Drake's Takes: UFC 299 O’Malley vs. Vera DFS Preview

Drake's Takes: UFC 299 O’Malley vs. Vera DFS Preview

This article is part of our Drake's Takes series.

The top MMA betting and DFS plays for this weekend's UFC 299 card are up and courtesy of Drake Burden, who breaks down betting and lineup strategy, as well as offers predictions for the entire event.

Joanne Wood (16-8-0) v. Maryna Moroz (11-5-0)

Joanne Wood - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 65" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 6 finishes in 16 wins

Maryna Moroz - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 67" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

DFS Perspective: The striking is likely close in this matchup, and if it were to go to the scorecards as a pure striking match, it could easily be a split decision. Moroz will have a considerable edge on the mat, and a submission is in play if she gets it down. I expect this fight to be close for a bit but for Moroz to take over whenever it hits the mat. 

UFC 299 Pick: Moroz

CJ Vergara (12-4-1) v. Asu Almabaev (18-2-0)

C.J. Vergara - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 68" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 12 wins

Asu Almabaev - Height: 5'4" - Reach: 65" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 12 finishes in 18 wins

DFS Perspective: Vergara has repeatedly shown his toughness in his fights, and he is now riding a two-fight win streak in the UFC. Almabaev showed out in his debut, dominating until he recorded a submission midway through the second round. I expect more of the same in this one. Though he will undoubtedly face more resistance in this fight, he likely cruises to another win. 

UFC 299 Pick: Almabaev

Robelis Despaigne (4-0-0) v. Josh Parisian (15-7-0)

Robelis Despaigne - Height: 6'7" - Reach: N/A - Orthodox
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 4 finishes in 4 wins

Josh Parisian - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 79" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: Despaigne is making his UFC debut at 36. He has won four fights in a row via first-round knockout in other promotions. Parisian dropped a second fight in a row and is now 2-4 in the UFC. Parisian is not the guy to really test Despaigne. I fully expect the Olympic Taekwondo medalist to continue his streak of first-round knockouts. He is an excellent play for all contests. 

UFC 299 Pick: Despaigne

Philipe Lins (17-5-0) v. Ion Cutelaba (17-9-1)

Philipe Lins - Height: 6'2" - Reach: 78" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 12 finishes in 17 wins

Ion Cutelaba - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 75" – Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 10 finishes in 15 wins

DFS Perspective: I give Lins a chance to record a knockout if Cutelaba gasses out immediately after the first round. Otherwise, I expect Cutelaba to control and dominate until he records an early stoppage himself. Either way, someone is likely to be finished, making it a solid fight to target for DFS.

UFC 299 Pick: Cutelaba

Michel Pereira (29-11-0) v. Michal Oleksiejczuk (11-4-0)

Michel Pereira - Height: 6'1" - Reach: 73" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 18 finishes in 29 wins

Michal Oleksiejczuk - Height: 6'0" - Reach: 74" – Southpaw
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 15 finishes in 19 wins

DFS Perspective: This will either be a fun striking display where someone gets knocked out early or a slow-paced decision. Both fighters tend to throw higher volume so I will go with the former. Pereira is riding a six-fight win streak, while Oleksiejczuk has won five of his last seven. I expect the fight to be close, and it could come down to judging. 

UFC 299 Pick: Oleksiejczuk

Pedro Munhoz (20-8-0) v. Kyler Phillips (11-2-0)

Pedro Munhoz - Height: 5'6" - Reach: 65" - Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 20 wins

Kyler Phillips - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 72" – Orthodox
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 7 finishes in 11 wins

DFS Perspective: Munhoz has visibly lost a step, and I do not see his prospects getting any better in this fight. Phillips is relentless and loves to take control on the mat. I expect him to have his way with Munhoz, dominating him for 15 minutes with pressure and control. 

UFC 299 Pick: Phillips

Mateusz Gamrot (23-2-0) v. Rafael dos Anjos (32-15-0)

Mateusz Gamrot - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 70" - Southpaw
~ Low volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 23 wins

Rafael dos Anjos - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 70" – Southpaw
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 16 finishes in 32 wins

DFS Perspective: Dos Anjos has looked solid since his return to the ring in March of 2022, splitting wins and losses at two a piece. However, he draws Gamrot now, who will likely soon be challenging for the belt. Gamrot should be better everywhere and have no issues taking control of this fight from the first minute. 

UFC 299 Pick: Gamrot

Katlyn Chookagian (18-5-0) v. Maycee Barber (13-2-0)

Katlyn Chookagian - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 68" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 3 finishes in 18 wins

Maycee Barber - Height: 5'5" - Reach: 65" – Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: There is nothing exciting about Chookagian's fights. If she wins, it will be a slog and low-scoring for DFS. On the other hand, Barber looked phenomenal in her last bout, running her win streak to five in a row, and I do not see that streak ending here. Barber should control every aspect of this fight, but I would be surprised if she scores well enough in DFS to make any optimal line. 

UFC 299 Pick: Barber

Curtis Blaydes (17-4-0) v. Jailton Almeida  (20-2-0)

Curtis Blaydes - Height: 6'4" - Reach: 80" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 12 finishes in 17 wins

Jailton Almeida - Height: 6'3" - Reach: 79" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 19 finishes in 20 wins

DFS Perspective: Blaydes will undoubtedly be the toughest fighter Almeida has faced. I believe this fight comes down to whoever gets the takedown first at any point in the fight. Blaydes will likely have around 30 pounds on Almeida, so if he gets the takedown first, it could spell trouble for Almeida. However, Almeida has shown enough to make me believe he is the real deal. I expect him to show off a little more striking his in this one before going for the takedown. He has the strength to keep Blaydes down and dominate everywhere in this fight. 

UFC 299 Pick: Almeida

Petr Yan (16-5-0) v. Yadong Song (21-7-1)

Petr Yan - Height: 5'7" - Reach: 67" - Switch
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 8 finishes in 16 wins

Yadong Song - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 67" – Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 12 finishes in 21 wins

DFS Perspective: This is one of the closest fights on the card. Song has looked great over his 13-fight UFC tenure and draws his toughest test to date. Yan has lost four of his last five, albeit against the top three fighters in the division. He is still a great fighter, and this could be a good bounce-back spot for him. While Song presents a tough challenge, Yan should be better everywhere. My only big concern is if he continues his slow start, but I will lean with Yan to get the win. 

UFC 299 Pick: Yan

Gilbert Burns (22-6-0) v. Jack Della Maddalena (16-2-0)

Gilbert Burns - Height: 5'10" - Reach: 71" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 15 finishes in 22 wins

Jack Della Maddalena - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 73" – Switch
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 16 wins

DFS Perspective: Burns is a live dog here. He is Maddalena's toughest test thus far and will have a considerable edge on the mat if he can record takedowns. However, Maddalena has shown excellent takedown defense and is undoubtedly the better striker of the two. If Burns chooses to strike with him for 15 minutes, it will likely not go well. I expect the fight to be close, but for Maddalena to keep his perfect UFC record intact. 

UFC 299 Pick: Della Maddalena

Kevin Holland (25-10-0) v. Michael Page (21-2-0)

Kevin Holland - Height: 6'3" - Reach: 81" - Orthodox
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 21 finishes in 25 wins

Michael Page - Height: 6'2" - Reach: N/A – Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 16 finishes in 21 wins

DFS Perspective: Page is finally making his UFC debut at 36 after a phenomenal run in the Bellator promotion. Holland, one of the most active fighters in the UFC, is 4-3 over his last seven fights but should be better nearly everywhere in this fight. Page can be dangerous, as seen in Bellator, but it is difficult to gauge his competition and overall skillset. Holland has a considerable advantage with UFC experience, and I expect it to carry him to a win against the newcomer. 

UFC 299 Pick: Holland

Dustin Poirier (29-8-0) v. Benoit Saint-Denis (13-1-0)

Dustin Poirier - Height: 5'9" - Reach: 72" - Southpaw
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 22 finishes in 29 wins

Benoit Saint-Denis - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 73" – Southpaw
~ High volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 13 wins

DFS Perspective: This fight will be a certified banger. Poirier has been around for a long time and has always been a phenomenal fighter. He has fought and beaten the best in the division but is now 35 and coming off of a knockout loss. Saint Denis recorded his fifth consecutive win in a row, all by finish, in his most recent fight and draws his toughest test to date. This fight should be close for as long as it remains active. However, I expect an early finish, likely by Saint Denis's hands. 

UFC 299 Pick: Saint-Denis

Sean O'Malley (17-1-0) v. Marlon Vera (23-8-1)

Sean O'Malley - Height: 5'11" - Reach: 72" - Switch
~ High volume
~ Minimal wrestling/grappling
~ 13 finishes in 17 wins

Marlon Vera - Height: 5'8" - Reach: 70" – Switch
~ Moderate volume
~ Plus wrestling/grappling
~ 18 finishes in 23 wins

DFS Perspective: O'Malley's game has taken a step forward. He now holds the belt after a beautiful second-round knockout against the previous champ. Vera has won five of his last six fights, giving him this rematch with O'Malley after their first fight ended by injury KO. Given that there are rumors that Vera has had a difficult camp, it puts me entirely on the side of O'Malley. He has the higher volume, and his continued developing power should give him everything he needs to defend his belt. 

UFC 299 Pick: O'Malley

 

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FANDUEL MMA SCORING

Moves Scoring
Significant Strikes = 0.6 pts
Takedown = 6 pts
Takedown Defense = 3 pts
Knockdown = 12 pts
Submission Attempt = 5 pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win = 100 pts
2nd Round Win = 75 pts
3rd Round Win = 50 pts
4th Round Win = 35 pts
5th Round Win = 25 pts
Decision Win = 20 pts

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are distance strikes or clinch/ground strikes that are considered "power strikes" by official scorers.
  • A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider a substantial time.

DRAFTKINGS MMA SCORING

Moves Scoring
Strikes: +0.2 pts
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.2 pts
Control Time: +0.03 pts/Second
Takedown (TD): +5 pts
Reversal/Sweep (REV): +5 pts
Knockdown (KD): +10 pts

Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win (1rW+): +90 pts
2nd Round Win (2rW+): +70 pts
3rd Round Win (3rW+): +45 pts
4th Round Win (4rW+): +40 pts
5th Round Win (5rW+): +40 pts
Decision Win (WBD+): +30 pts
Quick Win Bonus: +25 pts
(fight is finished in 60 seconds or less)

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are any distance strikes or clinch/ground strikes that are considered "power strikes" by official scorers.
  • A Significant Strike will count as both a strike and a significant strike and will be worth a total of 0.4 pts.
  • Control Time is the time spent in the dominant position on the ground or in the clinch. +0.03 points are awarded per second.
  • A Knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable time.
  • A Quick Win Bonus is awarded to the winning fighter if they win in the first round in 60 seconds or less.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Drake Burden plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Dburdz, DraftKings: Dburdz.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drake Burden
Drake is a proven DFS winner with multiple four-figure paydays under his belt. He took an interest to writing MMA during the pandemic and is active in various Discords and other social media communities.
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