UFC 299 Preview and Predictions: The MMA Mashup

UFC 299 Preview and Predictions: The MMA Mashup

This article is part of our DraftKings MMA series.

Fans and gamblers alike should be thrilled by the UFC 299 card, as the slate is filled with intriguing bouts. We'll take a look at each of the 14 fights across three platforms, including a blonde fighter who is returning after a long layoff and a powerful BJJ player who is looking to dethrone a hype train. Our betting lines this week come from the RotoWire MMA betting page and are accurate to the post date of this article.

Plays to Consider on DraftKings

Joanne Wood ($7,200)

I like targeting Wood as a sizable underdog, as her high-output style and ability to incorporate takedowns into her game allows her to approach 100 points in any given win. Maryna Moroz is a skilled kickboxer and may have a footwork advantage, but I don't see that as a reason this line should be so wide. This promises to be an action-packed fight, but while Moroz is unlikely to score big for her salary, Wood can easily push past the 10x mark.

Asu Almabaev ($9,500)

The way Almabaev relentlessly tries for single-leg takedowns may remind prospective owners of a fighter further up the card, but excellent jujitsu is the difference between the newcomer and Mateusz Gamrot, as "Zulfikar" had Ode Osbourne locked in dominant positions until he was ultimately able to find a submission. C.J. Vergara's takedown defense currently stands at 74 percent, but it should be noted that his only bout against a committed grappler ended when he was submitted by Tatsuro Taira in 2022.

Ion Cutelaba ($8,400)

Cutelaba's reputation as a glass cannon has been well-earned, as numerous bouts see him jump out ahead of his opponents with pressure and grappling before getting tired and/or falling into a submission. Still, Philipe Lins works so slowly that Cutelaba should be able to manage his energy simply by always being in control. While Lins' 100 percent takedown defense may look impressive, it is not an exaggeration to say that he has not faced a single committed grappler in his five UFC fights. I will take the aggression here, as Cutelaba is a style of opponent Lins has not yet had to deal with.

Mateusz Gamrot ($9,500)

With the exception of a fighter who is no longer with the company, Rafael dos Anjos has lost to every committed wrestler he has faced in the UFC cage. I fail to see how this will change with someone like Gamrot, whose takedown attempts can easily stretch to double digits in a 15-minute fight. "RDA" just can't seem to keep his back off the fence against pressuring opponents, and his lack of an offensive guard game should result in a comprehensive win for "Gamer."

Gilbert Burns ($7,600)

It may have taken him 20 attempts, but Bassil Hafez was able to ground Jack Della Maddalena three times and accrue a whopping 6:48 seconds of control time. This being the case, I shudder to think what will happen when a far more polished MMA submission grappler gets him to the mat. We also need to remember that while he's not as crisp of a striker, Burns hits incredibly hard, which should help set up those takedown attempts. Burns has shown himself to be durable throughout his career, so it's hard to see him being chinned before he gets this fight where he wants it.

Benoit Saint-Denis ($8,900)

Dustin Poirier is another fighter who will back himself up against the cage, which has always made him susceptible to wrestlers. This is a major issue against Saint-Denis, who may be the most unrelenting grappler on this card. Saint-Denis has shown the ability to take a tremendous amount of punishment, and "The Diamond" has never been a ferocious puncher, which leaves little room for the former interim lightweight champion to find his type of fight.

Petr Yan ($8,300)

Yan may have taken his licks against the very best in the division, but I still consider him an excellent boxer and an above-average grappler. While another slow first round may be in the cards, I expect him to pick apart a fighter like Yadong Song, who is far too willing to brawl. Yan will also be able to rely on his wrestling to stem the tide of aggression from his opponent.

Curtis Blaydes ($8,200)

Jailton Almeida has run through almost every fighter he's faced in the UFC, but the amount of time he spent sitting in mount against Derrick Lewis with seemingly no idea how to end the fight doesn't inspire much confidence that he can best Blaydes on the ground. Almeida has power but clearly prefers taking fighters down, and we have never seen "Razor" outgrappled in the Octagon.

Plays to Consider on  Prize Picks - Significant Strikes

Kyler Phillips OVER 74.5 Significant Strikes, and Sean O'Malley OVER 112.5 Significant Strikes

Pedro Munhoz's volume, durability, and takedown defense almost ensure that his fights will go the distance, as he has registered knockouts in just five of his 20 UFC wins. Phillips lands at a clip of almost 5.5 significant strikes per minute and has never been shy about meeting opponents in the middle of the cage. This should result in a comfortable over on a relatively high total.

Marlon Vera has become something of a meme at this point in his career due to his slow starts in fights. This not only results in laughs on the Internet but a heavy toll to pay even in fights he wins, as opponents are able to tag him to the tune of 5.16 strikes absorbed per minute. O'Malley is a long and rangy fighter who will stay aggressive, and "Chito's" toughness means he will likely be in the fight for all five rounds, giving "Suga" the time he needs to accumulate strikes. 

Plays to Consider on Prize Picks - Fight Time

Robelis Despaigne UNDER 4.0 Minutes of Fight Time, and Michel Pereira OVER 10.0 Minutes of Fight Time 

Despaigne is an incredibly intriguing addition to the heavyweight division. He brings power, a world-class taekwondo background, and an 84-inch reach. What's more, his last two fights lasted a combined seven seconds. Simply put, Despaigne puts hands on his opponents before they can reach him, and it shouldn't take long for Josh Parisian to walk into the firing line.

Pereira is an athletic, explosive striker, but I can't help but think he's overcorrected since the days when he would try to moonsault onto a grounded opponent, as minutes tend to go by where the Brazilian doesn't do much of anything. Michal Oleksiejczuk is a similarly speedy fighter, which means that this one could contain a whole lot of circling around the Octagon while the fighters look for the perfect shot.

Bets to Consider

Katlyn Cerminara (+180)

It has been almost two years since Cerminara (formerly Chookagian) has stepped into the cage, but I still can't help but feel that this is a perfect matchup for her. Maycee Barber has always had trouble finding her range in the pocket, and "Blonde Fighter" made a career out of picking her opponents off with a stick-and-move style. While she almost never uses these skills offensively, Cerminara is a credentialed BJJ purple belt, so Barber will likely think twice before relying on her wrestling.

Kevin Holland and Michael Page Fight Goes to Decision (+126)

Fans are likely excited to see the UFC debut of "Venom" Page against an all-action fighter like Holland, but we've seen instances in which MVP is hesitant to engage, leading to some incredibly slow fights. I think we have a prime candidate for that here, as he will not have a height, reach, or noticeable athleticism advantage. While this could open the door for Holland to get things going, Page is incredibly awkward in his movements and stance, which should cause Holland to be hesitant as well. As much as I hate to say it, I see this one going to a rather uneventful decision.


For another UFC betting perspective, check out our UFC 299 Best Bets for this weekend. For the latest in UFC odds, head to the RotoWire MMA Betting section. 

 

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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. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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