UFC 282 will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday and the 13-fight card will be headlined by Jan Blachowicz vs. Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. The 205-pound champion Jiří Procházka had to relinquish the title after suffering a serious shoulder injury and now it will be the former champion Blachowicz taking on the hottest contender in the division in Anakalaev. The rest of the UFC 282 fight card is loaded with notable fighters like Paddy Pimblett, Darren Till and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who are all going to be potentially popular options in the UFC DFS fighter pool because of their name recognition. The prelims start at 8 p.m. ET with the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. ET.
But crafting a winning UFC DFS strategy is about looking past the names and diving into the data that will dictate which fighters will create the most scoring opportunities. So who should you have heavy exposure to in your UFC DFS lineups for UFC 282, and which fighters should you be avoiding entirely? 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 Billy Quarantillo ($8,600 on DraftKings, $17 on FanDuel). Quarantillo will be taking on fellow American Alex Hernandez in a featherweight bout during the early prelims and this will be Quarantillo's return to The Octagon after most recently fighting in Fury Pro Grappling 3 against Clay Guida.
Quarantillo is 4-2 in his UFC career and is now 16-4 overall after making his professional debut all the way back in 2013. The veteran fighter has won 12 fights by KO/TKO or submission and he'll have a particularly large advantage while standing against Hernandez. Quarantillo lands a staggering 7.74 significant strikes per minute during his UFC career while Hernandez lands just 3.97. He also lands significant strikes at 59% clip while Hernandez connects on only 37% of his offerings.
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.