UFC 251: Play our £1,000 Fantasy UFC contest for free this Saturday

Are you ready for Fight Island?

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Are you ready for Fight Island?

It’s not just a name – it really is an island and it really is hosting an epic night of fights this Saturday for UFC 251.

And Paddy Power is giving your the chance to win a tidy sum on this sensational card with a free to enter £1,000 daily fantasy contest this weekend – just pick six fighters for under $100 salary from the card, designate your MVP (think Premier League captain, this fighter gets his points multiplied by 1.5) and sit back to enjoy the ground-n-pound.

Here’s how your fighters score points:

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But who whould you pick on your team for UFC 251? Here’s our guide to the vital stats you need to know…

UFC 251 Stats you need to know

UFC 251 is set to take place on Fight Island on Saturday, and there are 13 fights scheduled for the card. It comes with some unique circumstances for daily fantasy.

The first — and most impactful — is that there are three five-round fights whereas most of the previous slates have had just one. This gives us a higher volume expectation, an increase of 60% from the three-round fights.

Those five-round fights are between Kamaru Usman ($22 on PPF) and Jorge Masvidal ($18), Petr Yan ($19) and Jose Aldo ($14), and Alexander Volkanovski ($18) and Max Holloway ($16). The Usman versus Masvidal fight seems to be the only one of the bunch that got a salary bump, meaning the other two fights could be high-priority DFS targets.

Second, the octagon on Fight Island is a 30-foot cage, down from the 25-foot cage that was in use for the past couple of cards in Las Vegas. This has led to lower knockout or submission odds, decreasing the number of fights we should expect to end early. Amanda Ribas ($20) isn’t in a five-round fight, but she is the only fighter on the slate with knockout or submission odds of Evens or shorter.

We’ve included a breakdown of the percentage chance of each fighter winning in the stats below based on Vegas odds for each fight, but submission attempts, takedowns, and significant strikes are all things that directly lead to PPF points as well, and are listed in the table below. Submissions (SubAp15) and takedowns (TDp15) are on a per-15-minute scale while significant strikes (SSLPM) are per-minute. All three are scaled to a per-minute perspective and to the FanDuel points tied to them in the FanDuel points per minute (FDPPM) column.

The other stats listed are takedown defence for both the fighter and their opponent. You also earn points for a successfully defended takedown attempt, and this can show us which fighters may be able to get their opponents on the mat.

From a sample size perspective, it’s worth noting this is the first UFC fight for Maxim Grishin ($16), Jiri Prochazka ($15), Zhalgas Zhamagulov ($13), and Roman Bogatov ($12). Martin Day ($17) and Karol Rosa ($16) have just one fight in their sample, and the sample on Vanessa Melo ($10) is just two fights.

We need to take a long look at the three five-round fights to see if we can find value there.

After that, dig hard to find some fighters who may be able to scrounge out those early-win bumps, which may be tough on this specific card. But those two aspects are key on all UFC fantasy slates, and they’ll be especially big on Fight island this Saturday.

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