Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Costa vs Vettori

Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Costa vs Vettori

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

Jonathan Martinez (13-4-0) v. Zviad Lazishvili (12-0-0)

- Martinez finally gets to fight after multiple cancelations and aims to put his loss from March in the rear-view mirror. He is rangy striker who applies heavy pressure with good feints looking to draw in strikes to counter. He uses an improved jab to counter off his nasty kicks. He will use powerful low kicks to the calf and a mix of rear leg and round kicks to the head and body. He has multiple knockouts from knees as well. He pressures with his hands high and has excellent striking defense. "Dragon" does not attempt much clinch work or takedowns but is a solid grappler. He can work himself to the cage to get back up off his back and has good scrambling.

-  Lazishvili is making his UFC debut after an impressive run in LFA that led him to the becoming the bantamweight champion. He is a pressure striker with fast hands and footwork. He walks forward behind a slick jab and will follow with a straight right left hook. He will mix in kicks to change levels and is constantly looking for ways to tie up fighters in the clinch and get the fight to the mat. The native Georgian excels on the mat and grinds his opponents until they are tired. He has great trips and body locks from the clinch and is excellent at catching kicks and immediately dropping them to the mat. Once there, he will look to rain hard strikes from top and if they attempt to get up, he jumps their back and looks for that choke. He is also well-versed in arm and leg locks, having accrued five in his career.

DFS Perspective: Martinez needs to keep this on the feet and at range if he wants to win this. He could score a knockout, but given Lazishvili's toughness, I do not see that happening. At some point, Lavishvili is going to get this down to the mat, and Martinez will be in trouble. This fight currently is not up for DFS, but when it is, I expect Lazishvili to be priced high. I would still use him in cash and GPP, as he is one of the safest plays on the slate.

My Pick:  Lazishvili

Livinha Souza (14-3-0) v. Randa Markos (10-12-1)

- Souza was finished by first-round ground-and-pound last time out, moving her record to 3-2 in the UFC. She is a plus striker with excellent movement and is light on her feet. She has fast hands with a nice one-two and great leg kicks. She will look to keep pressuring forward and work inside while looking to take the fight to the mat. "The Brazilian Gangster" is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and thrives on the mat. She will look for singles or doubles but excels with trips and throws. She will look to snag the neck in the clinch and drag fighters down. She controls well on the mat and can hunt for the back or look to take the top and rain ground-and-pound.

-  Markos lost her fourth in a row, dropping her UFC record to 6-9-1, and you have to wonder how much longer she will be around. She is a decent striker with good lateral movement and nice lead jab. She will pressure forward mixing in double jabs and hooks. She fights with her hands low and struggles when pressured back. The native Canadian does good work in the clinch and on the mat. She has nice singles, doubles and body locks and is decent at maintaining control. She scrambles well and is always hunting for a submission.

DFS Perspective: For DFS, I am not a big fan of this fight. Without an early finish, likely submission, this fight likely scores low. Both ladies grind it out on the mat, and I expect it to be a slower-paced fight while they look for ways to get it there and control. 

My Pick:  Souza

Jeffrey Molina (9-2-0) v. Daniel Lacerda (11-1-0)

- Molina was supremely impressive in his debut fight, putting out nearly 200 strikes in his unanimous decision victory. He showed off some great striking in his last fight with fast hands and moderate power. He has a slick jab-hook and overhand and really does well to keep things at range. He showed strong work in the pocket and a fantastic ability to string together various combinations. "El Jefe" sports a really great ground game, and if his striking has truly caught up to it, he is going to be dangerous. He does not shoot often for takedowns and is taken down rather easily himself. He quickly reverses on the mat and can do great work off his back.

-  Lacerda is an up-and-coming prospect out of Brazil, making his UFC debut after an impressive run in his country. He is a good striker with excellent movement and footwork. He pushes forward with his hands high throwing a quick jab-hook followed by an overhand or high kick to the head. He is explosive and will immediately jump on fighters if he gets the sense they are hurt. "Miojo" has the ground game to go with his striking. He is strong in the clinch and can look for trips and body locks. He can also shoot for single and double legs in the open and is fantastic at catching kicks and dropping fighters down from it. His control on the mat could be better, as he likes to quickly jump on top and start ground-and-pound, but he does well at taking the back if they attempt to get up.

DFS Perspective: While I do think Lacerda could be successful in the UFC, I do not think that success starts here. He has an impressive resume, great power and is still young, but this is his first fight stateside and likely the toughest opponent he has had to face. I expect Molina to be better everywhere and overwhelm Lacerda early. Look for an early finish from Molina and another big score.

My Pick:  Molina

Khama Worthy (16-8-0) v. Jai Herbert (10-3-0)

- Worthy enters the night on the heels of back-to-back first-round knockout losses. He is a dangerous striker with big power and great movement. He has a stiff jab and a powerful hook. He dares opponents to walk in and throw so he can wallop them with a massive counter. He will then look to explode into the pocket and throw various combinations that include punches, kicks and knees. "The Death Star" does not have much to offer on the mat. He can be controlled and really struggles to get off his back. He will look to jump on the neck for a guillotine if able.

-  Herbert is still searching for his first UFC finish – and win – after being finished in his first two UFC bouts. He is an aggressive pressure striker with decent power and good volume. Eight of his ten wins have been knockouts, as he uses big pressure to combo and counter his opponents into the cage. He has a slick one-two and a powerful hook and overhand. The English fighter has underrated grappling and wrestling that we have not really gotten to see yet. He did not attempt a takedown in either UFC fight but showed good scrambling and wrestling to get back to his feet when he was taken down. 

DFS Perspective: Worthy is the definition of kill-or-be-killed. He has 9 knockout wins and 7 knockout losses. Herbert has big power with 8 knockouts to his name but hasn't been able to show much in his two UFC fights. Someone is getting knocked out out in this fight, and you will need to have them in your lineup. Worthy would smash value if he were to be the one with that knockout.

My Pick:  Worthy

Jamie Pickett (11-6-0) v. Laureano Staropoli (9-4-0)

- Pickett dropped his second in as many UFC fights with a first-round knockout loss his last time out. He is a powerful striker with long range and good footwork. He uses length to work off a slick lead jab and move into one-twos and strong hooks. He has a dangerous counter hook when fighters move in on him, and he will explode, letting his hands go, when he gets inside. He tends to hold his hands low and fall the same way, leaving him open to big shots. "The Night Wolf" has decent takedowns when he attempts them but offers little-to-no damage or control once successful. He has struggled with grapplers in the past, and getting off his back has been a problem.

-  Staropoli is feeling the heat, having received his third consecutive decision loss, and needs a big win here to remain relevant. He is wild striker with great forward pressure and is making his second fight at middleweight. He will mix in multiple one-twos with hooks and uppercuts in the pocket. He has strong kicks and will look to brawl early and often. He tends to keep his hands low and will eat shots to give them. The Argentinian fighter does not offer much grappling offensively, and when he does take down fighters, he has terrible control. When taken down himself, he has great scrambling and pops back to his feet fairly quickly.

DFS Perspective: This is going to be knockout or bust for Pickett. He has a huge length advantage, and he needs to use it. He has the power end the fight early, and given Staropoli's need to brawl, I think he will get it here. For Staropoli, he needs to avoid the big shot and getting into the clinch or putting himself into harms way in brawls. He is much smaller, length-wise, and needs to be smart moving in and out of the pocket. A win for Staropoli is likely by decision with a lower score. All the value lies with the dog.

My Pick:  Pickett

Tabatha Ricci (5-1-0) v. Maria Oliveira (12-4-0)

- Ricci lost her short-notice UFC debut in June and is now looking to show what she can do with a full camp. She is a decent striker with good movement and low volume. She features a quick jab-cross and a lot of darting in and out, throwing one-twos. She does well to keep at range but struggles when pressured. "Baby Shark" does great work in the clinch, and it is where she can pull fighters down where she wants the fight to be. Her takedown attempts can be sloppy, but when she gets it, she has good control and hunts for submissions immediately. She is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and makes good use of it.

-  Oliveira was a contender on the 2018 DWCS and is now making her UFC debut after chaining some wins together. She is a distance striker with great movement and footwork. She leads with a high or round kick and will follow it with a quick jab or one-two. She will kick, bait in her opponent, slip her head and dish out a strong right. She keeps her hands up and avoids taking big shots. The Brazilian native features a decent ground game to back up her striking. She will pressure fighters into the clinch and then look for trips, body locks or slams from there. She has good control on side and top mount and looks to rain down power shots to end it early.

DFS Perspective: I am a bit torn on this fight. Both have been stomped by higher competition and beaten down lower competition. Ricci has the advantage on the mat with her BJJ, and a submission is a definitely possibility, as Oliveira has been submitted twice in four losses. Oliveira looks to have decent defense on the mat, and if she can avoid Ricci taking it there, she would win the stand-up game. I do not like Ricci's value without a first-round finish, so the value lies with the dog.

My Pick:  Oliveira

Jun Yong Park (13-4-0) v. Gregory Rodrigues (10-3-0)

- Park extended his UFC win streak to three with another impressive decision victory to move to 3-1. He has fast hands, throwing sharp jabs, and quickly moves in and out of the pocket, throwing one-twos and powerful hooks and overhands. He fights with his hands low and tends to take shots but is also able to land capable shots moving backwards and off his back foot. The fighter out of South Korea has shown tremendous improvement in his grappling and wrestling. He now has excellent takedowns and control on the mat. He can hunt for a submission but prefers to keep side or top mount and just throw strike after strike.

-  Rodrigues was successful in his UFC debut earning a unanimous decision in dominating fashion. He is a dangerous striker with good forward pressure and power. He features a slick jab-cross and big right overhand left hook. He has strong body and head kicks as well as a strong counter when fighters try to step in and throw in the pocket. "Robocop" is a former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and sports an excellent ground game. He has great takedowns and will tire fighters out with control. He can keep control and hunt for a submission like taking the back or look to move into top control and fire off deadly ground-and-pound.

DFS Perspective:  This should be a fierce matchup between two excellent fighters. I do not think either fighter holds a huge advantage anywhere this fight goes. It may come down to cardio and toughness, and in that department, I lean Park. This fight could break the slate or become a snooze fest. GPP only.

My Pick:  Park

Nicolae Negumereanu (10-1-0) v. Isaac Villanueva (18-12-0)

- Negumereanu returned after two years with a huge upset win and now looks to make it two in a row. He is a wild striker with heavy punches. He will walk forward with pressure, throwing quick jabs and hooks. When he gets inside or against the cage, you will see him attempt to body lock and lift his opponent up to slam him down. He has massive power but tends to throw with his hands low, leaving him susceptible to being hit. The Romanian does not offer much in the way of a ground game. He struggles to get off his back, and even up against the cage, he is slow to get back into a position of control. 

-  Villanueva fights with his back up against the wall, getting finished in his last fight to move himself to 1-3 in the UFC. He comes out fast and hard, trying to jump his opponent with big power and put them away early. He pressures his opponents into the cage with a nice jab-hook and massive overhand. He tends to put his all into the first round and starts to slow in two and three. "Hurricane" does not offer much of anything on the mat but works well in the clinch. He will attempt body-lock takedowns and go for a ground-and-pound finish but does not control well. He gets taken down with ease and has been submitted multiple times.

DFS Perspective: I think we get an early-first or second-round finish here, making it a good fight to target. Villanueva is going to want to keep this on the feet and at range until he can jump on him and unleash flurries of strikes. Negumereanu will trade some blows but ultimately should look for a slam and immediately jump into ground-and-pound. I do not like Negumereanu's price, as he needs an early finish, but I do think he wins this.

My Pick:  Negumereanu

Francisco Trinaldo (26-8-0) v. Dwight Grant (11-3-0)

- Trinaldo comes in fresh off a decision loss and will look to start up a new win streak in a big fight here. He is a southpaw kickboxer with decent power and volume. He is a dangerous counter striker and will invite fighters in to lay it on them. He has a clean jab and combos it with crosses and hooks. He will walk his opponents into head kicks and does not mind standing in the pocket trading blows. The veteran out of Brazil is strong and physical in the clinch and has decent takedowns when he shoots. He maintains good side control, chaining slams, and has powerful ground-and-pound from top mount. 

-  Grant won a questionable split decision last time out to move himself to 3-2 in the UFC. He is a powerful, forward-pressure striker with a dangerous jab-hook and overhand. He will mix in some kicks to the legs and head but tends to throw a lower volume with bigger power. He does keep his hands up during exchanges and is good avoiding the big shots. "The Body Snatcher" seldom attempts takedowns but has been successful when he does. He tends to forget control in attempt to move into top mount and lay down hammerfists. He has great takedown defense and uses his strength to avoid being controlled for too long.

DFS Perspective: I think this is knockout or bust for Grant, and Trinaldo has not ever been knocked out. Grant will look to keep this at range and land a big shot, if he does, he smashes value. Trinaldo will look to find his way into the pocket and get the fight to the mat, where he can control Grant. A decision likely yields a lower score, missing value.

My Pick:  Trinaldo

Alex Caceres (18-12-0, 1NC) v. Seungwoo Choi (10-3-0)

- Caceres finished off another fight with a unanimous decision to string together a fourth consecutive victory. He is an ever-improving striker, looking to strike from range with good movement and a sharp jab. He will dart in and out of the pocket, avoiding pressure, mixing in one-twos with looping hooks and strong low and high kicks. He tends to fight with his hands low and wild, leaving himself open to big shots. "Bruce Lee Roy" has good double-leg takedowns and body locks but lacks the control to keep fighters down. He will take the back and snag a choke when fighters try to get up. When he is taken down, he has good scrambling but often struggles against submission attempts.

-  Choi pummeled his way to three in a row and a 3-2 record in the UFC with a massive first-round knockout last fight. He is a tall, rangy fighter with good fakes and excellent pressure. He hits with a hard jab-cross combo and follows up with big overhands and hooks. He throws nice kicks to keep the pressure forward and back his opponents up to the cage. The South Korean fighter is not a great grappler, and his two losses came because of it. When taken down, he has shown good reversals and the ability to get back, up but struggles off his back. He will shoot occasionally for his own takedown and look to move into top mount for ground-and-pound. 

DFS Perspective: Caceres' eight submission losses likely will not come into play here, as Choi will look to also keep this on the feet. He does have a suspect chin, so I really think he is in trouble anywhere this goes. To me, Choi is the better overall fighter, and I think he gets another knockout and nails value. 

My Pick:  Choi

Jessica-Rose Clark (9-6-0, 1NC) v. Joselyne Edwards (10-3-0)

- Clark was solid in a win with a knockout finish in Round 3 last time out, moving her record to 3-2 in the UFC. She is a strong striker with good footwork. She pressures forward with a great left jab overhand right followed by low kicks. She fights with her hands high and does well at avoiding big shots. "Jessy Jess" is a good grappler and strong in the clinch. She will tie fighters up and look to trip or slam them down and control the round. She does have a couple submissions and can snare a choke if she can take the back. She has solid takedown defense and can reverse or scramble back to her feet if it happens.

-  Edwards went 1-1 in back-to-back short notice fights at the beginning of the year and looked impressive in both fights. She is a volume striker with great precision and big power. She has a great jab and an excellent one-two. She will pressure forward with a strong, straight right-left hook and look to brawl in the pocket. She also sports powerful kicks and will mix in spinning attacks as well. The prospect out of Kings MMA has had issues being controlled in the clinch and hopefully trained on that since her last fight. She does not shoot for takedowns often and does have decent takedown defense. When taken down, she has shown a good ability to scramble back up. 

DFS Perspective: If the fight stays on the feet, I think Edwards has the advantage and will out-strike, and potentially finish, Clark. Clark should avoid a striking match and look to get the fight down or in the clinch where she can control Edwards. A decision here likely leads to a lower score. Edwards has the potential to score a finish and nail value.

My Pick:  Edwards

Grant Dawson (17-1-0) v. Ricky Glenn (22-6-1)

- Dawson kept his win streak rolling to eight with a last-second knockout in his last bout and is now 5-0 in the UFC. He is a decent striker with great footwork and hand speed. He has a nice jab and a big right hook and overhand. He will slip a punch, lean out and counter quickly with some big kicks and knees. He does fight with his hands low and flat-footed, making him easy to hit. The Glory MMA prospect loves to grind it out on the mat. He is strong in the clinch and works great takedowns once in it. He also has great timing on single and double legs, which he uses to control fighters or quickly jump the back for a submission attempt. 

-  Glenn impressed in his return to the Octagon with a massive left hook knockout in 37 seconds. He strikes from a distance with jabs and counters while mixing in low kicks to keep his opponent pushed back. He pushes out a decent volume and has shown good movement and ring control. "The Gladiator" has good grappling and wrestling but struggles to get takedowns. He will attempt single and double legs and look for trips and then to control on the mat. He has shown great control there and can move in and out of positions, looking to find the back or lay ground-and-pound from the top.

DFS Perspective: Glenn surprised with a flash knockout in his return to the Octagon, but I do not see that happening here. Dawson should be able to get this fight to the mat quickly and control it from there. Look for an early-first or second-round sub. First round will nail value, but a second round will take some extra strikes or takedowns to hit. 

My Pick:  Dawson

Paulo Costa (13-1-0) v. Marvin Vettori (17-5-1)

- Costa took his first professional loss last time out, getting knocked out by the current champ, which moved him to 5-1 in the UFC. He is a phenomenal striker with great pressure and massive power. He has a quick jab and will throw big looping hooks with both hands. He has a dangerous overhand and will throw a mix of body and head shots. He also has strong kicks that he will throw to all parts of the body. The Brazilian fighter offers little offensive ground work but has very strong takedown defense and is difficult to control on the mat. He is deadly in the clinch or when fighters are against the cage and will unleash flurries of powerful combinations. He prefers to keep the fight on the feet and use his incredible power to knock fighters out. 

-  Vettori returns to the ring after his loss to the champ in hopes of making a quick turnaround for another shot. He is a high-volume pressure striker who does not mind eating some shots to dish his own. He is quick, throws a strong jab-hook combo and has really good movement. He mixes in strong leg kicks to all parts of the body and level changes often. "The Italian Dream" works great in the clinch with heavy knees and elbows and can sneak in trips and body locks to hit the mat. He also has successful single and double legs in the open ring. Once on the mat, he can hunt for a sub or just control from the side or on top and pound with hammerfists, looking to take the back for a choke.

DFS Perspective: If this fight happens, it is going to be at a completely different weight than 185. As I am writing this, Costa currently weighs 211, and they two fighters have verbally agreed to a catchweight fight at 195 pounds. This obviously give Costa a huge advantage depending on where Vettori bulks up to. Costa has that one-shot power and could end the fight just as quick as it starts, effectively smashing value. Vettori is the better all-around fighter and should look to chain takedowns and keep Costa on the mat. Vettori has a chance at a finish in either scenario or would also score well in a five-round decision.

My Pick:  (Assuming both fighters at 195) - Vettori 


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

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

Scoring Notes

  • Significant Strikes are "Distance Strike" 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 amount of time.


Moves Scoring
Strikes: +0.2 PTS
Significant Strikes (SS): +0.5 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 Strike 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 amount of 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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MMA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MMA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
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.
The MMA Mashup: UFC Vegas 44 Preview
The MMA Mashup: UFC Vegas 44 Preview
Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Font vs Aldo
Drake's Takes: UFC Fight Night Font vs Aldo
DraftKings MMA: UFC Vegas 44 Preview
DraftKings MMA: UFC Vegas 44 Preview
MMA Best Bets: UFC Vegas 44
MMA Best Bets: UFC Vegas 44
The MMA Mashup: UFC Vegas 43 Preview
The MMA Mashup: UFC Vegas 43 Preview
Drake's Takes: UFC Vegas 43 Vieira vs. Tate
Drake's Takes: UFC Vegas 43 Vieira vs. Tate