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MMASucka’s UFC Vegas 61 Staff Picks

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The final quarter of 2022 kicks off with a bang for our MMASucka staff picks.

UFC Vegas 61, also titled as UFC Fight Night 211, will take place this evening, October 1 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The night of fights, which will be contested without a media or audience presence, begins at 4:00pm ET (1:00pm PT) with the main card kicking off at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) live for subscribers on ESPN+.

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Results from the entire UFC Vegas 61: Dern vs. Yan event will be available here at MMASucka.

Today comes as a double-header for our MMASucka picks with Bellator 286: Pitbull vs. Borics from Long Beach, California. Stay tuned.

The Fights

Top ranked women’s strawweights (115 pounds) of Mackenzie Dern and Xiaonan Yan will meet in the night’s featured main event.

The first main event opportunity for Dern came in October of last year losing a “Fight of the Night” decision to Marina Rodriguez. The world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist rebounded in April over Tecia Torres as now she looks for big forward progress in the division. Dern’s opponent, Yan, looks for arguably the biggest victory of her career riding two straight defeats to Carla Esparza and the aforementioned Rodriguez. These defeats snapped a dominant twelve-fight run as the well-rounded Team Alpha Male talent aims for her first octagon win in nearly two years.

In the co-main event, Francisco Trinaldo will take on Randy Brown in the welterweight division (170 pounds). 44-year-old Trinaldo continues to impress looking for his third straight win and the 19th of his UFC career. Former Ring of Combat champion Brown targets four in-a-row since April of 2021, most recently edging out Khaos Williams in May by split decision.

Four additional fights compose the night’s main card including fighters like former RFA champion Raoni Barcelos and top-ranked featherweight Raoni Barcelos. Find our staff picks for UFC Vegas 61 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 are composed of the entire fight card.

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 our UFC Vegas 61: Dern vs. Yan picks below.


Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series 56:

1. Wesley Riddle: 213-108
2. Frazer Krohn: 211-110
3T. Michael DeSantis: 209-112
3T. Nate Freeman: 209-107
5. Jeremy Brand: 195-120
6T. Andrew Benjamin: 173-131
6T. William Dong: 173-106
8. Chris Presnell: 170-120
9. Julio Monteros Jr.: 163-92
10. Tim Wheaton: 162-94
11. Brian Knight: 125-88
12. Mike Lynch: 123-74
13. Jack Goodwillie: 118-58
14. Brandon Joint: 115-74
15. Ash Camyab: 105-77
16. Coby Weinsier: 87-47
17. Chinyere Okafor: 72-38
18. Jacek Okninski: 70-58
19. Roemello Reyes: 62-31
20. Ben Jamieson: 34-21
21. Matt Bricker: 24-22
22. Joe Porter: 11-5

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Mike Davis (9-2), -190
vs.
Viacheslav Borshchev (6-2), +160

Lightweight Division
– 155 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Borshchev via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Davis via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Davis via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Davis via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Davis via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Davis via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Davis via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Davis: 6
Staff picking Borshchev: 1


John Castaneda (19-5), -195
vs.
Daniel Santos (9-2), +165

Catchweight Fight
– 140 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Castaneda via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Castaneda via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Castaneda via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Santos via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Castaneda via Round 2 SUB
Julio Monteros Jr.: Castaneda via Round 1 SUB
Brian Knight: Castaneda via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Castaneda: 6
Staff picking Santos: 1


Sodiq Yusuff (12-2), -1050
vs.
Don Shainis (12-3), +700

Featherweight Division
– 145 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Yusuff via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Yusuff via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Yusuff via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Yusuff via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Yusuff via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Yusuff via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Yusuff via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Yusuff: 7
Staff picking Shainis: 0


Raoni Barcelos (16-3), -230
vs.
Trevin Jones (13-8), +195

Bantamweight Division
– 135 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Barcelos via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Barcelos via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Barcelos via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Barcelos via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Barcelos via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Barcelos via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Barcelos via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Barcelos: 7
Staff picking Jones: 0


Randy Brown (15-4), -320
vs.
Francisco Trinaldo (28-8), +265

Welterweight Co-Main Event
– 170 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Trinaldo via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Brown via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Brown via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Brown via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Brown via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Brown via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Brown via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Brown: 6
Staff picking Trinaldo: 1


Mackenzie Dern (12-2), -230
vs.
Xiaonan Yan (15-3, 1 NC), +195

Women’s Strawweight Main Event
– 115 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Dern via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Dern via Round 3 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Dern via Round 3 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Dern via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Yan via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Dern via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Dern via Split Decision

Staff picking Dern: 6
Staff picking Yan: 1

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

UFC VEGAS 61 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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