MMA Fantasy Picks for UFC on ESPN 9

Jason Schandl
MMA fantasy picks for UFC Fight Night 176, including Blagoy Ivanov.
MMA fantasy picks for UFC Fight Night 176, including Blagoy Ivanov. / Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The UFC has been one of the first sports organizations to get back up and running, and their schedule continues to plow forward on Saturday, May 30 with UFC Fight Night 176, headlined by Tyron Woodley vs Gilbert Burns.

The return of real sports means the return of fantasy sports, and that includes fantasy MMA contests. Here are the top three UFC fantasy picks for Saturday.

UFC Fantasy Picks: Fight Night Woodley vs Burns

Tim Elliott (vs. Brandon Royval)
Tim Elliott is a solid -164 favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook, and his aggressive grappling-heavy style of fighting often makes him an intriguing fantasy pick. He has landed at least 3 takedowns in six of his 12 UFC fights, and he averages a hefty 4.14 takedowns landed per 15 minutes. That comes on a 57 percent accuracy rate, which is the second-highest in UFC Flyweight history. His last two wins have really showcased his fantasy potential — a second-round win in which he scored 6 grappling advances and a three-round decision win in which he landed 12 takedowns and 14 grappling advances.

Billy Quarantillo (vs. Spike Carlyle)
Billy Quarantillo looked phenomenal in his UFC debut, dominating Jacob Kilburn en route to a second-round submission win. His fight style is perfect for fantasy scoring, as he landed 74 significant strikes and 9 grappling advances in that one, with his 68 significant ground strikes standing as the fourth-highest single-fight total in UFC Featherweight history. Spike Carlyle also won his UFC debut, but this will be a massive step up in competition for him.

Blagoy Ivanov (vs. Augusto Sakai)
Heavyweight fights can be high-variance for fantasy purposes, since there's so much knockout power on both sides. That often makes the underdogs interesting fantasy plays, and Blagoy Ivanov certainly fits the bill. Both of his UFC wins have come by decision, but as a pro two thirds of his wins have come by either KO/TKO or submission. He also has a high striking pace (70-plus significant strikes in both of those decision wins) and isn't shy about going for takedowns (5 landed across his last two fights) either.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.