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DraftKings MMA, UFC DFS Lineup Picks - UFC San Diego: Vera vs. Cruz

If you don't believe the next fact, I won't blame you because of it's rareness: we're coming off an all-finish UFC event this past weekend. That's right. All 10 fights between all MMA artists finished before the final horn and none of the bouts went to the judges' cards. There were seven KOs and three submissions. Five main-card fights ended in knockouts with someone eating the mat cold for a second. Ruthless was it.

Are we in for another treat? We can only hope as we move from Vegas west to the San Diego area down in Cali to hit mid-August this weekend. And we do with a Fight Night card packed full of fireworks if you ask me. Vera and Cruz is a bona fide top-tier matchup between two absolute legends of the UFC. Angela and Lupita are going catchweight (nothing to gain, nothing to lose, but definitely a helluva lot of fun), and a bunch of up-and-comers will also try to keep building their resume on their way to lifting a belt. Right in the middle and into the hottest part of the summer, you bet I won't complain.

In this article, I will be providing you with my fantasy MMA lineup picks for UFC San Diego: Vera vs. Cruz on 08/13/22. Give me a follow on Twitter @chapulana. Good luck!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

DraftKings MMA Bantamweight - UFC DFS Lineup Picks 

Marlon Vera, $8500 - vs. Dominick Cruz

Comeback Cruz is definitely not Yesteryear Cruz, but he's still a living legend and hey, other than his title-fight loss to Henry Cejudo a couple of years ago after a four-year hiatus he's won his last two fights in the UFC, both of them taking place in the past year and a half and against relatively strong opponents in Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz most recently.

Vera, on the other hand, has yet to get a shot at lifting the gold as every time he looked close to reaching that level he went on to flop: five consecutive wins (all early finishes) leading up to a fight against Song Yadon in May 2020... that he lost. Vera split the next two (including a loss to kinda-washed Jose Aldo) but he's now back on track with three Ws in a row in the past 14 months against top-tier opposition (all of those foes ranked inside the 80th, 90th, and 95th percentile in DKFP per fight).

Cruz has kept his takedown-chasing active of late but he's only pulled off three out of 22 attempts in his three fights since coming back, rendering those efforts virtually nil. The striking has been sublime, though, and pretty much at career-high levels in terms of attempts and land rates. Vera, while not the best grappler--he doesn't even try that much--is a ridiculously great striker. His averages are great, he has landed 88+ strikes in his last three fights, and he's been good to connect with 54% of his total SSA in seven consecutive fights. Vera is the favorite for a reason and I don't see him losing this weekend. I wouldn't even rule out a victory by KO for Vera.

DraftKings MMA Featherweight - UFC DFS Lineup Picks 

Nate Landwehr, $7600 - vs. David Onama

Onama debuted in Dana's promotion as recently as last October. From that fight against Mason Jones on, he's done it two more times for a total of three performances in just 10 months, the last one taking place just over four weeks ago when he submitted Garret Armfield. Sandwiched between his debut loss and that latest victory was a KO triumph (inside the first round) against Gabriel Benitez back in February.

Veteran MMA artist Nate Landwehr has the same record and experience as Onama, only he's five years the latter's veteran. The truth is, though, that Landwehr has faced way stronger competition than Onama and although he got KO'd in just 56 in his lone defeat in the UFC, he won the other two fights via submission and decision against above-average fighters (including a top-tier Darren Elkins while debuting back in May 2020).

Landwehr has a slightly higher--and most importantly steadier--volume of attempted strikes per minute than Onama, and he's the better striker when it comes to actually landing his SSA. Onama has landed just 48 of his total SSA while Landwehr sits at a better 52%. Onama, though, edges Landwehr at taking foes down with two successful attempts against Landwehr's one, though it's only been one fight (the most recent one) in which Onama tried to take his opponent down more than twice.

Onama is riding the high wave right now and on a hot streak after losing his debut. He can definitely finish Landwehr--and Landwehr got actually KO'd in fewer than a minute a year and a half ago by Julian Erosa--but he must be aware of his surgical opponent if he wants to come out alive. Call me crazy, but I think the veteran Landwehrl will end up getting the decision W this weekend while limiting Onama's fantasy upside a ton.

DraftKings MMA Light Heavyweight - UFC DFS Lineup Picks 

Azamat Murzakanov, $8400 - vs. Devin Clark

One fight, one knockout, one win. That's all Azamat has done in his short but fruitful UFC tenure to date. Azamat came from Brave CF and other promos and landed in Dana White's Contender Series a year ago already at 34 years of age. He's now 35 years old and while his resume as an MMA artist is impeccable one would think this man is clearly the odd-man-out when it comes to actually contending for the UFC LH belt. Murzakanov is, indeed, 11-0 as a pro and he counts his fights by victories--and nearly all of them by early finishes too, as he's got eight KOs and one submission to his name.

Devin Clark is basically facing an unknown beast in the waters of the UFC at the very least. Yes, Azamat dropped Tafon Nchukwi five months ago in barely 10 minutes of fighting time when he connected a flying knee, but that's all he's done in the UFC. Clark, on the other hand, is a grizzled--not older, mind you--veteran with 12 UFC bouts under his belt. He's coming off a victory in his most recent and lone 2022 bout four months ago when he knocked out William Knigth inside the third round.

Azamat is your classic boom/bust play because he only knows how to finish foes and has virtually never gone the distance. Clark is your good-not-great fighter with upside for some 80-to-90 DKFP bounty if he wins, but not much more than that even if that victory entails an early finish. Such is Clark, a mediocre fantasy option at best.

I'd bet against both men and fade the two of them. In fact, everybody is doing that in DK as none is currently on 11% of lineups built up to the moment I'm writing this. No big difference in the prices, so I'd go with the what-the-heck play and roster Murzakanov just in case.

DraftKings MMA Women's Flyweight - UFC DFS Lineup Picks 

Cynthia Calvillo, $8300 - vs. Nina Nunes

After a moderately good run of results, Calvillo decided to step up her game and fight higher-level opponents starting in late 2020... only to lose three consecutive fights leading up to this weekend against Nina Nunes. She went from facing performers in the 56th percentile in DKFP on average to battling Katlyn Chookagian (65th), Jessica Andrade (94th), and Andrea Lee (87th). Obviously, those three unveiled the fraud that Calvillo had been prior to that amassing a 6-1-1 record against poor opponents.

Nina Nunes (formerly known as Nina Ansaroff) can't say she's been much better. The spouse of Amanda has everything to learn from the latter. She's 4-4 in the UFC sandwiching four consecutive victories with two losses at both ends of that run, but the worrying thing is that she's dropped two straight and that she was out of the circuit for nearly two years before coming back in Apr. 2021, the last time we saw her.

Calvillo has a more rounded game in terms of striking and grappling but it's not that she's a walking menace. Nunes is all about striking, striking, striking. It has worked for her in the past when it came to winning fights via decisions if only because of the monster volume, but that's pretty much it has she has KO'd no one in her eight-fight UFC tenure. Calvillo has gotten rocked twice of late, yes, but she's back to facing a not-so-great opponent so the chances of getting the W here are back to a reasonable percentage. I have to side with Cynthia as he's posted much better numbers of late and should have enough for a bounceback against the worst of the Nunes.

DraftKings MMA Middleweight - UFC DFS Lineup Picks 

Bruno Silva, $9000 - vs. Gerald Meerschaert

With the ridiculous run of knockout victories (as many as five straight) Bruno Silva was able to put together in the Mar. 2021 to Dec. 2021 it is actually incredible that he's not even officially ranked by the UFC in its most recent update of the title picture. At the end of the day, though, it might make sense considering the competition Silva has faced hasn't been that great, the fact that he got to an 0-3 start in the UFC prior to that, and that the only legitimate opponent he's ever faced (Alex Pereira last March) gave him no option at all and pretty much painted him as a happy camper facing minnow rivals but not a bona fide performer.

Meerschaert isn't ranked by the UFC, either, but that's logical because he's never been that great, to begin with. Yes, he submitted three straight opponents last year every four months (3-0 in 2021) but most recently (last April) he went on to lose to Krzysztof Jotko via decision putting on a rather shameful show. Meerschaert had never won three consecutive fights prior to his 2021 run, and that got cut short a few months ago while he had lost two times via first-round KO prior to those three submissions.

Silva will need to stay aware of Meerschaert's grappling and submission prowess as he's already getting subbed on early in his career, but Meerschaert will need to stay alert of Silva's striking as he's a massive threat for a knockout and the veteran has eaten a couple not long ago. Meerschaert has got those submission victories last year, yes, but it's not that he's pulling of five takedowns per fight while attempting 15 of them. The KO victories from Silva, even though against mediocre competitors, give me more confidence in paying for his potential than for Meerschaert's. Give me the Brazilian this weekend with the KO victory.

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Welcome back RotoBallers to more fantasy football rankings. We're going to try our best to help you win big this year, and today we're back with our updated Week 4 fantasy football FLEX rankings, as of October 1st. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key FLEX options... Read More