MMASucka’s UFC Vegas 35 Staff Picks

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UFC Vegas 35 looms just around the corner, including our weekly MMASucka staff picks. Tonight’s fight card will take place at the state-of-the-art UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card will begin live at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) live on both ESPN and ESPN+.

Make sure to recap our staff picks from Friday night’s PFL 9 2021 event from Florida.

UFC Vegas 35 Fights

Technical striking talents Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze will meet for a potential five rounds in tonight’s featured main event.

Barboza will make the octagon walk for the 26th time in his UFC career, his debut coming in late 2010. The Brazilian currently rides a two-fight streak, most recently stopping Shane Burgos by knockout in May. Another impressive performance may lead Barboza one step closer to a potential first promotional title shot. His opponent, Chikadze, gained recognition with his Dana White’s Contender Series appearance in 2018. Despite the submission loss to Austin Springer, the kickboxing specialist would later sign to the UFC and has since remained undefeated with eight wins in just over 30 months. Chikadze targets his second win of the calendar year, his first coming by first-round knockout over Cub Swanson.

Also featured tonight sees two finale pairings from season 29 of The Ultimate Fighter, the show having made its return this calendar year. Gilbert Urbina stepped in to replace an injured Tresean Gore to take on finalist Bryan Battle in the middleweight bracket. The bantamweight side will feature finalists Ricky Turcios and Brady Hiestand.

Former interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee and rising contender Makhmud Muradov will be set against their respected opponents on tonight’s main card. Find those picks from UFC Vegas 35 further below.

Staff Picks

Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from UFC and Bellator events and a variety of fights from PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will make its debut August 31st.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2021 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or chain from Championship Chains. For the third straight year, Michael DeSantis captured the 2020 victory compiling a record of 201-88.

Find out below who the staff is picking to win at UFC Vegas 35: Barboza vs. Chikadze.

Staff Records after UFC Vegas 34:

1T. Wesley Riddle: 139-81
1T. Nate Freeman: 139-81
3. Michael DeSantis: 135-85
4. Frazer Krohn: 130-90
5. Ash Camyab: 124-87
6. Jeremy Brand: 118-103
7. Mike Lynch: 114-96
8. Mitchell Banuelos: 107-89
9. Andrew Benjamin: 93-101
10. Tim Wheaton: 88-66
11. Kenny Lee: 77-64
12. Brandon Joint: 66-31
13. Matt Bricker: 57-57
14. Chris Presnell: 27-12
15. Amanda Grace: 5-6
16. Al Mac: 5-1
17. Steven Irvine: 2-3

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – PFL 9 2021 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*

Makhmud Muradov (25-6) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (32-14)

Jeremy Brand: Meerschaert via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Muradov via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Muradov via Round 1 TKO
Ash Camyab: Muradov via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Muradov via UD
Frazer Krohn: Muradov via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Muradov via UD
Nate Freeman: Muradov via Round 1 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Muradov via UD
Brandon Joint: Muradov via UD
Steven Irvine: Muradov via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Muradov: 10
Staff picking Meerschaert: 1

Andre Petroski (5-2) vs. Micheal Gillmore (6-3)

Jeremy Brand: Petroski via UD
Wesley Riddle: Petroski via UD
Michael DeSantis: Petroski via Round 1 SUB
Ash Camyab: Petroski via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Gillmore via UD
Frazer Krohn: Gillmore via SD
Mike Lynch: Petroski via Round 1 SUB
Nate Freeman: Petroski via UD
Tim Wheaton: Petroski via UD
Brandon Joint: Petroski via UD
Steven Irvine: Petroski via UD

Staff picking Petroski: 9
Staff picking Gillmore: 2

Kevin Lee (18-6) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (15-2)

Jeremy Brand: Lee via UD
Wesley Riddle: Lee via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Lee via UD
Ash Camyab: Lee via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Lee via UD
Frazer Krohn: Lee via UD
Mike Lynch: Rodriguez via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Lee via UD
Tim Wheaton: Lee via Round 3 TKO
Brandon Joint: Lee via UD
Steven Irvine: Lee via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Lee: 10
Staff picking Rodriguez: 1

Ricky Turcios (11-2) vs. Brady Hiestand (6-1)

Jeremy Brand: Hiestand via Round 3 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Turcios via UD
Michael DeSantis: Turcios via UD
Ash Camyab: Turcios via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Turcios via UD
Frazer Krohn: Turcios via UD
Mike Lynch: Turcios via UD
Nate Freeman: Turcios via UD
Tim Wheaton: Turcios via UD
Brandon Joint: Turcios via UD
Steven Irvine: Turcios via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Turcios: 10
Staff picking Hiestand: 1

Bryan Battle (6-1) vs. Gilbert Urbina (6-1)

Jeremy Brand: Urbina via UD
Wesley Riddle: Battle via UD
Michael DeSantis: Urbina via UD
Ash Camyab: Urbina via Round 3 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Battle via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Battle via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Battle via Round 1 SUB
Nate Freeman: Battle via Round 2 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Battle via Round 2 TKO
Brandon Joint: Urbina via Round 2 TKO
Steven Irvine: Battle via UD

Staff picking Battle: 7
Staff picking Urbina: 4

Edson Barboza (22-9) vs. Giga Chikadze (13-2)

Jeremy Brand: Chikadze via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Barboza via UD
Michael DeSantis: Barboza via UD
Ash Camyab: Barboza via Round 4 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Barboza via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Barboza via UD
Mike Lynch: Chikadze via UD
Nate Freeman: Chikadze via SD
Tim Wheaton: Barboza via UD
Brandon Joint: Chikadze via UD
Steven Irvine: Barboza via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Barboza: 7
Staff picking Chikadze: 4

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Wesley Riddle is a 25-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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