Brennan Ward vs. Sabah Homasi (Dave Mandel/Combat Press)

What You Need to Know About DraftKings Sportsbook MMA DFS

DraftKings first found success as a fantasy sports platform, and such is the continued success of their phenomenally popular NFL fantasy football, they’ve chosen to branch out into combat sports⎯most notably, MMA. 

DraftKings have chosen a unique structure. While it was initially met with intrigue and maybe some slight skepticism, it’s now gained a considerable following within the MMA community. It is even beginning to attract casual fans and those who enjoy fantasy gaming more than watching the sport itself—but how does it work, and what are the key rules behind this riveting new supplementary game? Let’s take a look, shall we?

A Brief History of DraftKings Sportsbook MMA DFS

DFS, of course, is an abbreviation for daily fantasy. DraftKings is the official sponsor of UFC, as you probably know if you’re a fan of the sport. The commentary team will often discuss the pre and in-fight odds courtesy of DraftKings, and you can see their logo littered around the Octagon during significant events. 


This considerable sponsorship deal came about in 2021, with DraftKings becoming the exclusive partner of MMA⎯it included an in-depth plan and structure for the fantasy element of the sport, which has continued to go from strength to strength. DraftKings have designed a model that follows the same sort of structure as their immensely successful NFL fantasy game, which has millions of players⎯and it’s this market within combat sports they were aiming for.

How To Play

The league format isn’t too difficult to understand. Just as with any other fantasy game, you start with a balance that you can use to get certain fighters on your roster. Obviously, the higher ranked the fighter, the more they will cost. So, initially, part of the challenge is to find a balance between an underrated fighter who doesn’t cost too much but will still get some significant points on the board for you. 

DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the most popular gambling platforms in the US. It also offers many other combat sports betting markets that fantasy players can check out. Many bettors and market analysts believe that their dedicated approach to providing fantasy football services to millions of US sports fans for free has enabled them to elevate themselves to be one of the most prominent names in US sports. 

It’s a free-to-play game and can be a great way to stay up to date with the sport while also learning what certain fighters are good at. We’re going to explain the points-scoring system in the next section, but as you’ll see, it can have you focusing on elements of the fighters that you might otherwise have overlooked. 

Points Scoring System

As with any fantasy league, the bulk of the skill comes from examining the points-scoring system and picking the athletes you think will rise to the top of the point structure. 

Here is a breakdown of how it works in DraftKings Sportsbook MMA DFS. Two key point categories are the fight conclusion, which garners the most points, and the in-fight action. So, again, you can pick fighters based on their style if you think one might be better at getting in-fight points, and you can balance it with fighters who might land the most impressive win. 

A first round knockout gets 90 points, which is the most for one outright outcome. There’s also a quick win bonus, which is when the fighter wins in the first 60 seconds⎯just as Conor McGregor notoriously did against Jose Aldo in 2015⎯and you receive 25 bonus points. So, to use that fight as an example, you’d get 115 points. 

Other Outright Wins and Their Points Totals

Second Round KO⎯70 points

Third Round KO⎯45 points

Fourth Round KO⎯40 points

Fifth Round KO⎯40 points

Points Win⎯30 points

Point Scoring Offense

Knockdown⎯10 points

Takedown⎯5 points

Reversal⎯5 points

Sweep⎯5 points

Power Shot⎯0.4 points

Scoring Strike⎯0.2 points

The Art of Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports fans are acutely aware that there is an art to fantasy sports. Many of the top players don’t just pick the best available fighters or players. There’s always one dark horse or a cluster of surprise point scorers—and even with all the due diligence, hours of research looking through the men’s rankings, and broader knowledge and strategical analysis, there’s always one that will upset the apple cart. Ultimately, this is where fantasy sports leagues are won and lost. We’d also recommend weighing up how fighters’ styles match too. 

So, if you pick a fighter who has been wiping people out in the first few rounds but is coming up against a much stiffer challenge in their next fight, while some superstars will make a statement, the chances are they’ll be testing, brutal, and taxing learning fights. This is just one element to consider⎯we know it can work both ways⎯as these are the sort of nuances you need to balance out to try and maximize your points tally. 

Final Thoughts

Fantasy sports are a great addition to our favorite sports⎯the popularity of various types of fantasy games attests to this. A lot of DraftKings’ success has stemmed from the quality of their fantasy games, and although they launched in a US market in 2012 that was much stricter and anti-gambling than it is now, they’ve used their huge market presence to shift into gambling seamlessly. 

By offering a genuine alternative for those who might not want to bet on MMA but still want a supplementary game to add another layer to their viewing, fantasy sports are perfect. DraftKings MMA DFS also has a prize for the best-scoring players for each UFC event, which is another incentive that drives a lot of the activity. 

Given that there are tens of thousands of live players at each event, you’re pitting yourself against some of the most ardent and diehard MMA DFS players. However, as long as you grasp how the points work and observe how the dynamics work in the big fights, you’ll wrap your head around it in no time.