MMASucka’s UFC 253 Staff Picks

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Fight card number two for our MMASucka staff picks double-header weekend is in. Later tonight, September 26 will see UFC 253 return to UFC Fight Island on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card will begin at 10:00pm (7:00pm PT) live on pay-per-view.

Make sure to check out our picks from today’s Bellator Milan. Also, look in our “Staff Picks” section for a major update regarding the remainder of the 2020 staff picks season.

The Fights

In quite possibly the most anticipated fight of 2020, Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa will faceoff for the UFC middleweight championship. Current champion Adesanya remains undefeated through 19 fights having won the belt with a knockout win over Robert Whittaker last year. His dominance has shown since debuting in the promotion just at the beginning of 2018, now holding eight wins in the UFC alone. Adesanya looks to follow-up his recent defense of the 185-pound belt over Yoel Romero. His opponent, the also-undefeated Costa, looks to back up his decision win over the aforementioned Romero. That victory was his only by decision, as the Brazilian has managed to finish all of his other twelve opponents including nine in the first round. Costa will look to make the most of his biggest fight to date in only his sixth UFC appearance.

An additional sleeper title fight sits in the co-main event between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. With Jon Jones vacating the light heavyweight championship, it leaves the belt up for grabs between two of the division’s best. Reyes comes in hungry after his 12-0 streak was controversially broken for the belt against Jones in February. Former KSW light heavyweight champion Blachowicz looks to add a fourth straight win looking to back-up his recent knockout of Corey Anderson.

See the remaining UFC 253 fights counted for our MMASucka staff picks further below.

UFC 246

Staff Picks

Throughout the year, staff picks will be composed of five different MMA promotions. UFC and Bellator. As of September 25th, the events of ONE and RIZIN will no longer be counted for our picks (including a recent deduction of the last two RIZIN cards from our records). With the cancellation of PFL for 2020, these will be excluded as well.

Main cards will makeup both UFC and Bellator picks. The WINNER of staff picks will have a choice between receiving a championship belt from ProAmBelts or a championship chain from Championship Chains. The 2019 winner was awarded to Michael DeSantis, compiling a record of 321-178. Second-place Connor Deitrich collected a close score of 319-180 with third-place Ed Gallo not far behind totaling at 312-183.

Check out our UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa staff picks below.

Staff Records after UFC Fight Night 178:

1T. Michael DeSantis: 139-58
1T. Connor Deitrich: 139-58
3. Wesley Riddle: 134-64
4. Jeremy Brand: 122-71
5. Nate Freeman: 120-74
6T. Matt Bricker: 117-71
6T. Frazer Krohn: 117-81
6T. Dan Rose: 117-81
6T. Jack Buchanan: 117-58
10T. Ash Camyab: 113-85
10T. Mike Lynch: 113-70
12. McKenzie Guardiero: 108-85
13. Andrew Benjamin: 102-90
14. Ryan Hobbs: 95-64
15. Ashwin Viswanathan: 83-51
16. Mike Skytte: 67-45
17. Mitchell Banuelos: 64-39
18. Joshua Yule: 55-28
19. Ed Gallo: 54-27
20. Jeremy Cook: 14-6

*Note: not all staff has picked for every event*
**Note: Bellator Milan will be added to the above records NEXT weekend**

Hakeem Dawodu (11-1-1) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (19-4-1)

Jeremy Brand: Dawodu via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Dawodu via SD
Michael DeSantis: Dawodu via UD
Connor Deitrich: Tukhugov via UD
Ash Camyab: Dawodu via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Dawodu via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Dawodu via UD
Dan Rose: Dawodu via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Dawodu via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Dawodu via SD
Jack Buchanan: Dawodu via UD

Staff picking Dawodu: 10
Staff picking Tukhugov: 1

Ketlen Vieira (10-1) vs. Sijara Eubanks (7-4)

Jeremy Brand: Vieira via UD
Wesley Riddle: Vieira via UD
Michael DeSantis: Vieira via UD
Connor Deitrich: Vieira via UD
Ash Camyab: Vieira via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Vieira via UD
Frazer Krohn: Vieira via UD
Dan Rose: Vieira via Round 1 SUB
Mike Lynch: Vieira via UD
Nate Freeman: Eubanks via UD
Jack Buchanan: Vieira via UD

Staff picking Vieira: 10
Staff picking Eubanks: 1

Kai Kara-France (21-8, 1 NC) vs. Brandon Royval (11-4)

Jeremy Brand: Royval via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Kara-France via SD
Michael DeSantis: Kara-France via UD
Connor Deitrich: Kara-France via UD
Ash Camyab: Kara-France via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Kara-France via SD
Frazer Krohn: Kara-France via UD
Dan Rose: Royval via UD
Mike Lynch: Kara-France via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Kara-France via SD
Jack Buchanan: Kara-France via UD

Staff picking Kara-France: 9
Staff picking Royval: 2

Dominick Reyes (12-1) vs. Jan Blachowicz (26-8)

Jeremy Brand: Reyes via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Reyes via UD
Michael DeSantis: Reyes via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Reyes via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Blachowicz via Round 5 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Reyes via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Blachowicz via UD
Dan Rose: Reyes via Round 1 TKO
Mike Lynch: Blachowicz via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Reyes via Round 2 TKO
Jack Buchanan: Reyes via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Reyes: 8
Staff picking Blachowicz: 3

Israel Adesanya (19-0) vs. Paulo Costa (13-0)

Jeremy Brand: Adesanya via UD
Wesley Riddle: Adesanya via Round 4 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Adesanya via Round 4 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Costa via Round 3 TKO
Ash Camyab: Adesanya via Round 5 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Adesanya via UD
Dan Rose: Adesanya via UD
Mike Lynch: Adesanya via UD
Nate Freeman: Adesanya via UD
Jack Buchanan: Adesanya via UD

Staff picking Adesanya: 10
Staff picking Costa: 1

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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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