After winning the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 275, Jiří Procházka had to vacate the title because of a serious shoulder injury and now two top-five light heavyweights will do battle at UFC 282 on Saturday with the prelims starting at 8 p.m. ET and the main UFC 282 fight card following at 8 p.m. ET. Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev will headline the 13-fight card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with the vacant title on the line. And a lineup of dynamic fighters for this loaded card will create plenty of options as UFC daily Fantasy players set their MMA DFS strategy.
American fighter Edmen Shahbazyan is one of the two most expensive fighters on both FanDuel and DraftKings as a significant favorite in a middleweight fight with Dalcha Lungiambula.
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Meanwhile, Jairzinho Rozenstruik has captured all six of his UFC victories by way of knockout and he’s also likely to be a popular option for UFC DFS lineups. Before making any UFC DFS picks for Saturday, be sure to see the latest UFC DFS advice from SportsLine’s Mike McClure.
McClure is a predictive data engineer and DFS pro with almost $2 million in career winnings. He’s crushed his DFS selections recently, producing tournament rosters that have cashed huge in multiple sports over the past few years.
Earlier this year at UFC 277, McClure was all over Amanda Nunes, Brandon Moreno and Ankalaev as his top picks. The result: All three won their title fights with Ankalaev and Moreno both winning by way of knockout. Anybody who built their lineups around them was well on the way to a profitable day.
Now, McClure has set his sights on Saturday’s stacked UFC 282 card. You can only see his optimal UFC DFS picks and strategy here.
Top UFC 282 DFS predictions
For UFC 282, McClure is high on Ankalaev at $9,200 on DraftKings and $23 on FanDuel. The 30-year-old Russian fighter made his UFC debut back in 2018, where he suffered a stunning last-second loss via triangle choke against Paul Craig. However, he’s rattled off nine victories in a row since then with five of those wins coming by knockout.
Ankalaev is now 18-1 overall in his career and he’s coming off a second-round TKO of Anthony Smith in July. Ankalaev is the slightly more active fighter while Blachowicz is the slightly more active grappler but Ankalaev’s 86% career takedown defense should help him dictate how the fight plays out. And with two wins already this year and his only professional loss coming in a fight where he was caught in a submission after dominating the action, he’s a solid bet to be the next UFC Light Heavyweight champ.
Part of McClure’s optimal UFC DFS strategy also includes rostering Vinicius Salvador ($8,900 on DraftKings, $20 on FanDuel). The Brazilian flyweight will be making his UFC debut against Daniel da Silva after winning a bout in Dana White’s Contender Series in August against Shannon Ross.
Salvador won the fight via second-round knockout and is now on a four-fight winning streak to improve to 14-4 in his career. All four of those wins came by knockout and all but one of his victories have come via KO/TKO. He clearly brings a lot of power to the table and the chance for an early stoppage here is one you won’t want to pass up with Salvador.
How to make UFC DFS picks
McClure is also targeting a value fighter who is a must-roster because his fight is a huge mismatch. This pick could be the difference between cashing huge in MMA DFS or going home with nothing. You can see all of McClure’s MMA DFS picks and advice here.
So what are the optimal DraftKings and FanDuel picks for UFC 282 on Saturday? And which value fighter needs to be in your lineup? Visit SportsLine now to see DFS millionaire Mike McClure’s complete optimal picks for Saturday’s UFC 282 card and cash in big on MMA DFS.