MMASucka’s UFC on ESPN+ 1 staff picks

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We are already halfway through the first month of the new year, but MMASucka staff picks for 2019 are now finally underway. The UFC will be making their promotional debut on ESPN and the company’s new streaming service, ESPN+. All the main card action tonight for UFC on ESPN+ 1 will begin at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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In the main event, UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo will look to defend his title for the very first time against UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw . Dillashaw is looking to become the fourth UFC fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, dropping down to flyweight for the very first time in this match with Cejudo. He took the bantamweight strap from Cody Garbrandt in November of 2017, defending it once more in a rematch back in August. Both times, Dillashaw managed to stop Garbrandt with strikes in under 10 minutes. Cejudo, a freestyle wrestling gold medalist from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, took the flyweight title away from Demetrious Johnson in August. Despite the debatability surrounding the decision, Cejudo had avenged his first loss to Johnson, having being stopped by strikes their first match in April of 2016.

Greg Hardy will be making his UFC debut in the co-main event slot, having made sound from competing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. The former NFL defensive end will face off against Allen “Pretty Boy” Crowder, another signed fighter coming from the Contender Series. All the other main card bouts can be found below.

Other notables such as Donald Cerrone, Alexander Hernandez, Joanne Calderwood, Ariane Lipski, Dennis Bermudez, Belal Muhammad, and Geoff Neal will be battling it out on the preliminary card. Surprisingly (and a little unfortunately), their fights will not be included on our staff picks for this event.


Throughout the year, staff picks will be composed of four different MMA promotions: UFC, Bellator, ONE, and RIZIN. Main cards will make up both UFC and Bellator picks, while the biggest fights to make up ONE and RIZIN events will be used. The WINNER of staff picks will have a choice between receiving a championship belt from ProAmBelts or a championship chain from Championship Chains. The 2018 winner was awarded to Michael DeSantis, compiling a record of 202-101.

Check out our MMASucka staff picks for UFC on ESPN+ 1 below. Also, take a look at our ONE Championship: Eternal Glory staff picks here, as the card began earlier this morning.

Glover Teixeira (27-7) vs. Karl Roberson (7-1)

Jeremy Brand: Teixeira via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Teixeira via UD
Mike Skytte: Teixeira via UD
Justin Pierrot: Roberson via UD
Michael DeSantis: Teixeira via Round 1 SUB
Ryan Wagner: Teixeira via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Teixeira via UD
Ed Gallo: Teixeira via UD
Omar Villagrana: Teixeira via UD
Brian Gerson: Teixeira via Round 1 TKO
Matt Bricker: Roberson via UD
Connor Deitrich: Teixeira via UD
Patrick Auger: Teixeira via Round 3 TKO
Suraj Sukumar: Teixeira via UD

Staff picking Teixeira: 12
Staff picking Roberson: 2

Paige VanZant (7-4) vs. Rachael Ostovich (4-4)

Jeremy Brand: VanZant via UD
Wesley Riddle: VanZant via Round 3 SUB
Mike Skytte: VanZant via SD
Justin Pierrot: Ostovich via UD
Michael DeSantis: VanZant via UD
Ryan Wagner: VanZant via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Vanzant via UD
Ed Gallo: Ostovich via UD
Omar Villagrana: Ostovich via UD
Brian Gerson: Ostovich via Round 1 SUB
Matt Bricker: Ostovich via UD
Connor Deitrich: Ostovich via UD
Patrick Auger: Ostovich via UD
Suraj Sukumar: Ostovich via UD

Staff picking VanZant: 6
Staff picking Ostovich: 8

Joseph Benavidez (26-5) vs. Dustin Ortiz (19-7)

Jeremy Brand: Benavidez via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Benavidez via UD
Mike Skytte: Benavidez via SD
Justin Pierrot: Benavidez via Round 3 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Benavidez via UD
Ryan Wagner: Benavidez via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Benavidez via UD
Ed Gallo: Benavidez via UD
Omar Villagrana: Benavidez via UD
Brian Gerson: Benavidez via UD
Matt Bricker: Benavidez via UD
Connor Deitrich: Benavidez via Round 3 TKO
Patrick Auger: Benavidez via UD
Suraj Sukumar: Benavidez via UD

Staff picking Benavidez: 14
Staff picking Ortiz: 0

Gregor Gillespie (12-0) vs. Yancy Medeiros (15-5, 1 NC)

Jeremy Brand: Medeiros via UD
Wesley Riddle: Gillespie via Round 1 TKO
Mike Skytte: Gillespie via UD
Justin Pierrot: Medeiros via UD
Michael DeSantis: Gillespie via Round 2 SUB
Ryan Wagner: Gillespie via Round 2 SUB
Mitchell Banuelos: Medeiros via UD
Ed Gallo: Gillespie via Round 2 SUB
Omar Villagrana: Gillespie via UD
Brian Gerson: Gillespie via Round 1 TKO
Matt Bricker: Medeiros via SD
Connor Deitrich: Gillespie via Round 1 TKO
Patrick Auger: Medeiros via UD
Suraj Sukumar: Gillespie via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Gillespie: 9
Staff picking Medeiros: 5

Greg Hardy (2-0) vs. Allen Crowder (9-3)

Jeremy Brand: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Mike Skytte: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Crowder via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Ryan Wagner: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Ed Gallo: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Hardy via UD
Brian Gerson: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Matt Bricker: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Patrick Auger: Hardy via Round 1 TKO
Suraj Sukumar: Hardy via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Hardy: 13
Staff picking Crowder: 1

Henry Cejudo (13-2) vs. TJ Dillashaw (17-3)

Jeremy Brand: Cejudo via UD
Wesley Riddle: Dillashaw via Round 3 TKO
Mike Skytte: Cejudo via SD
Justin Pierrot: Cejudo via UD
Michael DeSantis: Dillashaw via Round 3 TKO
Ryan Wagner: Dillashaw via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Dillashaw via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Dillashaw via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Dillashaw via UD
Brian Gerson: Dillashaw via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Dillashaw via UD
Connor Deitrich:  Dillashaw via Round 2 TKO
Patrick Auger: Dillashaw via UD
Suraj Sukumar: Dillashaw via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Cejudo: 3
Staff picking Dillashaw: 11

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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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