MMASucka’s UFC 242 Staff Picks

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UFC 242 is set to go down tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card has been getting a lot of media attention, mainly due to the electrifying, title-unifying main event between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Dustin Poirier. Early prelims kick off at 10:15 am ET, with the FX prelims set to start at noon. Finally, the main card will go down at 2:00 pm. Be to also check out Saturday night’s Bellator 226 staff picks, the second of our weekend selections.

The Fights

The main event of this card is getting all of the attention, and for good reason. There is an interesting dynamic between Nurmagomdeov and Poirier. Nurmagomedov, the big betting favorite, is known for pressuring his opponents to the fence, taking them down, and keeping them there. Poirier is a very technical boxer, with great footwork that allows him to keep moving forward and stay off of his back foot. He is also very good at cutting the cage, which could frustrate the champ and his desire to move forward in a straight line. Throw in the fact that Nurmagomedov will likely be the crowd favorite, with his dad in his corner for the first time in his UFC career, and there’s just a lot to talk about. Poirier absolutely has the toughness, cardio, and boxing skills to make this a dog fight. It could truly be one of the best UFC fights of the year.

In the co-main event of UFC 242, Edson Barboza takes on Paul Felder in a rematch four years in the making. Since their first fight, Felder has improved leaps and bounds as a fighter. Barboza, on the other hand, isn’t the same fighter that he used to be. This one has the potential to be an interesting striking affair, though Felder has the tools to potentially put Barboza on his back. Barboza is looking to bounce back from a March loss to Justin Gaethje, while Felder looks to build on his February victory over James Vick.

Elsewhere on UFC 242’s main card, the underrated Islam Makhachev will look to improve to 18-1 against the Brazilian lightweight Davi Ramos. A win could put Makhachev back into the top 15 at lightweight. Fourth ranked Curtis Blaydes takes on the number nine heavyweight contender Shamil Abdurakhimov, as both guys look to get into the title picture. Opening the main card is a potentially exciting striking matchup between the returning Mairbek Taisumov and Carlos Diego Ferreira.

UFC 242 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 242 below.

Staff Records Following UFC Fight Night 157

1. Connor Deitrich: 203-103
2. Michael DeSantis: 202-104
3. Ed Gallo: 196-111
4. Mitchell Banuelos: 189-105
5. Mike Skytte: 188-118
6. Jeremy Brand: 182-124
7. Brian Gerson: 176-99
8. Matt Bricker: 175-121
9. Ryan Wagner: 169-83
10. Ash Camyab: 161-113
11. Frazer Krohn: 89-54
12. Ryan Fortune: 71-31
13. Ryan Hobbs: 70-58
14. Suraj Sukumar: 58-26
15. McKenzie Guardiero: 47-31
16. Andrew Benjamin: 45-35
17. Tanner Russ: 2-2

Mairbek Taisumov (27-5) vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira (15-2)

Jeremy Brand: Taisumov via Round 1 TKO
Mike Skytte: Taisumov via Round 2 KO
Michael DeSantis: Taisumov via Round 1 TKO
Mitch Banuelos: Taisumov via UD
Ed Gallo: Taisumov via Round 3 TKO
Matt Bricker: Taisumov via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Taisumov via Round 2 KO
Ash Camyab: Ferreira via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Ferreira via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Ferreira via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Taisumov via UD
Ryan Fortune: Taisumov via Round 1 TKO
McKenzie Guardiero: Ferreira via Round 2 TKO
Tanner Ross: Taisumov via Round 1 KO

Staff picking Taisumov: 10
Staff picking Ferreira: 4

Curtis Blaydes (11-2, 1NC) vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-4)

Jeremy Brand: Abdurakhimov via Round 1 TKO
Mike Skytte: Blaydes via Round 3 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Blaydes via Round 2 TKO
Mitch Banuelos: Blaydes via UD
Ed Gallo: Abdurakhimov via UD
Matt Bricker: Blaydes via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Blaydes via UD
Ash Camyab: Blaydes via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Blaydes via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Blaydes via UD
Frazer Krohn: Blaydes via UD
Ryan Fortune: Blaydes via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Blaydes via Round 2 KO
Tanner Ross: Blaydes via UD

Staff picking Blaydes: 12
Staff picking Abdurakhimov: 2

Islam Makhachev (17-1) vs. Davi Ramos (10-2)

Jeremy Brand: Ramos via Round 1 SUB
Mike Skytte: Makhachev via UD
Michael DeSantis: Makhachev via UD
Mitch Banuelos: Makhachev via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Makhachev via UD
Matt Bricker: Ramos via Round 2 SUB
Connor Deitrich: Makhachev via Round 3 TKO
Ash Camyab: Ramos via Round 3 KO
Ryan Hobbs: Makhachev via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Ramos via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Makhachev via UD
Ryan Fortune: Makhachev via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Makhachev via UD
Tanner Ross: Makhachev via UD

Staff picking Makhachev: 10
Staff picking Ramos: 4

Edson Barboza (20-7) vs. Paul Felder (16-4)

Jeremy Brand: Felder via UD
Mike Skytte: Barboza via UD
Michael DeSantis: Barboza via UD
Mitch Banuelos: Felder via SD
Ed Gallo: Felder via Round 1 KO
Matt Bricker: Barboza via UD
Connor Deitrich: Felder via UD
Ash Camyab: Barboza via Round 2 KO
Ryan Hobbs: Barboza via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Felder via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Felder via Round 3 TKO
Ryan Fortune: Barboza via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Felder via UD
Tanner Ross: Felder via UD

Staff picking Barboza: 6
Staff picking Felder: 8

Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0) vs. Dustin Poirier (25-5, 1NC)

Jeremy Brand: Nurmagomedov via Round 4 SUB
Mike Skytte: Poirier via Round 3 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Nurmagomedov via UD
Mitch Banuelos: Poirier via Round 4 TKO
Ed Gallo: Poirier via Round 4 KO
Matt Bricker: Poirier via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Nurmagomedov via UD
Ash Camyab: Poirier via Round 1 TKO
Ryan Hobbs: N/A
Andrew Benjamin: Poirier via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Poirier via Round 4 TKO
Ryan Fortune: Nurmagomedov via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Poirier via Round 2 TKO
Tanner Ross: Poirier via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Nurmagomedov: 4
Staff picking Poirier: 9

Featured image:
Embed from Getty Images

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I like Russians, lightweights, and athletic fighters. Specifically, I like athletic, Russian lightweights.

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