MMASucka’s UFC 223 staff picks

UFC 223 staff picks
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - APRIL 06: (L-R) Opponents Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia and Al Iaquinta face off during the UFC press conference inside Barclays Center on April 6, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC 223 had looks of being the best pay-per-view in a long time, with an original grudge match set between the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov and the 10-fight UFC win streak of Tony Ferguson. Following a freak injury from Ferguson, in came UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway to take on the Russian on one week notice.

Then on Thursday: the Conor McGregor incident. We ALL know how that went.

Followed by weigh-ins the next day (yesterday), where Holloway was pulled by the NYSAC following an unsafe weight cut. This left Nurmagomedov without an opponent, and the UFC frantically searching for a replacement.

Anthony Pettis? NOPE. Failed purse negotiations.
Paul Felder? NOPE. Not a ranked lightweight, therefore not suitable for a title shot.
Kevin Lee? NOPE. Grounded flight in Las Vegas.
Eddie Alvarez? NOPE. Would not have made weight.

And then, there was one: RAGIN’ AL IAQUINTA. And the call was officially made for him to fight in the main event slot in his home state of New York against of one of the greatest lightweights in mixed martial arts history.

Oh yeah: Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the co-main event. Now let’s talk staff picks.

The WINNER of staff picks will have a chance to receive a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts following completion of the 2018 calendar year! The 2017 winner was awarded to Wesley Riddle, compiling a record of 118-74 for main card fights.

ProAmBelts | High Quality Custom Championship Belts

Check out our MMASucka main card staff picks for UFC 223 below, as well as current records in 2018 (including yesterday’s Bellator event).

Staff records following Bellator 196: Henderson vs. Huerta

1. Michael DeSantis: 45-21
2. Omar Villagrana: 44-22
3T. Jason Burgos: 41-25
3T. Ryan Wagner: 41-25
3T. Mitchell Banuelos: 41-25
6. Ed Gallo: 40-26
7T. Jeremy Brand: 39-27
7T. Wesley Riddle: 39-27
9. Nick Godin: 37-20 (missed picks for this card)
10. Mike Skytte: 34-32
11. Jacob Debets: 33-24 (missed picks for this card)
12. Justin Pierrot: 33-28 (missed picks for this card)
13. Kyle Dimond: 18-13 (missed picks for this card)


Joe Lauzon (27-15) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (13-3)

Jeremy Brand: Lauzon via Round 2 Submission
Wesley Riddle: Lauzon via Round 2 Submission
Mike Skytte: Lauzon via UD
Nick Godin: Lauzon via UD
Jason Burgos: N/A
Justin Pierrot: Gruetzemacher via UD
Michael DeSantis: Lauzon via Round 1 Submission
Jacob Debets: N/A
Ryan Wagner: Gruetzemacher via UD
Kyle Dimond: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Lauzon via UD
Ed Gallo: Lauzon via Round 1 Submission
Omar Villagrana: Lauzon via UD

Staff picking Lauzon: 8
Staff picking Gruetzemacher: 2


Zabit Magomedsharipov (14-1) vs. Kyle Bochniak (8-2)

Jeremy Brand: Magomedsharipov via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Magomedsharipov via Round 3 Submission
Mike Skytte: Magomedsharipov via Round 2 Submission
Nick Godin: Magomedsharipov via Round 1 TKO
Jason Burgos: N/A
Justin Pierrot: Bochniak via SD
Michael DeSantis: Magomedsharipov via Round 2 Submission
Jacob Debets: N/A
Ryan Wagner: Magomedsharipov via Round 2 Submission
Kyle Dimond: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Magomedsharipov via Round 3 TKO
Ed Gallo: Magomedsharipov via Round 2 Submission
Omar Villagrana: Magomedsharipov via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Magomedsharipov: 9
Staff picking Bochniak: 1


Renato Moicano (11-1-1) vs. Calvin Kattar (18-2)

Jeremy Brand: Kattar via UD
Wesley Riddle: Kattar via Round 3 TKO
Mike Skytte: Moicano via UD
Nick Godin: Kattar via Round 1 TKO
Jason Burgos: Kattar via Round 3 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Kattar via UD
Michael DeSantis: Kattar via UD
Jacob Debets: N/A
Ryan Wagner: Kattar via UD
Kyle Dimond: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Kattar via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Kattar via UD
Omar Villagrana: Kattar via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Moicano: 1
Staff picking Kattar: 10


Rose Namajunas (8-3) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1)

Jeremy Brand: Jedrzejczyk via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Jedrzejczyk via UD
Mike Skytte: Namajunas via Round 1 Submission
Nick Godin: Jedrzejczyk via UD
Jason Burgos: Namajunas via UD
Justin Pierrot: Namajunas via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Jedrzejczyk via UD
Jacob Debets: N/A
Ryan Wagner: Jedrzejczyk via UD
Kyle Dimond: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Namajunas via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Jedrzejczyk via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Namajunas via Round 3 Submission

Staff picking Namajunas: 5
Staff picking Jedrzejczyk: 6


Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0) vs. Al Iaquinta (13-3-1)

Jeremy Brand: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 Submission
Mike Skytte: Nurmagomedov via UD
Nick Godin: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 TKO
Jason Burgos: Nurmagomedov via Round 4 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Iaquinta via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 Submission
Jacob Debets: N/A
Ryan Wagner: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 TKO
Kyle Dimond: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Iaquinta via Round 3 TKO
Ed Gallo: Nurmagomedov via UD
Omar Villagrana: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Nurmagomedov: 9
Staff picking Iaquinta: 2

FEATURED IMAGE:
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