MMASucka’s UFC 254 Staff Picks

UFC 254
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 23: In this handout image provided by UFC, (L-R) Opponents Alexander Volkov of Russia and Walt Harris face off during the UFC 254 weigh-in on October 23, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The long awaited UFC 254 is finally here. Khabib Nurmagomedov will be defending his UFC lightweight championship against interim champion Justin Gaethje. For the champion, this fight has potential GOAT implications. For the challenger, it’s all about completing what would be a tremendous run to the title. Since it’s going down from Fight Island, there is a unique start time. The main card is slated to start at 2:00 PM EST.

The Fights

Nurmagomedov enters the main event as a pretty large favorite. He’s currently a -340 favorite with Gaethje coming back as a +270 underdog. The challenger presents an interesting stylistic matchup that the champion hasn’t really had to deal with in the UFC. While the Russian loves to get his opponents on their back, it won’t be any easy task to get Gaethje there. And if the fight stays on the feet, that’s a clear advantage to Gaethje.

Elsewhere at UFC 254, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is looking to earn a crack at getting his title back. He’s taking on knockout artist Jared Cannonier it a title eliminator. Israel Adesanya will be waiting for the winner of this one. The main card will be opened by a light heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Ion Cutelaba.

UFC 254 Staff Picks

Throughout the remainder of the year, staff picks will be composed of two 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, this promotion 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 254 staff picks below.

Staff Records after UFC on ESPN+ 38

1. Michael DeSantis: 163-72
2. Connor Deitrich: 160-75
3. Wesley Riddle: 158-78
4T. Jeremy Brand: 143-85
5. Frazer Krohn: 141-95
6. Nate Freeman: 141-91
7T. Dan Rose: 141-95
7T. Jack Buchanan: 140-73
9. Mike Lynch: 137-84
10. Ash Camyab: 135-101
11. Matt Bricker: 128-83
12. Andrew Benjamin: 125-105
13. McKenzie Guardiero: 119-93
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

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba

Jeremy Brand: Ankalaev via UD
Michael DeSantis: Ankalaev via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Ankalaev via UD
Connor Deitrich: Ankalaev via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Cutelaba via Round 1 KO
Andrew Benjamin: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Ankalaev via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Cutelaba via UD
Dan Rose: Ankalaev via TKO
Mike Lynch: Ankalaev via UD
Nate Freeman: Ankalaev via UD
Jack Buchanan: Ankalaev via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Ankalaev: 9
Staff picking Cutelaba: 3

Lauren Murphy vs. Liliya Shakirova

Jeremy Brand: Shakirova via UD
Michael DeSantis: Murphy via UD
Matt Bricker: Murphy via UD
Connor Deitrich: Murphy via UD
Ash Camyab: Murphy via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Murphy via UD
Frazer Krohn: Murphy via Round 3 TKO
McKenzie Guardiero: Murphy via UD
Dan Rose: Murphy via UD
Mike Lynch: Murphy via TKO
Nate Freeman: Murphy via UD
Jack Buchanan: Murphy via UD

Staff picking Murphy: 11
Staff picking Shakirova: 1

Jacob Malkoun vs. Phil Hawes

Jeremy Brand: Hawes via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Hawes via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Hawes via Round 2 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Hawes via Round 1 TKO
Ash Camyab: Hawes via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Hawes via UD
Frazer Krohn: Hawes via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Hawes via Round 2 TKO
Dan Rose: Hawes via TKO
Mike Lynch: Hawes via TKO
Nate Freeman: Hawes via Round 2 TKO
Jack Buchanan: Hawes via UD

Staff picking Malkoun: 0
Staff picking Hawes: 12

Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris

Jeremy Brand: Harris via UD
Michael DeSantis: Volkov via UD
Matt Bricker: Harris via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Volkov via UD
Ash Camyab: Volkov via Round 3 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Volkov via UD
Frazer Krohn: Volkov via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Harris via UD
Dan Rose: Harris via UD
Mike Lynch: Volkov via SUB
Nate Freeman: Harris via SD
Jack Buchanan: Volkov via UD

Staff picking Volkov: 7
Staff picking Harris: 5

Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier

Jeremy Brand: Cannonier via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Whittaker via UD
Matt Bricker: Cannonier via Round 1 KO
Connor Deitrich: Whittaker via UD
Ash Camyab: Whittaker via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Whittaker via Round 1 KO
Frazer Krohn: Whittaker via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Cannonier via UD
Dan Rose: Cannonier via TKO
Mike Lynch: Whittaker via UD
Nate Freeman: Cannonier via UD
Jack Buchanan: Whittaker via UD

Staff picking Whittaker: 7
Staff picking Cannonier: 5

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje

Jeremy Brand: Nurmagomedov via Round 3 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Nurmagomedov via UD
Matt Bricker: Nurmagomedov via Round 4 SUB
Connor Deitrich: Gaethje via UD
Ash Camyab: Nurmagomedov via Round 1 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Gaethje via Round 4 KO
Frazer Krohn: Gaethje via SD
McKenzie Guardiero: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 SUB
Dan Rose: Nurmagomedov via TKO
Mike Lynch: Nurmagomedov via UD
Nate Freeman: Nurmagomedov
Jack Buchanan: Nurmagomedov via Round 4 SUB

Staff picking Nurmagomedov: 9
Staff picking Gaethje: 3

Featured image:
Embed from Getty Images

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