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MMASucka’s UFC Vegas 54 Staff Picks

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Part two of our double-header weekend for MMASucka staff picks are official.

Later tonight, May 14 sees UFC Vegas 54, also titled as UFC on ESPN 36, set for action from the Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Apex. Six fights will take place on the featured main card at 10:00pm ET (7:00PM PT) on both ESPN+ for subscribers and ESPN 2 for cable viewers.

Results from all of UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs. Rakic will be available here at MMASucka.

Recap our staff picks from yesterday’s Bellator 281: MVP vs. Storley event from London.

The Fights

Four dangerous light heavyweights make up both the main and co-main event slots of the night.

Featured sees #1-ranked Jan Blachowicz take on #3-ranked Aleksandar Rakic in a likely title elimination bout for a future shot at the winner of June 11’s championship fight between defending Glover Texeira and challenger Jiri Prochazka. Former champion Blachowicz looks to return to the win column after his five-fight win streak and divisional reign as champion was snapped to the aforementioned Texeira in October of last year. His opponent, Austria’s Rakic, targets his 15th professional victory through 16 fights in what will be his first scheduled 25-minute affair.

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Ryan Spann and Ion Cutelaba hope to continue their respected paths towards the top of the 205-pound division in tonight’s co-main event. Fortis MMA’s Spann aims for a rebound following his main event defeat to Anthony Smith last September as “The Hulk” Cutelaba searches for another win after his latest unanimous decision of Devin Clark.

Some of those also competing on the main card sees the always-exciting Davey Grant, top-ranked flyweight challenger Katlyn Chookagian, and the debut of England’s undefeated Jake Hadley. Find out who the MMASucka staff are picking to win at UFC Vegas 54 further below.

Staff Picks

Staff picks in 2022 will follow the same set of rules from the 2021 season. Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be included for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the entire fight card; dates for this promotion’s return are soon-to-be announced.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2022 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. A winner is determined simply by the individual correctly picking the most victorious fighters at the year’s end. Nate Freeman secured his first victory with MMASucka in 2021 with a compiled record 243-136.

See below for our UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs. Rakic picks.

ProAmBelts | High Quality Custom Championship Belts

Staff Records after UFC 274:

1T. Michael DeSantis: 87-41
1T. Nate Freeman: 87-41
3. Wesley Riddle: 86-42
4. Jeremy Brand: 85-43
5T. Frazer Krohn: 81-47
5T. William Dong: 81-47
5T. Julio Monteros Jr.: 81-41
8T. Mike Lynch: 80-48
8T. Tim Wheaton: 80-43
10. Ash Camyab: 79-45
11T. Andrew Benjamin: 77-51
11T. Chris Presnell: 77-51
11T. Brandon Joint: 77-45
11T. Coby Weinsier: 77-41
15. Jacek Okninski: 69-54
16. Chinyere Okafor: 54-24
17. Brian Knight: 46-25
18. Jack Goodwillie: 37-17
19. Matt Bricker: 24-22
20. Brian Knight: 8-4

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – Bellator 281 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Jake Hadley (8-0), -210
vs.
Allan Nascimento (18-6), +175

Flyweight Division, 125 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Hadley via Round 2 SUB
Mike Lynch: Hadley via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Nascimento via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Hadley via Round 2 SUB
Chinyere Okafor: Hadley via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Hadley via Round 2 SUB
Brian Knight: Nascimento via Round 2 SUB
Jack Goodwillie: Hadley via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Hadley: 14
Staff picking Nascimento: 2


Frank Camacho (22-9), +110
vs.
Manuel Torres (12-2), -130

Lightweight Division, 155 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Torres via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Camacho via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Mike Lynch: Torres via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell: Camacho via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Brandon Joint: Torres via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Torres via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Torres via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Torres via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Torres via Round 1 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Torres via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Camacho: 2
Staff picking Torres: 14


Katlyn Chookagian (17-4), -165
vs.
Amanda Ribas (11-2), +145

Flyweight Division, 125 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Ribas via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Chookagian via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Chookagian via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Chookagian via Round 1 SUB
Nate Freeman: Chookagian via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Ribas via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Chookagian via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Chookagian: 14
Staff picking Ribas: 2


Davey Grant (13-6), -300
vs.
Louis Smolka (17-8), +235

Bantamweight Division, 135 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Grant via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Grant via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Grant via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Grant via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Grant via Round 3 TKO
Mike Lynch: Grant via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Grant via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Grant via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Grant via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Grant via Round 3 TKO
Brandon Joint: Grant via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Grant via Round 3 TKO
Chinyere Okafor: Grant via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Grant via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Grant via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Grant via Round 2 SUB

Staff picking Grant: 16
Staff picking Smolka: 0


Ryan Spann (21-7), +175
vs.
Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1, 1 NC), -210

Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event, 205 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Cutelaba via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Spann via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Spann via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Spann via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Cutelaba via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Spann via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell: Spann via Round 2 TKO
Coby Weinsier: Cutelaba via Round 2 TKO
Brandon Joint: Spann via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Cutelaba via Round 2 TKO
Chinyere Okafor: Cutelaba via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Spann via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Cutelaba via Round 3 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Spann via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Spann: 8
Staff picking Cutelaba: 8


Jan Blachowicz (28-9), +175
vs.
Aleksander Rakic (14-2), -210

Light Heavyweight Main Event, 205 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Rakic via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Rakic via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Blachowicz via Round 3 TKO
Mike Lynch: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Rakic via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Blachowicz via Round 2 TKO
Chris Presnell: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Rakic via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Rakic via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Rakic via Unanimous Decision
Chinyere Okafor: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Blachowicz via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Rakic via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Blachowicz: 9
Staff picking Rakic: 7

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

UFC VEGAS 54 FEATURED IMAGE:
Embed from Getty Images

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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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