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DraftKings MMA: UFC Nashville Preview

Can fan favorite Diego Sanchez defy oddsmakers and pull the upset? RotoWire MMA expert Jon Litterine breaks down that fight and the rest of Saturday's card on DraftKings.

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Phil Davis    Bellator    Light Heavyweight
Davis will take on Bellator newcomer Ryan Bader for the promotions light heavyweight championship at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Fantasy Analysis

Davis is coming off a unanimous decision victory last November over Liam McGeary, and will now get an opportunity to avenge his last professional loss while also defending his belt. Bader bested Davis in a UFC on Fox event back in January of 2015, but it was Davis that came out ahead in the striking battle by a count of 35-to-26. Davis has a respectable career takedown defense rate of 72 percent, but it will have to be a main focal point of his camp if the 32-year-old wants a different result than in their last fight.
Ryan Bader    Bellator    Light Heavyweight
Updating a previous report, Bader will make his Bellator debut against Phil Davis at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Fantasy Analysis

Bader was originally scheduled to face a quality opponent in Muhammed "King Mo" Lawler, but instead, he'll take on the division's current 205-pound champion in Davis. The two already have a score to settle, as they met in the UFC back in Jan 2015. Bader emerged with a split-decision victory in that fight, despite being outlanded 26-to-35 in the significant strike department. He was able to take Phil Davis down once in that fight, and Bader's wrestling could likely once again be the deciding factor.
Valerie Letourneau    Bellator    Flyweight
Letourneau has signed with Bellator MMA and will debut at flyweight later this summer, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Letourneau is the latest of several UFC fighters to jump ship over to Bellator, though it's admittedly unlikely she would have been offered another contract with the UFC after three straight losses. The 33-year-old has faced some quality names while with the promotion, such as current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but has had a well-documented, brutal weight cut to get to the 115-pound limit. With Bellator, she'll be able to compete at her natural weight class at 125 pounds -- a class the UFC currently does not offer for women. Perhaps this is the move the American Top Team product needs to get her career back on track. At the very least, it will be significantly better for the Canadian's overall health.
Thales Leites    UFC    Middleweight
Leites defeated Sam Alvey via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville on Saturday.

Fantasy Analysis

Leites clearly had a specific gameplan for Alvey, as he stayed out of boxing range and landed stinging leg kicks for most of the fight. While he may have coasted a bit too much in Round 3, Leites was able to get the win he was searching for after dropping his last fight to Krzysztof Jotko in November. Leites moves to 27-7 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.
Sam Alvey    UFC    Middleweight
Alvey lost to Thales Leites via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville on Saturday.

Fantasy Analysis

One could argue that Alvey deserved to win the second round, but the 30-year-old simply isn't active enough to sway judges when his opponent doesn't give him ample opportunities to counter. He was forced to come forward a bit more than usual after losing Round 1, but his leg had been damaged too much by the kicks of Leities to move effectively. Alvey came into this bout riding a four-fight winning streak, but falls to 30-9 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
Eddie Wineland    UFC    Bantamweight
Wineland lost to John Dodson via unanimous decision (28-29, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville on Saturday.

Fantasy Analysis

Wineland clearly wasn't prepared for the speed of Dodson, and intimated as much to his corner after Round 1. Wineland succeeds by finding angles to land his awkward striking, but the 32-year-old became a predictable boxer in the face of a slicker, faster opponent. He had experienced a bit of a renaissance prior to this fight, having scored back-to-back TKO victories, but falls to 23-12 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
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