UFC 189 Draft Kings advice and recommended lineup

UFC 189 will take place tonight from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and the fight card will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT with two preliminary bout on Fight Pass before the televised preliminary card begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 1.UFC 189 Updated Poster

The main card on pay-per-view will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will he headlined by a title fight as Chad Mendes meets Conor McGregor for the interim featherweight title. Also, the co-main event will be a title fight as Robbie Lawler defends the welterweight title against Rory MacDonald in a rematch of their 2013 bout that Lawler won by decision.

Take a look at my Draft Kings preview and recommended lineup for tonight’s event.

Chad Mendes ($9,600) vs. Conor McGregor
Watching Conor McGregor fight in Cage Warriors, it was obvious that the Irish featherweight was a special fighter, a different kind of fighter. McGregor’s the kind of fighter that makes you question whether he has a ceiling to his game at all and how the game is played. It absolutely wouldn’t surprise me if McGregor tears through Chad Mendes on Saturday night. At this point in his career, no level of success McGregor achieves in this sport would shock. His run in the UFC up until this point as earned him that.

But once you strip away the mystique of McGregor’s rapid improvement as a fighter, the unorthodox nature of his striking and his economically beneficial charisma, I think the smart pick in this fight is Chad Mendes. Even on short notice, Mendes both as one of the best wrestlers in the weight class and as a above average striker poses real problems for McGregor. My expectation for this fight is for to Mendes to combat McGregor’s aggressive and unorthodox approach on the feet with awkward and punishing striking of his own, and that eventually, Mendes will use his wrestling to neutralize McGregor.

Tim Means ($8,900) vs. Matt Brown
In a fight that has a high probability of playing out on the feet and being incredibly exciting, it’s really enticing to take Matt Brown. Instead, I’ll take Tim Means. Means has always had great stand-up and has been able to use his reach to make his striking that much more effective. In addition to his stand-up Means has pieced together a solid ground game that should keep him in the fighter wherever it goes. I think Means moves up a tier with an impressive win in what should be a back-and-forth fight of the night contender.

Thomas Almeida ($11,200) and Alex Garcia ($10,900)
The thought process with picking both Almeida and Garcia is taking two up-and-comers that I feel incredibly strongly about, and that have a strong potential for creating finishes. Almeida is the prospect with the higher ceiling, and I’m confident that he should have success in just about any facet of the game against a tough veteran in Brad Pickett. Alex Garcia lost for the first time in UFC in his last fight, but expect a rebound against an opponent in Mike Swick who we haven’t seen compete since 2012.

John Howard ($9,400) vs. Cathal Pendred
At some point my strategy of picking Cathal Pendred’s opponents will work.

Draft King’s MMA Scoring System
1st Round Win: 100 points
2nd Round Win: 70 points
3rd Round Win: 50 points
4th Round Win: 40 points
5th Round Win: 40 points
Decision Win: 25 points

Significant Strikes: 0.5 points
Advances: 1 point
Takedowns: 2 points
Reversal/Sweeps: 2 points
Knockdowns: 3 points