MMASucka’s UFC on ESPN 2 staff picks

UFC on ESPN 2 staff picks
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 27: Edson Barboza poses talks to the crowd prior to his lightweight fight against Justin Gaethje at 2300 Arena on March 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

MMASucka’s second card of our triple-header staff picks weekend sees UFC on ESPN 2 taking place later this evening, March 30, from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The main card action will begin at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) live on ESPN. Check out last night’s MMASucka staff picks for Bellator 219 written by fellow writer Connor Deitrich. Also, be on the lookout for MMASucka’s ONE: A New Era staff picks later today.

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THE FIGHTS

This is a fight you should not miss. Thrilling lightweights Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje will battle it out for a potential (yet likely unneeded) 25 minutes in the main event. Barboza has four victories in his last six, including one of the greatest flying knee knockouts in UFC history over Beneil Dariush and a third-round TKO war with Dan Hooker in December. He is in search of a ninth post-fight bonus in the UFC, six of them being “Fight of the Night.” His opponent, Gaethje, has earned five bonuses in his first four fights in the UFC; further proof we are in for one of the best fights of the year. Despite suffering back-to-back knockout losses after an 18-0 run to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez, he rebounded last August with an 87 second knockout over James Vick. Another victory for the former WSOF lightweight champion will be his 20th career win since August of 2011.

In the co-main event, former two-division WSOF champion David Branch will face off against Sweden’s Jack Hermansson. Branch is looking to rebound following a knockout loss to Jared Cannonier while Hermansson is in search of a fifth UFC finish in his six promotional wins. All the rest of the main card fights, including our picks for each fight, can be found further below.

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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.

Check out our MMASucka staff picks for UFC on ESPN 2: Barboza vs. Gaethje below.


Staff Records after UFC Fight Night 148:

1. Michael DeSantis: 69-23
2. Ed Gallo: 67-25
3. Connor Deitrich: 63-29
4. Brian Gerson: 62-30
5T. Wesley Riddle: 61-31
5T. Ryan Wagner: 61-23
7. Mitch Banuelos: 60-27
8. Mike Skytte: 59-33
9T. Omar Villagrana: 58-34
9T. Matt Bricker: 58-34
11. Jeremy Brand: 55-37
12. Patrick Auger: 52-35
13. Justin Pierrot: 50-32
14. Ash Camyab: 48-28
15. Suraj Sukumar: 34-13
16. Sasha Moksyakov: 31-16
17. Idrees Crawley: 12-4


Sodiq Yusuff (8-1) vs. Sheymon Moraes (11-2)

Jeremy Brand: Moraes via UD
Wesley Riddle: Yusuff via UD
Mike Skytte: Moraes via UD
Justin Pierrot: Yusuff via UD
Michael DeSantis: Yusuff via UD
Ryan Wagner: Moraes via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Yusuff via UD
Ed Gallo: Moraes via UD
Omar Villagrana: Yusuff via UD
Brian Gerson: Yusuff via UD
Matt Bricker: Yusuff via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Yusuff via UD
Patrick Auger: Yusuff via UD
Sasha Moksyakov: N/A
Suraj Sukumar: N/A
Ash Camyab: Moraes via UD
Idrees Crawley: N/A

Staff picking Yusuff: 9
Staff picking Moraes: 4


Kennedy Nzechukwu (6-0) vs. Paul Craig (9-3)

Jeremy Brand: Nzechukwu via UD
Wesley Riddle: Nzechukwu via Round 2 TKO
Mike Skytte:  Nzechukwu via UD
Justin Pierrot: Nzechukwu via UD
Michael DeSantis: Nzechukwu via Round 2 TKO
Ryan Wagner: Nzechukwu via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Nzechukwu via UD
Ed Gallo: Nzechukwu via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Nzechukwu via UD
Brian Gerson: Nzechukwu via Round 3 TKO
Matt Bricker: Nzechukwu via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Nzechukwu via UD
Patrick Auger: Craig via Round 3 SUB
Sasha Moksyakov: N/A
Suraj Sukumar: N/A
Ash Camyab: Craig via Round 3 TKO
Idrees Crawley: N/A

Staff picking Nzechukwu: 12
Staff picking Craig: 2


Karolina Kowalkiewicz (13-3) vs. Michelle Waterson (16-6)

Jeremy Brand: Waterson via UD
Wesley Riddle: Waterson via UD
Mike Skytte: Waterson via UD
Justin Pierrot: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Michael DeSantis: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Ryan Wagner: Kowalkiewicz via SD
Mitchell Banuelos: Waterson via UD
Ed Gallo: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Omar Villagrana: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Brian Gerson: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Matt Bricker: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Connor Deitrich: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Patrick Auger: Kowalkiewicz via UD
Sasha Moksyakov: N/A
Suraj Sukumar: N/A
Ash Camyab: Waterson via UD
Idrees Crawley: N/A

Staff picking Kowalkiewicz: 9
Staff picking Waterson: 5


Josh Emmett (13-2) vs. Michael Johnson (20-13)

Jeremy Brand: Johnson via UD
Wesley Riddle: Johnson via UD
Mike Skytte: Emmett via UD
Justin Pierrot: Johnson via SD
Michael DeSantis: Johnson via UD
Ryan Wagner: Johnson via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Emmett via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Johnson via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Emmett via UD
Brian Gerson: Emmett via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Johnson via UD
Connor Deitrich: Emmett via UD
Patrick Auger: Emmett via SD
Sasha Moksyakov: N/A
Suraj Sukumar: N/A
Ash Camyab: Johnson via UD
Idrees Crawley: N/A

Staff picking Emmett: 6
Staff picking Johnson: 8


David Branch (22-5) vs. Jack Hermansson (18-4)

Jeremy Brand: Branch via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Branch via UD
Mike Skytte: Branch via UD
Justin Pierrot: Branch via UD
Michael DeSantis: Branch via UD
Ryan Wagner: Hermansson via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Branch via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Hermansson via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Branch via UD
Brian Gerson: Branch via Round 3 TKO
Matt Bricker: Branch via UD
Connor Deitrich: Branch via Round 2 TKO
Patrick Auger: Hermansson via Round 2 TKO
Sasha Moksyakov: N/A
Suraj Sukumar: N/A
Ash Camyab: Hermansson via Round 2 TKO
Idrees Crawley: N/A

Staff picking Branch: 10
Staff picking Hermansson: 4


Edson Barboza (20-6) vs. Justin Gaethje (19-2)

Jeremy Brand: Gaethje via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Gaethje via Round 2 TKO
Mike Skytte: Gaethje via Round 2 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Gaethje via Round 4 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Gaethje via Round 2 TKO
Ryan Wagner: Gaethje via Round 4 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Barboza via Round 3 TKO
Ed Gallo: Gaethje via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Barboza via UD
Brian Gerson: Gaethje via Round 4 TKO
Matt Bricker: Gaethje via Round 4 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Barboza via Round 4 TKO
Patrick Auger: Barboza via Round 3 TKO
Sasha Moksyakov: N/A
Suraj Sukumar: N/A
Ash Camyab: Gaethje via Round 3 TKO
Idrees Crawley: N/A

Staff picking Barboza: 4
Staff picking Gaethje: 10

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Wesley Riddle is a 24-year old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a recent graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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