds of high-level striking for two fighters, and one is dirt cheap.

That was a fine strategy last week, and I didn’t hop on board. I’m reversing course and stacking the main event to close things out. These guys are both inside the top-4 for projected fantasy points, too, so I doubt I’ll be alone with this line of thinking.

I also really like Rani Yahya here. He’s a mild +114 underdog as he prepares to face Kyung Ho Kang.

Kang is a submission guru (11 career submissions) that comes in on fire. He’s won three straight and six of his last seven, with his only defeat coming vcia Decision to Ricardo Ramos.

It will be a battle of wills here, as Yahya is also a floor specialist (21 submission wins!). Neither of these guys are great bets to end the fight early with their fists, so it’s about jockeying for position, or outlasting for the Decision.

The fact that Yahya wants this fight to get to the ground even more than Kang should be pretty telling.

I am leaving enough money on the table ($800) to flip to Kang if you prefer that side of the fight. If not, you can pay up for someone else, but I personally love the idea of “eating” some cash to make my lineup different.

Stolze closes out my MMA DFS picks for UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Strickland. He faces Jared Gooden, who will be taking the fight on short notice after Mounir Lazzez had to withdraw.

That’s a tough spot for Gooden to be in. Nite Train is a balanced fighter with a solid 17-6 record, but he’s trending in the wrong direction with two straight losses.

Stolze doesn’t have an amazing resume, but he did hold his own in a Decision loss to Ramazan Emeev in his UFC debut. I think he’s got the balance to get the job done here, and he looks like one of the better value plays on the slate.

MMA Betting Advice for UFC Vegas 33

You have my MMA DFS picks and top lineup for UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Strickland, but how does that work with the betting world?

As I’ve said before, picks for daily fantasy MMA and betting picks don’t always align. For example, I love Sean Strickland as a part of my daily fantasy MMA lineups, but at -210 against an explosive striker like Uriah Hall, he doesn’t feel like an overly appealing bet.

Looking at this week’s top UFC DFS picks, I like the following bets the most.

  • Niklas Stolze (+175)
  • Rani Yahya (+114)
  • Ronnie Lawrence (-150)

Strickland and Barberena look like strong daily fantasy MMA picks for this weekend, but they’re both priced up if you’re looking to bet on UFC Fight Night.

Stolze looks like an awesome underdog, I think the matchup favors Yahya, and Lawrence appears to be a solid favorite worth backing.

Ashley Yoder is another favorite (-133) I like for MMA betting, and hopefully all these picks serve you well this weekend.

Betting on MMA is a volatile scene, but there is always valued to be had. In-house MMA betting expert Adam Haynes should be on hand this week to help you further, too, so be on the lookout for his best bets for UFC Vegas 33.

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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