MMASucka’s UFC on ESPN 1 Staff Picks

UFC on ESPN 1 Staff Picks
(Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A long weekend of fights and MMASucka Staff Picks reaches its thrilling conclusion with the UFC’s first main card on ESPN. UFC on ESPN 1: Velasquez vs. Ngannou is stacked with competitive matchups. The broadcast is split between the ESPN network and its streaming service, ESPN +, where the prelims will begin at 5:30 EST. How did the MMASucka staff do in picking Bellator 216? Get familiar with the main event before reviewing MMASucka’s UFC on ESPN 1 staff picks. 

The Fights

Not long ago, Francis Ngannou looked like the future of the heavyweight division. After a five-round beating at the hands of Stipe Miocic, and a bizarre and terrible performance against Derrick Lewis, Ngannou’s ceiling never seemed lower. A quick knockout against Curtis Blaydes gave hope to many, but the fight was too short for anyone to reasonably draw conclusions from.

Across from him will be former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. At the height of his run, some believed they were watching the greatest heavyweight of all time. A relentless string of injuries have kept Velasquez out of action, it is fair to question how much of “prime” Cain Velasquez is really left.

Stylistically, it’s a dangerous fight for both men. Velasquez could navigate the power of Ngannou and wear on him with single legs and clinch work. It’s equally likely that Ngannou exploits Velasquez’s deteriorating speed and spotty defense for another highlight reel knockout. It’s a gambler’s nightmare, and early in the season, there’s a lot on the line for the MMASucka staff.

UFC on ESPN 1 Staff Picks

Throughout the year, staff picks will be composed of four different MMA promotions: UFCBellatorONE, 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.

Staff Records after Bellator 216:

Michael DeSantis: 31-11

Wesley Riddle: 28-14

Ed Gallo: 28-14

Ryan Wagner: 27-11

Brian Gerson: 27-15

Connor Deitrich: 27-15

Justin Pierrot: 26-16

Jeremy Brand: 25-17

Mike Skytte: 24-18

Omar Villagrana: 23-19

Mitch Banuelos: 23-14

Sasha Moksyakov: 23-9

Matt Bricker: 22-20

Patrick Auger: 20-17

Ash Camyab: 20-8

Suraj Sukumar: 18-11

Andre Fili (18-6) vs. Myles Jury (17-3)

Jeremy Brand: Fili via UD

Wesley Riddle: Jury via Round 2 SUB

Mike Skytte: Jury via UD

Justin Pierrot: *no pick*

Michael DeSantis: Jury via UD

Ryan Wagner: Jury via UD

Mitch Banuelos: Jury via UD

Ed Gallo: Jury via UD

Omar Villagrana: Fili via UD

Brian Gerson: Jury via SD

Matt Bricker: Jury via UD

Connor Deitrich: Jury via UD

Patrick Auger: Jury via UD

Sasha Moksyakov: Jury via UD

Suraj Sukumar: Jury via UD

Ash Camyab: Fili via UD

Staff picking Fili: 3

Staff picking Jury: 12

Vicente Luque (14-6-1) vs. Bryan Barberena (14-5)

Jeremy Brand: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Wesley Riddle: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Mike Skytte: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Justin Pierrot: Luque via UD

Michael DeSantis: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Ryan Wagner: Luque via Round 1 Left Hook

Mitch Banuelos: Luque via Round 2 TKO

Ed Gallo: Luque via Round 1 Left Hook

Omar Villagrana: Luque via UD

Brian Gerson: Luque via UD

Matt Bricker: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Connor Deitrich: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Patrick Auger: Luque via Round 2 KO

Sasha Moksyakov: Barberena via UD

Suraj Sukumar: Luque via Round 1 TKO

Ash Camyab: Luque via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Luque: 15

Staff picking Barberena: 1

Alex Caceres (14-11-0, 1 NC) vs. Kron Gracie (4-0)

Jeremy Brand: Gracie via Round 1 SUB

Wesley Riddle: Gracie via Round 1 SUB

Mike Skytte: Gracie via Round 1 SUB

Justin Pierrot: Caceres via UD

Michael DeSantis: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Ryan Wagner: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Mitch Banuelos: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Ed Gallo: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Omar Villagrana: Gracie via UD

Brian Gerson: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Matt Bricker: Gracie via Round 1 SUB

Connor Deitrich: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Patrick Auger: Gracie via Round 3 SUB

Sasha Moksyakov: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Suraj Sukumar: Gracie via Round 2 SUB

Ash Camyab: Gracie via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Caceres: 1

Staff picking Gracie: 15

Cortney Casey (8-6) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (7-1)

Jeremy Brand: Calvillo via Round 2 SUB

Wesley Riddle: Calvillo via Round 3 SUB

Mike Skytte: Casey via UD

Justin Pierrot: Casey via UD

Michael DeSantis: Calvillo via Round 2 SUB

Ryan Wagner: Calvillo via UD

Mitch Banuelos: Calvillo via UD

Ed Gallo: Calvillo via Round 2 SUB

Omar Villagrana: Calvillo via UD

Brian Gerson: Calvillo via SD

Matt Bricker: Calvillo via UD

Connor Deitrich: Calvillo via UD

Patrick Auger: Calvillo via Round 2 SUB

Sasha Moksyakov: Calvillo via UD

Suraj Sukumar: Calvillo via UD

Ash Camyab: Calvillo via UD

Staff picking Casey: 2

Staff picking Calvillo: 14

James Vick (13-2) vs. Paul Felder (15-4)

Jeremy Brand: Felder via Round 1 TKO

Wesley Riddle: Felder via Round 2 TKO

Mike Skytte: Felder via UD

Justin Pierrot: Felder via Round 2 KO

Michael DeSantis: Felder via Round 2 TKO

Ryan Wagner: Vick via UD

Mitch Banuelos: Felder via Round 1 KO

Ed Gallo: Felder via Round 1 KO

Omar Villagrana: Vick via UD

Brian Gerson: Felder via Round 1 TKO

Matt Bricker: Felder via Round 2 TKO

Connor Deitrich: Felder via Round 2 TKO

Patrick Auger: Felder via Round 1 KO

Sasha Moksyakov: Vick via UD

Suraj Sukumar: Felder via Round 2 TKO

Ash Camyab: Felder via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Vick: 3

Staff picking Felder: 13

Cain Velasquez (14-2) vs. Francis Ngannou (12-3)

Jeremy Brand: Velasquez via UD

Wesley Riddle: Velasquez via Round 2 TKO

Mike Skytte: Velasquez via Round 1 TKO

Justin Pierrot: Ngannou via Round 1 TKO

Michael DeSantis: Ngannou via Round 1 KO

Ryan Wagner: Ngannou via Round 1 KO

Mitch Banuelos: Ngannou via Round 1 KO

Ed Gallo: Ngannou via Round 1 KO

Omar Villagrana: Velasquez via UD

Brian Gerson: Velasquez via Round 1 SUB

Matt Bricker: Ngannou via Round 1 KO

Connor Deitrich: Velasquez via Round 2 TKO

Patrick Auger: Velasquez via UD

Sasha Moksyakov: Velasquez via UD

Suraj Sukumar: Velasquez via UD

Ash Camyab: Velasquez via UD

Staff picking Velasquez: 10

Staff picking Ngannou: 6

Main Photo
Embed from Getty Images

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