UFC Vegas 42: Holloway vs Rodriguez (Reposted)

We have a good slate of fights today headlined of course by the former champion Max Holloway! We are back at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and fans will watch closely as Max looks to replicate his most recent, stellar performance.

The write-up here will provide consideration for building lineups on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It details our betting strategy for each fight and a prediction of what kind of bout we see.

When building your lineups here are a few things to consider. Pricing differs for most fighters making some better value on one site over the other. Scoring is important as well. On FanDuel a first-round finish scores 5x the points as a decision, where on DraftKings it scores 3x as many. Grappling is also scored drastically different as FanDuel awards points for submission attempts. DraftKings neglects those and instead values control time and reversals. This new year, DraftKings has also added a quick win bonus for victories in the first minute as well as scoring for non-significant strikes. Lastly, you will only want to take two fighters from the same fight if you think it goes into the late rounds and expect both to reach value. Optimal GPP builds very rarely stack the same fight but it can be a viable strategy in cash games.

Lastly, if you are in search of even more DFS content be sure to visit DailyPlayAction.com! This site is dedicated to providing expert daily fantasy coaching as well as tools to optimize your NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and PGA lineups. Check them out now if you play any FanDuel or DraftKings DFS.

Current Record

  • Anthony: 260-177-5 (Last Year 223-145-6)
  • Nick: 270-167-5 (Last Year 235-133-6)
  • GB: 251-186-5 (Last Year 216-152-6)

Fight odds are as listed from Bovada and last updated 10:00 AM EST 11-13-2021

Preliminary Card- Starts 1:00pm EST

Da Un Jung -115 (DK $8300, FD $16) vs Kennedy Nzechukwu -105 (DK $7900, FD $15)

  • Anthony: This card opens with one of the best fights of the day, a light heavyweight tilt between Da Un Jung and Kennedy Nzechukwu. It is a matchup between a striker and a primary grappler. Jung has not lost since his third professional fight where he was submitted by Roque Martinez. He has the power necessary to win fights in this division but perhaps his best assets are motor and durability. Jung was relentless in securing eight of nine takedowns in his most recent bout, a win over William Knight. I like what I have seen out of him, but I am even more interested in the skills displayed by Nzechukwu. The Fortis MMA product is clearly a work in progress but Sayif Saud has molded him into an extremely dangerous opponent. Nzechukwu’s previous two fights saw him defend against an early onslaught before rallying late to find the knockout win. He does a great job defending strikes with his guard and keeping his chin tucked away nicely. It is almost as if he flipped a switch in both fights, patiently waiting for his opportunity before unloading very heavy combinations. Jung will likely look to bring Nzechukwu to the mat in this bout but I think he struggles a lot more landing trips on an opponent this size. Nzechukwu likely comes alive late here. I love him at the near even money price tag, but also plan to live bet him if round one does not go his way. Kennedy Nzechukwu by Round Three KO
  • Nick: We start with a fun matchup here between two up-and-comers at light heavyweight. Kennedy Nzechukwu is a talented striker with a cast iron chin and serious KO power. The biggest knock on Nzechukwu is his low output and tendency to stay excessively conservative as he waits for fights to come to him. His grappling ability could be a weakness as well, but he’s very tall and athletic which helps him to defend takedowns against a wide range of opponents. Da Un Jung is a powerful striker, but he doesn’t throw much volume. He’s more aggressive than Nzechukwu but overall he seems less likely to stay engaged if he’s taking damage. Jung is coming off a dominant win over William Knight in which he leaned heavily on his grappling ability. I expect he’ll try to ground Nzechukwu here, and his success will likely determine the outcome of this fight. This is a close bout and certainly one I could see going either way. However, I’m siding with Nzechukwu here. I expect his 80 percent takedown defense will be enough to secure the victory. Kennedy Nzechukwu by Decision
  • GB: Da Un Jung by Decision

Marc Diakiese -230 (DK $8700, FD $19) vs Rafael Alves +185 (DK $7500, FD $14)

  • Anthony: Next up is a fight at lightweight between Rafael Alves and Marc Diakiese. It certainly feels like Diakiese is the right side in this bout, but I lack confidence in him based on previous performances. His wins are against remedial opponents and it seems he always fights just about level with whoever he is locked in the octagon with. He has good power but strikes with poor accuracy and below average volume. Diakese’s most compelling wins showcased his grappling acumen. I believe he can effectively grapple Alves in this fight but with numerous wins by guillotine choke, Alves is a dangerous foe to shoot on. Striking will likely be the gameplan Diakiese implements and I think he gets the job done using his range and smart pressure. There just is not enough value for me to bet Diakiese at these odds now, especially given how close some of his fights have been in the past. Marc Diakiese by Decision
  • Nick: Diakiese is coming off a hard fought loss to Rafael Fiziev, but Fiziev is regarded as one of the more gifted strikers in this division. Diakiese is a talented striker in his own right. He’s technically sound with underrated power. He does a good job mixing kicks into his combinations and he’s excellent in the clinch and offensively out of breaks. Rafael Alves is coming off a loss in his UFC debut to Damir Ismagulov. Alves is a former Titan FC lightweight champion. He throws extremely powerful strikes, but he tends to telegraph them and he throws mostly singular shots or basic 1-2 combinations. On the regional scene, Alves has shown an ability to score takedowns off his brute strength from a variety of positions. He has solid BJJ, so there’s a good chance he tries to take this fight to the mat. That being said, Diakiese represents a considerable step up in competition for him here. Alves is live for a KO early, but as this fight wears on I expect Diakiese’s elevated class to shine through. Marc Diakiese by Round Three KO
  • GB: Marc Diakiese by Round Two KO

Cortney Casey -285 (DK $8800, FD $20) vs Liana Jojua +225 (DK $7400, FD $11)

  • Anthony: This will be a fight at women’s flyweight between Cortney Casey and Liana Jojua. One of only two fighters to miss weight yesterday was Jojua, who came in three pounds over the limit. She does not have a huge frame for this division and it is concerning that she has already come in heavy in now just her third UFC appearance. Jojua has decent judo and grappling but seems to struggle getting fights to the mat where she figures to be most effective. Perhaps the time spent working with Merab Dvalishvili has helped her takedown entries, but there is simply not enough value in backing her here. Her striking defense is very bad and Casey should significantly out volume her if this fight is contested at kickboxing range. There is no good way to bet this fight as I also would not trust my money on the 9-9 favorite. Ultimately though I see Casey getting her hand raised. She is far more experienced in UFC competition. Cortney Casey by Decision
  • Nick: Cortney Casey pushes a solid pace and she does a good job putting pressure on her opponents. She has solid cardio and underrated offensive grappling ability but it seems more often than not she’d prefer to fight at striking range. Casey has a solid chin, she’s decent pretty much everywhere but she’s never really shown an ability to compete with the top fighters on the roster. Liana Jojua is a BJJ specialist, but the rest of her game leaves a lot to be desired. Her striking is far from technical and she doesn’t really possess the wrestling for her to get fights where she needs them. Casey should throw more volume on the feet and I expect she can secure a takedown or two if she needs to over the course of three rounds. As long as she avoids Jojua’s guard, she should roll to a victory here. Her price for DFS purposes makes her tough to roster, but I see her outscoring Jojua significantly. Cortney Casey by Decision
  • GB: Liana Jojua by Round Two Submission

Sean Woodson -350 (DK $9200, FD $21) vs Collin Anglin +265 (DK $7000, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Here we have a bout at featherweight between Collin Anglin and Sean Woodson. This is one of the widest betting lines on the card and I think the steam has gotten a bit out of hand. Anglin was most recently knocked out in the second round of his bout with Melsik Baghdasaryan. I do not like how quickly he is jumping back into action after getting picked apart just a few months ago. Anglin is a very good collegiate wrestler that has implemented his style well thus far in mixed martial arts. He is live in this fight if we see some prolonged grappling exchanges but I am doubtful that ends up being the case. Woodson is coming off a very hard-fought battle with Youssef Zalal. He was able to stuff fifteen takedown attempts in that bout on his way to a split decision win. Woodson has excellent striking, particularly in the traditional boxing department. This fight should sway into his favor heavily after just a few takedown defenses or quick returns to the feet. He has an eight-inch reach advantage over Anglin. I think the high volume striking from Woodson ends up melting him as this fight wears on. Woodson will likely be a low owned DFS option today as Holloway is priced just slightly higher on both sites. Sean Woodson by Round Two KO
  • Nick: Anglin is fighting out of an excellent camp in Factory X. He has a solid wrestling base and decent offensive grappling ability. He seems competent on the feet, but I don’t expect he tries to lean on that part of his game in this matchup. Woodson is an extremely talented kickboxer. Woodson continues to show improvements in other facets of his game but he’s still mostly one dimensional. He has a 79-inch reach which is ridiculous for this division, and most of the time he uses it to keep his opponents at range. Woodson is going to have a significant advantage when this fight is standing. He lands more than five significant strikes per minute. He is coming off a signature win over a tough out in Youssef Zalal and many still feel he could develop into a fringe-ranked fighter as he gains more experience. If Anglin can execute a wrestling heavy game plan, he’ll be live to steal this fight on the scorecards. The line is too wide here, but I do feel Woodson is the pick. He has an 80 percent takedown defense in the UFC and he continues to show improvement. Sean Woodson by Round Two KO
  • GB: Sean Woodson by Round Two KO

Cynthia Calvillo -140 (DK $8200, FD $16) vs Andrea Lee +115 (DK $8000, FD $15)

  • Anthony: Next we have a women’s flyweight fight between Andrea Lee and Cynthia Calvillo. We can likely categorize this bout as a grappler versus striker matchup. On average, Lee has been taken down more than twice per bout thus far in the UFC. Calvillo is a very talented wrestler so the path of least resistance will clearly be rinsing and repeating with takedowns. Calvillo enters on a two fight losing streak, but those losses came against the division’s elite in Jessica Andrade and Katlyn Chookagian. This step down in competition makes sense for Calvillo and it feels like a matchup where she can certainly get back on track. Calvillo is serviceable on the feet but Andrea Lee is clearly the superior striker of these two. She throws at a high volume and could certainly win over the judges here if this fight were to in fact stay upright. I seriously doubt Lee stuffs all of these takedowns successfully and for that reason I will be siding with Calvillo here. She is a good bet at the current odds and I see her cruising to a victory if capable of effectively implementing her gameplan. Cynthia Calvillo by Decision
  • Nick: Calvillo is primarily a grappler. She finds most of her success wrestling to control position but she also has a solid BJJ game with three of her nine professional victories coming by way of submission. She is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in her career but there is really no denying she’s still a top contender at 125 pounds. Lee is a highly technical striker and a tall one for the division. She does a good job keeping opponents on the outer end of her range. She’ll have a considerable reach advantage here, but this fight is likely to come down to the quality of her takedown defense. Lee comes into this fight with just a 57 percent takedown defense. She’s going to look good early, but I expect Calvillo to ground her continuously. As technically gifted as Lee is on the feet, she doesn’t really have the same power behind her shots as some of Calvillo’s recent opponents. This suggests Calvillo should be able to close the distance more effectively than she has in her recent bouts. This is no walk in the park, but as long as Calvillo leans on her wrestling this feels like her fight. Cynthia Calvillo by Decision
  • GB: Cynthia Calvillo by Decision

Thiago Moises -265 (DK $9000, FD $20) vs Joel Alvarez +210 (DK $7200, FD $11)

  • Anthony: The preliminary card closes with this lightweight fight between Thiago Moises and Joel Alvarez. Yesterday at weigh-ins Alvarez was nearly two pounds over the limit. He is an absolutely massive lightweight, standing at 6’3 with a 77-inch reach. At faceoffs we saw him dwarf Moises and in the cage I expect him to look even bigger. Moises is a credentialed jiu jitsu blackbelt but Alvarez is no slouch on the mat either. Alvarez has notched sixteen professional wins by submission, including his two most recent UFC victories. I worry about him pulling guard in this fight as Moises can probably stay safe in top position, but I think Alvarez can find some success regardless of where this bout takes place. Although he is not as technically sound as Moises on the feet, Alvarez has good power and can likely land at a healthier clip given his size advantage. The losses for Moises are obviously understandable, but none of the wins really impressed me thus far. I do not think the Brazilian warrants such a high price tag and for that reason I will be backing the very live underdog here. I am excited to see his grappling tested here against one of the division’s best BJJ practitioners. Joel Alvarez by Round One Submission
  • Nick: Thiago Moises is a jiu jitsu specialist. He has a black belt under Paulo Streckert and boasts six victories by submission. He’s coming off a tough loss to Islam Makhachev in which he was clearly outclassed, but he did better in that matchup than other top contenders in this division have. While grappling is certainly his greatest strength, Moises is decent on the feet as well. Prior to his loss to Makhachev he had been building serious momentum with impressive wins over Michael Johnson, Bobby Green and Alexander Hernandez. Joel Alvarez is extremely tall for a lightweight. He is decent on the feet, but his offensive grappling is his greatest weapon as with most of his wins coming via submission. I expect Moises to roll here, mostly because Alvarez’ greatest strength will be negated by an even better grappler in Moises. I’m not sure he finds the finish he needs to pay off his high price for DFS. Regardless, he should roll to a win in this spot. Thiago Moises by Decision
  • GB: Thiago Moises by Decision

Main Card- Starts 4:00pm EST

Song Yadong -140 (DK $8400, FD $17) vs Julio Arce +115 (DK $7800, FD $14)

  • Anthony: The main card opens with this bantamweight bout between Song Yadong and Julio Arce. It used to be 145 pounds for Arce in the UFC, but after a two-year layoff he looked excellent making his bantamweight debut this past July. He was able to finish Andre Ewell with punches in that bout and really seems to have improved since his last loss in 2019. On the feet I do believe Yadong has the advantage here though as the far better technical boxer than both Arce and Ewell. He should win a majority of the exchanges while standing and has sufficient power to end bouts early. Yadong has also been training intensively at Team Alpha Male and has wrestling to rely on here if things start to sway into Arce’s favor. I still want to see more from Arce before betting either side of his bouts, but the pick for me is going to be Song Yadong. I think his advantage in youth and accuracy plays a huge factor in him getting his hand raised here. Song Yadong by Decision
  • Nick: Song Yadong has serious power with six of his professional wins coming by way of knockout. He’s an effective striker that does a good job mixing in shots to the body to slow the momentum of his opponents. Primarily a striker, we have seen Yadong continue to improve on his grappling ability. These improvements are likely a result of the fact he’s been training out of Team Alpha Male. Arce is very quick in exchanges. He has impressive technical ability on the feet and he defends an impressive 67 percent of the strikes thrown against him. He has notable wins over the likes of Dan Ige and Julian Erosa. As talented as he is, a major knock-on Arce has been his lack of activity. He’s coming off an impressive knockout win over Andre Ewell, but Yadong represents a considerable step up in competition for him in this matchup. That win over Ewell came in his first fight since November of 2019. Whenever this fight is standing, I give Song Yadong the advantage. As advanced as Arce’s ability may be defensively, Yadong puts out much more volume and I expect he has a power advantage as well. It wouldn’t shock me to see Arce pull off an upset here as Yadong is still so young. Regardless, I’m siding with the favorite again. He’s coming off an impressive win over a ranked fighter in Casey Kenney and Arce feels like a bit of a step down in level of opponent. Arce is no slouch and I do expect to carry some shares for DFS. Still, there’s no denying this feels like a matchup of two fighters whose careers are headed in different directions. Song Yadong by Decision
  • GB: Song Yadong by Round Three KO

Miguel Baeza -140 (DK $8500, FD $18) vs Khaos Williams +115 (DK $7700, FD $14)

  • Anthony: This should be a great fight at welterweight between Miguel Baeza and Khaos Williams. These are two exciting prospects on the right side of 30 with very clean records. Baeza suffered his first career loss in his most recent bout, a decision that went the way of Santiago Ponzinibbio. He has been a bit hittable at times but I like Baeza’s aggressiveness and overall skillset. Baeza does a very good job chopping down the legs of his opponents while also peppering kicks to the body and head. In this matchup I believe Baeza has the advantage in most facets, aside from power of course. Baeza hits hard but Williams has shown an uncanny ability to end fights with a single punch. He uses explosive movements to get in and out of the pocket where his damage is mostly done. It will serve Baeza well to limit Williams’ mobility with kicks and then keeping him at range with long distance attacks. A bet on Williams is strictly a bet on power, while Baeza is the further developed mixed martial artist at this stage of their careers. He seems like the much better bet in this spot. Miguel Baeza by Decision
  • Nick: If I had a pick for the Fight of The Night on this card, this would probably be it. These are two up-and-comers at welterweight. These are two extremely aggressive strikers and they’ve both shown an ability to still throw hard late in fights. Baeza likes to throw frequent leg-kicks. He uses them to both damage his opponents and keep them at range. Williams is growing a reputation as a knockout artist, but he has a decent wrestling base which is evident by his success on the regional scene. This is one of the tougher fights on the card to call. These two are fairly even in terms of technical ability on the feet and both carry decent grappling ability. Williams has a power advantage here so there’s plenty of upside for him to win via KO. That being said, Baeza pushes more of a pace and he has found success against the higher level of competition. The line feels correct here as this one could go either way. Baeza should have a technical advantage pretty much everywhere, but I can’t help but feel like this is a poor stylistic matchup for him. Baeza absorbs more than five significant strikes per minute, which could spell trouble against a power puncher like Williams. I’ll definitely have shares of Williams for DFS as he’s very live for that knockout, but I still prefer the favorite here. As dangerous as Williams is, it feels like Baeza has more paths to victory. He should be able to lean on his powerful leg kicking game to keep Williams at range. Miguel Baeza by Decision
  • GB: Khaos Williams by Round Three KO

Felicia Spencer -350 (DK $9100, FD $21 vs Leah Letson +265 (DK $7100, FD $10)

  • Anthony: Here we have a rare fight at women’s featherweight between Felicia Spencer and Leah Letson. This is the UFC debut for Letson after being signed to the promotion three years ago. A litany of issues caused this significant layoff for Letson and I worry about how she will perform under the bright lights here. The featherweight division is rather dead and I am surprised to see the promotion continuing to get more women under contract. Letson faces a brutal test in Spencer who has fought all of the best 145ers already. She is very strong and likely cruises in this fight on the back of her grappling acumen. I could see this being a competitive fifteen minutes on the feet so there is certainly no reason to have money on Spencer here. However, she is quite clearly the better side in this one as you know exactly what to expect when the cage door gets locked behind her. Felicia Spencer by Decision
  • Nick: Spencer is tough with a solid chin. She showed outstanding resilience in her loss to champion Amanda Nunes. She lost convincingly via decision, but Nunes finishes most of her opponents and is widely considered the greatest woman to ever compete in the sport. Just the fact Spencer survived five rounds in that spot solidified her as having quality cardio and durability. She is primarily a grappler, but I expect she has a slight advantage on the feet here against Letson who hasn’t fought since 2018. Letson seems to have decent stand up, but I have trouble expecting her to compete at a high level having been out of competition for so long. The line is a bit wide here but as long as Spencer leans on her grappling this feels like her fight to lose. Even if she doesn’t, she should carry a bit of an edge on the feet as well. I don’t have much interest in either of these women for DFS purposes, but Spencer is the pick. Felicia Spencer by Round Two Submission
  • GB: Felicia Spencer by Decision

Ben Rothwell -170 (DK $8600, FD $18) vs Marcos Rogerio De Lima +140 (DK $7600, FD $13)

  • Anthony: The co-main event is a fight at heavyweight between Ben Rothwell and Marcos Rogerio De Lima. Rothwell has been a staple of this division for a very long time, making his UFC debut in 2009. He is a massive heavyweight who always moves forward and pushes around his opponents in the cage. Rothwell fights from a square stance and can certainly throw his heavy hands around, but really it is the smothering pressure that usually secures him his victories. Rogerio De Lima has ballooned up to the heavyweight limit after a career largely contested as a 205 pounder. He has a good overhand right but that really is about it. I see Rothwell eating most of the best shots from Pezão in this one. He is nothing if not durable and has far better cardio in the late rounds of fights. Rothwell also has a sneaky good ground game with a handful of chokes at his disposal. Rogerio De Lima has looked like a fish out of water on the mat before so Rothwell may also find success taking this fight to the mat if he elects to. On a card lacking many confident betting spots I think the 40-year-old heavyweight is a rather safe play. Ben Rothwell by Round Two Submission
  • Nick: This really shouldn’t be a co-main event, as these are two relatively mediocre heavyweights. I have trouble really expecting either to ever climb very high in the rankings, but they both carry enough power to be considered relevant for DFS purposes. When it comes to striking, Rothwell is at a technical advantage. He’s somewhat slow and plodding, but when he does throw it’s usually meaningful and he has knockout power. Marcos Rogerio de Lima throws powerful strikes as well with 13 of his 18 professional wins coming by way of knockout. He always seems to come out strong, but as his fights wear on it’s very rare that his cardio holds up for the better part of fifteen minutes. It wouldn’t surprise me to see either guy cut if they can’t pull off the win in this spot. This is really a coin flip fight, but I expect de Lima’s pressure early to start to fade as Rothwell leans on his durability and experience to secure a win. Additionally, Rothwell should have a significant advantage if this fight hits the mat. Ben Rothwell by Decision
  • GB: Ben Rothwell by Round Three Submission

Max Holloway -700 (DK $9500, FD $23) vs Yair Rodriguez +450 (DK $6700, FD $12)

  • Anthony: The main event should be a banger at featherweight as Max Holloway faces off with Yair Rodriguez. This underwhelming fight card will have a lot of eyes on it for one reason only, the former champion closing out the show. Holloway is coming off a literal masterclass against Calvin Kattar in January. He absolutely boxed Kattar’s ears in, landing 445 significant strikes at a rate of 59 percent accuracy. Holloway teed off, weaponizing his pace as always to just completely take over that bout. It is incredibly rare to see multiple 10-8 rounds in a fight contested entirely on the feet. A fractured ankle and a USADA suspension had kept Rodriguez out of competition since 2019, but he is a very dangerous foe. He throws a lot of kicks and has power in every limb sufficient to end a fight early. Holloway should do well crowding him in this bout and landing nearly double the volume in their exchanges in the pocket. It is hard to see him losing here unless he got caught with a lucky shot. Holloway is still young despite all the experience he has already accrued in the fight game. The best of Holloway may still be to come, and I think we see him dispose of another tough contender here. The odds have gotten out of hand but expect Holloway to cruise. He will be an elite play on FanDuel and DraftKings this week. He broke the slate against Kattar and I will perhaps have him in every lineup that I build. Max Holloway by Round Three KO
  • Nick: These are two of the most elite strikers in the division, but Holloway’s abilities are simply more eclectic and advanced. Rodriquez could look good early here, but his wild and open striking style is unlikely to have much success against a technical powerhouse like Holloway. Rodriguez throws a lot of spinning attacks. When he lands he can be extremely effective, but he leaves himself open to counters and he’s found most of his success against strikers far worse than Max will be here. If this fight stays on the feet Holloway should pull away comfortably over the course of five rounds. Holloway came out aggressive his last time out, but he usually throws mostly feints early setting up shots for latter half of fights. Max has become known for his ridiculous chin and durability. He’s willing to eat shots to throw them, but he does a good job assessing the power of his opponents and avoiding trouble when he needs to. Holloway holds most volume striking records, not only at featherweight but across all of the UFC. He has outstanding head movement, near flawless footwork and against inferior strikers he is known to put on unforgettable performances. The line has gotten too wide here as Rodriguez does carry KO power. Still, Holloway is clearly the side you want to be on here. For DFS or otherwise, he’s easily one of my favorite fighters – not only on this card but in all of the UFC. I expect Rodriguez to hang in for a while, but like many of Holloway’s opponents I expect him to struggle as this fight enters the later rounds. Holloway has seemingly infinite cardio and exceptional durability. Winning again here should position him for another title shot soon. Max Holloway by Round Three KO
  • GB: Max Holloway by Round Four KO

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